Ways to Raise a Baby on a Budget
Motherhood is not easy. Every mother will tell you that. It takes a toll on your emotional, mental, physical and financial life because then you have to take care of a human being who can’t take care of herself. It is therefore not surprising that some moms suffer from postpartum depression. Thus social and mental support is of paramount importance.
But what is shocking is how expensive it is to raise a baby especially in this economy. Right from their first day of being in the world, a baby is going to cost you. Baby items don’t come cheap. This can be stressful for a mom who is on a budget.
Here are a few tips to help you raise your baby when you are on a tight budget:
- Breastfeed your baby until six months
There are some moms who opt to start formula feeding their baby from 2 or 3 months for different reasons. While there is nothing wrong with this, the baby formula does not come cheap. Since you will feed your baby several times a day, you are going to need a lot of formula. Why don’t you then opt to breastfeed your baby for at least the first six months? It is not only healthy and advocated for by pediatricians, but it will also save you the cost of buying unnecessary formula.
- Get second-hand clothes from friends
The thing with babies is that they grow fast and outgrow the clothes they wore a month ago. A baby will not need newborn clothes when she turns a month old. There is no need to go all out and get new clothes especially when you don’t have the finances to do so. Just get clothes from your friends who had newborn babies and who have outgrown that stage. At every stage, you will find a baby who has outgrown the stage. There is no shame in this because some of these second-hand clothes are actually as good as new.
- Search for coupons before buying baby stuff
Coupons have never been important as when it comes to buying baby stuff. Honestly, baby stuff can be expensive. So before you go on a spree buying items and sometimes unnecessary items, search for coupons from baby stores. This will help you save on money and time. Look at those things you need most and see if you can get coupons on those.
- Ask for free samples before buying baby products
It is common for us to ask for samples when purchasing different kinds of items but not so when buying baby products. A sample helps you to determine whether that product is necessary or not. It also helps you determine whether the price tag attached to it is worth it. Before purchasing any baby product, ask for a sample you can try out. You might have thought that you need the product but after sampling, you realize that it is not all that important.
- Rent baby essentials instead of buying
As mentioned above, baby items are not cheap. Things like strollers, breast pumps and the like can be pricey. Now, instead of buying all these items, why don’t you just rent them? For example, it would be much cheaper to rent a breast pump instead of buying one. Or even a bassinet. How many months will your baby need a bassinet? After 3 months you can move your baby to a crib. You will find that it is cheaper to rent rather than buy.
- Avoid buying unnecessary baby products
In this age of social media, it is easy to be influenced by people to get baby products that are completely unnecessary. You might see a post of that product or get a bad recommendation from a shop seller and you go out and purchase products only to realize that you will never use them. A waste of money and time. Before you buy any product, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need or want them?
- Does my baby need them now?
- Are there cheaper alternatives?
- Did I get real mommies reviews about these products?
For example, when my husband and I went shopping for baby products before our first son was born, I got a recommendation that a baby sterilizer is a must for every new mom. Then, after my son was born, I realized that baby sterilizer is good only when you feed your baby with formula. In my case, I exclusively breastfed my baby until the age of 6 months and continued to breastfeed until he turned 1.5 years old – I didn’t get the chance to use a baby sterilizer. So, it would be quite a waste to buy a baby sterilizer when you are only breastfeeding your baby.
- Cook your baby food instead of buying
Cooking is, of course, cheaper than buying baby food. And preparing baby food does not take so much time because you only need to puree it using a blender or food processor. It is not only cheaper but also healthier.
- Don’t buy too many toys
Sometimes we get carried away when buying toys for our children. We want to get anything and everything that looks nice and enjoyable to play with. While these intentions are noble, they may actually ‘bankrupt’ you. There are only so many toys that your baby can play with at a particular time or stage. You can buy so many toys that your baby never gets to play with some. Just get a good number of toys that you are sure your baby will actually play with. Why don’t you even make making toys a DIY project? It will not only save you the money but bring out the creativity in you.
- Try alternative babysitter options
Babysitters are becoming more expensive because they also have needs to meet. To cut your babysitter costs, why don’t you ask your family to watch your baby when you are not around? If you have to go to work every day, then you can find a low-cost daycare. Another option would be to become a stay at home mom. If you don’t want to be a stay at home mom, then you can pick up an online job that allows you to work from home. Check out this guide for starting a profitable blog. Online jobs are flexible and allow you to determine how much money you want to make.
It is no doubt that raising a child is expensive. Nevertheless, it does not mean that you have to spend an arm and leg to do so. There are ways to go around minimizing costs if you are willing.