Nowadays, a common belief is that babies are expensive. Advertisers have us believing that newborns need a lot of costly items like state-of-the-art strollers and intelligence-enhancing crib gadgets. Let’s be honest, in some circles, baby accoutrements are the new status symbols. The truth, however, is that babies, especially in their first couple of years, require very little. So, it’s time to eschew any baby-related pretence and uncover the secret of clutter-free, affordable baby rearing.
A Wheeled Crib Makes Life Easy
Do you know anyone who has personal memories from birth up to year 3? The chances are between slim and none. In other words, there’s no need for an elaborate nursery. A simple crib on wheels works like a charm. For those who live in one-bedroom abodes, the crib can be placed in the bedroom during nap times. When it’s time for mommy and/or daddy to hit the sack, the crib can easily be rolled out to the living room—both baby and parents can sleep soundly without distraction. Furthermore, a regular stroller and car-seat work just as well as the ones that cost thousands of dollars.
Forget Bulky Feeding Chairs
While they may look impressive, there’s absolutely no need to buy a large, bulky, expensive high-chair. In reality, they really only succeed at two things: diminishing your bank account and taking up space in your living quarters. For a fraction of the price, you can get a baby-table chair that either clips directly onto the table or locks right into your existing chairs.
Why Buy New Furniture?
While there is a lot of cute baby furniture on the market, it isn’t absolutely necessary. Again, the only person who will remember it is you! Rearrange your belongings and clear a few drawers for baby. If there’s no way you can finagle space in your existing dresser, how about utilizing drawers in your entertainment center? If you don’t have an entertainment furniture piece with a drawer, that’s all right, too; simply buy a few inexpensive plastic bins that can either be stacked or stored under a bed.
Everything’s a Toy to a Newborn
There’s no doubt that children enjoy toys, but babies don’t know the difference between an expensive plaything and your car keys. Everything is fresh and amazing to a newborn; they have an ability to find wonder in the most commonplace of items—like pots, pans and wooden spoons. A few toys are great, but there’s no need to go bankrupt trying to keep up with the Jones in the play department. Babies will develop at the same rate whether their home is packed with novelties or not.
Get the Travel Model
Today, you can find travel models of baby walkers, swings and bouncers. And guess what, the travel versions are usually less expensive. Instead of purchasing the bulky, cost-prohibitive, standard options, pick up the travel version. You’ll save money and they’re easier to pack up and put away!
You can afford a baby; all it takes is a smidge of ingenuity and a commitment to simplicity. Remember, the most important things babies need are love, food and shelter; the rest is superfluous decoration.
Heather Hollingsworth is a single mother raising three teenagers while she attends graduate school and feeds a budding freelance writing career. She's always looking for a new way to stretch a dollar as far as it can go!