By Dani Jansen
Babies are expensive. Like, surprisingly expensive. I mean, they’re so little and their needs are so few. My little guy’s food is made by my boobs! But there’s the car seat and the crib and the baby bath and a hundred other little things. So I’m into saving money when I can. I am glad I have these five items, but I’m also glad I saved money on them.
1- DIY Pumping Bra:
Hands-free pumping is where it’s at. I love being able to pump while also petting our attention-starved kitty and reading a few pages of a book. As a woman with a large bust, I’ve found nursing bras to be important but expensive investments. I’m not prepared to make the same investment in a pumping bra. I’m sure it would be different if I were back at work and pumping often, but as a once-a-day pumper, my DIY pumping bra works great! I took a cheap Old Navy sports bra and cut a vertical line at nipple height. And that’s it! This Instructable explains the steps more precisely.
2- Second Hand Stroller:
This would count as a splurge if I hadn’t bought it second hand. I love our Bugaboo Cameleon. It’s relatively lightweight while still offering traction on snowy Montreal sidewalks. But I could never have afforded to pay full price for a Bugaboo. For my money, getting a used high-end stroller made more sense than buying something cheap and new.
3- Baby Clothing:
Thank you to all the friends and family who passed on their barely used onesies, sleepers and adorable socks. Babies really do outgrow clothing so fast that “used” clothing looks new. There’s even a Danish company that has started renting out baby clothing—economical and eco-friendly. Until someone brings that brilliant idea to Canada, I say keep sharing that baby clothing.
4- Changing Station:
We live in an apartment, and space is at a premium. When we found an inflatable changing pad at IKEA that would fit on top of a dresser, we were sold. No need for a whole changing table. It was nine dollars well spent! (We even splurged on three covers for the pad, which we have sometimes run through in the course of only a couple of days. Why do babies wait until they’re on the change table to pee?)
5- Cloth Menstrual Pads:
I have been using cloth menstrual pads for years now. They are better for the environment, my wallet and my skin. If you’ve never tried cloth pads before, I recommend trying them postpartum. After labour, you will not be icked-out by washing blood out of a cloth. Cloth pads are safe to use if you have any stitches (some disposables can stick to stitches), they freeze nicely if you soak them (a great relief in those first days at home) and if you are running low, you just wash them (no need to send sleep-deprived partner to store in a panic because your stash is running low).
How did you save big bucks on your new-baby shopping list?