How to have kids the FatWallet way?

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longwood8 said:

btw, one has kids the FW hot deal way by buying cheap condoms that break after getting a girl drunk on quarter draft night. Just saying...


Amen to quarter draft nights!

If you are planning, AFLAC is the way to go. They offer 2 supplemental hospital plans as well as a ICU plan. Essentially, with all 3 plans, I pay $103/month. As long as you are on the plan 10 months before the baby is born it pays out big. Assuming I get pregnant after the first month and have a normal delivery it will cost $1,030 ($103*10months) and the minimum payout is $3,200. If I have a c-section the payout is higher or if something happens and one of us ends up in the ICU it is $700 per day extra payout.

I think this hasn't been mentioned yet, but how you plan your kids is really important. If both parents have jobs they intend to keep, maybe four years between them would be good. That way, just as you are ready to put the infant into day care, your oldest goes off to kindergarden. No budget hit for paying for two kids to daycare. OR if you can afford a nanny, have your kids really close together to cut years off of hired help. OR if a parent intends to stay home for a long time, again, have the kids close together to save on years out of the workforce.

Timing of birthdays: people joke about the Dec 31 birthday for tax purposes, but the best way to do it is to make sure you don't have a fall baby. These kids require an extra year at home before they can go to school. It's either another year at home or another year at day care. I think a lot of people don't think about that. A spring baby is just right for health reasons (they don't get sick as easily as fall and winter babies) and they are not so much smaller than their peers when they get to school (like the summer babies often are).

Watch out as the kids get older for sports money pits. Encourage your kid to do the cheaper sports - soccer, football, dance, etc. My son is hooked on ice hockey (!) and it is so expensive it is ridiculous. I never should have let him start.

Hope that helps!

If you have a kid while in jail will you get billed for it? i think you can see where I am going with this.

You can put your kid up for adoption, someone else raise your kid for you for free. Just joking, don't do it.

koolfind said: Huh!!! unless its adoption...i don't see how we can decide on this?

BarryAndLevon said: * Try to have all boys or all girls. That way you only have to buy clothes and toys for one gender.


Actually there's supposed to be a way of using the fertility awareness method to help influence/bias this based on (if I remember correctly) sperm that will create males generally moving faster, and that will create females living longer.

(Sorry if this is reversed, not TTC so I don't have a precise info blurb available)

So try at the start/right before of fertile days(based on basal temperature) for a girl [better chance it will still be there for the viable egg while the others will have died off] and end for a boy [first to reach = better chance]).

CashBack by selling their waste for fertilizer

tante said: borrow your niece and/or nephew for the day. Ask them to call you mom/dad and destroy everything you own. This will give you a good taste of parenthood for a fraction of the cost.

I love itttt!!! lol My boyfriend and I have thought about the kids thing and we are thinking about not having them, at least for awhile...not because of the cost involved, but about destroying everything/driving us crazy. At least if they are someone else's kids we can send them home at the end of the day and say "it was nice spending time with you, bye-bye!"

beautyqueen5585 said: lol My boyfriend and I have thought about the kids thing and we are thinking about not having them, at least for awhile...not because of the cost involved, but about destroying everything/driving us crazy. At least if they are someone else's kids we can send them home at the end of the day and say "it was nice spending time with you, bye-bye!"

The worthwhile parents come to the realization that once the kids are born, all those materialistic ideals tend to go lower on the list of important things in life. Or in your case, perhaps not. Maybe you've made the right choice after all lol omg!

LordKronos said: longwood8 said: 1) if you wait till you are ready you and/or afford it you will never have kids.

Perhaps true in most cases, but I'm happy to be the counter-example. Been married 9 years and put off having kids for just those reasons. Now we're going to have our first child this summer (and yes, it was planned).


Agreed. Once you and the wifey have steady incomes, these expenses are not tremendous blows to your budget.

I love these FWF reponses.

I give little credance to these responses as I am surrounded by people paying up to $40K for fertility treatments and $30K to $50K to adopt a baby (usually a girl) from China.

And these people are DESPERATE to have a child.

I guess everything in life is relative.

depend on your purpose of have a child. I think go adopt one will works well.

patch96 said: LordKronos said: longwood8 said:
I give little credance to these responses as I am surrounded by people paying up to $40K for fertility treatments and $30K to $50K to adopt a baby (usually a girl) from China.

And these people are DESPERATE to have a child.

.


I see this too. I have one friend who put 30k of fertility treatments on credit cards and the treatments didn't work. Now she is paying 20 percent interest on a baby that never happened.

zabesudok said: A spring baby is just right for health reasons (they don't get sick as easily as fall and winter babies) and they are not so much smaller than their peers when they get to school (like the summer babies often are).

this theory is mentioned in Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. Sports wise, he argues that having a kid right or near the cutoff would be best since the kid in the Fall has months to grow bigger/taller/practice more than the kid born 8/9 months later in the Summer. he then backed it up by taking the bdays of a youth hockey league allstars. although if the kid is a prodigy, then it doesnt matter when they were born.

this also would probably work for nonsports areas like maturity and studies, so i'd think Fall babies are best

Free books at summer reading programs @ the major book stores (kids have to read X amount of books and they get a free book in return).
Free movies during the summer at major movie chains
For infants / toddlers, buy clothing that both genders can wear. My daughter wore osh kosh overalls in gender neutral colors w/ more feminine tops -- my son was able to wear these same overalls. Being able to pass on clothes from one kids to another is a big money saver.
Yard sales, church sales, freecycle and craigslist for kids clothes and toys.
Breastfeeding is best, for those who can't or won't -- make sure you and everyone you know signs up for the formula coupons.
Your baby can eat the same food as you -- we pureed a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables for our kids.
Library for both books, video and music rentals. Also for the monthly used book sale. Invaluable.
Swap book sites for books that they want to have, but that you don't want to buy for them. I swapped a lot of my son's board books for star wars picture books. Free books, less clutter = peace of mind for mom.

I thought the FW lifestyle was to be a DINK (dual income no kids)

Get this book: Baby Bargains. Also, never turn down free stuff even if you think you'll never use it. Babies R Us has a regular trade-in sale where if you bring in old car seats, strollers, high chairs, etc. you'll get 25% off anything. I had an old car seat that was given to me that we didn't and used it to buy a stroller.

redpomidor said: So how does one have kids the FatWallet way? Any savings techniques, expense management etc of having children people would like to share?

Let your next-door neighbor raise them for you.

Just got my first child this Feb.
Give her lots Love and Quality Time.
Teach her the value of money and yet money is not everything.
The best things in the world are often free and priceless: Love, Family, Trust, Friends....
Teach her to be fair to everyone and yet show her unfairness of the real world.
Teach her to be independent and save for raining day.
Never look down on yourself and always keep trying.
Knowledge is power, always keep learning.

Knock up a rich dude's wife. Be involved in their life as their "uncle."

Talk, talk, and talk to your family and friends with slightly older kids.

You will learn a lot about best way to care about your kids and get tons of second hand (well tested) equipment, toys and clothes.

Having kids fatwallet way = choosing wisely your spouse.

zabesudok said:
Timing of birthdays: people joke about the Dec 31 birthday for tax purposes, but the best way to do it is to make sure you don't have a fall baby. These kids require an extra year at home before they can go to school. It's either another year at home or another year at day care. I think a lot of people don't think about that. A spring baby is just right for health reasons (they don't get sick as easily as fall and winter babies) and they are not so much smaller than their peers when they get to school (like the summer babies often are).



I heard the most common birthday is around October 1st because if you role back 9 months, its New Years and people just like to bring in the new year with a bang.

darkmeridian said: Knock up a rich dude's wife. Be involved in their life as their "uncle."

I'm going to second the parasitic method of progeny. The cheapest and easiest way to have your seed raised is to insert it surreptitiously into the nest of a host family.

RailroadTrack said: I think kids is the one area where a FWFer shouldn't sacrifice to save a buck. It costs money to build a child's future, and you should never bargain with the future of your offspring to save a buck if it's not worth it. Most of the time, it isn't.

Paying 10% more for day care in a month for your child to be in a better environment is worth it, for example. They'll be healthier, happier, and will probably be more social.


I disagree somewhat. There are things you should not cut corners on and you identified one of them but there are tons of things you definitely should save on.

Breastfeeding vs. formula. Breastfeeding is doubly the winner due to cost and health benefits. However, for moms with a busy work life, formula is a blessing so dad can help at 3 am. My advice, even if you can breastfeed 100%, consider formula for backup during nights. Especially true if you have multiple kids, then value of your time and convenience increases rapidly. That applies to diapering too. Cloth are great but such a time consuming pain in the rear. On our first kid, we did that. On our third, we definitely won't.

What to save on:

1) Diapers: get the cheapest that do not cause problems (leaks and rashes) and stock up when on sale (they don't go bad).
2) Diaper rash cream: mix your own for fraction of the prescription ones or Desitin, etc.
3) Wipes: ok for early months, you may stay away from the really cheap ones but overall they're mostly the same wet wipes you'll find anywhere. No need to buy pampers or huggies.
4) Make your own baby food: get a hand mixed that does puree, throw in fresh veggies, done. Instead of $0.50 per jar 6 times a day, you can get by much cheaper buy fresh produce and it's not too time consuming either.
5) Clothes: especially the first 18 months since they'll outgrow them before wearing them out. So buy second/third hand ones. they'll be in great shape still and will cost a fraction. And if you resell them, you'll probably get out about as much as you bought them for once you're done. Or better, get them free from people who are done with kids and getting rid of them. On our second kid (wisened up from first), we did not buy a single piece of clothing new, and only spent $45 for clothes/shoes for his first 3 yrs. Between hand me down from his sister (yeah yeah boy wearing some pink his first year. so what? ), and gifts, we only really had to buy shoes and a few specific outfits.
6) Toys: like mentioned before. Garage sales and craigslist items are awesome. Get everything in good enough shape (after washing them) for 10-20% of price new.
7) Coupons: buy some if need be. Formula and diapers/wipes stay good for almost two years usually. Baby food jars (if you didn't take advice above) as well. Get coupons and stock up.
8) Nursery: don't fall for the expensive items. Go for safe crib and changing table. Newborn will not care the least how their room looks like. Paint it pastel since paint is cheap, get cheap wall decals if you want an extra touch but special furniture, cutsey items, etc. save your money. If you get some from showers or family, get refund from store and spend money on real necessities instead.
9) Baby survival books: ok you can get those at library if available but you need some kind of reference handy for that middle of the night wake-up call "OMG what is happening to my baby?"
10) Baby monitors: don't get one with video. The simple audio ones do the trick and if you have video you'll spend time at night watching them sleep. You have better stuff to do - like sleep - and you'll save money. Only get a video one if from experience you've found out your the kind who actually walks to their kid's room at the slightest noise to check if he/she is still breathing. (or more seriously if your kid has a special condition)
11) School supplies: keeping up with fashion of the year is ludicrous and expensive. Go for functional. Once they have allowance, then the extras should be paid from it, not out of your pocket. It'll save you some and teach them about value of money.
12) Junk/processed food: expensive, unhealthy. What's to like about it? There are healthy and cheaper alternatives which don't take forever to cook either.
13) medications: kids will get sick more than you do. Get used to asking for generic alternative to costly brands. Get FSA for health expenses to cover copays.


What not to save on:
1) who takes care of your kids: day care can be a safe healthy nurturing and educational place or it can be inexpensive. To save on it, use a FSA but don't skimp on safety, health or educational value of this. There's a compromise between overpriced places where you pay for non-essential things but skills of care givers you can't really skimp on.
2) car seats: there's a good reason second hand ones are not recommended. People have used and abused them and you'll never know how safe they are until you need them. You don't want to find out they were damaged after the accident.
3) time: you can shove your kids in front of TV or videos or you can spend time with them in more educational and enjoyable activities. Pediatricians recommend NO TV for all kids under 2. Same with older kids. Take them out, go to parks, read with them, do coloring, hand painting, crafts, etc. as much as you can. Automatic passive entertainment is a prime exemple of getting out of life what you put in. Except the victims are the kids.
4) healthcare: get a good pediatrician (recommendations, experience and your own gut feeling). If HMO recommended one sucks or don't seem to care for kids, get one outside of network. Don't skimp on vaccines either. Day cares will not take them back with a fever. Preventive medicine (vitamins, shots, etc.) go a long way. Flu shot will keep them out of trouble and will keep you at work rather than taking sick leave/vacation to babysit a cranky kid for a week.
5) their college funds: well within reason and definitely not at the expense of your own retirement fund (nobody will lend you money for retirement). It's an investment in your kids. You've made it thru 17-18 yrs of work to get there and you want them out of your house with a good education leading to a good job. Getting them to be successful and contributing members of society instead of boomerang or NEET kids is worth the cost.
6) safety items: helmets, gates, child proofing items (cabinet/toilet/door locks) are usually less collectively than it'll cost you in a single trip to the ER. And they'll save you nerves too.

Rule number one: save like crazy. Pay yourself first. Celebrate when you put money away - whatever the amount. Gets the kids into the spirit. Always think savings.

Another option with diapers is to potty train the kid really early. If you train them at a year, rather than waiting until they're 3, you've saved two years of any kinds of diapers. When I was little (I'm a grandmother) we kids were trained very young - but that's because parents had to boil diapers. Talk about motivation.

Breastfeeding with backup bottles isn't a good idea. One or the other, the two don't mix, unless you're pumping, which can be more trouble than it's worth. Breastfeeding is great if you want to and like it, not so cheap if you get caught up in the politics and fads/fashion. You can spend a heck of a lot on breastfeeding creams, aids, coaches, accessories, pumps, bottles, books, meetings, etc.

If your kid needs prescription diaper ointment BUY IT! For average diaper rash, sure, do what you want (Boudreaux's with a coupon is thrifty enough for me). But if it's medically necessary this is the wrong place to cheap out. Speaking of which, find the best regardless of money - Doctor, Lawyer, Mechanic, Home Repair People.

Tapping into the community will save a fortune in trial-and-error parenting. Which schools/teachers/MD's/etc to use, which to avoid. And first dibs on hand-me-downs from people you KNOW. If you've ever seen HOARDERS you know better than to frequent garage sales, thrift stores, etc - strangers.

Avoid pets, they're expensive. Avoid organized sports and those millions of "activities" - time and money. Your child is NOT going to be a major league baseball player or broadway singer. There are cheaper ways for your children to make friends and fill up their time. "It looks good on the college application" is not a good reason to spend money. Volunteer work looks better and is the right price. Oh, and avoid the kind of volunteer work where everybody congratulates each other and gets their picture in the paper for helping the unfortunate, and then they have a big expensive party or go to Disney. And, if you truly want your kid to go to Harvard/Yale etc, move to a place like N. Dakota where they don't have a lot of other kids headed for Harvard/Yale. Diversity.

Get vaccinations. Most of them, anyway (things have gotten out of hand here). Avoiding diphtheria, polio or meningitis, not just thrifty - priceless.

Beware of Stuff. A huge waste of time and money. De-crap-i-fy the house. Provides lots of space for imagination, and also is safer, cuts down on time cleaning, less dust and allergens, and you know what you have - things don't get lost as easily. Don't let people give you things that "might" come in handy, unless you have a system to unload the stuff as soon as possible. Something comes in, something goes out.

Some reasons parents spend too much money on kids: often, the parents want the kids to be able to have or do something that the parents didn't have/do. Don't bother with ballet lessons if mom/dad is the one that wanted them and didn't get them. Get dance lessons for mom/dad! Or, mom/dad is feeling guilty about something, and so overspends money instead. Fancy day care does NOT make up for both parents working all day. GOOD day care is a necessity, and most kids love day care, and it's usually good and healthy for them. Don't get money mixed up with guilt and try to compensate by overspending.

Have a will. Be sure to update it. And be sure your trustees know what's in your will and that they agree that they want to take care of your kids. Large insurance policies will help.

Shandril said: 10) Baby monitors: don't get one with video. The simple audio ones do the trick and if you have video you'll spend time at night watching them sleep. You have better stuff to do - like sleep - and you'll save money. Only get a video one if from experience you've found out your the kind who actually walks to their kid's room at the slightest noise to check if he/she is still breathing. (or more seriously if your kid has a special condition)This is far less important than a lot of other things but I see tremendous value in video baby monitors. We used the cheapest audio-only monitor with the first one but with the second bought a really nice video one. If the baby is young, you can't always tell what he/she is doing by the sounds alone, so a quick glance at the video monitor can prevent you from being forced to get up. When the baby is older and you are doing sleep training, a video monitor is especially useful since it allows you to monitor what's going on without walking in and setting back the sleep training.

As I said, you can certainly get by without it (we did with our first one, as I thought the same way you did) but have learned our lesson and are using a very nice video one with the second child.

Sign up for things like Babies R Us mailings several times. Unlike with other types of things, you actually want to maximize your junk mail from those types of places. This is because Babies R Us regularly sends out extremely valuable coupons, like 20% off any one item (other than diapers, gift cards, etc...) and the easiest way to acquire multiple coupons is to get multiple mailings from them. It goes without saying that if you can get access to Dealpass' 20% off Babies R Us/toys r us gift cards, get them, as those cards combined with coupons will always easily beat even the hottest deal on any baby item at any other retailer out there.

The same goes for various grocery store baby clubs. With each sign up you'll typically get lots and lots of totally free baby items in the mail as well as valuable coupons good towards many of them. Quite a few of them will also mail you excellent free baby survival books.

geo123 said: Shandril said: 10) Baby monitors: don't get one with video. The simple audio ones do the trick and if you have video you'll spend time at night watching them sleep. You have better stuff to do - like sleep - and you'll save money. Only get a video one if from experience you've found out your the kind who actually walks to their kid's room at the slightest noise to check if he/she is still breathing. (or more seriously if your kid has a special condition)This is far less important than a lot of other things but I see tremendous value in video baby monitors. We used the cheapest audio-only monitor with the first one but with the second bought a really nice video one. If the baby is young, you can't always tell what he/she is doing by the sounds alone, so a quick glance at the video monitor can prevent you from being forced to get up. When the baby is older and you are doing sleep training, a video monitor is especially useful since it allows you to monitor what's going on without walking in and setting back the sleep training.

As I said, you can certainly get by without it (we did with our first one, as I thought the same way you did) but have learned our lesson and are using a very nice video one with the second child.

Depending on your room size it is certainly possible to put the crib or bassinet in your room, saving you the expense of the monitor as well as the time and trouble to go to another room. In talking with many friends who are parents there are some strong opinions (mostly has to do with cultural differences IMO) regarding whether or not the baby should be in the room (and also whether or not the baby can sleep in the bed with the parents), so I am not looking to set off a firestorm on where the baby should sleep. I am just pointing out the obvious that you can avoid spending money on these monitors if you keep the baby in the same room.

biomedeng said: Depending on your room size it is certainly possible to put the crib or bassinet in your room, saving you the expense of the monitor as well as the time and trouble to go to another room. In talking with many friends who are parents there are some strong opinions (mostly has to do with cultural differences IMO) regarding whether or not the baby should be in the room (and also whether or not the baby can sleep in the bed with the parents), so I am not looking to set off a firestorm on where the baby should sleep. I am just pointing out the obvious that you can avoid spending money on these monitors if you keep the baby in the same room.Yes, but you can't keep the baby in the same room forever. With a newborn, the vast majority of people do keep the baby in the same room and move him/her out at some point. Leaving aside all the different cultural and personal considerations out there, you are just not going to be able to do sleep training if the baby is in the same room as you. Further, there will be plenty of times when the baby will be sleeping during the day and you won't be in the same room with him/her. Because of all of this, you are quite likely to find yourself using a baby monitor of some kind.

This point does not only affect those with kids, but if you do have kids and have access to FSA's, you should use them. The fact that HSA/FSA contributions are deducted from your income before social security and medicare taxes is of special interest to couples with significant income disparity. In other words, if one of you earns wages below the social security wage cap for the year and the other person's wages exceed that cap, if you open an HSA/FSA only in the name of the person earning the lower wage, you will save an amount equal to the social security tax on that contribution. If, however, you open the HSA/FSA in the name of the person earning the higher wage, you will not save any social security taxes because the person's income is already above the social security wage cap. My wife and I use this strategy every year, since she is a resident making a slave wage and my income significantly exceeds the social security wage cap, so we open HSA/FSA's solely in her name. By the way, spousal HSA/FSA contributions can be used towards eligible expenses of both spouses, so you don't have to worry about the spouse without an HSA/FSA not being able to take advantage of it.

princessida said:
Avoid pets, they're expensive.


So are kids, but some might argue that they're worth it.

geo123 said: By the way, spousal HSA/FSA contributions can be used towards eligible expenses of both spouses, so you don't have to worry about the spouse without an HSA/FSA not being able to take advantage of it.

Interesting. Is this true even if each spouse has a separate insurance plan?

MariahJ said: geo123 said: By the way, spousal HSA/FSA contributions can be used towards eligible expenses of both spouses, so you don't have to worry about the spouse without an HSA/FSA not being able to take advantage of it.

Interesting. Is this true even if each spouse has a separate insurance plan?
Absolutely. You won't get automatic FSA disbursements for the expenditures of the spouse whose insurance plan is not tied to that of the FSA administrator, so you'll just have to submit those FSA claims manually but it is otherwise exactly the same. My wife and I have separate health insurance plans, by the way. It's done all the time.

Shandril said: 1) Diapers: get the cheapest that do not cause problems (leaks and rashes) and stock up when on sale (they don't go bad).I agree but thought I'd point out a few things. Do not stock up on diapers way before you have the baby, because you won't know which diapers will work best until you have your baby. It has very little if anything to do with the brand, by the way. Different diapers just fit differently, so you don't want to find yourself with 20 boxes of diapers that you subsequently discover don't fit your baby particularly well and leak.

Also keep in mind that a lot of brand name diapers also come with very heavy promotions that often makes their price comparable if not better than that of cheaper brands. We, for instance, use Pampers because they just happen to work best for us but on a purely financial basis, when I factored in all the various discounts that we get on them, their price ended up being slightly better than that of the various store brands on sale.

geo123 said: MariahJ said: geo123 said: By the way, spousal HSA/FSA contributions can be used towards eligible expenses of both spouses, so you don't have to worry about the spouse without an HSA/FSA not being able to take advantage of it.

Interesting. Is this true even if each spouse has a separate insurance plan?
Absolutely. You won't get automatic FSA disbursements for the expenditures of the spouse whose insurance plan is not tied to that of the FSA administrator, so you'll just have to submit those FSA claims manually but it is otherwise exactly the same. My wife and I have separate health insurance plans, by the way. It's done all the time.


I wish I could give you triple green for this info. It's very helpful and timely. I'm going to have some co-pays for maternity care coming up, and I now know that I can use my husband's HSA to pay for it. After further research, I've found that I can also use it to pay for childbirth prep classes, acupuncture, and possibly pre-natal massage.

MariahJ said: childbirth prep classes, acupuncture, and possibly pre-natal massage.

Nothing wrong with them, but they're not necessities. This is FW.

MariahJ said: princessida said:
Avoid pets, they're expensive.


So are kids, but some might argue that they're worth it.


This is the "FW way kids" thread - just something to think about. When we get a "FW way pets" thread, I'll probably suggest avoiding kids on that.

My two cats are sitting here helping me type . . .

If you're not going to breast feed, all the formula companies keep sending coupons once you sign up at their websites. Even once you decide on a formula, sign up for every brand and swap the coupons for the brand that you do use.

My area has lots of "mommy and me" sales. They're basically flea markets with baby and kid stuff. Lots of great bargains here.

I didn't see any mention of 529 accounts. Is everyone here against saving for college? I know some argue that it's not even worth it to save and better to just borrow the money.

princessida said: MariahJ said: princessida said:
Avoid pets, they're expensive.


So are kids, but some might argue that they're worth it.


This is the "FW way kids" thread - just something to think about. When we get a "FW way pets" thread, I'll probably suggest avoiding kids on that.

My two cats are sitting here helping me type . . .

Except that pets are expensive even if you don't have kids, so it's not relevant unless your children are making pet ownership more expensive by (heaven forfend) sending them to the pet hospital more frequently or something.

OTOH, having one or more pets teaches kids all sorts of desirable values, ranging from empathy to responsibility, especially the latter. We have two cats, and I can't describe how much I'm looking forward to passing on at least some of my wonderful litterbox responsibilites to my son. I consider the upcoming bribe (I mean small increase in allowance) well worth it. Note that I don't consider this a valid reason to have kids, just a bonus.

When it comes to pediatricians, you want to evaluate not just the person's knowledge and your comfort level with him/her but also things like call policies, which is not something that most people know to inquire about. If the after-hours calls are routed to nurses rather than MD's, if there is a close call (and, with kids, you will have plenty of those) you are much more likely to be advised to go to the emergency room, which is both expensive, wastes a ton of time and exposes your kids to more germs. To clarify, there is absolutely nothing wrong with nurses but, by definition, they don't have the same knowledge and experience as MD's, so there will be a lot more times when they won't be comfortable advising a patient to stay home.

On a related note, it is advisable to investigate various after-hours pediatric options in your area ahead of time. There will be plenty of times, especially on the weekends, when your kid's condition clearly won't qualify as an emergency but also won't allow you to just wait until the next business day to be seen by a doctor. In those situations, going to a good local after-hours pediatric place will allow you to get seen right away, won't force you to unnecessarily spend several hours in a pediatric emergency room and will be way cheaper. For parents who work, these types of after-hours places can also allow them not to be forced to take the next business day off taking your kid to their regular doctor for something relatively minor.



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