We all seem to love babies and most folks dream of the day they can have one of their own. It’s only after the unsuspecting parents-to-be get on to the whole baby-making circus that they start to get some idea of what an expensive proposition it is
BY SIMONA TERRON
Don’t look so surprised! Just like the wedding industry, babies have spawned a huge industry and business is booming. From baby products such as clothes, diapers and toys, to regular paediatrician visits and car seats, nobody accounts for the added expenses. And it may even be tempting to think that unless you spend on the best that is available, you’re a bad parent. Here’s a news fl ash: You can adopt budget-friendly options and methods without being accused of neglecting your child. We tell you how with simple solutions and tips.
Our parents and grandparents made sure to instilcertain values in us while we were growing up. And irrespective of their social, economic or educational status, they most defi nitely included the one characteristic that defines the general Indian attitude to everything: thriftiness or frugality. We were taught never to waste, never to splurge and never ever to pay more for something that could be bought at a bargain. Yet, when it comes to having children, we seem to have skipped this rather helpful principle. It’s almost like our systems have an inbuilt override switch when we go into parenting mode.
But what if we were to look to the past for tips and tricks to go easy on our baby budgets?
Not everything needs to be new
Reject the notion that you need to buy the most expensive everything when it comes to your young one, and you will be better off in the long run. But be sure to start with lists of the things that actually do matter to you, and the ones that can easily be replaced with slightly cheaper versions, without hurting you or the baby in the long run.
Things like a stroller, or furniture such as a crib or daybed are fine if they’re second-hand. Even toys that can be used when your child is slightly older, as these shouldn’t be your first choice when your baby’s teething because she will certainly put everything in her mouth. Bottle sterilizers, swings, walkers, baby bath tubs, swimming fl oats, car seats can all be picked up online or from sales where people offload their ‘pre-loved
items for a song, compared to what you’d pay for them in the store if you bought them new.
Bulk up for baby
Yes, when it comes to things that are going to touch yours or your baby’s skin, or go into the body, there’s no question of compromise. Essentials such as baby formula, a breast pump, massage oils, wipes, baby shampoo and powder are never to be inherited, no matter how wellmeaning the giver. What you can do is look up stores where you can buy high volume items in bulk, and save by stocking up, provided you have the storage space. If you have friends who all have babies around the same age, try pooling your shopping lists together and order from these wholesale stores so all of you save in a smart way.