3 Ways To Cut Baby Costs Without Feeling Like A Terrible Parent

Our sister publication Consumer Reports knows that you’d like to trim your baby budget without risking the safety of said baby, so they’ve put together 3 tips that will help you do just that.

3 Ways To Make Your Baby Cheaper Without Harming It:

1. Don’t bother with convertible mattresses. Convertible mattresses are soft on one side (for toddlers) and firmer on the other for infants. And they’re pricy. But they’re also not necessary. CR says,

“Your baby will still be happy with a firm mattress when he becomes a toddler.”

2. Skip the shopping cart covers Give the cart a wipe instead.

“These days, many supermarkets supply sanitizing wipes for cleaning the cart handle and seat when you walk in, and the wipes can do a good job of reducing the germ load. If the store doesn’t provide them, keep a small supply of disinfecting wipes in your purse or diaper bag. Even after wiping, keep your baby from gnawing on the handle by bringing his favorite teething toy.”

3. Disposable diapers-go with the store brand. Yes, the name brands tested better, but Consumer Reports says… who cares?

“Saving pennies per diaper may not seem like much, but with 10 or so changes per day (which is reasonable with an infant), you’ll bank about $9 per month and $108 per year using the size 1 store brand diapers.”

For more info, click here.

Baby cost-cutters that don’t skimp on safety [CR]
(Photo:Jonathan Harford)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Xay says:

    Or get a warehouse club membership and buy your diapers (name brand or generic) there.

    • joe.glass says:

      @xay: In fact I’m pretty sure the diapers at costco are made by huggies.

    • KristinaBeana says:

      @xay: So is Costco cheaper? I have heard Babies R Us has the best prices for diapers, but if I can stick with just going to the ‘Co I will.

      • Xay says:

        @KristinaBeana: The last time I bought diapers was about a year ago for a friend’s baby shower (she was expecting triplets, so she had a diaper shower) and per unit, the price was much better than Walmart or Target and slightly better than Sam’s.

        The last time I bought diapers regularly was about 6 years ago and Pampers were always cheapest at Costco.

  2. Jaynor says:

    In a pinch you can also rent space for advertising on your baby’s forehead… just don’t let Clear Channel get control of it.

  3. Segador says:

    We’ve used the El-Cheapo brand disposable diapers, and trust me, it’s worth that extra $108 a year.

    • LuzioFantazmic says:

      @Segador:

      I completely agree. The diaper advice was clearly written by someone who has no kids.

      You will end up spending more in laundry costs because the cheap diapers LEAK!!!

      Luv’s were the best bang for the buck. Pampers were great, but they do cost too much.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah: Zombie Fighting Dinosaur says:

      @Segador: @mythago: I find that the “Supreme” version of the off-name diapers generally work just as well as Pampers or Huggies.

      LUVS are off the table since they are scented and bad for sensitive baby bottoms.

      • Xay says:

        @Spaceman Bill Leah: Zombie Fighting Dinosaur: Luvs were the worst diapers we tried – leaky and caused horrible diaper rash.

        Where diapers are concerned, try several different types and stick with the ones that work. We tried just about every diaper would could find (including cloth) and ended up loving the generic Costco diapers and Pampers.

        • projoe1979 says:

          We used the Target brand when our twins were infants, but once they got out of the newborn size we switched to Huggies, because the cheapers ones, at that stage, just didn’t cut it.

          We also use cloth diapers most of the time so I think that helps, if you have the means of cleaning them in your own washing machine.

    • lincolnparadox says:

      @Segador: I agree. Never skimp on diapers, formula or baby lotions/creams.

      Dress them in rummage sale clothes if you have to, but get a diaper that fits and is easy to change.

    • lannister80 says:

      @Segador: I totally agree. Pampers are the way to go, and they are worth it due to reduced leaks, etc.

    • dave23 says:

      @Segador: At the BJs where we purchase diapers, Pampers (yes, I would prefer them if I were wealthier) cost $40 for 156. BJs brand costs $25 for 156. A box lasts about a month for a savings of $180 per year.

      The only disposable diapers that seem to be universally well liked are Pampers. I usually advise people to at least try the store brands.

      I have found in general that if you aren’t satisfied with a store brands performance, the store will give you a refund (if you bring back the unused portion).

    • PHRoG says:

      @Segador: Ohh absolutely…2 kids (one 8 one 3.5) and the cheapo store brands just don’t cut it for us…Often the would not last though the night.

      • TechnoDestructo says:

        @PHRoG:

        Your kids are 8 and 3 and a half, and you speak of diapers in the present-tense?

        Maybe I shouldn’t be asking…stories like this only ever end in tears.

    • vermontwriter says:

      @Segador: It’s been a few years since my own kids were in diapers, but I did watch my teen neighbor’s son on and off for the past year.

      My own experience- both my son and daughter got horrible rashes with store brand diapers, particularly Price Chopper’s brand. Even with cream in place, the rash would appear.

      Huggies were best and I could always get my hands on coupons. Luvs I never liked, they were pricey, rarely sent me coupons and leaked. Pampers were second best.

      With my neighbor’s son, they use the Walmart cheap version and he gets rashes a lot, even with cream. So I suggested they switch brands, but being teens they aren’t willing to spend the extra.

    • Shadowman615 says:

      @Segador: We started buying the more expensive name-brands after a few too many of the target brand leaked all over. Sometimes name brand really is better.

    • carbonmade says:

      @Segador: I’m in total agreement as well. Cheapo diapers = stained clothes. I have to agree this was written by someone with zero experience with diapers.

    • Shrew2u says:

      @Segador: Agreed. I have a 19 month-old – what I would have saved in diapers I would have spent in wipes, water, laundry detergent and stain removers cleaning her/me/clothing/bedding every time my little one had a loose bowel movement or impersonated Niagara Falls during an otherwise peaceful sleep.

      Save $108 (and probably more) during the first year by buying diapers/wipes/formula etc. in bulk and stock up on multiple sizes in diapers when the price is right during mega-sales.

  4. mythago says:

    “Who cares”? Well, you’ll probably care if a cheap diaper leaks right after a particularly thunderous baby poop.

    Sometimes I think the CR folks need to get out of the lab and into the real world once in a while.

    • cabjf says:

      @mythago: We’ve tried a few different brands and found that we liked the store brand the best. None of them did so well against “thunderous baby poop”. Just pack a bag and a spare outfit when you’re out. When it comes to diapers, try a few brands and find what works well. Then always buy the large club packs at a cheaper unit price.

      • mythago says:

        @cabjf: Not saying that name brand is always better than store brand – we always found that the Costco/Kirkland house brand were pretty damn good. But the idea that price is the most important thing about diapers makes me suspect Meg has never changed one.

        My worry when my kids were little was less their clothes(“a” spare outfit? Three, at least) than the car seat, the bus, my clothing, people within 3′ of the baby, etc.

    • oneliketadow says:

      @mythago: As the proud parent of a 5 month old, I concur. After your kid goes 24 hours without pooping, you really want a high quality diaper in place for the explosion to come.

    • TrueBlue63 says:

      @mythago: YOU ARE CORRECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      We stopped buying no-names after having to throw out $30 worth of baby clothes turned into large poop stained tye -dye.

      Not to mention the expense of an extra 15 wipes on each changing when the poop is everywhere

      Or the need to carry extra clothing so your kid doesn’t have to wear urine soaked

  5. Fujikopez says:

    How about breastfeeding? Formula is expensive.

    Buy secondhand. Baby doesn’t care. The only thing I wouldn’t buy second hand is a car seat.

    If you want, cloth diapering is pretty inexpensive. Especially if you rent like us and your landlord pays the water bill.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah: Zombie Fighting Dinosaur says:

      @Fujikopez: I would maybe add crib to the buy new list unless you do serious homework on the used one before you purchase. Especially considering Storkcraft just recalled every crib they made in a seven year period.

    • lincolnparadox says:

      @Fujikopez: Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone. Some women don’t produce as much as others.

      Breast milk is the best option, but formula will feed a hungry (screaming) baby.

      • alexawesome says:

        @lincolnparadox: And, uh, sometimes it hurts like all get out. Just sayin’ Different strokes for different folks. The bottom line is to do what works best for you. If it means spending a little extra on a less-leaky diaper, do it. If it means setting your child on fire, maybe you should reevaluate.

      • Pink Puppet says:

        @lincolnparadox: My sister ran into that exact problem and went to some pretty exotic extremes to try to increase her supply to no avail. Breast is always best, but sometimes you just gotta supplement.

        I could have cheerfully strangled everyone (including some lactation counselors) who just didn’t get that.

      • Fujikopez says:

        @lincolnparadox: Well, yeah. Obviously not all are willing or can do it, but it *is* cheaper (and nutritionally better). There are always exceptions. Some people just don’t realize how much cheaper it is. I think I have spent ~$60 for breastfeeding supplies for my daughter (she’s two now), and I bet formula costs are much much higher.

        • crazedhare says:

          @Fujikopez: How did you manage for when you had to go back to work?

          • sarahq says:

            @bunnymare: Not to put words in Fujikopez’s mouth, but you can pump at work. Pumped breastmilk can also be frozen ahead of time for travel away from the baby for more than just the duration of a workday.

            • crazedhare says:

              @sarahq: Yeah, I realize that – how you would do that (pump and store) on Fujikopez’s estimated budget of $60 was more my point. Not that the $400 breast pump is not worth it – it UTTERLY is – and not that breastfeeding isnt cheaper anyway, but I think the $60 budget for 2 years of breastfeeding is not realistic for someone who went back to work.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @lincolnparadox: And also some women have to be on medication, and that would obviously be a problem because you could pass medication through milk.

    • nightshade74 says:

      @Fujikopez:
      I would add crib mattresses to that list.
      Reused mattresses lead to a hirer rate of
      SIDs….

      • He says:

        @nightshade74: True, but you can get a mattress wrapper (basically plastic w/ holes in it), that is supposed to drop the sids risk a lot. It’s big in Australia and New Zealand.

        Side note, cloth diapers rock. Kids will also potty train earlier (due to the discomfort of being wet in a cloth diaper) lessening the need for diapers in the long term.

    • ScottRose says:

      @Fujikopez: HAH, sorry, I know you paragraphed your comment properly, but I totally thought you meant ‘buy secondhand formula’ or ‘buy secondhand breast milk’. Then I figured it out. :)

    • Wombatish says:

      @Fujikopez: A car seat is probably one of the things I -would- buy second hand, from someone who gives it a good recommendation, as long as it is a solid brand. Especially if it was a friend who had used it and taken care of it.

      Non-sanitizable toys are probably where I would draw the line.

      @nightshade74: That seems like an old wives tale spread by baby mattress manufacturers to me… but maybe I’m just -too- paranoid.

    • the_wiggle says:

      @Fujikopez: so’s keeping mama fed & watered well enough to produce quality milk.

      $$$ going to be spent either way.

  6. TangDrinker says:

    Oh, and CR? No child wears size 1 diapers for a whole year. More like, 2 weeks. Why don’t you look at the costs of say, size 3 or size 4, which most babies/toddlers stay in for a looong time and which sizes seem to be hit with the grocery shrink ray every 8 months (see babycheapskate blog for a comparison chart).

  7. Anonymous says:

    I will add a third vote for more expensive brand name diapers. When our baby was just born the worked fine. . . until the baby had a thunderous poo (in our bed) at three AM.
    That meant changing the diaper, the baby clothes, all our sheets, blankets etc at 3am.
    That night of sleep ALONE was worth the $108.
    We are never going back.

    • dorastandpipe says:

      @SamhitaPavo: (general comment, not just for above person)

      I used the expensive diapers until my kids were about 7 months old. Then I switched to store brand/cheapies during the day and kept the expensive/name brand ones at night. Worked well! Thunderous poo will not be held by any diaper…I don’t care how much you pay for it!

  8. geekgrrl77 says:

    How about saving tons of money AND helping the environment by skipping disposables altogether?

    If you have a washer/dryer you can wash diapers yourself, or weekly diaper services are usually cheaper than buying tons of disposable diapers every week.

    Or at least get those washable diaper covers that have smaller, disposable pads for the inserts. [www.gdiapers.com]

    And how about skipping expensive cribs and baby furniture altogether by co-sleeping? [www.nd.edu]

    • Xay says:

      @geekgrrl77: Because what works for some, doesn’t work for others. Especially with co-sleeping.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @geekgrrl77: Weekly diaper services, with their delivery costs and harsh chemicals, typically are as environmentally damaging as modern disposables.

      The AAP and most doctors recommend against co-sleeping due to the higher risk of SIDS.

      • crazedhare says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Thank you for making both of those corrections, I think there’s a lot of misinformation/propaganda about both co-sleeping and disposable diapers.

        • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

          @bunnymare: Keeping a newborn bundled and on their back considerably cuts down the odds of SIDS.

          We use G-Diapers for my son and use a compost heap in our backyard. They really do break down incredibly fast in just one years time.

          Our situation is definitely not one that everyone could adopt, but if you are then I believe it’s great decision not just for the baby but also the enviroment.

          • crazedhare says:

            @Fresh-Fest-1986: When my daughter was in the hospital for brain tumors early in life, she was an inpatient at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, typically rated among the very top children’s hospitals in the country. Those doctors, who deal with infants and newborns on a daily basis (we were in the NICU) were ADAMANT that deaths associated with co-sleeping were on the rise, and that it was a very unsafe choice. Forgive me if I believe those top docs over less (medically) authoritative sources.

            • Jessica West says:

              @bunnymare:
              You need to start doing your own research and stop listening to doctors willing to give advice just to make an extra buck.

              Asphyxiation is sometimes linked to co-sleeping but if you co-sleep safely that should never happen.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                @Jessica West: “never” is never guaranteed. Things happen. Even if parents do everything right, all the time, things will happen. No one is perfect. There’s only “better safe than sorry” and “always be prepared.” Parents should really educate themselves, and that includes talking to doctors. You’re assuming these doctors bunnymare spoke to are corporate shills who are willing to make a quick buck, but how do you know? I do trust a lot of doctors when they dispense this kind of advice – what would they have to benefit? Are they getting kickbacks off crib companies? The medical opinion was legitimate, and more reasonable than trusting websites such as WebMD to be the final word on whether you should tuck your baby into bed with two 120+ pound adults.

              • crazedhare says:

                @Jessica West: How on earth do you posit these doctors were looking to “make an extra buck”. I was in a NICU setting as a result of CANCER, dear, and among the things we discussed was any changes that should be made to the sleeping arrangements to properly care for the baby. They asked what our current arrangements were, and as a part of the discussion said co-sleeping is their biggest nightmare.

                I have a child who is critically – in fact terminally – ill. She will die of brain cancer within days. I have had enough of idiots like you spouting off that concerned doctors are just “out to make a buck”. Many I encountered who attempted to save my daughter’s life did NOT charge me for their services – including a $60,000 brain surgery.

                You have posted two obnoxious, uninformed, naive comments and I am not even halfway down yet. Calling you an idiot would be giving you too much credit.

              • aguacarbonica says:

                @Jessica West:

                I totally agree! I’m still working on my BA in Sociology, but I’m pretty certain that my liberal arts degree and a few weeks of internet research trumps the opinion of medical professionals with PhDs!

      • Devin Scherck says:

        @Eyebrows McGee:

        Actually, there’s debate about whether cosleeping increases or decreases the rate of SIDS. I believe the absolute latest research shows it drops the rate of SIDS quite a bit.

        And while I don’t know about the environmental side of cloth diapers, I do know that for my family, they’re a LOT cheaper than having disposables. We use a diaper service and pay about $75/month for the diapers. We calculated that for that same amount of disposables, we’d be paying well over $120/month.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Devin Scherck: I had to do some research recently about co-sleeping and SIDs, and I found that the two aren’t totally connected…in that SIDs can happen whether you co-sleep or not, but infant death is more likely to happen in co-sleeping because you can’t exactly control how you roll during your sleep, and can harm a baby. SIDs related death occurs generally away from co-sleeping, and happens (I don’t mean for this to sound this way) of the baby’s own accord, as in maybe the baby rolled over or the parent put him or her down the wrong way.

          I guess part of the clarification that needs to be made is that SIDs is a specific term for unexplained death with no obvious sign of distress, whereas co-sleeping may increase the risk of suffocation or crushing…in that case there are obvious signs of distress.

          I always thought that, in general, 120 + pound adult(s) and a 8 pound baby just don’t belong in the same bed. It just seemed obvious to me. No amount of bonding can be accomplished to trump the risk. And I doubt babies grow up to complain that their life was diminished in some way because mom and dad didn’t let them sleep in their bed.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @Devin Scherck: “I believe the absolute latest research shows it drops the rate of SIDS quite a bit.”

          As I am about to become a parent in May, I am quite up to date on the absolute latest research. Adult mattresses are dangerous to babies — as are pillows and bedcoverings. And that’s assuming a best-case scenario where the parent(s) in the bed are “good” co-sleepers who never co-sleep after taking cold medicine.

          We seriously considered it, but the risks of co-sleeping are simply too great, even if you take a great many precautions. Why gamble with my baby’s life?

          • mythago says:

            @Eyebrows McGee: Because the baby sleeps better, you sleep better, and best of all, when the baby wakes up wanting to nurse you can just hook ‘er up and go back to sleep?

            A good alternative is to ‘sidecar’ – instead of the baby actually sleeping on your mattress, the crib is set to the exact height of the adult mattress, affixed to your bed with the side adjacent to you open. So the baby is actually sleeping IN the crib, but is very close to you. There’s absolutely no way to roll over on the baby.

            • Flame says:

              @mythago: Ya know, this entire line of comments reminds of something my mom talked to me about right before my first one was born. She told me, they don’t come with an owner’s manual.

              When she had us, it was the 80’s, and the “experts” changed their minds constantly. For the first kid, it was put them on their back, for the second, it was the tummy, and the third, it was the side.

              When I had my kids, I let them tell me how they wanted to sleep. My first was a back sleeper, but my second would NOT sleep on his back, no matter what.

              Neither one of my kids liked to co-sleep at all. Unless I was really really tired….then nothing would do but to sleep with me.

              Guess what? They both survived.

              Moral of the story, do what seems right to you, and go with it.

        • Shrew2u says:

          @Devin Scherck: Whoa! At $120/mo for disposable diapers, that’s a fortune! In So Cal, I spend less than $75/mo for Pampers for my little one. Even the first few months when I was changing her 10 times per day, A 200+ count box of Pampers Baby Dry was only $40-45 at Target (and Amazon sometimes had boxes for $35.99/ea).

      • Fujikopez says:

        @Eyebrows McGee: Technically, most deaths associated with co-sleeping are actually suffocations, not SIDS. And as long as you follow a long list of safety rules, it is pretty safe. The vast majority of co-sleeping deaths happen because someone broke one of these rules, which include not co-sleeping under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being overweight, sleeping in a bed that is too small, and others.

        I know I’m gonna catch heat from someone for that. But I think the AAP is oversimplifying because many parents don’t care enough to follow a list of rules for co-sleeping.

        • crazedhare says:

          @Fujikopez: I agree with you there – I have a friend who co-sleeps very carefully and responsibly. But I think she is a rarity (not necessarily compared to co-sleeping advocates in this discussion, but compared to the wider populace). I think the chances of people following those rules on a regular basis if co-sleeping was dominant is unrealistic, and hence agree fully that the RECOMMENDATIONS from doctors should be against it.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Fujikopez: I totally agree, and I think I made similar points in a different area in this thread. SIDs is a medically-caused disorder, or at least sometimes it’s unexplained. But death as a result of co-sleeping is usually from suffocation or crushing.

          I think the majority of the problem is that people may want to co-sleep or are led to believe it’s the best option – and it’s understandable because all good parents want to do the best for their children – but some people really don’t do well with not having enough personal space, and you can’t force a change in boundaries just because there’s a baby. There has to be some kind of acclimation for the parents to a new environment.

    • wickedpixel says:

      @geekgrrl77: actually cloth diapers were recently proven less environmentally friendly than disposables.
      [www.timesonline.co.uk]

    • Yossarian says:

      @geekgrrl77: So, other than diapers which are worse for the environment and increasing the risk of a dead baby, those are some good suggestions.

    • Venarain says:

      @geekgrrl77: @bunnymare: Wait. If co-sleeping is so deadly, how did babies survive before cribs?

      • pb5000 says:

        @Venarain: We co-slept number one and it worked great with him. Tried to for number 2 and he hated it, prefers his crib. Each kid is different and the bottom line is that you find what’s best for you and go with it.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @Venarain: I don’t have an opinion on co-sleeping, but I have to say that’s not exactly convincing logic. Infant mortality was just an accepted part of life for most of our history. It’s like asking “how did children survive before antibiotics?” Nearly half of them didn’t.

      • Xay says:

        @Venarain: Infant mortality rates used to be very high for a variety of reasons.

        I co-slept with my child, but there is a right and wrong way to co-sleep. Some people cannot safely or comfortably share a bed with another adult – why assume that everyone can do so with a baby?

      • crazedhare says:

        @Venarain: Well for one, David Brodbeck is right. The infant mortality rate has declined DRAMATICALLY in recent decades, so the short answer to your question is “The majority didn’t”.

        Of course improvement in infant-survival is not solely related to cribs and SIDS-prevention guidelines (that other parent-hated boogeyman, vaccinations against deadly diseases, may perhaps also play a role, as well as other advances).

        Furthermore, were these apocryphal consistently-surviving co-sleeping babies sharing feather-top soft mattresses with down comforters? Methinks they were sharing fairly flat surfaces, and at any rate, I think the history of usage of the crib is more longstanding than Dr. Sears led you to believe.

      • ophmarketing says:

        @Venarain: A lot of them didn’t, you know.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Venarain: Believe it or not, before the actual crib was invented, there were probably other recepticles to place babies in. And cribs were invented probably sometime in the 1800s, so it’s not like suddenly people in the 1950s figured out they could put babies in their own beds.

      • Nick1693 says:

        @Venarain: Thinner parents. =)

    • Gokuhouse says:

      @geekgrrl77: Co-sleeping really dampens the mood for the parents at night, if you know what I mean. It’s not fun always having a little guy right next to ya. You have to be a much lighter sleeper too because it’s pretty easy to roll onto an arm or leg and not notice it. I don’t know how many times my wife practically shoved me off the bed because I rolled over too far! :)

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Gokuhouse: Arguably, having a baby really dampens the mood for parents at any time. It’s a sacrifice. National Institutes of Health recommends against co-sleeping buy says it’s important for babies to be in the same room as their parents because it’s important for parents to be able to monitor their children visually.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @pecan pi: *but says it’s important…

          Grr. Keyboard. Hate.

        • Gokuhouse says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: It is a sacrifice, but the love I get to share is worth every minute of crying and all the inches of bed space I’ve lost. We didn’t sleep with our first child except when he couldn’t sleep, but with the new baby I’ve had a hard time getting my wife to let him sleep by himself. Recently we got him to sleep overnight alone, which was a huge relief for us.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            @Gokuhouse: I do feel that co-sleeping is something parents need to decide after doing a lot of exhaustive research and speaking to experts, and ultimately if they choose to co-sleep, at least it’s based on what they believe after seeing all the evidence.

            Personally, I’d never do it, but if you’ve done a lot of research and deem it safe, at least you’re making a decision based on what you believe is a substantial amount of research. I applaud you for that, because I know a lot of other people who wouldn’t even go that far to consider the safety of their child. That’d just do it, and their answer is that consequences and risks be damned, because they can’t be told what to do, and no one can tell them how to raise their baby, etc.

  9. Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

    You could even skip the shopping cart wipes and let your kid develop some immunities.

    • alexawesome says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: Buh-wha!? Logic? Reason? Asking that parents permit their oozing bundles to develop a powerful built-in defense system? MADNESS.

      /sarcasm

      Thank you, Fuzzy person. I worry that some of the illnesses and allergies felling kids have a lot to do with a failure of little immune systems to develop properly. I’m all for lack of colds and yucky flus, but if it means your kid is better equipped to fend of illnesses and viruses in the future, HMM. Ponder.

      • Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

        @alexawesome: I have read quite a few theories that today’s weird kid allergies have a lot to do with germophobic parenting. This is why my kid is allowed to lick the dog’s butt. I am breeding him to be super-resistant.

        • cnc1019 says:

          @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: Here is a story by a local columnist from a few days ago about the germ subject. I felt vindicated.

          [www.dallasnews.com]

        • jscott73 says:

          @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: I love it, my wife always freaked out with our kids and germs, she’s was a lot better with the second one, but I generally encouraged the kids to lick the bottom of their shoes if they felt so inclined. Now we have two very healthy kids who are rarely sick only miss school when we go out of town.

          • Murph1908 says:

            @jscott73:
            Some old wisdom stated, ‘you have to eat a peck of dirt a year to stay healthy’.

            The over sanitizing of the world is going to kill us. Vaccines were discovered over a century ago, with the knowledge that exposure to a bacteria teaches the body how to defend against it. But fear sells, and marketing braininacs have convinced the population that if you don’t disinfect everything, you’ll get sick and die.

            When actually the opposite is true.

            And it isn’t just the marketers. Doctors are overprescribing antibiotics.

            What’s the result?

            Antibiotic immune diseases in hospitals, and kids with more allergies, more diabetes, and more chronic illness than in days where medicine wasn’t as advanced.

            Ok, maybe I won’t let my son chew on the handle of a grocery cart. But I won’t panic when he sneaks a bite in.

            • Azagthoth says:

              @Murph1908: There is also an old adage that states “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. There is nothing wrong with trying to keep a kid safe. There is something wrong with parents that claim their own uncleanliness is giving the brats a better immune system.

          • MrEvil says:

            @jscott73: My little sister and I growing up on the farm used to throw turds at each other. Didn’t matter what barnyard critter they came from we’d be turd-tossing. Neither of us got sick as a result. We also don’t have an allergy list that reads like a dictionary.

            My sister and I inherited our immune systems from mom, my dad has pretty bad allergies to MSG and is deathly allergic to pennicilin. Mom actually never had allergies until she got pregnant. All my sister and I ended up with was an allergy to pet dander.

            • mythago says:

              @MrEvil: Yeah, my little brother and I lived on the farm when we were tiny. We got pinworms. Just because my great-uncle smoked three packs a day and lived to be 92 doesn’t mean smoking is harmless, you know?

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: When did this get popular? I’m only in my 20s and I don’t remember sitting on any kind of shopping cart covering. I touched everything on shopping carts, and then frequently touched the floor. Do we need little plastic booties for kids’ shoes because the shoes touch the floor and then the kids touch their shoes?

          Do we need to sanitize ourselves like on CSI?

    • Cafezinha says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: This. I didn’t even know those covers existed until my twins were well past the age for using them, and they managed to stay alive despite that. They’re just another way for companies to prey on parental fear of OMG GERRRRRRMS.

    • ScottRose says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag:

      No, no, no! Don’t you remember all those kids that died in the 50s through the early 2000s from the dreaded Shopping Cart Poisonings? You gotta protect your kids against those things lest they actually build up an immune system!

    • mythago says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: Right, because shopping carts are the ONLY POSSIBLE SOURCE of germs and mess for kids and if you deprive them of that OMFG IMMUNE DISEASE!

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a parent deciding they don’t want their baby gumming on some three-day-old Diet Coke stuck to the cart handle.

    • Drowner says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag: Word to that. We’re a family of mud playing, thumb sucking, and in the case of my brother bug eating children and I can’t even think of a time where anyone in the family was really lay-up-in-bed sick.

      Hmmm.. perhaps this is why sick people are so unattractive to me…

    • MsAnthropy says:

      @Fuzzy_duffel_bag:

      Too right. “Shopping cart covers”, my arse. I had no idea that such a product existed until about 30 seconds ago. I don’t know how I didn’t die in infancy, considering how such things hadn’t been dreamed up when I was a kid.

  10. Brontide says:

    1) Toys. Kids are just as happy with a cardboard box, crayons on rummage paper, or old paintbrush and water on the driveway as they are with even a $10 toy.

    2) Clothes. While not too expensive it adds up, hand-me-downs and seconds are just as good for kids.

    Places you should think twice before skimping.

    1) Diapers. I have yet to find a store brand that hold up as well. Who cares if they are half the price if you are changing them twice as often and cleaning up a huge mess.

    2) Safety gear. Good seats/carriers/strollers may be a little pricey, but they are one time costs.

    • MrEvil says:

      @snowmoon: Being that my parents didn’t have two kids of the same gender, my parents got hand-me-downs from my aunts and uncles. I think I wore my cousins’ old clothes until I turned 8 or 9 and got bigger than any of them ever got.

    • mythago says:

      @snowmoon: Er, babies don’t play with cardboard boxes, use crayons, paint, or play in the driveway.

    • KyleOrton says:

      @snowmoon: Word. I think the best activities for kids probably sound the worst. For instance, my 9-mo daughter had a blast today when I gave her an old Christmas card and put her in a Rubbermaid bin with a blanket.

      Sounds awful, but boy did she have a hoot (and I was plenty careful).

  11. Casandra Camacho says:

    I spent $300 on cloth dipes 2 yrs ago and I’m still good. I wash in homemade laundry detergent that costs me .03cents per load, and I hang in the sun to dry (and sunout stains).
    I wish I knew about it with my 1st 2 babes – I blew almost $3200 on diapers and wipes with those 2!

    I got a new crib mattress(+$75) but skipped the crib(-$150). Our queen mattress is off the frame and on the floor, and the crib mattress is sidecar’d next to it.

    breastfeeding works for being cheap too. Plus it is better. maybe not all moms can do it (all tho medically only %5 or less of the population can;t) but SOME is better then none – and helps cut the cost of formula to boot.

    2nd hand clothes for any kid under 4 are usually in teriffic shape since at that age they alwasy outgrow before they where out. Why spend $30 at Gymboree for a new shirt, when you can get the same “liek new” shirt for $8 at the resale adn know it will still look nice 3 kids later??

    I usually use a good quality used umbrella stroller (liek a nice used Chicco or PegPerego…but for $30 off craigslist instead of brand new) and a cheapo baby sling or soft carrier instead of shelling out $100’s of dollars on soem huge fancy stroller.

    Carseats are one thign you shouldnt; skimp on when it comes to quality and safety. But I do liek to buy ONE carseat thast good from 5 lbs to 60 lbs or higher so that the one expense will cover my chld from birth to booster age. (instead of $80 baby bucket, $130-$150 convertable, $80 booster seat).

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @Casandra Camacho: If you buy the expensive stuff you can often resell it on ebay for close to what you paid for it. That or craigslist. There are some high-end baby products like strollers and high chairs that command a very good used price. This is another thing to consider, if you can afford to make the initial investment why not have the best? Especially if you can sell it off for a premium when you are done with it or can use it through multiple children and have it still look close to as good as the day you bought it. Cheapo stuff that breaks is not cool when you have kids. It may sound like I am promoting more spending here but it makes sense in a way.

    • ScottRose says:

      @Casandra Camacho:

      I’m not a parent, so I’m actually asking this out of genuine curiosity: What exactly goes bad with car seats that no one will get them used? I saw 3 commenters saying they’d never buy on the used market..

      Obviously I’m not suggesting that buying a crappy, broken car seat would be OK. But if the straps and all the plastic, etc. are in good condition, why not? Better to get a high-quality seat used than a brand new one of lower quality if the cost would be the same, IMO.

      I mean, the actual seats of the car and the seat belts that are holding the car seat in place are probably pretty well used..

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @ScottRose: I think it’s probably because the safety of car seats has improved dramatically in the last decade.

        • ScottRose says:

          @David Brodbeck:

          OK, agreed that an old seat is a bad idea..

          @Spaceman Bill Leah: Zombie Fighting Dinosaur & @duckduckem:

          Didn’t know that advice re: accidents. Still probably a good hand-me-down from someone you can trust though (I’m pretty sure my parents gave my car seat away).

          As for the directions, I see your point. But there’s always a chance they’re online.. Or make sure the seat comes with directions.

          (I suppose if it was my child I wouldn’t take any chances either, BTW).

      • Spaceman Bill Leah: Zombie Fighting Dinosaur says:

        @ScottRose: That and you have no way of knowing if the seat has been involved in an accident which may reduce it’s effectiveness in another accident.

        Plus, the directions are frequently missing and the key to using a car seat successfully is installing it properly.

      • duckduckem says:

        @ScottRose: They say that once a car seat has been in an accident, it should not be used, even if it seems unharmed. Buying a second hand carseat, you don’t know if it has been in an accident and, if it has, how bad the accident was.

        • David Brodbeck says:

          @duckduckem: For what it’s worth, this is also true of seatbelts. It often isn’t done, but any car that’s been in a significant accident should have its seatbelts replaced.

    • Anitra says:

      @Casandra Camacho: Amen on the cloth diapers!

      Re: one carseat, though, you must live in a state that doesn’t have draconian booster laws… my state wants parents to keep their kid in a booster seat until 57″. Yes, that’s right, if your kid is under 4’9″, they need to be in a booster, according to the Massachusetts state government.

      I did a LOT of research, and couldn’t find any convertible-to-booster seat that would go up to that range of height. And it doesn’t help that we have a small car, so most taller convertible seats won’t fit while facing the rear. Feels sometimes like we are being forced to buy more and bigger stuff, just because we have a baby and bigger/new is “safer”.

  12. downwithmonstercable says:

    Whoever wrote “Who cares” with diapers hasn’t had a baby… we used store brand once when we ran out of what we normally use, and they leaked half the time. I’d gladly pay a slight premium ($9 a month? come on, really?) to not have a pee-soaked baby.

  13. shorty63136 says:

    My godson wore the cheap diapers for MAYBE a day before his mom said to hell with it – and he was only in a size 1 for maybe 3 weeks.

    That little amazon baby (his mother is 6′ and grandpa is 6’7″) leaked right through the cheap ones when he’s roll over (which he did as soon as he came out), scoot, shimmy, teeter, crawl – basically MOVE.

    Like an above commenter said, one should never skimp on diapers, formula, or skincare/healthcare products. Babies are too sensitive and unpredictable.

  14. Outrun1986 says:

    For the amount of baby stuff I see at yard sales here you could outfit a mother and have them ready for octuplets for probably pennies on the dollar. Some people even give it to you for free because they just want it gone.

    There are some things you shouldn’t skimp on, like a car seat or a crib. A used high chair or stroller are stepping into the gray areas as well because some high chairs have been recalled due to stability issues. You will probably get these things as gifts anyways so you likely will not have to pay for them.

    You could buy almost all your clothes second hand off craigslist, people sell bundles of clothing cheap, and you could probably outfit a kid for a couple years off just one purchase possibly. I would look for a big lot that includes several sizes of clothes. Second hand clothes are easier to get in smaller sizes, so keep that in mind for the newborn. Babies grow out of clothes FAST so a lot of times you will find brand new clothing at rock bottom prices if you just shop second hand. I think it would be very convienent for the parent to have a big stock of clothes on hand and not have to go to the store every time your baby changes sizes just to buy new clothes for them, not to mention you will save a ton of money in the process from buying retail. Around here baby clothes go for 25 cents a piece, and they aren’t even selling at that price. You will end up having to pay more for clothes later on, as people simply do not have as much of the larger sizes available at least from my experience. The baby doesn’t care what it has on.

    Also, you will probably want to stock up BEFORE you have the kid. Or have friends and family do your yard sale shopping for you. You won’t be able to do much shopping when your pregnant, so it would be wise to start stocking up on yard sale baby goods ASAP after you find out you are pregnant. The stuff will also have to be cleaned, and this takes time and energy, as well as yard sale shopping takes more energy than going to one single store and paying retail for everything.

    Those 3 tips are really lame. A shopping cart cover can’t cost you that much and is a one time purchase, and you could probably make your own very easily. So you would be saving a whole $10-20 by not purchasing one.

  15. doggscube says:

    Protip: the cheapest diapers are at Aldi grocery stores. They work fine.

  16. PetrinaCrocodile says:

    cloth diapers FTW!

  17. crazedhare says:

    I nth the “don’t skimp on diapers” comments – I use Pampers Swaddlers and when I use cheaper diapers, they get soggy so quick I have to use twice as many of them!

    I think in parenting there’s a lot of pressure to buy the most expensive brands thinking they are better. So the best advice I would give is to really read reviews and check safety news on the cheaper strollers, swings and other gear, and don’t feel pressured to buy Jeep or Maclaren just because you can, or because it showed up on the Babies R’ Us recommendations for your registry list.

    I personally also think the following are a waste of money:

    -Bottle warmers (keep a tea kettle on the stove, it’s no harder and just as fast).

    -The Diaper Genie system (just get a $10 trash can with a pop-up lid and good generic bag liners).

    -Expensive fancy baby clothes – buy a season ahead on sale and you can get outfits for $5 rather than $25. It all just ends up with spit-up stains on it anyway.

    -Personally, I did not buy special burp cloths, just bought stacks of cheap receiving blankets so I could use them for either purpose, making packing a diaper bag lighter and easier. I like multi-purpose items rather than multiple single-purpose items.

    My final suggestion is not to buy every piece of baby-related gear on the market ahead of time. We made the mistake of buying 3 different kinds of carriers, including wraparound slings and a Baby Bjorn, and our daughter just isn’t into them. We bought a $400 Medela pump and due to medical problems I suffered at her birth, breastfeeding was not an option. So try to take the right balance between preparing ahead of time and buying out the entire Babies R Us store.

    • Xay says:

      @bunnymare: I’d add, don’t stock up on fancy newborn baby clothes at all – your newborn will be an infant in no time and too big for all of those cute clothes.

      • crazedhare says:

        @xay: Yes, yes, yes – and people love to buy them for new parents. A great piece of advice my sisters gave me when I was pregnant was NOT to buy ANY clothes, at least until after my baby shower.

        • Outrun1986 says:

          @bunnymare: Any parent who has experience with this will give clothes that are 2-3 sizes larger than needed, or maybe even bigger than that. We have also given multiple sizes. That’s what we have always done when giving gifts for new parents. Baby clothes also run weird, that sleeper that says 24 months on it might just fit an infant.

          • crazedhare says:

            @Outrun1986: I also think the clothes you get from other parents are better than you will pick out yourself, at least if you are a first-time parent like I was. I wanted to buy but resisted a lot of cute, complicated outfits – family gave me a lot of snap up, easy-on and easy-off stuff, that was a lifesaver once we were in the hospital all the time with a central line in the baby’s chest.

  18. Cafezinha says:

    I guess I got very lucky, because we had great luck with the Toys R Us (of all places) store brand diapers. With twins, you look to reduce costs wherever you can, and that was great not to spend even more than needed on the diapers.

    A lot of the expenses that everyone thinks are necessary can be reduced by doing some at-home versions. Example: invest a little in a mouli and spare yourself buying all those jars of baby food purée. Thrift store and hand-me-downs for clothes and books. All those “must have” baby gear items are not as necessary as the advertisers will tell you–there’s no need for baby swings, bouncers, playpens, wipe warmers, cribs, and so on.

    • PunditGuy says:

      @Cafezinha: Ditto on making your own baby food. I can’t believe that didn’t make the list. We splurged and got a variety of organic frozen veggies, pureed and strained them, and still spent less than those jars.

    • Xay says:

      @Cafezinha: Yes for making your own baby food. Very easy, cheap and if you already cook on a regular basis, no hassle.

    • Skipjim says:

      @Cafezinha:

      As a parent of twins myself I have to agree, we’re saving a fortune by buying fresh produce and steaming/straining it. Just freeze it in ice cube trays when you’re done with a large batch and you’ll save a fortune.

      We’re still deciding if the store brand diapers are worth the $4 / 3 weeks we’re saving using them or not (we’re figuring it out based on savings versus number of leaks in the night). It’s a tough call.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Skip disposables and go cloth – it’s good for you pocket, your baby’s bottom, and the environment.

    I wanted to also add that I’m constantly in awe of people who are completely uneducated when it comes to breastfeeding. With proper education breastfeeding should not hurt, and it’s rare that a healthy mother (medical problems aside) cannot produce enough milk for their baby. I’m sorry but the majority of the people who claim to have this problem are simply lazy. Breastfeeding takes hard work and dedication but the benefits make up for it!

    • mythago says:

      @MarcelloJackal: By ‘simply lazy’ you mean that you’ve never breastfed and don’t have a freaking clue about breastfeeding problems. Hey, it looks easy, if you can’t do it you suck, Mom! Go away.

  20. Burgandy says:

    Kmart and target brand diapers were not working for us but walmart and sams brand worked just fine. As for the kids clothes, sign up for the carter’s newsletter if there is one close to you. Between the clearance sales and added coupons you can get an entire season’s worth of clothes for about $100 .

    • GoldenPolynice says:

      @Burgandy: I haven’t had much luck with Target, but HEB, a large-scale supermarket chain in Texas, makes sturdy and reliable diapers. Cheap, too!

  21. OldElvis says:

    My kids wore Toys R Us brand Diapers with no issues.

  22. Jenkinsbball says:

    I’m sorry, but store brand diapers are trash. We tried with my first son and they literally fell apart when he peed. Huggies all the way yo!

  23. Malkin says:

    Another vote for cloth diapers! Cloth saves so much money, and modern cloth diapering is easy. They smell less, and you’ll have far fewer blowouts, too. I only wish our daycare allowed cloth.

    • mythago says:

      @Malkin: “Far fewer blowouts”? I used cloth diapers for a while with my kids, and while they were better for some things – softer, airier, less rash, you can use cloth diapers to clean up anything – blowouts were NOT one of them.

  24. Chris Stevens says:

    We don’t do the store brand diapers either. Protip: Some stores give you coupons after you spend a certain amount on that kind of thing. For us, we get diapers at CVS, and every couple trips we get coupons for money off our next purchase. Score!

    Also, we did the shopping cart cover, but IMO it’s well worth it. Yes it’s fine to let the kid get some exposure to germs, but that’s not the way to do it in my mind. We use our cover on grocery carts and high chairs in restaurants, and we love it. Have you ever grabbed a high chair and found that it was sticky with some unknown goo? No amount of handywipes is rectifying that situation. ;)

  25. Devin Scherck says:

    My vote is for a good diaper service. My wife and I use Modern Diaper Service here in Maryland and we love it. They take away the dirty ones every week and give us nice fresh clean ones. And the cost actually is much cheaper than if we’d gone with disposables. We calculated that we’d pay about $120/month for disposables at the rate the little miss uses them, and we spend about $75/month on the diaper service. :)

    • jscott73 says:

      @Devin Scherck: We spend about $35 a month on Costco disposable diapers and maybe another $10 a month on wipes, but the wipes are used for everything, not just changing diapers.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever poured water into a disposable diaper to see how much it will hold?

    For the commenters above that have “leaks” with store-brand disposables, I think they should consider changing their children more often because your child’s bladder is no where near capable out outputting as much urine as a disposable diaper can handle.

    If you’re referring to #2 blowouts – that’s a different story, but I would just have to tell you to stop buying disposables altogether and switch to cloth.

    Shopping cart covers don’t cost that much either, and you can buy them used or sew your own if you’re truly that concerned with germs. Truly though you don’t need a cart cover just wash your kids hands. Not only will you kill the germs but you’ll teach them about proper hygiene as well.

    The double sided mattress is funny to me too. Buy a firm, moderately priced mattress and be done with it. A toddler will be able to sleep on it just fine – heck.. they sleep just about anywhere!

    The only things you truly need for baby are:

    Food (breastmilk is best but formula has it’s place when necessary)
    Clothing (resale, consignment, ebay, craigslist, freecycle, etc.. all great sources)
    Car seat – which should be purchased new or from someone you know and trust if absolutely necessary so that you know it hasn’t been in an accident.

    Aside from a roof over their heads, warmth, and love – eveything else is a bonus – you don’t NEED anything else – but most parents want all the extra bells and whistles. A baby doesn’t have to be expensive – society makes it out to be like that.

  27. heybtbm says:

    Cheap diapers? Um, no thanks. We that mistake once, long ago. Has the author ever actually used “store brand” diapers? Do they even HAVE kids? If so, I’m guessing they let the other parent change all the soaked and leaking diapers. You would spend more money on laundry cleaning all those extra dirtied outfits. Common sense.

    Also, no shopping cart cover? It’s a one time purchase. We got ours for $25 at Target. Let me point that out again…THEY ONLY COST $25. Most people spent more than that for lunch yesterday.

  28. Dani Smith Allwein says:

    I agree with wholesale clubs. I pay $38 a month for Huggies at Sam’s Club. It would cost me at least double that at another store.
    But the bigger parenthood scam is formula!!! By law, the generic is identical to name brand in every single way. When I had an infant I spent $40 a month on the Sam’s Club brand, Enfamil was more than twice this price.

  29. cuchanu says:

    Use washable diapers. Baby shit that bad, especially when they only drink milk. The only time we use disposables is if we’d have to carry around dirty diapers for a long time.

    Also buy clothes at Goodwill or whatever they call a second hand store near you.

    Last but not least: make your own baby food! We just cut up what we’re having (assuming it’s appropriate) and it’s fine. A little yogurt, cereal, steamed veggies and fruit to supplement.

    These might have been mentioned but I couldn’t be bothered to read all comments as I am already an expert parent.

  30. jscott73 says:

    Cloth diapers were a wash, financially speaking, for the first 10 months we used them only because we rent and water and electricity (for the washer/dryer) are included in the rent, at that time we started recouping some of our costs but also right at that time are son became too big for them so we switched to disposables.

    Costco disposables are the best, we have tried them all and they are the best value and work the best.

    We breastfed our kids but we always kept a can of Target brand formula on hand, it was more a filler here and there so the cheapo was fine.

    Everything else baby/kid related should be purchased used or received/borrowed for free. Even cribs if they are sturdy and the slats aren’t too wide are fine used, just look up the current recommendations on the web and aim for that. Craigslist is obviously a great resource but so if freecyle, we have received and given away many baby items through freecycle.

    We borrowed bags of baby clothes for our son and gave them back when he outgrew them. This was all easier to do with our second because we realized how fast expensive stuff becomes obsolete but also because we hung out with more parents with older kids who had clothes/baby items we could borrow for awhile.

  31. jendaviswilson says:

    Coincidentally, just yesterday I did a little spreadsheet on cost comparisons of diaper types.

    Cloth, even with laundry utilities, ends up to be by far the cheapest solution. It get lots cheaper with another kid, or if you can find a good deal on the diapers themselves.

    If you really want the disposables though, compostable corn plastic disposables like Nature Babycare aren’t that much more expensive than premium plastic diapers. And in the SF bay area there is even a diaper service (earth-baby.com) that will take those diapers and compost them instead of sending them to a landfill, although that ends up costing more.

    My favorite cost-saving method though is to make sure you’re on the back of the baby-having curve of your friends and family. :)

  32. Anonymous says:

    Better advice on the diaper front is to try the store brand. What worked for us was to use the store brands when our baby was solidly in the weight range for the size and use the name brand ones during the transitions. During the transitional times, the name brand diapers are definitely worth the cost, but the rest of the time, it’s largely a waste of money.

  33. 1stMarDiv says:

    As a parent I came here seeking sound financial advise and I left disappointed. What a worthless article.

  34. chrisjames says:

    I thought those grocery cart sanitizing wipes were to protect us from the babies, not the other way around. Babies can be pretty resilient.

  35. courtneywoah says:

    Store brand diapers leaked like crazy! Even the Pampers we bought from Costco leaked because they were of lesser quality than the ones you paid more for in a store like CVS or Target. Now we buy Huggies and they work like a charm. Can’t skimp on quality diapers, creams/lotions, or food.

    As for the cart, just bring a blanket and put it over the handles, etc

    This article was terrible! lol

  36. albear says:

    3 Ways To Cut Baby Costs Without Feeling Like A Terrible Parent

    How about having a litter of kids and get on welfare!

  37. MaelstromRider says:

    Not all diapers are created equal and there’s a reason why store brands are so cheap. Between 2 kids, 1 boy and 1 girl, I’ve tried just about every brand of diapers available to me and I can say without a doubt that Pampers and Huggies are less likely to leak than the other brands. It’s worth the extra few dollars a package to me to keep the pee and poo in the diaper and not on the baby’s clothes, the furniture, the car seat, and most importantly, me.

    Also, the HEB brand had an odd chemical odor and gave my daughter a rash.

  38. Joyce Godsey says:

    what the hell? use disposable diapers when you are out of the house and use plain old CLOTH diapers at home. there are too many disposable diapers in landfills now.

  39. morganlh85 says:

    PSA to all parents in Detroit: Your kids really do NOT need matching FUBU and Baby Phat outfits, right down to the matching blue or pink tiny Timberland boots. For reals. They WILL indeed survive on clothes from a discount store.

    • juri squared says:

      @morganlh85: To be fair, my kid has worn Ugg and Polo, and is right this moment wearing Addidas – all because she has a generous, still single, aunt. I’m not actually the one buying the stuff. ;D

  40. HighontheHill says:

    Diapers are nothing to skimp on; this is the voice of experience. Clothing is where the savings are, as well as furniture and other items like strollers, toys and the like. We have a great ‘chain’ around these parts called “Once Upon A Child” and has saved us thousands over the last several years. My wife searches every single item within the applicable size range for our kids and comes home with pristine name brand clothes for pennies on the dollar. I am in no way affilliated with said store, just a faithful customer.

  41. juri squared says:

    I tried the store brand. Sure, they’re cheaper, but what about the price of:

    Extra diapers, because they leak so fast
    Extra laundry, because they leaked
    Extra trash, because there’s so many more diapers (and yes, this adds up when you’re on a garbage sticker system).

    I ran back to Pampers so fast I left tire treads. No more of that for me.

    As for seat covers, they are very useful when baby’s just a wee bit too small for the cart or chair. There’s a bazillion models out there and therefore the price of the things has crashed.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      @jurijuri: The seat covers are also meant to hold the baby in place better than the single strap that is on most store carts, so there is a purpose to them other than germ protection. Besides if you have kids you aren’t gonna have time to be searching for a shopping cart that isn’t missing its seatbelt (it seems like almost all carts here are). The seat covers are very inexpensive too, definitely an item I would purchase if I had kids.

  42. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    More easy ways to save on diapers-

    1) Get a large garbage bag, cut out leg holes, hold in place with tape.

    2) Use your bath tub as a crib. Hose off baby when necessary.

    3) Colostomy bags aren’t just for old people!

    4) No food = no poop. Save on diapers AND groceries!

    5) Plants don’t poop, right? So just bury your baby up to it waist in dirt and make sure to give it lots of water and sun.

    (Disclaimer: The list above is meant as Onion-esque humor and should not be attempted on actual babies.)

  43. Shrew2u says:

    Since SIDS is a hot topic here, the University of Rochester has an interesting summary of SIDS and SIDS-related research. Most interesting (to me, anyway) is that SIDS has been linked to a specific brain abnormality.

    [www.urmc.rochester.edu]

    Even more interesting (but not stated on that page) is the possibility that an abnormal result on a simple newborn hearing test may be the first sign that a baby may have that brain abnormality and be at risk for SIDS.

    [www.rmgh.net]

  44. pollyannacowgirl says:

    I can’t BELIEVE the market for baby accessories. When people bitch about how much it costs to outfit a baby, I laugh. You don’t NEED 90% of the crap marketed to new parents. You need diapers, wipes and onesies. And a stroller. That’s it.

    My favorite thing was the sheepskin we bought for $20 at Ikea. It was a soft, washable place to change baby or place her after a bath.

    But people (women especially, I hate to admit) get wrapped up in the accessories and cutesy stuff. Oh well. If I ever start a business, it’s going to make or sell a stupid baby product and most of the budget will go to marketing.

    SUCKERS.

    • Shrew2u says:

      @pollyannacowgirl: I get your general point, but wouldn’t “car seat” surpass “stroller” on the list in terms of basic, non-frivolous needs? Or are you assuming that every hospital in the country provide a free car seat to each newborn (eliminating this as a true *need*)?

      (Also: Is it just me, or is $20 spent on a sheepskin in a post otherwise decrying frivolous baby spending a bit…errr…you know?)

  45. SuzieBee20 says:

    I wasn’t even aware that they made convertable mattresses for toddlers. Sounds like a giant rip. When my daughter was a little over 2, I found a twin sized “memory foam” mattress pad on clearance at Target for $10. It wasn’t top of the line stuff, it was geared towards college students and I think they were normally only $20. I trimmed it a bit on both sides to fit her mattress on her toddler bed and it definetly made it a little more comfortable for her.

    Of course… this would not be a sound idea for an infant or young baby’s bed. It worked great for our toddler though because her crib mattress was firm and even I hated laying on it when she’d ask me to snuggle with her!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Our daughter has a temporary ostomy which is prone to leakage from time to time. We have been using the Walmart and Sam Club’s brand because some days when we have leakage issues, we can go through quite a few diapers. She hasn’t had any issues with them at all.

    Baby clothes can also be had rather cheaply. Shop off season for one thing and stock up for when baby will be older. I frequently find cute outits for my daughter for only a dollar or two at Target. And I am not ashamed to accept hand me downs or buy secondhand.

    Also, don’t buy into the hype about baby gear. I have found that a swing, a Pack N Play, a handful of outfits and blankets have been all we have really needed. I have a Bjorn sling as well and that has been a Godsend, allowing me to get things done.

    Yikes, inevitably I suppose this was going to turn into a breastfeeding vs formula debate. NO mother should ever be made to feel like she is a failure because she either chose not to breastfeed or cannot. It is a very personal choice and nobody should make judgement calls on it.

    My daughter was induced 6 weeks early because I developed severe preclampsia. I wanted to breastfeed her. My father passed away from cancer six days later and I was also heavily medicated. My daughter was placed in the NICU for nearly 3 months because she had some digestive issues and needed an ostomy.

    Despite all this, I tried pumping for her. I would bring in my pitiful supply of breastmilk because at least I felt like I was doing something for her. After 3 months, I couldn’t produce anything else. But damnit, I tried. And I don’t want someone telling me I am a horrible mother.

    She needs a supplemental forumla anyhow because she has malabsorption issues. I was encouraged to sign up for WIC because the stores don’t carry it and it has to be special ordered.