As every mom already knows, babies are expensive. There seems to be a never-ending list of supplies you need to buy, and some of those things you won’t need longer than a year.
If you’re starting to panic wondering how you’re possibly going to pay for everything, it’s okay. There are ways to cut corners, and some of those cost-saving measures are actually better for your baby anyway.
Breastfeed Instead of Using Formula
This can be a game changer, both for your finances and for your baby. Study after study has shown that breastmilk is better for your baby’s health, both short and long term, than formula feeding is.
So if you decide to breastfeed, you’ll be giving your baby a great start to her life, and you’ll be making a wise money-saving decision at the same time.
Formula can easily set you back $100 a month, which totals up to $1,200 for your baby’s first year.
If you opt to breastfeed, you’ll likely want to buy a breast pump for when you aren’t around to nurse your baby, such as if you go back to work after she’s born. Even with that purchase, you’ll still save about $1,000 a year, if you buy a high-quality pump.
Use Cloth Diapers Instead of Disposables
Cloth diapers aren’t what you might remember your mom or grandma trying to use. Those big safety pins to hold ill-fitting diapers in place are long gone. These days, cloth diapers are form fitting, require little work and are a cheaper option than disposable diapers are.
Today’s cloth diapers come in a variety of patterns and colors that make them as adorable as they are functional. You can find ones that don’t require you to stuff them with removable inserts. There are some that you simply take off your baby and throw into the washing machine.
Plus, you can feel good that you’re doing something good for the planet as well as your pocketbook.
Skip the Bottle Warmer
Bottle warmers aren’t a necessity at all. You can serve your baby a room temperature bottle if you want. You can also serve her a bottle right from the refrigerator. The cold liquid won’t harm her.
If you prefer a warm bottle, you can simply place the full bottle in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes. Once you take it out, give it a shake to get an even temperature throughout. You can even thaw frozen breastmilk this way.
You won’t only be saving money on something that you can do just as quickly without any special machinery, but you’ll be saving counter space too. And more space in the kitchen is something that all moms would like to have.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.