Ages & Stages - Infants
Helpful Tips to Save money with a new baby
Waiting for the arrival of a new baby is an exciting
time. New moms enjoy preparing the nursery, buying
clothes and stocking up on supplies. There are also
new worries like how to make ends meet once maternity
leave begins and the family income is reduced. Perhaps
parents will decide to live on one income and have to
start saving now for the months ahead. A new baby can
stress financial family life but this doesn't have to
be the case. Careful planning, choices and a
willingness to hunt for deals can reduce financial
strain and make the arrival of a new baby the joy it
is supposed to be.
Shop at Consignment Stores
Consignment stores that specialize in children's items
are a godsend for savings. One good thing about babies
is they are gentle on the things they use. Cribs, high
chairs, portable play pens, baby monitors, car seats
and strollers can look almost new even after a
previous owner. Clothing is the best deal around
because most babies will outgrow their clothes before
they wear out. Buy diaper shirts, sleepers, booties,
socks, and hats to start with. Be careful not to
purchase too many clothes in newborn sizes, as they
won't fit within a few weeks. Don't forget to pick up
a rattle or two.
Shop at Large Chains
If you don't like consignment items or don't have a
store near you, stick to shopping at the larger chains
such as Wal-Mart, Zellers, Sears, K-Mart, Costco, or
club member stores. Keep your eye on the weekly flyers
for sales in your area. Most large chains do have
"baby week" sales. If shopping for clothes in
department stores, buy at the end of the season. For
example, if you are having a winter baby shop for some
18 month sized summer items at the end of the summer.
Buy nursery staples such as cotton balls, Vaseline,
baby shampoo, and diaper rash cream as you see them on
sale at the supermarket or drugstore.
Consider Using Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers aren't what they used to be. You can now
buy ones that don't need folding, are thick and
absorbent, and fasten with Velcro. Buy diaper liners
to add extra absorbency. Here's a helpful hint -
unsoiled diaper liners can be washed several times.
Disposable users will tell you that you'll spend as
much money as they do washing with hot water and
buying laundry soap. This simply isn't true. I used a
combination of cloth and disposable diapers. I put my
son in disposables at night to save on frequent
changes during the night.
Things You Don't Need
Some baby items aren't necessary on a tight budget
•Baby swings are only used for the first four months
so try and borrow one if your baby likes a swing
•Fancy crib toys are a waste of money. One or two
things in a crib are plenty
•Having no change table is livable. Both my children
were so squirmy that I ended up changing them on the
•Bassinets look pretty but they aren't used past the
•Babies don't need lots of toys. They are more
interested in the world around them and everyday
•Forego using baby wipes. A wet washcloth is much
Borrow or Exchange Items with a Friend
My best friend and I do a toy exchange every 6 weeks.
One of my son's preschool friends gave us his outgrown
clothes. My double stroller and high chair is on loan
to my best friend. I ask friends with children for
items I need. My best friend hasn't had to buy any
children's clothing because I pass everything on to
her. Most moms love to give things they aren't using
to new moms. I recently passed on my crib, car seat,
baby books, dresser, and bookcase to my sister-in-law
who is expecting her first baby. Ask around for what
you need and you may be surprised what people are
willing to give away or loan.
Prepare for the Storm Ahead of Time
Make meals and store them in the freezer. Many new
parents end up ordering take-out or buying convenience
foods because of the disruption and fatigue a baby
causes. Investment cooking, taking an item such as
chicken and making several different meals is a task
that can be done three months ahead of your due date
and piled into the freezer. If cooking isn't your bag,
ask the person who is organizing your baby shower to
make it a Tupperware party. Everyone brings a dish you
can freeze such as chili, lasagna, soup, muffins, or
macaroni and cheese. Aim to have 20 meals in the
freezer before the birth. It's the first three weeks
with new babies that are the toughest.
Contact Baby Companies
Manufacturers of baby products want your business, as
it is an area of high customer turnover as kids grow
up. Heinz, Gerber, Evenflo, Cosco, Pampers, Huggies,
Johnson and Johnson, and the formula companies all
have 1-800 numbers on the side of their products. Call
the customer service line and ask for coupons or
samples. Some companies such as Huggies, Pampers or
Heinz has clubs you can join to receive coupons on a
regular basis. The Enfalac Company sent me a free can
of their powder hypoallergenic formula Nutramigen, a
$19 value, after I found out my daughter had a severe
allergy to milk. Most companies will be happy to fill
The most important money saving tip is to remember
that babies don't need fancy equipment or a
beautifully decorated nursery. They are happy with
very little. What they really need is a pair of loving
arms, a warm place to sleep and mother's milk. Keep
those things in mind, borrow what you can and buy
second hand and you won't break the bank.
Homemade Toys for Babies
Fancy Baby Bottles
Using an empty clear soft drink bottle, fill with any
of the following items: chopped up pieces of kitchen
sponge, marbles or clean pebbles, glitter, and tiny
pieces of cut up tinfoil. Fill the bottle with clean
water and either glue or cellotape the lid on tightly.
A handful of rice or pebbles inside a small plastic
bottle or a container will make a nice gentle rattle.
Secure the lid on tightly and remove from baby once
they become capable of taking lids off.
Hand and Foot Rattles
A quick way to make a hand or foot rattle for a baby
is to stitch a small existing rattle onto a bootie or
mitten. Then place onto the baby to produce a rattling
sound when they move.
If you have some left over scraps of material,
particularly in different textures, sew together to
make a little ball and stuff with more scraps, and if
you like insert a small bell inside before stitching
Very first books for a newborn baby can be made in a
concertina formation. Using a sheet of cardboard, cut
to a size that is easy to handle. Fold into three or
four equal sections and decorate each section with
either bright painted colors or use cut out pictures
from a magazine and stick onto the cardboard before
covering with clear plastic such as cover-seal.
To make one of these, insert some shiny crinkly
wrapping paper into an old stocking or pantyhose, and
tie at each end. You can make short ones, or long ones
that can be tied to a pram or mobile gym for
First you'll need to start saving plastic lids from
milk bottle tops, and soft drink bottles. Punching a
little hole into the top of each with a knife, thread
onto a piece of cord, or ribbon to create a chain of
lids that rattle.
Decorate a coat hanger with pieces of Christmas
tinsel, strips of fabric, small soft toys, rattles,
brightly colored cut-out pieces of cardboard in fish
shapes, ribbons, strips of crepe paper, or anything
you can find to make and interesting mobile. Hang over
baby's cot safely out of reach.
If you purchase a plastic clothes airer in a circle
shape with pegs attached (for drying underwear and
socks), the things you hang on the mobile can be
changed regularly to provide changing stimulation.
A piece of smooth wood (i.e. a broom handle) can be
made into a play gym that can be placed over the top
of two chairs securely or hung somewhere for baby to
play with. Attach things that are safe to be chewed
and touched by short pieces of string so as to avoid
baby getting tangled in them. Things like rattles and
teething toys, stocking scrunchies, small soft toys,
large plastic cotton reels, lids from hair spray cans,
plastic spoons work well.
Using an empty formula or large coffee can, put in a
handful of marbles, acorns, pebbles, or small stones,
and then secure the lid on tightly. Cover with paper
and decorate. A baby learning to crawl can rattle
these around the floor.
To make a simple poster toy for your baby, cut a
tennis ball size hole in the lid of a cardboard box or
a plastic two-liter ice cream container. Hinge the lid
on by securing with masking tape at one side, and then
provide some safe objects that aren't too small to be
swallowed to post inside the box.
A formula or coffee can be covered with wallpaper
decorated to become a drum. Provide a stick (i.e.
chopstick or similar) to lightly beat on the drum. For
an older child, you can attach a cord to be hung
around the neck by drilling a hole in each end.
To make a quick ball for a baby to practice gripping
and throwing, simply roll a clean pair of socks into
Using an old cloth nappy or small blanket as a base to
start, sew on bright pieces of fabric in different
textures and sizes to create a play mat. If you like
attach a ribbon to one corner and tie into a bow,
which can be pulled apart and re-tied, and you could
attach a teething rattle or two for maximum
A cereal box can be covered with plain paper to begin
with, then add pictures of people's faces, flowers,
and animals. Cover with plastic or cover-seal. Baby
will enjoy turning the box over and over in their
hands to see the pictures.
Save any empty lids you come across like shaving foam
and hair spray lids, and then give to baby from
sitting up age to practice stacking, nesting inside
each other, and clapping together to make sounds.
If after making all of the above, your baby is still
bored, put a little honey on their fingertips and give
them a fluffy feather to play with. It's almost home
made and very effective too.
Zero to Three
Johnson & Johnson
How Do Infants Learn Language?
|Baby Names.....well I like the unusual names but not that unusual. I like to choose a name that not every third child in a classroom has. I like it to be something that doesn't sound funny with the child's last name. We've probably all heard the stories about kids like Shanda whose last name is Lear. Put it together and you'll see what I mean. I also don't like names like Angel or August. Let those stand for what they were meant for. A pet peeve of mine goes something like this. If you want to call your little girl Tina, don't name her Christina. Name her what you call her. Also do not like the names that are taken and the spelling changed so that the poor child will be forever correctly the spelling of her name by others. Of course every one has their own opinions on naming a child. This is just mine.|
Baby Center - Baby Name Finder
Biblical Names For Baby
Indian Baby Names
Newsletters & Magazines
American Baby - free magazine subscription
Growing Child - a child development newsletter
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
|Wow! Look at all the links down below in the Infant Shopping category!! I could have easily multiplied these by 10 and still not have listed nearly all of them. As you can see, it's overwhelming. Whether you are just looking for something basic or searching for the perfect gift how on earth do you know which site to browse at?? Some of these companies should be familiar to you such as Graco and First Steps Ahead. Although I do frequently purchase baby items for my daycare, I have never purchased any online so I can't recommend a site to you. I did try to add some unique sites as I know that I personally love to choose something 'different.' I get tired of the same old/same old that everyone else has. In conclusion, I would just say pick one or two and if you find an item you like check the company out through the Better Business Bureau. That is always a good idea. If you do purchase through one of my links I'd love it if you'd email me and tell me about your experience. I can add it here which will help future shoppers. Thank you!|
Baby Gift Idea.com
Buy Buy Baby
Lil Baby Cakes
One Step Ahead
Pottery Barn Kids
Sassy Baby Products
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
American SIDS Institute
Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs
CJ Foundation for SIDS
Facts About SIDS
Infant Swimming Research
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