Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Budget 2009

So Eric and I have been working on a baby budget for 2009, just to make sure we will have enough funds to cover all the new expenses. We might need to cut back our entertainment/miscellaneous fund to take care of diapers, ya know? :P It is kind of funny trying to look at national averages for things like food, diapers, and health care and then just kind of guess how much we think WE will be spending in each area. Really, we're trying to be 'generous' with our baby fund but not extravagant. Frugal. I still think we'll be surprised by how much things end up costing us. So, a quick poll for all the moms out there: what was the most surprising new baby expense that you encountered? (and may I ask how much it actually cost you?) Also, if you'd rather answer this question... what item did you purchase that everyone told you was 'essential' and then you realized afterwards there was a much cheaper route? Are there more expensive items that you think are actually WORTH the extra expense for some reason instead of getting the generic/cheap kind?


  1. For me, I love to buy the pampers swaddler diapers when they are tiny. But once they get to about a size 2 or 3 I start buying the Sam's Brand. I have never had a problem with them leaking they just aren't as soft on the outside as the pampers. We buy 1 box of diapers from Sam's one time a month. I think they are $32.00. I have tried all generic brands of diapers and have not liked any of them. My girls have 'leaking' problems with all of the other kinds.

    As far as things that I feel are necessities are at least 2 mattress pads and 2 sheets. Double sheet the crib bed... always! I still do this, and my girls are both in big beds. what is your email address and I can email you more so there isn't an essay on your blog!!!

  2. thanks, Aleasha!

  3. Bottles and bottle nipples (for formula or pumped breast milk; I pump) Individually they aren't too bad (price), but not all kinds work for every baby. I don't know how much I have spent on them, but I am still trying to find one that works well for Shane. The problem is that unless they are defective then you can't return them, so you start a collection of bottles/nipples that don't work out.

    The only thing i heard was "essential" was a nursing pillow. I never bought one and I am glad I didn't. I can see how they would be nice for the first couple of weeks. But I used a regular pillow (it worked fine) and now that Shane is bigger, any kind of pillow would prop him up too much. However some women swear by them. I guess it is based on preference.

    Some things I think are essential regardless of price: a bouncer (I have a very basic (inexpensive) one I got off craigslist. I would be lost without it), and a comfortable rocking chair (I bought a glider/rocker off craigslist for $50 that I am going to recover and it was one of the best purchases I have ever made)

    If I think of anything else, I will let you know.

  4. I agree on the Pampers swaddlers at first! I tried using cheaper diapers on Lucy when she was born and it was a disaster. Pampers swaddlers were the only ones that didn't leak. Now we use Costco diapers but for the first few months we splurged.

    I think the #1 thing for me was a swing. Couldn't have lasted without one. I never had a bouncer I just had a smaller swing and that worked great for us!

  5. Hmmm . . . good question. I just remember how many random baby things I would buy every time I went to the store. A pack of binkis here, a few new bottles there, etc.

    I splurge on diapers. I really like Huggies. I have tried generic brands and just feel guilty putting them on my babies because they are not nearly as soft and absorbent feeling.

    One way to save a little money is DON'T BUY A DIAPER GENIE!!! They are nice and popular and everything, but you have to buy refills of the bags all the time and that definitely adds up. I had one for the first year and a half with Weston and then they discontinued the model I had and I had to buy a brand new diaper pail. Lame! I ended up getting the Diaper Champ and I love it because you can use any kitchen trash bag you have, no special overpriced bag refills.

    Perhaps this is lame, but I always buy pre-made baby food. I just don't have the time, energy, patience, learning curve to make my own. Plus it sounds like HUGE pain. To each his own though.

    I have no idea what having a baby costs, but I do know that our grocery bill for the month rose by about $100 when we had Weston, NOT including diapers. Either way, I'm sure you will be fine. Things have a way of working out. Also, remember there are a thousand and one baby items that all may seem essential, but you really don't need everything.

  6. I agree with the Diaper Genie thing. I never had one, and I eventually even took the trash can (and even laundry basket)out of Mckade's room. Everytime I went to change it he was asleep. I just put them by the stairs and take it outside when I go down.
    I think with Diapers, you have to find one that works for your baby, but once you do. USE A COUPON. Pampers sends me $4-$1.5 off coupons all of the time, so if I buy them when they are already on sale it's about like the generic. I do have a girlfriend that uses cloth diapers and promises that it's really not as hard as you would imagine. She has two packs (I think there are 12 to a pack) and she washes then every other day(one cold cycle and then one hot cycle). She says it's a little bit of a $ investment at first (unless you get someone to give them to you) and then your set (a little time investment.) I know there are a few sizes, anyways, let me know if you are interested and I will find out more for you.
    To give you an idea of price of diapers, I plan 17 cents a diaper and about 12 diapers a day at first to about 5 a day when they are Mckade's age. (you might want to check pricing though because you get a lot more diapers per package when they are smaller).

  7. You're a brave one, asking for advice...

    Aleasha gave me the same advice about double sheeting the bed with the absorbant pad in between. It was awesome! Do that, FOR SURE!

    I totally agree about using the Pampers swaddler diapers for the first few months. Nothing worked better for me.

    I don't know what diapering will be like for a girl (though I will find out in 4 months) but for Hultz, Pampers were the only diapers that would keep him from leaking. I've also been using Gdiapers that are somewhere in between cloth & disposable. They're really great too.

    We have a diaper champ that I really liked in the beginning. I just used my regular garbage bags in it and it was great. We used it espeically when we were going through so many diapers a day. Now that Hultz doesn't need them changed as often (and since we're potty training) I found that it was just inconvient. It was one more thing to clean and disinfect. It got to the point where it was easier to just take it outside to the trash can.

    We also had an ossolating fan in Hultz's room from day one. Mostly because it was July when he was born and we're in AR... do the math. Anyway, there are studies out now that say that having a fan on in the baby's room lowers the risk of SIDS. Plus, it's a little bit of white noise that helps them sleep...

    I have lots of things I loved and lots that I didn't really need. I should just email you the rest... Let me know if you're interested in more of my boring opinions!

  8. I'm with the others in that you really need the name-brand diapers when they're little and you're just breast-feeding. Pampers Swaddlers are great, and we also did Huggies. Once they're onto solid foods, you can get away with cheaper diapers. And, yes, you can get coupons for the name-brand and buy on sale to make your money stretch. We really used the swing when our girls were little. They actually slept in it a lot. We never got any fancy diaper pail--the diapers really don't stink that bad if you're just breast-feeding. (If it's formula, it's a different story.) I'm sure any of us are willing to give more advice when you ask for it!!