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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Evening,<br><br>
Say you are TTCing, but NOT pg...yet. And would like to begin to set a few things aside. I'm not talking about stock-piling EVERYTHING the child will ever need.<br><br>
Ok, so...prices are going up and husband and I are TTC #1. If I had a little bit here and a little bit there to make 'baby-prep' purchases...what should they be??<br><br>
In thinking in line with "TLE"...or just inflation...what is most important to set aside? Cloth diapers (buy some from the currect co-op), clothes, wipes...<br><br>
Can't wait to read!<br><br>
Mrs Bernstein
 

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I think cloth diapers & wipes are a great start. You can also get many baby gear items like stroller, cribs, etc at children's consignment shops and even on craigslist. The trading post usually has some great deals on used (and sometimes new) clothes, toys, and other baby items.<br><br>
The things we use regularly that are most expensive are good baby wash and sunblock. We buy the more expensive kinds to avoid harsh chemicals. We use badger sunblock and various baby washes - check out this site to read which skin products are safest and stock up when you can. <a href="http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/" target="_blank">http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/</a><br><br>
Frontier has great prices on good, natural products so I've been stocking up when I can. We have a local frontier co-op but I believe there is one on MDC too.
 

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A good sling or two... my personal favorites include a pouch sling for when baby is a newborn and a mei tai for when baby is bigger. You can make the pouch sling if you're handy with a sewing machine, which will help you save money.
 

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I would say making sure you've got a healthy emergency fund is the first step.<br><br>
Stockpiling is not a bad idea, but I think the most important thing to do is build up a good financial cushion. Essentially make sure that if the family were suddenly faced with a catastrophic loss of income (layoff, debilitating illness, etc.), there would not be immediate loss of home and stability for the baby.
 

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For starters, figure out what you're actually going to need. I'm getting ready to have child #2 in September and, even though there will be 10 years between my two children and I kept very little of my daughter's old baby stuff (I wasn't expecting to have any more!), I'm finding that most of the stuff on the "must have" lists is stuff that I really don't need.<br><br>
We're co-sleeping, so no crib is needed (however we did get a twin sized mattress set and bedframe to push between our bed and the wall... when Baby is bigger, s/he will need a bed anyway). Our changing table is also a dresser and can be used for years after the baby is born. We're using slings, so we probably won't need a stroller.<br><br>
The most expensive piece of necessary equipment is the car seat. I'd wait until closer to your baby's birth before buying it, and I would <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> buy it used.
 

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Research which car seat you will want (I recommend Britax) and keep your eye out for a sale. They rarely go on sale (maybe once a year?) so if you see a sale, buy one.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">I would say making sure you've got a healthy emergency fund is the first step.<br></div>
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I would definately say this also! And I am slowly starting a newborn and small stash of cloth diapers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 

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I have prepared for this baby extremely inexpensively overall. Diapers, formula, and bottles have been my largest expense, and if you are exclusively bf-ing, as I am sure you will be unless you also have other circumstances, the bottle and formula thing are not even an issue.<br><br>
One thing I have really realized with this is that for all of the people who choose not to bf for more than a few weeks or months, I think they must be off their rockers! That stuff is ridiculously expensive in addition to all the other reasons babies should be nursed if possible.<br>
If I didn't HAVE to supplement, there is no way in the world I would CHOOSE to have to pay for any of that. Geez. Anyway.... My little rant of disbelief is over now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I had no idea just how much it was cause I exclusively nursed my first two and being on a limited budget and planning for a baby is made much harder with that additional expense.<br><br>
Also, this time around I am not doing cloth till I get my own w/d. That's an additional expense I have <i>chosen</i> though, cause I know my limitations at this point, and we're making it a more expensive choice to buy a more enviro friendly type, but cloth diapers are always of course the best choice.<br>
And cloth are FUN to buy, and you can find all kinds of great stuff gently used at your local cosignment shops and every where else, like online. Be careful, cause buying cloth diapers can be addictive, so don't buy more than you actually need! Not that I know anything about that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/whistling.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="whistle"><br><br>
But those are the main things I have been stockpiling. Ordering cases of diapers from Amazon when they run a good sale, picking up a can of formula out of each grocery trip to stash, etc.<br><br>
Also, all the clothes you will ever need for baby can be found SO inexpensively at thrift stores and garage sales. I think I have way more clothes than I will need for the first 6 months due to hitting thrift store half off baby clothes sale days twice by chance. Wow. SCORE! I was SUPER picky about what I bought or didn't. If it had the tiniest stain or wear I passed it over, and still ended up with a TON of clothes, blankets, towels, even a few slings, etc, all of it for no more than $30. All the way up to size 18 months or so. Not as many in the larger sizes, but if I saw something I really liked and it was less than a $1 I'd grab it to stash till it will fit.<br>
Most of the onesies and footies I bought ran about $.50-.60 on those half off days. All pristine.<br>
Clothes are easy to stash away, too.<br><br>
I have so much that was given to me that I never would have bought on my own, but took cause it might come in handy. There is an abundance of free baby stuff. I was offered 3 cribs and 3 pack and plays, and probably a dozen bouncy seats <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Seriously! So I took one of each. (I never have used a crib, but actually plan to at time this time). So when the time comes you'll probably be surprised at what you'll be able to get for no money.<br><br>
And for the most part? You can certainly get by with a carseat, baby carrier (sling, meitai, whatever your preferences are), stroller (I am partial to using these, though not everyone is, and even if you wait a few months for one at that point a $10 one from Target will work just fine for occasional use!), diapers, some clothes (amount based on how often you are able to do laundry), and you're about all set for a good 6 months. Oh, and a bouncy seat! They are super convenient to set the baby in when you need to pee or whatever, and they are apparently EVERYWHERE for the taking for free. Seriously. At least a dozen offers! May as well. So, you could stash some of that, or wait to get it.<br><br>
Of course, with what I previously mentioned, some things are dependent on circumstances, like for instance if you don't drive often but mostly walk, the investment in a good stroller may be an expense you have to consider, etc. Or, say, if you do want to use a crib sometimes, then you'll probably want to buy a new mattress for it even if you get the crib itself used or free (which is what we did). These larger purchases would wait, though, I'm sure, if you're just in the planning stages and won't want to store all of that.<br><br>
If you're planning beyond that, well, more clothes/diapers in larger sizes?<br><br>
Gosh, you know, sure they get more expensive as they get older, but now that I am thinking back on it, they sure don't cost a lot for a good long while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! What a wealth of information! THANK YOU!<br><br>
From reading, I will begin (here and there) to stock up on cloth diapers (WHICH kind?), a sling/wrap and clothes. We 'plan' to bf and co-sleep.<br><br>
I never thought of thrifting/CL for a stroller or swing NOW. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The back-up fund WAS growing...until our cat became ill on Friday. The Dr had to put him under TWICE this weekend to try and clear the blockage in his urethra....AND, if it's not clear by 9am...he will have to go to a specialty hospital to have the tip of his penis removed! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> (THAT, you can't make-up!)<br><br>
How many of each size diaper will I eventually need for the babe?<br><br>
THANK YOU!<br><br>
Mrs Bernstein
 

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You come to realize how little you actually need for a baby, especially in tight times. All I needed was my breast, sling, cloth dipes, car seat, some clothes and my time/attention. The rest was just nice to have if I wanted it. Don't get me wrong, I had tons of other stuff and I even kept it to a minimum. But in the end the baby only really wants their Mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Cloth dipes are great to get now b/c they can be expensive to start up. A couple different styles of slings to use as they grow. And I seconed the car seat thing. We have a more expensive one and a mid scale one and the more expensive one is totally worth it IMO. It's cushier, sturdier, easier to put in and take out of the car.<br><br>
I think it is very smart to start getting some of this stuff now. Good luck TTC'ing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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these are the things i think you absolutely *need* for a new baby-<br><br>
clothing (thrift shop/ hand me downs/ saved from prev baby- there seems to be a ton of used baby clothing floating around <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )<br><br>
diapers (i would use prefolds as they are economic and fit a wide range of baby sizes. i would start w/ 2 dozen infant sized. as for covers you can look for cheap used ones on <a href="http://www.diaperswappers.com" target="_blank">www.diaperswappers.com</a> or here- or you can make your own. wool is a great cheap option for making your own- yo can use recycled wool sweaters to stitch some up for CHEAP or if you knit or crochet you can make some up. the cheapest diaper cover i know of are the gerber plastic pants @ about $1 a piece but they don't breathe. you will also need pins or snappis if you don't use a wrap. lmk if you want links to making your own covers)<br><br>
baby sling- again, you can make your own! here are some great links:<br><a href="http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/" target="_blank">http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/</a><br>
this an easy comfy meitai<br><a href="http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/" target="_blank">http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/</a><br>
she also has great links for ring slings and pouches <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
also, check this out on how to make your own stretchy wrap similar to a moby<br><a href="http://www.mamatoto.org/Default.aspx?tabid=121" target="_blank">http://www.mamatoto.org/Default.aspx?tabid=121</a><br><br>
for any other stuff you might need i agree w/pp that thrift stores are the way to go. just start looking now. great stuff pops up all the time!<br><br>
i also find that when people know you are having a baby they start giving you things there los ahve outgrown.<br><br>
good luck mama!
 

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My first thought is that babies are cheap (if you let them be). Pregnancy and birth can be cheap if 1) you have the right health care provider and 2) you are healthy and don't develop complications. and, perhaps 3) you have insurance that will cover emergencies in childbirth at least.<br><br>
None of these things are entirely in or out of your control.<br><br>
If you have an history of easy pregnancies and births and access to a good, skilled midwife you are set as long as one of those pesky random complications doesn't happen that necessitates a trip to the hospital.<br><br>
Let's say you don't have #3, well that makes #1 more important to focus on. Asking the MW if she's ever attended a breech (suprise or not) would be a good filter question (if you have more than one MW from which to pick).<br><br>
If UC is something that you do having #3 would be a good idea, or at the very least a relationship with a #1.<br><br>
Really, education about the process of pregnancy, labor, and birth would be invaluable IMO. TLE/a tight economy is not a time to waste money on tests/procedures that don't improve outcomes.
 

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I'm really uber frugal when it comes to babies.<br><br>
I use simple prefold cloth diapers and pull-on covers (I buy them through Tiny Tush or else mail order from GVS [they supply Amish folks]).<br><br>
I co-sleep, so we don't need a crib. The babies usually nap in someone's arms or in bed with mama.<br><br>
I breastfeed, but do keep a bottle in the house just in case of an emergency. So there is one bottle, two nipples (only because they come in packs of two), and a manual breast pump. MIL bought me the Avent breast pump when I was pregnant with DD1. I pump only when I'm engorged and then put the excess in the freezer. I just feel more comfortable knowing that if I had to head into the ER or something my baby would have some mama's milk at home.<br><br>
I buy clothing at thrift stores and garage sales and let family members know we love hand-me-downs. I rarely pay retail for any baby clothing.<br><br>
We've learned that babies don't need toys. I've sewn a few and otherwise we just stimulate them with their environments.<br><br>
I have several different slings/carriers. I try to swap whenever I can (try the craft swaps here at MDC) and I have sewn a few ring slings, too. I've heard that pouch slings and mei tais are pretty easy to sew up.<br><br>
Car seats are something we also use cash gifts from the grandparents to buy.<br><br>
The one piece of conventional baby gear I have that I love is a used infant seat. We paid $5 for it at a thrift store and it gives me a safe spot to put the baby when I can't do something with her in a carrier. It allows the babies to either recline or sit upright (with safety belts).
 

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Sunblocks do have expiration dates, so I'd hesitate to stockpile that unless it's several years away.<br><br>
I second having an emergency fund.<br><br>
We've never used our pack and play (it had a yucky smell too).<br><br>
If you want to buy new, BabiesRUs is almost constantly giving away 15% coupons on one item so if you buy a car seat you can save a lot of $$. If you have AAA, you can get a 10% discount for Target if you want to purchase it there.<br><br>
We had a bucket car seat which was useful for us and we're happy we had it, but lots of people only use the convertible car seat so it's less expensive.<br><br>
Good luck with everything! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I would buy 24 small sized prefolds and 5-6 covers and then at least 12 larger prefolds and 5-6 covers. I use baby face cloths for wipes, you can cut up old t-shirts or sheets if you prefer. I buy clothes at season end clearances, I've got a few size 2 and 3 things for my 3 month old already b/c the prices were really good. I don't buy newborn clothes, we got a lot of handmedowns and if we didn't a few sleepers are all you really need the first few months.
 

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For cloth diapers we went with mainly bumgenius one-size pocket diapers. They are certainly more than prefolds, but they go from about 10 lbs through 30 lbs. I think the site says 5 lbs and up but that is a stretch, they didn't fit DS2 until he was over 10 lbs) If you add up the cost of 3 sizes of prefolds and 3 sizes of covers it is only a little less than 12+ bumgenius pockets. We have 18 and do laundry every 2.5 days or so. They fit really trim (only a tad bulkier than a disposable) and they are really easy to use. You can find them used too, if you are ok with that. Then of course you can sell them if you don't like them or when your baby potty learns.<br><br>
But for the newborn days you may want to have a few preemie prefolds on hand. They poop and pee so much that you'll be changing about 12 times a day or more. And you'll need something for the baby until he/she grows into one-sized diapers if you choose to go with one-size.
 

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Forgot to add: I agree that you should NEVER buy a used car seat. There is no way to tell if it has been in an accident. And they expire in 5 yrs and most used carseats are pretty old. We went with the Britax Marathon because it holds babies from 5 lbs - 65 lbs! I have both DS1 (1 yr, 17 lbs) and DS2 (5 yrs, 45 lbs) in a Marathon. So it truly carries most children from infant to booster seat. One thing: it does say 5 lbs but I disagree with that. DS2 was born @ 6lbs 4 ozs and was completely lost in his Marathon. We used a bucket until he got closer to 10 lbs.
 

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When we got pregnant with DS we and JUST gotten married and were completely broke. I was not working so I had plenty of time to look for stuff, and because we honestly couldn't afford to buy things I had to find them free or do without. So, I hit Freecycle.org. There I got a crib, swing, clothes, diapers, slings, toys, blankets, a baby tub, a bouncer and probably more that I'm not thinking of. Our car seat was given to us by my SIL who had never been in an accident. I wouldn't trust a second hand one if I had to find one on my own. I like to think that most people are decent enough not to give one that had been in an accident away, but you just don't know and that's not something to risk your child's life on.<br>
For a car seat I would be sure to get one that was from 5-40lb, you'll obviously get the most use out of one of those. I often see them in stores like Big Lots that have brand new ones that have been discontinued because of design changes or a store stopped carrying them.<br>
The things I used the most when DS was a baby were, clothes, cloth diapers, blankets, the bouncer, and his toys. He has slept in a crib from 3 mos, so we got a lot of use out of that as well. We were given pretty much everything we needed (and then some!), so if you have a nice family that will have a baby shower for you I'm sure you will get some nice things. We collected clothes and diapers from the first month and after DS was born people brought us a TON of clothes. I too have found it difficult to resist buying something really cute when I know someone has just had a boy or a girl.<br>
On that note, if you need things other than clothes don't tell anyone the sex of your baby. My girlfriend had a baby earlier this year and she knew it would be a girl and got TONS of girl clothes and not a single thing she really needed. They had to buy everything! I on the other hand got lots of gender neutral clothes and things like toys and books. People were annoyed that they had to buy gender neutral, but I didn't care.<br>
We got a lot of clothes given to us, but I also spent a lot of time at garage sales looking for baby clothes. They are so cheap at garage sales and most often with very little wear. The easist way to dress DS for me was in a onesie and cotton pants with socks and a sweatshirt if it was cold. Most days he just wore a onesie all day with his diaper. A lot of times that's what he would wear out to the store as well (depending on weather). My girlfriend who just had the baby has lots of "outfits" for her baby, and they're cute, but impractical. So, when it comes to clothes I would buy up all the gender neutral onesies and sleepers I could find for every size. I also really like rompers, I still buy those when I can find them. They're just as easy as a onesie, but look more like big boy clothes.<br>
Also, I have a sister with two boys who are 5 and 3. She has begun handing down all her boys clothes to me. She dresses them very nicely so the clothes we get are still in very good shape. She is an absolute boon to our budget.<br>
Another thing I have found is that if I don't have enough of something I have to have in short order I end up paying more for it, so do your best with planning. I kept a spreadsheet with a tally of everything in every size. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I guess you can see I was serious about saving money!
 

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I just had baby number three (and kept NOTHING from the first two) and we are some seriously frugal people...so here's what I actually spent money on for this baby:<br><br>
1. Cloth diapers -- bought them used from <a href="http://www.diaperswappers.com" target="_blank">www. diaperswappers.com</a><br><br>
2. Car seat -- Sunshine Kids Radian...because it is narrow enough for us to fit three of them in the backseat of our Honda Civic. Yes, that is right...three kids, three carseats in the back of a Civic. I wasn't kidding about being frugal. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
3. $25 on sleep gowns -- from Goodwill. I'm a big fan of the gowns because they fit well over that big cloth diaper booty. And you change A LOT of diapers on Newborns.<br><br>
4. $150 on new nursing bras -- we breastfeed and I have worn my bras out from my past two children...you end up washing nursing bras very frequently and this wears them out.<br><br>
Here are the things we did NOT buy:<br><br>
1. No Crib -- we co-sleep. This also eliminates all the bedding, mattresses, and mobiles and such that go along with cribs.<br><br>
2. Swings, bouncy seats, walkers, johnny jump-ups -- not that we don't have these things (we have several of them) but these are the types of items that babies do not wear out. Ask around. I bet your friends with babies have several of them in like-new condition they would like to give you -- or better yet -- loan you.<br><br>
3. Changing table -- with both my first two we just used the bed or the floor. We were offered THREE changing tables this time around and we took one of them.<br><br>
4. Baby clothes -- was given a ton of clothes at my shower, also had friends give me BOXES of practically unworn clothing.<br><br>
If you put the word out that you are looking for baby stuff, you will be astonished at how much of it people are willing to give you or loan you.<br><br>
I wouldn't buy anything until you are pregnant, then when you have that big baby belly announcing what is in your future...people will start to offer you stuff.<br><br>
Until then, just stockpile the money in an emergency fund like a PP mentioned. It will be more urgent to have cash if you need it than to have a houseful of baby items.<br><br>
Good luck to you!!!!
 

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Do you knows anyone with kids? Do you have a lot of family?<br><br>
I ask because many moms are inundated with stuff! More clothes, toys and gizmos than anyonw would ever need. Grandmas, Aunties, friends, sisters -- folks love, love , love to buy things for babies. If it was me, I would buy nothing! I would increase my savings, build a list of things I think I'll need and then pass that list on to whoever needs an idea for a baby gift.<br><br>
Keep your cash in the bank. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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