Welcoming a baby into the family is a joyful experience, but at the same time, it can be financially overwhelming too. According to USDA, the average child care cost in the first year amounts to $13,900 and this number is bound to increase.
From necessities like food and diapers to bringing them new toys and clothes, you don’t realize when the excitement burns a hole in your pocket. Sleepless nights combined with the spurt of expenses typically finds new parents in a fix.
Having a child is an expensive affair, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. For all new parents, here are some tips to save money and cut down on stress.
Think Healthy and Big with Diapers
Your little one is going to need a lot of diapers – 10 or more per day. Plus, your baby’s bottom will have to be wiped to maintain hygiene. Using chemically laden diapers and wipes in such quantities may result in skin and health-related issues.
Try using disposable biodegradable diapers and wipes. Not only are they cost-effective, but they are made of natural materials, which are gentle on your baby’s sensitive skin.
Buy value packs or go for subscriptions, which will not hurt your budget.
Opt to Breastfeed
Not only is breastfeeding healthier, but also economical as compared to formula feed.
Even if you are a working mom, there are breast pumps available to help you store and give the baby your milk. While this may cost a bit, you still manage to save a lot of money annually.
Beware of fancy breastfeeding wardrobe. If you plan to stay indoors or do not need them, then steer away from spending on nursing tees and bras.
Resist the Temptation to Buy New Clothes
Babies grow in the blink of an eye. As a new parent, you splurge on creating a wardrobe for your child, only to know that they have outgrown a number of clothes you bought.
Accept used baby clothes from relatives and friends. This helps you save money for future purchases. You buy an array of them at low prices at local garage sales and consignment stores too.
When you buy clothes, opt for gender neutral shades and styles so you can use them for your second child too, if you plan to have one.
Think Smart with Toys, Furniture and Gear
You need to keep your baby entertained while changing diapers or whenever you are busy. From colorful bundles of keys, musical toys to soft bears and blocks, babies need a variety of items as they grow.
Brand new toys can be financially demanding. The same goes with other essentials like cribs, bedding, rocking chair etc. Consignment stores provide many of these essentials at a cheaper price. Handed down toys or gear from family and friends will save you a lot of dollars annually.
Discuss and Plan Child Care
Putting your tiny tot in a full-time care center can cost anywhere in between $4,000 to $17,000 a year depending on where you live. Consider becoming a stay-at-home mom or dad. Most companies offer work-from-home or flexible hours to new parents. Many organizations also provide post-maternity or paternity leave as well.
There are several ways to care for your kids without having to leave your job. Discuss that with your partner and pick options that suit your situation.
As you go about cutting down on hefty expenses, don’t compromise on your child’s health. Do not overlook healthy, home cooked food, along with natural and biodegradable diapers, natural baby wipes and baby care items.
After all your child’s health comes first.