The {Frugal} Baby

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Having a baby doesn’t have to break the bank.  In fact, bringing a sweet baby into the world can be a time of great reflection that encourages you to evaluate what really matters in life.  How we spend our time and money is a direct reflection of what is in our heart.  The best way to teach your child about matters of the heart, including stewardship over the things we’ve been given, is to make informed decisions.  I’d like to share some ways we’ve saved money while growing our family.

The journey to a simpler approach in raising children came quite by accident.  Before the birth of our second child my husband and I had decided that we would take the leap from two incomes to one.  It became a priority to make some changes in order to make ends meet.  Through my daughters intolerance to bottles and disposables my world opened up to a simpler way of meeting my baby’s basic needs.  Exclusive breastfeeding, making our own baby food and cloth diapering became our new norm and was followed by many other changes in our home.

 

 Feeding Baby Naturally

Breastfeeding

The research proves it and professionals all agree that breastfeeding is best for both mom and baby.  Connecting to your child while providing the absolute best nutrition makes breastfeeding rise above all options for feeding your little one.  Whether you plan on being with your baby from first breath to first steps or if you will be returning to work in a couple of months you can make breastfeeding work for your family. Finding the right help at the right time is most important. 

 

Finding Support for Breastfeeding…

La Leche League Meetings-Second Tuesday of each month from 6:30-7:45 @ the ALIVE Center

The Medical Center (Breastfeeding Classes and Lactation Consultants)-Contact the Medical Center’s OB Patient Educator at (270) 796-2495 or the Baby Hotline at (270) 796-BABY

TJ Sampson (Breastfeeding Classes and Lactation Consultants)-Contact the OB Educator at 270-651-4295

Barren River District Health Department (Breastfeeding Support, Breast Pumps, Peer Counselors, Classes)-Call (270) 781-8039

 

Starting Solids

We are not the absolute healthiest family in town.   It’s true that we’ve been caught driving through a fast food place a time or two! But creating healthy habits early will encourage your child to eat healthy for the rest of their lives.  Making your own baby food is the best way to ensure that your little one has a nutritious, gentle start to eating.  It’s quick, easy and very frugal!  You will probably find that serving up healthy choices to baby encourages the rest of your family to eat more fruits and veggies!

1.     When starting solids you should keep in mind that breast milk (or formula) is nutritionally complete and continues to be babies main food source.

2.     Avocados make the perfect, portable first baby food.   Their creamy texture and excellent nutrition are ideal for baby’s first bites.

3.     Ground or blended beans and brown rice make excellent additions to baby’s first foods.  They are much more nutritional than boxed, flakes of rice.

4.     Once baby gets a feel for eating solids you can consider adding some color such as peas, squash, and sweet potato.  Simply cook the fruits and vegetables down, blend and freeze in ice cube trays.  Store food cubes in a zip loc bag for convenient portions as you need them.

Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers are making a comeback.  And these aren’t the diapers of the past held together with giant pins and a plastic cover!  These are diapers with style, convenient to use and will save you money.  I’ll be first to admit that cloth diapers can be a little overwhelming.  If you are interested the best thing to do is just start trying them! 

There are a lot of options out there and you may want to research what is available and try one of each style of diaper.  We have chosen to go with pocket diapers because they are easy to use (go on like a disposable), dry quickly, and you can stuff them with extra absorbency for naps and bedtime.  They also have a great resale value, yes; you can make money on your cloth diapers!  My favorite place to buy and resell diapers is www.diaperswappers.com 

 

Our Cloth Diaper Collection

21 Pocket Cloth Diapers (allows us to go several days between washes)

30 Wipes (baby washcloths)

1 Large Wet bag (for storing dirty diapers)

2 Small Wet bags (for storing during outings)

Detergent (we use ALL Free & Clear or Charlie’s Soap)

 
Reflections from a Dad
By Ben Kickert

A year and a half in, we are very happy with our decision to go with cloth diapers over disposable. We occasionally use disposable diapers, like when we travel, but have never run into any problems. Early on I thought the extra work of cloth (stuffing diapers, washing them, etc.) would get cumbersome, but that is not the case.

Whether you are on a tight budget and need to save some money, or you are an environmentally conscious consumer, I think you will find cloth diapers are worth the investment and in the end provide the best option for diapering.
 

Everything Else

Have you seen the TV shows where homeowners flip their houses in order to make money and become debt free?  That is what we do with all of our baby and children’s things.  We sell one season’s clothes, toys and other items in order to buy the next (saving only the best items for the next child). I have learned to buy low and sell high, and to only buy what we need! Interested in making this work for you?  Become involved in a wonderful consignment sale and doing something good for the community at the same time.  The Lil’ Angels Attic sale is a great place to sell your like new items, get excellent deals and 30% of the proceeds benefit children’s charities right here in southern Kentucky.