Pregnant on a budget? What you really need for your baby

If you have been hit by baby fever, noticed the proverbial ticking of your biological clock, are trying to conceive, or already pregnant, you have doubtlessly heard about all the money that you are going to spend on your future baby too. It seems there are articles about the huge cost of babies in magazines and on the internet all the time. Some mention thousands of dollars have to be spent in your baby’s first year at all. So, what if you are pregnant on a budget? Is all this stuff really essential?

I have looked at a few of the lists of must-have baby items and am surprised at what I see every time I read one of them. Exersausers? Vibrating swings? Really? Those are essential? Frankly, I did not even know what those things were until I looked it up, and I have two kids. Don’t start wondering if you need to ditch the ovulation calendar and the ovulation predictor kits and go back on birth control instead!

If you are on a budget or simply a frugal person, don’t panic when you come across lists like these. Babies are cheap. They don’t need a lot at all. This is a list of baby items that are truly essential.

1) Clothes. What you need is going to depend on the season when your baby is born, of course. Some babies can wear the same outfit all day long, while others vomit a lot and need several changes of clothes. If you have around 14 onesies, seven pairs of trousers, and about seven pairs of socks, you have the basics covered. Some mothers like having jumpsuits, while others prefer t-shirts over onesies. A few cardigans or sweaters are handy even in the summer, but are essential for winter. You will also need a winter coat for cold weather.

2) Diapers. Whether you are using disposable diapers or cloth, diapers are a major investment, and are essential for most parents. Using modern cloth diapers, which are great, can be up to four times cheaper than disposable diapers, therefore making them a great option for those on a budget.

3) A car seat. If you own a car or ever plan on riding in someone elses, a good car seat is essential. This is the one area in which you should not be worried about saving money, because a good car seat means keeping your baby safe.

4) A stroller or a baby carrier. These can be extremely expensive or very cheap. Shopping around can save you a great deal of money.

5) A crib if you are not planning on co-sleeping.

6) Your breasts, to feed your baby. Breast milk is not only the best nutrition for your baby, it is also completely free, and very convenient.

Olivia is a former journalist passionate about all topics related to the female body, Trying to Conceive, pregnancy, and birth. A new addition to her site is free and personalized Ovulation Calendar.


What other baby supplies have you found to be absolutely essential?

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