1. Have a home birth with a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife).
Please note that this option is only suggested for low-risk mothers-to-be. Hospital births are by far one of the most expensive steps in your life. On average, vaginal birth with no medications or interventions averages about $5,000 in the United States, while C-section births cost upwards of $10,000. Midwives who attend home births generally charge between $2,000-$4,000 for all prenatal care, the birth, and all postpartum care. This may seem like it’s not an option because of preconceived notions of safety, qualifications, sanitation, etc., but certified nurse midwives are highly trained in natural births, along with all potential birth related emergencies. If you are uninsured or underinsured, this money-saving option can help you to start your child’s life in less, or no, debt.
2. Breastfeed your child.
There are plenty of people who are convinced that the only way to feed their child is to stock up on baby bottles and formula. There are some who believe that breastfeeding requires special pillows, breast pump, special baby bottles, nursing bras, nursing shirts and more. But all you truly need to breastfeed is your child and your breast. Breast milk is completely free and is all a child needs up to at least six months. Not to mention all of the health benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby. You can’t beat a deal like that!
3. Make your own baby food.
Making your own baby food, or even doing baby-led weaning (when a parent introduces whole food to an infant who is capable of grasping and chewing foods) is simple—and cheap! Baby food comes in tiny jars that can cost anywhere from $.50-$2.00 per jar. Making your own baby food is so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of it sooner! All you have to do is mash-up, or blend-up, whatever you’re making for yourself and feed it to your baby! All you need is a potato masher ($3) or a cheap blender ($20) and a tiny portion of what you cooked. Baby-led weaning is even easier and cheaper! All you have to do is give the baby a chunk of what you are eating!
4. Skip the bucket seat, buy a convertible seat.
Bucket seats have made it easier for parents to move a sleeping child from car to house without waking, but all car seats are designed for use in vehicles only. It’s convenient to click the seat to a cart while shopping, but did you know that infants have fallen from seats on top of carts and have been seriously injured? Attaching the seat to anything but its base voids the warranty and can break the locking mechanism, rendering it ineffective in a vehicle collision. It’s much more economical to spend a little extra in the beginning to buy a convertible car seat, which can be used as a rear-facing seat, a 5-point harness seat, and a belt-positioning booster seat. Instead of paying for three different seats, you’ll only be paying for one!
5. Skip the travel system.
So many women put an infant travel system, or a big stroller, on their baby registry. Often, new mothers are too tired to go for a leisurely stroll with their newborn. Strollers often cost a lot of money, and it could be saved and invested elsewhere. Instead of buying an expensive travel system that is very bulky and difficult to maneuver, you can buy a much cheaper umbrella stroller and an infant carrier (SSC, wrap, sling, etc.). You can also make infant carriers, like wraps, for as much as the fabric costs. Why do I suggest buying a carrier and wearing your baby? Because the first four months of an infant’s life are known as the fourth trimester, where your infant is still learning how to function in the world, and needs to be held almost constantly to grow. Babywearing frees up the adult’s arms, while still allowing the child to feel close and comforted by the adult. Babywearing is good for years, but is practically essential for at least the first year if you want to go anywhere that a stroller won’t fit.
6. Instead of spending $100 a month on diapers, only spend it once.
It’s a well-known fact that babies go through a lot of diapers. An estimation of the cost of disposable diapers from birth to toilet learning is around $2,000. That’s a lot of money that could be valuable elsewhere. Getting started with cloth diapers and wipes costs around $100-$200, and the only further cost is washing the diapers. A few extra loads of laundry a week generally might only cost a few extra dollars per month. As for the ick factor? There isn’t much of one, since you’re already changing poopy diapers anyway.
So there you have it. A list of six simple things you can do to save money when you have a baby. I can personally attest to each and every one of these, because I have done all of these with my youngest child, who is almost a year old as of this writing, and have saved a bunch of money.
This is a guest post by Arrinn from Silver Creek, NY.