Welcome back to Momming on a Budget! I realize that I've been catering to my toddler mommies facing the same problems that I'm currently dealing with, but this post is for the infant mommies. I remember when my little guy was peeing through 20 diapers a day and staying asleep for 3 hours at a time.
While struggling to stay awake in class while enrolled as a sophomore in Emory, I had to get really creative if I wanted to make everything work out. I came up with a ton of solutions to save me both time and money. I understand that we all want our kids to live better lives than we did and sometimes we really bury ourselves in debt in an attempt to make that a reality. Here's my top 5 money saving tips for infant care.
Choose a cheaper detergent. How many onesies and bibs do those little people do through a day? Nobody but the washing machine truly knows. No mom wants their newborn breaking out due to strong scented laundry detergents, while they're frequently washing clothes. Save yourself some money by opting for All Free & Clear instead of Dreft. Once I discovered All, I returned all my Dreft from my baby shower and switched them out. You'll save a ton a money though you won't miss an ounce of value: This All free & clear is at Target for $10 for 141 oz, this Dreft of comparable value at $9.59 at Target is only 50 oz. Nearly a 1/3 of the size of the All free & clear.
Buy used when appropriate. While I don't recommend buying car seats or cloth diapers used, there are a ton of other things that are appropriate to buy used to really save you money. Clothes, will be grown out of rather quickly, check out your local consignment stores and online bulk sales to find great deals. Don't keep spending $5-$15 for those "cute" onesies that they will wear once. Other things that are good second hand purchases include strollers, walkers, swings and similar do-hickeys. Don't be afraid of hand-me-downs from friends and family who already have kids, anything can be sterilized.
Make your own baby food. Though this isn't something I actually did (due to time constraints and ignorance), a few close friends have done it and I've seen great results. You pay a bit more upfront for a Baby Bullet or similar processor, but you save long term and you stop paying $0.49 to $1.19 for a jar of carrots. You can buy a pound of carrots for the same price and will be able to make 5-8 jars. Put the Baby Bullet on your registry and see if someone else will take care of that expense for you.
Buy in bulk when possible. A Costco or Sam's Club membership will save you hundreds of dollars the first two years of your child's life. If you don't want to make the commitment (of only $40 a year) try to aim for the larger quantities in stores. For things that you need to continuously purchase, buying in bulk will produce massive savings. Take Pampers for example, when you purchase the 35 pack you pay nearly $0.35 per diaper, when you buy the 174 pack you pay approximately $0.18 per diaper. Which can rack up to be a huge difference over time. Take this in consideration when purchasing wipes, lotions, body wash and milk too.
Don't fall for the cool contraption trap. I know you want your baby to have nothing but the best but do you really need a swiveling co-sleeper, a bassinet, a crib, 2 bouncers, a walker, a doorway jumper, 3 tummy time playtime mats, etc.? Probably not, you're just buying stuff. What about the wipe warmer, the spa Jacuzzi tub, diaper stacker, hands free bottle and baby knee pads? Add them to the list of things you don't need. Keep in mind our parents didn't use these things and we came out just fine. There weren't even nationwide laws on car seat use until 1985, so I'm sure your baby can survive without a warm wipe.
Thanks for reading! If you would like to purchase any of the listed products please check them out here. If you have any other ideas on how to save money on babies, drop them in the comments.