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How do you afford to buy for baby when you have NO money to spare...

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
I'm 13 weeks pregnant, single, and I have a 15 year old son. I make too much to be eligable for food stamps, yet pay more than 3/4 my income towards rent. The only assistance I'm on right now is WIC. I can barely pay my bills and some months, like this month, I can't. Next month, I expect, will be even harder (have to pay for sonogram appointment, have to buy my son back-to-school supplies). I need everything for my baby, with the exception of a crib and crib mattress, but I have no extra money to buy anything. People tell me to go on Craig's List or Ebay or Freecycle, but I literally don't have $5 to buy anything, and I have no car, so for the most part Freecycle doesn't work. Does anyone know any other options? I need a carseat, a heavy duty stroller (I walk a mile to the grocery store), crib sheets, blankets, appropriate baby clothes (baby's due in January), infant snowsuit, hat, mittens, booties, etc, high chair, diapers, wipes, breast pump, good bottles and bottle assesories, diapers, spit-up clothes, food proccessor (I'm gonna try to save money making my own baby food), baby carrier... I don't know what else. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? I do have people who will be giving me things their babies outgrow, but it's my understanding that it won't be things I'll really need or have room for- a changing table, a baby bath, a play yard. What can I do? I have absolutely no money for any of this... It's overwhelming, I don't know how I can afford any of this and still take care of me and my son's basic needs, much less "extras", like when the holidays come and I can't afford to make Thanksgiving dinner or I can't afford anything for my son for Christmas. What can I do?!
post #2 of 78
Given the difference in ages between your son and the new little one, is there a chance a relative/friend might give you a baby shower? If so, make it very clear what you need for the baby. Every shower I've been at (and that's lots), the mamas get practical items like diapers.

Also, if you celebrate Christmas, ask for baby items for Christmas gifts. Or gift cards to places like Target (if there is one near you), where you can shop for the items you need.

As for your 15 yo, check with local charities, his school's office, etc. There are often programs that offer school supplies for children in need.

For the breast pump, check with your WIC office. I've read other mamas here say they got a breast pump (loan of one, maybe? I don't remember) through WIC.

Is there anyone who can LOAN you items such as the high chair, clothes, etc.? Ask your relatives/friends/coworkers if they have a food processor they don't use anymore. I know plenty of people who have such things sitting in their basement, bought, and used little or not at all.

Churches and other local charities often have clothing closets where you can get items FREE. You just have to check to see what's available.
post #3 of 78
Contact a crisis pregnancy center, and/or a Catholic Charities in your area and explain your predicament, ask what help they can give you.
post #4 of 78
What about the father of your child? Will he be paying child support or contributing to the care of the baby? Consignment stores are great for baby things, you can trade in some of your older son's outgrown clothes and toys and buy things for the new baby.
post #5 of 78
You can survive without the high chair, at least until June when the baby starts on solids (and technically baby can sit on your lap to eat even then), so you can take your time hunting for that. A food processor is nice for making baby food but not absolutely necessary, plus, again, you wouldn't need it until June, so same thing.

I've heard that sometimes WIC lends out breast pumps-- you can ask anyway.

For the other stuff, have you checked the "free" section of Craigslist? Sometimes that has better options than Freecycle. I realize transportation would still be an issue, but maybe you'll get lucky.

Also I agree with everyone who said ask for baby stuff for Christmas and from crisis pregnancy centers. Here at MDC I guess you could post in the ISO forum? And when it gets closer to December you can apply for the Holiday Helpers.
post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
Consignment stores are great for baby things, you can trade in some of your older son's outgrown clothes and toys and buy things for the new baby.
Oh, good idea.
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmum View Post
Contact a crisis pregnancy center, and/or a Catholic Charities in your area and explain your predicament, ask what help they can give you.
I agree. I also would request help from the father. WIC will help you out with the pump, probably. High chair and food processor can wait awhile.

I would also post on craigslist that you are ISO those things as donations and explain why just a little. I always just donate my stuff to Salvation Army unless I know someone who needs them and then I am glad to pass them on to a person instead of an organization. I know I'm not the only one!

For a baby carrier-again, ask around for donations or you can get 5 yards of gauze fabric at walmart for $5 and have a wrap right there. That's what I did with #3 when I had no money to spare.

Is there any way you can take up a part time job on the side until winter-like delivering papers, babysitting, cleaning houses? It sucks, but boy I've been where you are and it's not easy.
post #8 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
What about the father of your child? Will he be paying child support or contributing to the care of the baby? Consignment stores are great for baby things, you can trade in some of your older son's outgrown clothes and toys and buy things for the new baby.
I left the baby's father about a month and a half ago because he was getting verbally, and then physically abusive. He verbally attacked me in the doctor's office last week and I told him what's what, and I haven't heard from him since. I suspect this is not the last I'll hear from him, but I will not be asking anything from him besides child support. He was helping me before, after I dumped him, with groceries and doctor bills, but when I started to "talk back", he basically told me "when me and my son get hungry enough, I'll go back to him", so I'm not gonna count on him for anything, I'm not gonna ask him for anything.

As for my son's baby things, I gave them all to my stepdaughter when she was small, and then, we (me and my then-husband) got rid of all that when we moved last year, so I have nothing left to trade.
post #9 of 78
Freecycle, gifts, crisis pregnancy center. Put a note on craigslist for baby clothes with your situation. You'll get some nasty emails, but also some free stuff.
Other thoughts: move somewhere cheaper. Put your 15 year old to work this summer to help with rent, to free up a ittle money for baby. Try temping yourself while you still can. Do phonework from home.
Babies aren't that expensive. But maternity leave is. And kids are. Do you think your situation will improve in 5 years? It might be time to make a plan to change jobs or change states or move in with a relative to save money
Posted via Mobile Device
post #10 of 78
Can you move? 3/4 of income on rent is a little much.

Do you have insurance or can you get on medicaid? Your sono would be covered then.

Our Health Department has a Healthy Start program that has a carseat class open to everyone regardless of income. Carseats are $20 and boosters are $10 through the class or they can "work" with you if you can't afford it.

With that, they also offer Pack N Plays for those who have no means to get a crib or anything.. check out your local public health departments.

As far as a baby bath, you can use the sink...
A changing table, you can use the floor or bed with a blanket on it.
Babies don't use a comforter their first year anyway so warm clothes is more of the issue.
Breast pump you can hand express or rent one (again, do you have insurance?)
You can use old sheets to make smaller blankets, diapers, breast pads ect...
As far as a high chair, food processor and those "later" things, you don't need that until 6+ months so worry about the immediate needs now and work on the other things as it comes up.
post #11 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
As for my son's baby things, I gave them all to my stepdaughter when she was small, and then, we (me and my then-husband) got rid of all that when we moved last year, so I have nothing left to trade.
The children's consignment store near me also sells women's clothes (for moms, of course). If you have any extra clothes of your own, they might accept them. Or if your son has any old computer games or anything that he is tired of, etc. The consignment stores I'm familiar with sell books, toys and clothes through pre-teen age plus moms' clothes as I said. The one near me also sells books about pregnancy, birth, and parenting if you have any of those on hand.
post #12 of 78
Rent out a room to someone?
Or move into a shared house?

I take it you will be working while you babe is young if you are pumping?
Can you mention to a friend or family member about your immediate needs and ask them to hold a baby shower for you.
can a woman host her own baby shower?

Your city most likely has a website with a list of resources to help you out.


There are many things you can do without- a highchair and food processor being one of them. We made it through just fine without.
Here are other things we did/do without- cable, highspeed internet, cell phone, fast food, junk food,air conditioning, high heat in winter, anything that can percieved as an 'extra', this frees up a good chunk of income to go towards other bills and necessities.

My babe lived in sleepers for the first year, haha, they are cute and everyone had some to pass on. I am sure you will be given hundreds of sleepers too


You can ask on freecycle for items to be delivered. There are people out there who do not mind delivering.

There is a church in our city that has a 'Community Closet'. It has to be one of the most popular places for clothes. All of it free. They also have other items, usually baby stuff people donate.
If there is not one in your city, suggest it to a church and volunteer some hours in an effort to get it started.
Ours started off Saterday mornings only. I think it now runs two mornings and one afternoon a week.
BTW- I am not remotely religious, but i whole-heartedly support this program.
post #13 of 78
Thread Starter 
BunnySlippers, you have great advice, but I've already thought of most of them.

My son and I share a one bedroom, so renting out a room is not an option and I do have a friend who I "might" be able to share an apartment with in January when our leases run out, however, I will then be 9 months pregnant and she has back problems, so I haven't worked out the legistics of how I'd actually move, if it did turn out.

I don't know about a baby shower- my family lives three hours away and my ex husband inherited all the mutual friends when we separated, and I haven't yet made very many friends.

A highchair may be neccesary if I have someone come into the home to watch the baby when I go back to work, and it would be convenient to have a place to put the baby while I'm cooking- I have a very small kitchen.

As for things I can do without, I already have no cable, don't pay for my own cell phone, don't buy junk food or fast food, and air conditioning and heat is kept at the bare minimum. The only thing I pay for is internet and if I get rid of that, my son will literally have nothing to do for entertainment. (He has Asperger's and Depression and as of yet, he is only comfortable talking to his friends online, and does not have a social life beyond that. I can't take away his internet.

As for sleepers, I have no problem with them- I love them. :-)

I was actually told this morning that one of my local church sometimes has cheap clothes and other items, but I have not had the chance to look into it yet.
post #14 of 78
Is moving to a cheaper apartment an option? Or getting a higher paying job?

I'd still post on Freecycle & see if you can find people in walking distance or people willing to meet you somewhere (like at your work or the grocery store).

Also, curb shop -- take a walk around your neighborhood on trash day & see if they've left out anything you could use. Works especially well if you can find a 'rich' neighborhood to walk around, they seem to throw more good things away.

Do you belong to a church or any community groups? Put the word out and provide a specific list of what you need. Also see if any friends/family would be willing to throw you a small shower -- it could even be a second-hand shower where people can pass on the nice & useful but used items they have...

Save as much money as you can each paycheck -- even if it's only $1-2 a week, maybe by the time baby comes you will have enough to buy a few things on Craigslist or the thrift store.

carseat -- I heard there are programs that will provide free/low-cost car seats
a heavy duty stroller (I walk a mile to the grocery store) -- you could stick with the baby carrier & see if you can get a grocery or luggage cart somewhere cheap
crib sheets, blankets -- consider cosleeping
appropriate baby clothes (baby's due in January), infant snowsuit, hat, mittens, booties, etc. -- often you can find things like this at yard sales for $0.25 -- even if you collected cans off the road to turn in for the change...
high chair -- you could get by without this, baby can sit in your lap or on the floor (we do this even though we have a highchair, in fact the highchair is rarely if ever used for feeding) or get a booster seat, they are much cheaper (I just gave one to someone for free today in fact)
diapers, wipes -- not sure I'm much help there, but will daycare let you use cloth? That will save you over time...
breast pump, good bottles and bottle assesories -- you can hand express or use the manual pump your hospital provides, but that won't be as ideal since I'm assuming you'll be working full-time & need to pump often... see if you can find a new pump that a company is testing out (I had the opportunity to be a tester once)
spit-up clothes -- not sure what that is
food proccessor (I'm gonna try to save money making my own baby food) -- you can just feed baby what you're eating, you don't need to grind it up, we do this with DS
baby carrier -- I made a Moby style wrap for $5 -- http://wearyourbaby.com/Default.aspx?tabid=121 all you need is a long strip of fabric, even a bedsheet would work...

I encourage you to reach out to your community, tell everyone you know that you are in need (I know it's tough to do that sometimes but it makes people feel good if they can help someone so it does benefit everyone!!)

ETA: Post in Finding Your Tribe too, maybe some local MDC mamas can help or point you to community resources.
post #15 of 78
Everyone has had great ideas so far. I used just a pack n play or play yard with my DS2 instead of a crib. I noticed that you said you were getting one so that might help. Also I know that our church frequently has a notice of things that are needed for families which can be dropped off there and delivered. Call around and see if churches in your area do that.
post #16 of 78
Can you get on Medicaid ASAP? Its much faster for pg ladies and it will pay for EVERYTHING with no copays. They can also help you find other programs.


I would try for food stamps again and truly show how much you are paying for rent. How long has it been since you tried?



Social Services, Churches, food banks/pantries, etc... many have school supply drives and give them out for free. Also they may have access to baby items and diaper banks. Even clothes.


Call anyone and everyone you can think of.


You can also try a battered womans/crisis center shelter for help since you technically are one.


{{{{{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}



Good luck!!!!
post #17 of 78
Sounds like you are doing well keeping costs down so you'll probably just have to start making phone calls like crazy and contacting every assistance program, church, etc to see what you can get for free. ALSO, sign up for Holiday Helpers on MDC when Nov rolls around and I bet you will get a LOT of stuff that way. The good thing about having a baby in the dead of winter (I did it in Jan '10!) is benefiting from holiday focused charities.

Also do the yard/garage/stoop sale thing this summer as much as possible.

I'm with those who think a high chair isn't needed -- you would probably do better with a booster seat that locks into a regular chair, or nothing at all. I don't think a crib is necessary, I've never used one: pack n play, or bedsharing, both work great. Do you have anything you can sell? For that matter, do you medically HAVE to have a sonogram? They are so expensive! I have never had an ultrasound (would have had to pay out of pocket in my case, too, and just couldn't do it when it would just have been to find out the gender). If it's not necessary, I'd pocket that cash pronto. And if your doc gives you crap for it tell he/she you'd be happy to have one for free.

Good luck!
post #18 of 78
Do you use cloth diapers or disposable?
post #19 of 78
Oh yeah there is a group called Miracle Diapers http://www.clothdiaperfoundation.org/ They can provide you a set of free cloth diapers on loan (I think 10-12 diapers or so??) although I think now you do need to pay shipping by the looks of it, but it's only $15 so you could save up to pay for the shipping or ask if they'd waive it...
post #20 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post
I need everything for my baby, with the exception of a crib and crib mattress, but I have no extra money to buy anything. People tell me to go on Craig's List or Ebay or Freecycle, but I literally don't have $5 to buy anything, and I have no car, so for the most part Freecycle doesn't work. Does anyone know any other options? I need a carseat, a heavy duty stroller (I walk a mile to the grocery store), crib sheets, blankets, appropriate baby clothes (baby's due in January), infant snowsuit, hat, mittens, booties, etc, high chair, diapers, wipes, breast pump, good bottles and bottle assesories, diapers, spit-up clothes, food proccessor (I'm gonna try to save money making my own baby food), baby carrier... I don't know what else.
Are you saying you already have a crib and mattress? Those are not really necessities, so you could sell them to buy a carseat, which is an absolute must.

You don't need a stroller, a sling or other carrier is all you need. A PP gave a great suggestion for making your own on the cheap.

You won't need crib sheets after you sell the crib. Blankets are easy, you don't really need that many. You can get a few flannel sheets at Goodwill and cut them up to make receiving blankets. Look on MDCs FFS area to see if you can get your hands on a dozen or so pre-fold cloth diapers and a cover or two. That'll keep you set for diapers until PLing. WIC can give you a decent pump. 15 years ago, I got a Medela mini-electric. I've never used bottles, but I imagine if you had at least two, you'd have enough.

As for a food processor...you don't need one at all. I always made my own baby food and all I ever had was a $10 Happy Baby grinder. I never really used it though bc it was easier just to cut small pieces the baby could pick up himself. Basically, if a baby is so young it needs its food pureed, it's probably too young for solids anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
Put your 15 year old to work this summer to help with rent, to free up a ittle money for baby.Posted via Mobile Device
Yikes! How is this his responsibility?! He's still a child himself. Asking a 15yo to keep an eye on the baby for 10 mins while you take a hot pan out of the stove is one thing, asking him to get a job to pay the bills is just plain wrong.
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