This post will share some absolute basics: Having a Baby on a Budget: What a Baby Really Needs
If you like this post please check out our companion – Having a Baby on a Budget. What a Baby Doesn’t Need
I love bringing you great tips like these about having a baby on a budget and what a baby truly needs. To explain a bit more about myself, I have to tell you that I’m Dutch. I was born in the Netherlands and, though I’m not tall with blond hair and blue eyes,
I have a few qualities that are often attributed to my heritage. If I had a middle name, which I don’t (another Dutch quirk), it would be Frugal.
When we were expecting our first baby we did the regular things like sign up for a baby registry and save up for some bigger purchase items (like a nice stroller and carseat combination, baby monitor, breast pump etc). We were also blessed with a couple of bigger items (like a crib, rocking chair, playpen) from our parents.
And, even though no one threw us a baby shower, we still managed to get a few gifts from excited friends and family. We didn’t spend a lot but we didn’t spend a minimal amount either. Having a baby on a budget is possible, even without giant baby showers and extravagant gifts from friends.
Our second son came and we bought some good quality cloth diapers and a used toddler bed for our oldest son.
Our third is due shortly and I have bought a couple more wool diaper covers and a pair of infant size booties.
Neither are ‘needs’ and I got both at a really great price from local mom-to-mom garage sale sites.
It is amazing how priorities change when you have been parenting for a while. All the pretty things that seemed so important to us with our first son don’t matter as much.
I have read a few different books, articles, and blog posts about having a baby on a budget and they still seem to have a lot of extras listed on it.
Having A Baby On A Budget: What A Baby Really Needs
Here’s the lowdown: babies eat, sleep, and poop.
It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, but it is the truth. For awhile after they are born, this will be the bulk of their routine.
Being prepared for that is much more important than your child having a fashionable wardrobe or the latest toys.
Stage 1 Frugality:
Breastmilk is free, co-sleeping is free, and elimination communication is free. That would be the simplest and most frugal way to have a baby. Add a few standard things like a car seat if you drive.
Perhaps some sleepers or onesies (online swap groups are an awesome resource for this) and you’re all set. Infant car seats can also be borrowed from a friend (it isn’t recommended to buy used as you don’t know the history of the seat).
Stage 2 Frugality:
Add some used cloth diapers (flats or prefolds are the most cost effective and fitteds with a cover are the next stage) and a simple baby carrier. Newborns can really sleep anywhere as they don’t roll around.
Many-a-mom has put her little one in a laundry basket or a drawer for the first few months instead of a bassinet.
The most important thing that a baby needs is a pair of loving arms. That’s the way babies were raised for many, many generations before selling baby goods became a multi-billion dollar industry.
Keep that in mind when you start feeling like you need to be a millionaire before you have kids.
Avoiding buying unnecessary items is a great start.
All your baby needs is you. If you are diligent about having a baby on a budget you’ll find it easy to manage when you follow our advice and focus on the baby needs and not just what is fashionable at the time.
Check out our other post about what a baby doesn’t need!