Monday, July 10, 2006

More Frugal Baby: Do I Really Have to Have That?

Do we really need wipey warmers and vibrating bouncy seats? I’ve used both those things, and actually they are helpful and convenient. But guess what, they are not essential! Neither are a lot of things we think of as must-have baby items. Here are a few things baby doesn’t have to have if you want to pinch pennies.


Baby can sleep in mom and dad’s room (which supports the breastfeeding relationship) or in a port-a-crib in the living room or hallway. It’s nice to have a separate room for baby, but he won’t be warped if times don’t allow for that. Nurseries are quite the modern invention anyway.


A port-a-crib or a safe co-sleeping arrangement works fine. Baby doesn’t care, and in some cases may be better off. Heck, a lot of babies have slept in dresser drawers and not sustained any emotional damage. ;)

High chair

Again, convenient, but if you can’t afford one, don’t sweat it. My first didn’t have a high chair for a long time and I assure you that she doesn’t feel deprived because she ate her first food while sitting in my lap.

Sippy cups

Help them drink from a regular cup. I’m actually a fan of sippies, but babies lived without them for a long time.

Baby-Sized Utensils, Plates, etc.

Nice, but baby will learn to use grown-up sized pieces eventually. Little ones usually eat with their fingers most of the time anyway.


If there are any grandparents or friends in the picture, your baby probably has plenty of toys. If not, he’ll be just as entertained playing with a set of plastic measuring cups from the kitchen drawer or banging on a pot with a spoon. Besides, that noise is preferable to a lot of noise-making baby toys.


I love a swing and it makes life easier at times, but baby will survive without one, I promise.

Themed décor

Someone once posted on my local Freecycle loop, “In desperate need of Classic Pooh baby décor.” “Desperate need” and “décor” don’t belong in the same sentence. There’s nothing wrong with having beautifully decorated room for your sweet one, but expensive themed materials won’t make him any happier if you can’t afford them.

Baby Einstein

Baby will benefit far more from interacting with mom than sitting in front of the tube learning TV habits early.


Urka said...

Thanks so much for poasting all this. :) With our first baby on the way I'm already looking for ways to cut costs. We're pretty low budget anyways, and I'll be quitting work before the baby is born.

We've got friends everywhere who are giving us (or lending us) everything from cribs, playpens, changing tables, bouncy seats, clothes, etc. It's amazing. I'm so thankful that I won't have to buy a lot of that stuff.

I'm also looking into buying a sewing machine so I can make a lot of the stuff I'd like to have, but wouldn't be able to afford at the store. Then I figure I can also use the machine to do some custom sewing to make some money from home after the baby is born.

Charity Grace said...

How wonderful that people are loaning or giving you so many things. We love hand-me-down anything at our house. We've bought hardly anything new for our kids, and that has been a blessing. We try to pass excess on to others too.