Raising Babies, Lowering Costs

April 29, 2024, cassieley

Expecting a baby can bring forth all sorts of emotions. Hopefully it is an exciting time, but I understand it can also feel overwhelming. One common concern is the cost of raising children. Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe babies have to be as expensive as some people think. I would love to share a few tips on raising babies without raising expenses too high.

baby playing in big pile of clean clothes looking up at the cameraKids clothes are a great area to reign in the budget. We were gifted so many baby clothes and hand-me-downs that many outfits were only worn once before my daughter outgrew them. Even if you do not have family and friends passing down clothes, moms’ groups often have families happy to pass old clothes along- a group I attend even has a “free” table and an annual swap event for people to give and take as needed. Thrifting or kids’ resale stores are also great options. Babies and kids grow so fast, and life gets messy in the little years. There is no need to spend lots on clothing.

A happy, baby lying on her stomach wearing a cloth diaperDiapers can be costly, but there are still ways to save. If you are in need, places like Options Pregnancy Center sometimes hold diaper drives. I also donated diapers my daughter outgrew to the Live and Learn program. They say it takes a village, and our community has got you (and your baby) covered! Another cost-saving measure is using cloth diapers. I use cloth diapers part-time, and I have been surprised by how many other people use cloth diapers today as well! Some people even use cloth wipes. Cloth diapers are much easier to use than I expected, and considering how many disposable diapers I am saving motivates me every day that I use them. Purchasing cloth diapers can be an upfront cost, but you can put them on your baby registry if family and friends want to give you gifts, or you can buy used cloth diapers. A friend recently purchased a large stash of diapers for only $50! Diapers are a necessity, but there are still ways to save money.

Baby girl playing with toys on the floor.There are endless toys marketed for babies. There are even subscription boxes for beautiful Montessori toys- and if that is something you value and have the means for it, go for it! However, do not feel you need to spend a fortune on toys. In my experience, babies are most interested in everyday objects such as spoons or the tag on the blanket, anyway. Babies do not need excessive amounts of toys to be entertained. Recently, in my Live and Learn with Your Baby class, a child development specialist explained that the ideal number of available toys is 6-10. This gives your child options without becoming overwhelming. You can also rotate which toys you keep out at a given time, thus maintaining interest. Toys do not have to be a large expense.

A small child, a girl lies on a wooden background, dollars are falling from above on a child. Some costs are unavoidable. Your baby must be clothed, fed, provided medical care, and more- just like you! There are many great baby products today that some of you may find helpful. Still, your baby can be well cared for without the top-of-the-line everything. Personally, we pick and choose where we spend more on our daughter. For example, we valued certain car seat features, so we selected a more expensive car seat. On the other hand, we purchased a $20 IKEA high chair. Babies do not need the best of everything. They need the best of you – your love and attention.