Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank: Bringing Baby Home (Guest Post)

Having a Baby Without Breaking the Bank

Guest Post by Amy from The Finer Things in Life

Certainly one of the Finer Things in Life is becoming a parent. While one of life’s greatest blessings, the thought of all the stuff that’s about to consume your home and your budget can be overwhelming. Don’t let the cost of having a baby (or two, or five…) overshadow the joy. Bringing home a baby doesn’t have to break the bank.

Babies are born with a strong appreciation of the Finer Things. They are very basic creatures with very basic needs. Feed them, clothe them, keep them warm, safe, and clean; love them. And that’s about it! In fact, anything you purchase beyond meeting baby’s needs could add unneeded stress to an already intense time in your life.

Feed Them. I know it’s a personal choice and I don’t judge those who don’t breastfeed for whatever reason, but the research is tremendously convincing: mama’s milk is best for baby. No ifs, and, or buts about it. As a bonus, it’s free! If you have a choice, why spend $1,000 (at least, and not including feeding supplies) on formula in the first year of baby’s life when the good stuff is readily available, always the right temperature, easily portable, and free?

Breastfeeding a baby deserves its own post, but may I quickly encourage those of you who are preparing for motherhood for the first time to please surround yourself with breastfeeding resources and information and friends? Having support for those first few (very tough for me!) days and weeks will increase the chances of your success and your enjoyment of the experience.

Clothe Them. Sweet little baby clothes are hard to resist, huh? I know the temptation. Fortunately, hand-me-down and garage sale clothes are just as cute as the over-priced garments luring you in the store. Baby needs clothing, yes.  Brand new clothing at a premium price? No.

Keep them warm, safe, and clean. When registering for baby showers and browsing garage sales before our first was born, I tried to keep something in mind: If my mom didn’t need it, neither do I.When bringing home baby, your day will be full to the brim meeting baby’s basic needs. Why clutter your home and your time and your mind managing all that unnecessary baby stuff?

I know that many of you will scream that a baby monitor is an absolute necessity. I thought so, too, so we registered for one and received it at our baby shower. Four and a half years later we finally took it out of the box when our third baby was six months old. She is now 19 months old and I think we’ve used the monitor twice.Convenient? Yes (if I could ever remember to use it). Necessary? Not really. I’m not trying to discourage you from purchasing a baby monitor; just giving one example of how the “necessary” isn’t always so.

Pic4-765438

Love them. Hold them, read to them, sing to them. Word to the wise: you are not impressing your baby with the frou-frou. There are endless bright, loud, entertaining toys available for baby. A few of them (I like having a bouncy seat and gym mat) are very convenient and give mom a nice reprieve. Don’t overdo it, though, because what does baby really want? You. Keep it basic. If you must have the frou-frou, shop at garage sales or online at craigslist because parents of equally unimpressed babies are getting rid of barely used items for cheap!

The marketing of baby stuff continues to be lucrative as parents are convinced that having the newest, brightest items will make their baby happier and smarter and safer. Not so. Stick to the basics. Your baby will thrive, and so will you. Blessings to those of you preparing to bring new life into this world!

A stay-at-home mom, Amy gave up an eight year teaching career at one of the largest schools in her state to move with her husband of nearly 10 years and their three children, ages 5, 3, and 1 to Tiny Town two years ago. Amy takes joy in caring for her family, finding a good deal, volunteering at her local library, and blogging at The Finer Things in Life.

 

Note from Crystal: Photos are of my second daughter, Kaitlynn, when she was a wee little one. Isn’t she precious?!

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Comments

  1. Honey says

    I love the yawning photo. I just finished lunch so I feel the same way as that darling baby! This post is good. It seems that you can actually create a high-demand baby by always seeking to entertain them with too much stuff. I loved to read and talk to my babies or let them sit next to me while I did some task. And they like to play with ordinary, everyday items (keeping safety in mind). My first, although a boy, was very verbal pretty early, learned to read easily, and does well with language maybe in part to all the talking we did ( way before he could understand).

  2. Candi says

    I would like to add that sometimes breastfeeding or formula feeding is not a personal choice. I know to some it may sound ridiculous that I am posting this but I think it is important to give reassurance to those who truly try to the best of their ability and just never produce enough milk for baby. Quite frankly I have often felt like a failure for not being able to breast feed. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who was very supportive.To some extent I will agree it was a choice, but definitely not an easy one.

  3. Sarah says

    When I got pregnant with my 1st two years ago, my husband and I were both in school and didn’t have any money. We have been so thankful for hand me down items, borrowing things from friends, and using monetary gifts we were given for the baby to fill out our basic supplies. I have found that when people are done having kids, they are anxious to get rid of their baby stuff. We got lots of clothes, baby bathtub, changing table, toys, playmat, highchair, etc. that way. We have also borrowed things from friends such as clothes, swing, and I borrowed maternity clothes. I exclusively breastfed and then made my own babyfood once he started into solids. When I realize that he needs something, I wait patiently and keep my ears open for things and usually can borrow or get them as a hand me down. I’ve learned not to be picky, but to be thankful for the things we’ve gotten.

  4. Emily says

    Wonderful Posting! I couldn’t agree more.
    I ‘stocked-up’ on some items that I thought I would use but did not use or need once the baby was here. I suppose if I had to do it all over again, I would definitely stick to bare basics and then see what other needs I realize once the baby came.

  5. Mindy says

    While I know the benefits of breastfeeding, as you mentioned in your post, it isn’t an option for everyone. I have an adopted four week old baby boy, and we have no choice but to feed him formula. I appreciate your helpful comments about saving money, but, since you have acknowledged that breastfeeding isn’t an option for everyone, it would be very helpful to give some advice for those of us who fall into that category. Anyone have helpful tips on how to save money on formula?

    **********************
    Money Saving Mom here: I know we have lots of adoptive moms here as well as some moms who were unable to breastfeed. I have a post planned in the next few weeks on saving money on formula so stay tuned for that!

  6. Jo says

    It is a good suggestion to think about whether or not something is really a necessity. Also try consignment sales as you may find a great deal on baby equipment, beds, strollers, clothes, etc. Now is the time many sales are happening. People are also willing to share the items with which they are finished and you can do the same when the time comes.

    I have been blessed to exclusively breastfeed my babies. And while I think that with more education, aid, and encouragement, more women would be able to tackle the inevitable challenges that come with nursing, I know some women, my sisters and friends included, for whom this was not possible. For some formula is a necessity and blessing. Perhaps there is one of your readers who can give some tips on not breaking the bank when it comes to buying formula and bottles (I have seen bottle sets at consignment sales.).

    And, yes, the photos of Kaitlynn as a baby are adorable! Your girls are very cute!

  7. Jenny says

    A great book to read on saving baby dollars is called “Baby Bargains” by Denise Fields. It’s sort of a “Consumer Reports” for all things baby…all baby products and brands, what to buy, what not to buy, how many to buy…even hints on how to get your health insurance to pay for your breast pump! It’s worth checking it out!

  8. says

    We parents are the targets of the biggest marketing machine outside of McDonalds, soft drinks and sugared cereal (those are reserved for marketing directly at our kids). A great read about the madness of marketing the “essentials” to parents is “Parenting, Inc.”
    For almost any device or class out there, you can find a parent who says, “I couldn’t live without my baby monitor” or “Baby sign language and music classes saved my sanity!” But that doesn’t mean they’re essential!

  9. Jennifer says

    I just wanted to add to the discussion about breastfeeding, even though I know it has already been posted that some women truly do try hard and intend to breastfeed and it just doesn’t work out, I wanted to second or third or forth that thought. When I had my son I wanted to breastfeed so badly and he would not latch on or suck properly despite being a healthy full term baby and having the help of the hospital nurses and lactation consultant. He even had difficulty drinking from a bottle. I pumped and continued to try to breastfeed to supplement his formula feedings and after many nights of crying I called a second lactation consultant to my house, eventually with the help of some tools I was able to teach him to nurse. I mention this first to support those women who have similar experiences and feel as though there was something wrong with them because I have been there, and second to point out that nursing is not free for everyone even when it works. We had lactation consultant bills, breast pump rentals and eventually a breast purchase, we still had to buy all the feeding supplies to give him the formula and pumped milk initially, in addition to the nipple shields and other tools that I needed to purchase to teach him to nurse. All in all I think it was still cheaper than stopping entirely and switching to formula, and I truly loved our time nursing once we got the hang of it together, but it certainly was not the free and blissful experience I had expected before he was born. Also, I would like to add that when my daughter was born she latched on immediately and we never had a problem nursing, infect she loves it so much she refuses to take a bottle! I hope this was not too much of a tangent from the idea of saving money, I just really believe that women need to share their stories and support each other!

  10. Steph says

    Stating that breastfeeding is free is pretty misleading. If your baby latches on perfectly and stays attatched to you 24/7 the first year, then yes, it can be free. But for the average person, it’s not.

    Baby doesn’t latch or eat efficiently? There is the cost of visiting a lacation consultant.
    It’s reccomended that BFing mamas continue with folic acid and other vitamins. Add that into the budget.
    Going to be away from baby at any point? Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a breast pump, bottles, and milk storage bags.
    Dealing with pesky leaking? Don’t forget breastpads.
    Clogged duct? Mastitis? Add in the cost of seeing a doctor and maybe even an antibiotic.

    Breast is best, but it definately comes with a cost.

  11. Kristen says

    Just a note about baby monitors- I would agree that in most situations, they are probably not necessary. With our first two babies we could easily hear them cry no matter where we were in the house. However, we have since moved, and I definitely plan to use one with our third child. Our bedroom is downstairs, and all of the kids bedrooms are upstairs. There is no way to hear the kids crying at night if there is not a monitor plugged in.

  12. Beck says

    Hi,
    Do anyone want to share what the cost to pay to the hospital or birthcenter with or without different insurance policies? My company insurce can’t cover the maternity, so I have to pay $6000.00 to deliver the baby in the hospital.

    Any good suggestions regarding to the exepnses and insurance plans to save more money?

    Tks!

  13. Jan says

    I adopted and could not breast feed- but we saved lots of money on formula by asking for samples at the pediatrician- signing up for baby formula company coupons- and shopping sales. I know lots of people used Sams Club and/or Walmart brand with great success- our pediatrician said there is absolutely no difference between brand name and store brand.

  14. Ashley says

    So what are some of the good breastfeeding resources that she speaks of? I, like many, intend to breastfeed with my first little love coming in October, and I want to be as ready as I can with information on it

  15. says

    Great post, Amy!

    I couldn’t agree more. We used a monitor with the first 2 just because that was what we thought we were to do. When we had our youngest we decided it wasn’t necessary–and we never missed it!

    Hand me downs or second hand clothing is a major money saver! Kids grow so fast as it is, no need to pay premium prices for just a few months.

  16. says

    To add to the breastfeeding comments: I am a milk donor to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio. There are 13 or 14 human milk banks in the United States that provide milk to premature, ill, adopted infants and children with a doctor’s prescription. Insurance companies often pay for this, but the milk banks will NOT deny any child in need, so long as they have the milk.

    There is a HUGE need for donated milk. I donated over 22 gallons (yes, gallons. Nearly 3,000 oz) of milk by the time my daughter was 18 months old. I work fulltime and so I pumped while at work (and at home) and she nursed from the breast.

    I got nothing from being a milk donor except the joy and blessings from God for such a bountiful supply. I still nurse my daughter who is now 28 months old.

    I wish more would be said about milk donation, because it IS possible to give your baby breastmilk without it being from you!! I even named my blog after it:
    milkdonormama.blogspot.com

  17. says

    Monitors are important if your house does not allow you to hear the baby cry. I have a small house with finished basement, and we do need ours. When they go to sleep at like 7 and we are in the basement, we need it to hear the baby. We do not use it at night because the bedroom is so close by. I do use it during naps because I work form home and hte office is also in the basement. So if you have a multi-level house that is fairly soundproof, it is needed. However, ask friends with older kids and they might have one they don’t need anymore. Also, you don’t need the $50 one. We got a $14 one and it owrks just fine. (Not screaming at you, just adding some thought).

  18. says

    For the person looking for breastfeeding resources: THE BEST is La Leche League. http://www.llli.org. From there you can find local groups. Many hospitals and even some doctors have staff lactation consultants who will see you and your insurance will cover the cost most times, especially if your baby has latch problems related to a medical condition. WIC has breastfeeding counselors for their clients. Many hospitals offer breastfeeding classes and support groups. And, each state usually has local and state coalitions with breastfeeding resources. I”m the recording secretary of my state’s coalition!

  19. Betsy says

    Kristen, Make sure you talk to both the hospital and your Dr. about your insurance problems and see what can be worked out. You may be surprised to find what discounts and reduction of fees can be arranged. It never hurts to ask.

  20. Rae says

    I use the Costco (or Target if on a better sale) formula and my baby is happy and healthy. If you read the ingredients, it is very similar if not exactly the same as the nutrition information label on Enfamil. And it costs us $40 per month and my baby is 9 months. You’re not supposed to give more than 32oz of formula per day anyway so it’s not like I’m going to have to start spending more. Costco has a 2 pack of the huge powder cans for $20 and each one (the can not the 2 pack) lasts one week… longer when he was smaller obviously. So by the time he turns 1, I will have spent less than $400 on his formula. I would have spent even less if the big companies had sent me more checks/samples but they only sent one set to me (they do it by location). I save even more by making his baby food myself.

    I needed a baby monitor with my second because in this house, you cannot hear him crying unless you are standing right outside his door and I can’t leave the door open because we have cats. So for us, this was a must. For my first child, we didn’t need one. So this all depends on your living arrangements.

  21. says

    I have to add that now is the best time for spring consignment sales. They are a great resource for used baby items. Also, joining a mom’s club can provide a great resource for exchanging things.

    And I have to chime in on the breastfeeding thing. Thank you for acknowleding that not everyone can do it. My first daughter was hospitalized at 4 days old for 4 days for severe dehydration. Because although she latched fine, my body was not producing enough milk for her. After that very scary experience, we switched to formula. My second child was adopted so she was on formula. And my third child I was determined to nurse him. I nursed and pumped and still could barely eek out 10 ounces per day, and that lasted 2 months till I completely dried up.

    Having said that breastmilk is usually best, but it’s usually not free as others have stated – pumps, lacatation consultants, nursing pads, nursing bras, etc. all cost money. For formula, we bought Parent’s Choice brand formula from Wal-Mart which was half the price of Enfamil/Similac. Formula meets strict guidelines so store brand should be just as good.

  22. nanasewn says

    I kindda wanted to chime in also as a grandmom. Clearly, when my kids were born ,things were much different . We were of the thought that many things would spoil a child. Whether that wisdom was right or wrong, it does appear to me that way too much stuff/toys/electronics etc are seen as musts today, and many young parents put themselves in debt, thinking that they are bad parents if they dont buy. I have seen homes with toy rooms filled from floor to ceiling with stuff. The children are often not appreciative, feel entitled and are very high maintentence. Every minute of their time is filled or manipulated by something…..they are not able to entertain themselves, or sit and dream. Although my own son insists that all he had to play with was a rock and a stick…..my best advice would be to keep it simple and allow them from the very start to enjoy unorganized time.

  23. newmommy says

    I just wanted to put my two cents in. Before I had a baby, I always thought, “what kind of moron mother would choose formula over breastmilk – it’s so obviously better!” Well, I learned a couple months later that sometimes, and most times, it isn’t a convenience choice. I got very sick and was unable to continue breastfeeding. There were many tears as I felt like a bad mother for not being able to continue breastfeeding, but I finally realized it would be better for my son to get formula than nothing at all. Yes, breastfeeding is better, but please don’t judge people who are using formula – you don’t know their reasons and the difficult situations that may have accompanied their decision to go with formula.

  24. says

    I enjoyed your tips. Just want to share about our health insurance. We live in Nevada and couldn’t even find maternity coverage without a waiting period. I was taking one graduate class on-line a semester through UNLV and found out I could get maternity coverage with no waiting period even after I was pregnant with 80/20 coverage and only a $300 deductable. The monthly cast was a bout $140 a month.

    Just one more comment… I would consider a baby moniter a neccesity. Unless your baby sleeps with you how do you know when the baby wakes up during the night? We got ours as a shower gift and have used it for all 3 kids. Well worth it!

  25. Rae says

    Since a lot of other mothers are reading this right now, I would like to ask for some advise. I have a pack of newborn and also a pack of size 1 diapers that my son outgrew before he could use up. Now obviously if it comes down to it, I know that i can give them away or donate them. But if at all possible, I would like to use them. Does anybody know of any unconventional uses for disposable diapers like maybe household or cleaning uses? Thanks!

  26. says

    Great post Amy! I am going to forward this to a new mama that I am mentoring.

    I love the pics of Kaitlynn. It seems like I just started reading your blogs when she was born!

  27. Rebecca says

    To the lady with diapers that her baby has outgrown—-take them back and exchange them unless they are opened. Another tip—-never open diapers until you need that very pack, all of my kids shot out of sizes newborn, 1 and 2 so fast, it was almost overnight. About a baby monitor—my oldest child is 15 and I got our monitor when I was pg with her, I don’t remember if I bought it or if it was a gift, but I am still using it with my youngest baby. They last forever! Mine has been a life saver, I really couldn’t rest at night without it….my baby has reflux and sometimes throws up in bed, she doesn’t necessarily cry when she does it either. Without the monitor, I wouldn’t hear her coughing and gagging,etc. On formula costs—–try WIC, you may qualify for that to take care of formula costs. I was able to get it even when I was breastfeeding, not for formula but for milk,cheese, eggs, etc. for me because I was a bfing mom. It is income based but the guidelines have been raised since the economy has tanked so it may be worth looking into. Hope that helps someone.

  28. brenda says

    with our 1st baby, i was overwhelmed with all the stuff at the local babys r us. we ended up with many things we never used. this second pregnancy, we realize that you don’t need much. diapers, a place to sleep and some clothes.
    i did splurge on a pair of baby scrubs for #2 and a “wet happened bag” …
    the bags are awesome! and on sale this month at http://www.wethappened.com
    use code THANKS for 15% off and free shipping.

    hope this helps
    brenda

  29. Rae says

    Thanks, unfortunately one pack is opened (he was in newborn when we started the pack but that didn’t last) and the other pack is unopened but a discontinued style. He was actually still in size 1 when we bought 2 packs but I realized after opening the first pack that Walgreens diapers run smaller than the Huggies he had used. So while it is unopened, they don’t sell those anymore, they replaced them with a different style.

  30. Emily Mitchell says

    For the gal with the extra diapers, I have given away extra packages of size nb or 1 diapers with shower gifts to friends. If the package is open – I just ask a preg mom – I have some extra nb diapers – would you like them??

    BTW – for nursing expenses; our insurance gave us a free breast pump, I made my own cloth nursing pads which were awesomely soft by the way (check out Etsy too for homemade cloth ones). Also, our lactation consultant visits and ‘helpful items’ were covered by insurance. Just wanted to present a counter to the other costs info. You can also rent a pump for around $10-$15 per month with insurance. There are also free lactation support groups to join – ask your hospital. (Please don’t get me wrong, I do know of women who have tried and are unable to produce or have babies with latching problems – from the lactation support group!)
    Other costs of formula include more visits to the doctor.
    http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/benefits/

  31. Emily Mitchell says

    It would be worth it to check with your insurance over what they cover – my insurance covered my breast pump and all of the lactation consulatant visits. There was also a free lactation support group available to me – run and attended by a lactation consultant! I also got all of my ‘helpful items’ and yes I needed them for free through my lactation consultant and ultimately insurance.
    Alternately, you can rent a breast pump with a prescription from your pediatrician for like $10-$15 per month.
    Also, you can make your own cloth nursing pads which are soooo nice and soft – or you could buy some from a site like Etsy.
    I would like to add a cost to formula use, which is extra doctors bills. Office visits and emergency room visits.
    http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/benefits/

  32. Laura says

    I think these are great tips but I’m saddened that several moms who didn’t breastfeed feel so compelled to defend their use of formula! Of course most adoptive moms can’t breastfeed and naturally there are other obstacles that can prevent nursing. However it seems obvious to me that ‘pro-breastfeeding’ does not equal ‘anti-formula.’ As long as you’re feeding your baby well and you are comfortable with the arrangement there is no need to defend that situation!
    I have breastfed a total of 16 months and formula fed for 6 months total to two children. We’ve seen both sides of the discussion and both children are healthy. Moms need to find common ground, not issues to argue and fuss over!

  33. says

    All of my children used formula, Nutramigen or Enfamil Lactofree for three and an RX brand for another (can’t remember the HUGE name). Because each of them needed a special type due to health reasons our insurance reimbursed us 100% of our formula costs-with my last son we just picked it up at the pharmacy for a month supply. It was not the powder either, they insisted on the premade type that is usually much more expensive. Just a thought if anyone has a reflux baby. Our pedi just needed to write it out as an RX.

    I agree that alot of the items marketed for baby are not at all necessary-beleive me we have had them all at one time or another! I have a short list of what I think is necessary but the monitor does make it to that list. With babies on a second floor we needed it-just the other day it came in handy when my two year old vomited in his sleep. The monitor seems to amplify sounds wich I find helpful too-I am a deep sleeper!

  34. Julie says

    Everytime I’m in a store seeing some unsuspecting mom filling her cart or registry with useless items, I want to tap her on the shoulder and say, “You really don’t need that.” While I like babies, I don’t like their “stuff” and we definitely have as little as possible.

    Favs? 1. A portable swing that was given to us – easy to fold for travel or storage, also helped when baby had a cold. 2. Baby carrier for grocery shopping, walks, general housework. 3. Bouncy seat to park baby at the table or near a window or in my room while I got showered & dressed, and now that there are older siblings, put the baby out of reach.

    Forget? 1. Baby wipe warmer: the silliest invention ever – you’re going to be doing this numerous times a day for quite a while so baby better just get used to it. 2. High chair: takes up way too much space, and a booster attached to a regular chair is much more convenient for cleaning and travel. 3. Mega-sized, cutesy-diaper bags: I don’t want to lug anymore than I have to and definitely not something with cartoon characters.

    I found our hand-me-down monitor useful when I wanted to work outside during naptime. Otherwise, I was always within site of my son’s room (we have a small house) and my ears work just fine.

    I ditto the remarks on the savings associated with breastfeeding. It worked for me, but I spent a significant amount of money on disposable nursing pads because the washable ones just didn’t do the job. Guess I should be thankful I had such a good supply.

  35. says

    I’m curious how to balance this with baby showers and people wanting to bless us with things. I know there are a lot of things we probably don’t need, but I don’t want to miss the opportunity when people are giving us things and have to go buy items later that we decide really would have been great to have, even if we can find great deals. We’re expecting our first, so it’s a little unknown. I want to go with the minimum, but we have a number of friends and family members who want to help us with things. We are trying to let people know that we would prefer used items and hand me downs in good condition, but other than that, I’m not sure how to handle it. We’d also like to stock up on some cloth diapers, but we’re alos a little unsure there, not knowing what we will like the best. I’m planning on making a list at alternativegiftregistry.org, but I’m not sure how else to handle it. I don’t know if this is making a lot of sense, but I wonder if anyone else has any thoughts or perspective on how to balance getting just what you need with baby showers and gifts.

  36. Jill says

    Some tips to save on breastfeeding: If you need an expensive electric pump, you can buy those used. Medela and other companies will make you think it is unhygenic to do so, but I find that silly, since basically it just pumps air. You can buy your own attachments (actually they were given to me at the hospital, so insurance paid for it). I have the Pump n Style that was given to me, but I often see them for sale used for as little as $60 (they are $280 new). Also, some hospitals give you a discount on the breast pumps if you buy them in their pharmacy.

    Utilize the lactation consultants at the hospital. Also, we have a maternity shop in town that gives free lactation advice. You can e-mail La Leche League and ask for help. Don’t hesitate to use your friends for advice as well. I had a difficult start breastfeeding, and I found my friends to be most helpful. Looking back, I wish I’d spent the money on a class at the hospital before the birth. I spent so much time stressing over other things and didn’t think that breastfeeding would be hard. It was very difficult at first (son wouldn’t latch properly), but I’m glad I stuck with it.

    And for other breastfeeding supplies, check out e-bay. Oftentimes mothers will sell their excess supplies in a lot, or perhaps they bought it beforehand and didn’t end up breastfeeding. I’ve purchased lots of stuff like that (pads, lanolin, etc) for much cheaper than in the store.

  37. Jill says

    @Sarah
    You really only have so much control over what someone will give you at a shower. I find that people really like to give clothing (who doesn’t love to shop for those little outfits!) and little toys. We registered for all kinds of practical things, but the vast majority of people just gave us what they wanted anyway. If you’re really uncomfortable accumulating that much stuff, say thank you and then donate it somewhere after the fact. I personally enjoyed getting gifts, especially when it was something that the person thought I would like. With family, you can direct them towards larger purchases that you want or need (crib, swing etc.). Even doing that, my mother in law bought us way more clothes than my son could ever really wear. Some people (like nanasewn above) might look at our house and think our son is spoiled or that we went broke on toys, but this is not true. We just have lots of family members who give him things all the time. I think it would be wrong of me to tell them that they can’t give. We try to suggest certain things and emphasize that they don’t have to give anything, but they do anyway.

  38. says

    Re: baby shower gifts, most people will leave the tags on items and it’s easy to return some (most?) of them to the store, especially if you received 18 newborn church dresses :D That said, I have never returned anything because I’ve always been to busy to get to the store in the early newborn days. Brand new baby gifts can also be regifted, if that’s not heinous to you :) I have given things away when I received doubles of an item, even in different sizes (I get tired of the same things in many different sizes) We have been blessed with a shower for each of our 4 children and we’ve never really tried to ask for anything in particular but I am also not quiet about my tightwad ways (if someone compliments my daughter’s dress I tell her it came from a thrift store/ garage sale/ my own baby clothes box) so they know that I am not at all opposed to receiving used items. Because of this, I have been blessed (and able to bless others) with so much baby equipment, clothes, etc.

    Re: extra newborn size diapers, you could make a diaper cake for a shower for someone else. There is a potty chair out there that you place a disposable diaper in to catch the waste, then toss it away (designed for on the go use) . I was deep underground once (at Ruby Falls in Tennessee) and someone’s child had to go. The mom whipped out a clean disposable diaper from the baby’s bag and had her son go right into it. It’s certainly a possibility :)

  39. Rae says

    About the baby shower gifts, the above posters are right, a lot of people will still end up getting you whatever they feel like it no matter what you ask for. But you can still try if you want. With my second, I made sure that I told people way ahead of time that I had everything that I needed except ____ which I put on a registry. Then I said if anybody wanted to help out but didn’t want to get one of those items, they could give cash which I would save up to buy bonds. So then I took the small amounts, combined them to buy a bond. We put the bonds for my boys in a safe and they won’t even know about them until they are 18 (or older if they are not mature enough at 18) to use for their first car, apartment, or something like that.

  40. Catherine says

    I have one suggestion that goes along with the “they need *you* more than fancy toys” idea. I have three children, and I have to say that the one baby gear product that I would trade for all the other gack is a sling. It was the best $35 I spent. I have since gotten a few more, but still haven’t spent more than a cheap stroller. If you can only buy one thing, get a sling!

  41. Diane says

    Hi,
    Do you know what the total cost is to delivery a baby?
    What insurance company has a good plan?

    Thanks!

  42. says

    I love your post. You have a lot of great input, but there is one thing that rubs be raw each time I see it. There are some women out there who want nothing more than to breastfeed. Yet, by design, we can’t! I get it, it’s free, it’s the right temp. and a bonding experiance. Yet my son and I bonded just fine without him being attached to me. I coudn’t breast feed. 1) I never produced enough milk and 2) my son was not interested. After two months of trying I was done.

    If your making the choice that’s one thing, but don’t assume that just because we are women we can breastfeed. Some just can’t.