I’m 39 weeks pregnant with my third child. And while there are some financial considerations that go with having any baby, no matter your lifestyle – how do we pay for prenatal checkups, the birth (whether at home or elsewhere), the time the support partn
er takes off from work if not paid, etc. – there are definitely fewer expenses when you’re taking the natural, or attachment, parenting approach. Even with a first baby when you’re starting parenthood anew and don’t have any baby things.
Here’s some ways natural and attachment-minded parents save money:
- Planning a homebirth – While there are circumstances during pregnancy and labor that require birthing in a hospital, most women can birth successfully at home with the help of an experienced midwife and doula. A lot of the expenses with a hospital birth are related to room and board, pain medications, and other interventions that aren’t usually needed including a Cesarean section.
- Breastfeeding – Not only is mama’s milk the best for baby, it’s also way more economical. Formula is so expensive. Plus, you don’t need bottles, pumps, or other things to support bottle-feeding.
- Cloth diapering – While the initial investment into cloth diapers is a little pricy, compared to buying a package of disposable diapers, that first purchase of cloth diapers will last you years. Disposables, of course, need to be replaced over and over and, depending on your baby’s age and development, you could be buying a package of diapers every week or so.
- Cosleeping – Skip buying a crib and sleep with your baby. Breastfeeding mothers find bedsharing to be most convenient, and completely safe when taking precautions such as those developed by Attachment Parenting International, www.attachmentparenting.org/infantsleepsafety. Plus, you don’t need a baby monitor, or even a nursery.
- Using hand-me-down clothes – Babies don’t care what brand of clothes they’re wearing; just that they’re comfortable. And hand-me-down clothes aren’t necessarily dirty or ugly. Ask family and friends for free clothes, or visit garage sales and thrift stores for low-cost outfits.
- Babywearing – Keep your baby close to you all day long, comfortably, with the need for a stroller, baby swing, or play pen by using a sling or wrap.
- Stay at home – Save on childcare expenses by staying at home rather than working a job outside of the home. If you’re concerned about bringing in enough income for the household, analyze your family budget. Consider working from home, working only part time, or just finding ways to save money rather than spend it. You may be amazed that after the childcare expenses, that you’re not actually making as much money as you thought.
What ways have you found to save money on new baby purchases?
Article by Rita Brhel
Rita Brhel is a stay-at-home mother to three children. She is also a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for the Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska, the Publications Coordinator for Attachment Parenting International, the managing editor of the Attached Family magazine, an API Support Group Leader, PSI Postpartum Support Coordinator, Sidelines High-Risk Pregnancy Peer Counselor.
Rita has written 41 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.