Your bundle of joy may be costing you a real bundle. According to my patients, the first year expenses for just the basic necessities can easily total over $4,500.
|Crib, mattress, and furniture||$1,500|
|Diapers and wipes||1,000|
Here’s the top 5 ways my practical patients are cutting costs.
It’s Free. First and foremost, everyone should breastfed if they can. Not only will you save $1,200 in formula costs, but you will pass along important immunities to fight diseases, and pass along DHA/AA, two critically important fatty-acids that aid in mental and heart development. See www.LaLecheLeague.org for more information.
Total annual savings: $1,200
Use Store Brand Infant Formulas. If you must bottle-feed, then by all means use store brand infant formulas – these milk and soy-based formulas made by Wyeth Nutritionals are sold by most major retailers under the store’s own proprietary name.
There is a little known fact that that the FDA tightly regulates all infant formulas. As such, all of the standard first year formulas are nutritionally equivalent. The only difference between the three national brands and store brand formulas is the price. Store brand formulas sell for up to 40% less than the national brands. See Storebrandformulas.com for more information.
Total annual savings: $500
Wear Your Baby. Many parents spend up to $500 on their baby’s clothes. Yet, babies don’t care what they wear, with one exception – you. Babies want and need their parents to “wear” them. I encourage all of my patients, wherever they go, to literally wear their babies in specially design slings. I call this attachment parenting (see www.attachmentparenting.com). I believe it creates a special bond of trust between parent and child that actually enhances the mental development of a child.
On a practical level, it doesn’t matter what your baby has on when they are in the sling, as long as they are in it. And, that’s where they should be. If you must indulge in a ‘designer look,’ do so with your sling, not your baby’s wardrobe. This could ultimately save you hundreds of dollars, and help your child’s development.
Total annual savings: $250
Use Store Brand Diapers and Wipes. Diapers and wipes can cost over $1,000 during the first year. This in one area every family can save. Babies do not know what kind of diaper they are wearing or how their bottoms are being wiped. So why pay more for a specific name? Private label diapers and wipes sold at every retailer can help cut 30% off this expense.
Total annual savings: $300
Buy Furniture At Large Retailers, Not Designer Baby Stores. First time parents often find themselves in the last months of pregnancy in high-end specialty baby shops ordering the latest crib, mattress set, and changing tables. The result is an expensive bill and several weeks of waiting for your furniture, as these specialty retailers often must place every order individually. The best place to buy baby furniture is at mass retailers where they sell a high volume of quality baby furniture that they stock at every store. As such, their margins are lower, saving parents a bundle.
Total potential savings: $500
That’s it – 5 easy ways to save a bundle on your new bundle of joy. If you have other money-saving suggestions, please post them on our site’s bulletin board. We are always looking for hot tips to pass along to you.