The Natural Mommy has a great post up today about how to save money on babies. The funny thing is that, in the area of babies especially, making the most frugal choice is often the best choice for other reasons too (for example, breastfeeding is free but also the best and healthiest choice for your baby).
I've been working on a similar list, of those things that, on baby #3 have proven to be well worth the money that I (or, you know, grandma) spent on them.
- The Evenflo BabyGo Playard - Maybe any pack n play style of bed would have done just as well, and it doesn't appear they even make the "BabyGo" version anymore, but all three of our kids spent most of their first year spending at least part of the night in ours. I love that it fits nicely in our bedroom and that we can bring it when we travel so that baby always has a familiar place to sleep.
- Our king-sized bed, for more room when baby does join me in bed. Okay, so we didn't have this one until Baby #3, but it has been NICE. Really nice.
- Chinese prefolds. When we did (do?) cloth diapering, these are great. The rest of the time, they make awesome burp rags, spill-catchers, face-wipers, changing pads, and whatever else you can think of.
- The Medela Pump-in-Style. Worth every penny.
- This. Ha ha, it's hilarious, I know. But on days that I forget it, I never pump as much milk because I can't stand just sitting there. With it, I can read or work or at least change the darn channel on the TV.
- The Avent Isis manual pump, as a backup. It fits in my purse for airport travel, girl's night out, or any just-in-case time. Okay, so I have a big purse. But still.
- As for toys, this (or an older version, actually) is the only one that I can say has been pretty universally loved and long-lived (well past the "recommended" ages), both for our first two kids and anyone that comes over.
- The bedrail. When baby is in our bed, she sleeps between me and the bedrail. It's safer for the baby, but it does make changing the sheets a pain. ;)
In light of a story like this, I think it's worth mentioning that 90% of what we spend on babies unnecessary. But that they have enough of eat? Kind of matters. Duh? And that free hospital formula we have sitting in the cupboard will be making it's way to the food pantry tomorrow.