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Preparing for Baby’s First Month

The anticipation of child birth is unparalleled by any other feeling in a person’s life. It is because of this, in my opinion that expecting couples make several trips to their nearest retail giant or infant specialty store and purchase on pure impulse rather than need. The feeling that something has been overlooked can be so intense that it becomes more and more difficult to determine what is necessary and what is a luxury.

With that being said, an infant rear-facing car seat is completely necessary. If the birth takes place at any location other than the parent’s home, the baby will need a safe seat to be transported home in. Not to mention doctor appointments and family visits.

The first question that should be answered before the baby arrives is most simply stated as, bottle or breast? The answer to this question will have the most impact on baby purchases made. The amount of bottles needed for example, depends directly on just how often the parent plans on washing dishes. An infant may need a feeding every 2 to 4 hours of less than 4 ounces of formula. These smaller feeding amounts are often easier to manage with the smaller 4 ounce bottles available. Try not to go overboard on the amount of these bottles purchased. Babies grow at rapid speeds and in just a couple months may be in need of a larger feeding which will justify using the larger 8 ounce bottles. Following manufacturer’s recommendations of proper care of these bottles will give the benefit of reusing them right up until they are no longer needed and replaced by the glorious “sippy cup.”

If breast feeding is the method of choice, the cost drops drastically. Deleting the purchase of formula alone each week is impressive, not to mention the cost of bottles and the accessories that follow. Breast feeding is a very natural and loving method of providing vital nourishment to an infant with a very tangible benefit of saving money.

Clothes and diapers are two very real necessities for a newborn baby, however the amount spent on them may vary drastically from household to household depending on the need for a brand name label. A newborn baby will most likely have its diaper changed with each feeding. This could calculate into 10 to 12 diapers per 24 hours. Given the amount being “deposited” into the diapers, I never realized the need to buy the expensive brand name disposable diapers for everyday use at home and instead opted for generic low cost disposable diapers. I did however keep a package of the expensive brand name diapers on hand to use for trips to relative’s houses where an overflowed diaper accident would not be appreciated. Using this method helped cut down on diaper costs and embarrassing moments.

This same method can be used to cut costs on infant clothes as well. It is so difficult to walk by a display of infant clothing that just looks “so adorable” and not want to purchase the clothing for a newborn. Go ahead and splurge, a little bit, and save the special outfits for family outings. Discount and consignment store infant attire can be just as stylish and appropriate for those times home relaxing with the family.

Infant entertainment can send a parent’s budget spiraling out of control. From floor toys to crib mobiles to educational DVD’s, and let’s not forget the bouncing and rocking chairs and swings, it’s all there promising the world and waiting patiently to be purchased. Unfortunately it has been my experience that not all that is available is necessary or even wanted by all babies. My best advice is to wait on these purchases until after the baby is born and the parent is able to justify the actual need for the item. For example, if a baby has a difficult time napping during the day in its crib, an infant swing may be just the right transitional item to lull the baby to sleep during the day while allowing the parent have their hands free. However, a baby that would rather sleep in its crib would have little need to be in a swing. During a baby’s first month, parents often get a handle on what captivates their individual child’s attention and what just does not. It is a lot easier to wait on the more expensive infant entertainment purchases than it is to pack up an already assembled so-called miracle worker baby soother and return it back to the store, provided the receipt hasn’t been thrown away!

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