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Monday, January 18, 2010

Question for Readers: The Cost of a Baby

A friend of mine emailed me asking how much I thought they should budget for their soon-coming baby's needs. She specifically wanted to know about the cost of diapers, wipes, personal care items (soap, shampoo, etc.), and food (when the time comes for solids). It's been quite a while since I bought all of those things for Emma, and I was NOT a big frugal shopper at the time.

That's where you come in!

Are there any moms of littles out there who might be able to offer my friend some insight on these costs? She's definitely willing to use coupons, store sales, generics, and any other frugal tactics to keep the costs minimal. If you have any advice, please share it in the comments section, and I'll pass it along to her.


Tiffany said...

The biggest frugal tip I can give is, (if she plans on trying) breastfeeding! People sometimes exclusively nurse which means no solids! I just started giving my 6 month old solids and we are MAKING OUR OWN! Another EXCELLENT frugal tip. She could make her own baby wipes also. If she's one to try new things, maybe go with cloth diapers. I make my own cloth diapers and hope to sell in the future, even if you don't do it all the time (like us when we use disposables while out and about). For us, since our baby doesn't have much hair - we learned a few lessons from our first - we only buy baby wash since it doubles as hair wash too! Hope these were helpful and congrats to your friend!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I have been really happy with Sam's Club diapers, and they are cheaper than Costco's brand, the cheap brand at Walmart, Huggies on sale and with coupons, etc. However, they are only sizes 3-5 (but that's when they're in one size for a long time).

I make and can my own baby food for fruits, and we give the baby vegetables from our own meals, ground in a grinder. For the last two children, we have given them homemae baby food. For the one we're expecting now (number 6) we'll give homemade food as well.

She can sign up for coupons from the companies that she wants to buy from. Most baby companies have coupons that they will send you in the mail, plus regularly has coupons for Johnson's and Aveeno baby products.

For clothing--look at used children's clothing shops and garage sales. They also have cribs and other baby equipment.

For newborn size diapers--she'll need about 3 packages.

Size 1 3-4 packages

After that, buy a few in size 2, and after that, buy size 3. Every baby grows differently, but that is what I've used for my first 5.

She may get small sizes at a baby shower, but she can use coupons to sart stocking up on diapers now.

Kristy K said...

It's been 3 years since I've been in the baby stage and I can't remember anything! I think we spent about $35 a month on diapers. I nursed, so no expense there. We also used lots of hand-me-downs and didn't have to have everything matching and fancy. Wish I could be of more help.

Anonymous said...

Be sure to go to the BeachNut and Gerber websites and sign up there, they will give you coupons. Remember you can buy diapers at Target when they diapers are on sale, then you use a Target coupon and the manufacturer's coupon. If you wait, you will catch this type of deal for diapers and baby food, then the key is to stock up when on sale. I have found that I can buy brand name diapers just as cheap as generic if I use my coupons/sales wisely and stock up; however before I got big into the coupons I was buying generic diapers for daytime use and namebrand for nighttime use. You will not want to use a generic diaper for all night, they leak easily. We used Parent's Choice formula from Wal-Mart, if you go to their website you can sign up and you will get a free sample and they will send a few coupons for the first few months. I have done research and Parent's Choice is just as good as Enfamil and Similac, basically the same ingredients. I have also gotten tons and tons of hand me downs of clothes, shoes, baby items, so if you know anyone that you can borrow from concerning baby items, for example, our exersaucer is borrowed, our crib was given to us, and the clothes and shoes have been given to us. You also will want to check consignment stores for items. Hope this helps. good luck.

Ann Kelly Parkhurst said...

stocking up is great but you never know what your child will be able to use. My son seemed to be a money pit when he was little. Only Aveno soap did not break him out, only one type of diapers did not break him out, the same for wipes. I also had to change the laudary soap for the rest of the family he would break out from rubbing up on our clothes. He also Could not breast feed, the protien in even the breastmilk made him sick no matter what I took out of my diet and is formula was $150 a week until he started on some soilds.

I don't say this to scare or to sound overprotictive but it is always possible. we opened a new business right when my son was born and I stopped working so we sent from making over $100,000 a year to $30,000 so these expenses WHERE NOT IN MY BUDGET, but they had to happen. Just some food for thought

Anonymous said...

I started buying my son's diapers not long after I found out I was pregnant. I would just stock up when there were sales, and I tried to get alot of different sizes. I ended up having too many size 1, and walmart was great about letting me switch the package for a bigger size. I didn't have to start regularly buying diapers until this month, and he is now 9 months old! Same with wipes, anytime there is a good sale, stock up! I love the babies r us brand wipes, I got big boxes for about $6 and there are 6 wipe refills inside! Always check out upromise too, cuz they usually have diapers, wipes, & baby food coupons!