The cost of raising a child can be staggering for first-time parents. Of course, marketers are experts at getting new parents to quell mommy guilt and daddy guilt by purchasing every baby item on the market. Of course, you want to give them the best life has to offer, better than you ever had, etc., etc. But at what price? Perhaps you’ve decided to take a pay cut in order to work from home, part-time, or even have one parent care for your child on a full-time basis. If both parents are working, you’ll likely have the significant extra budget line item of child care expenses. Whatever the reason, you just can’t buy All. The. Cute. Things. So how can you save money as you approach this exciting new stage of life?
Tell Yourself It’s Okay To Say No
This is probably the most important part of the equation. Seriously. As emotionally manipulative as the marketing may be, and as hormonal as you may be, you will probably have to remind yourself at least a dozen times a week: Just because I do not buy stuff doesn’t mean I don’t love my kid. (And, by the way, this struggle will continue well past the baby stage, and you’ll probably have to someday try to convince your child of this, too, so it’s really best to start now.) Contrary to the commonly held modern materialistic mindset, more stuff isn’t even always better. It costs us extra time and energy and can even increase anxiety. Not only is it okay to say no to some of the stuff, it’s freeing. And good. And wise. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Decide What You Really Need
How do you decide? Well, don’t start with the big baby store registry suggestions or those shiny catalogs from the priciest stores, ever. Maybe start with a bare-bones list like this one and then talk to experienced parents you know with finances, tastes, and lifestyle choices similar to yours. Ask them about their favorite baby items, as well as the stuff they hardly ever used.
Buy Items That Will Last Past the Baby Stage
These are really becoming popular with today’s parents, and for good reason! Not only is it financially wise, but it saves time and energy shopping for all-new products in a few short years. Some of the most popular choices include these:
Convertible Cribs: These can convert from cribs to toddler day beds and then to full-sized beds.
Space-Saving High Chair/Booster Seat: This saves space and money, since it’s appropriate for young infants as well as toddlers and preschoolers.
WiFi HD Baby Camera: This product functions as both a video baby monitor with 2-way communications and a nanny cam and can be used with older children or for home security purposes later on.
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