Turns out my last post about the cost of pregnancy was just a little too early to really feel the effects of a new roomie/human/lovie coming into our lives. Now that we’re nearing the end of the pregnancy just about every cost you could imagine has come and hit us. Even though we’re frugal and trying to do the whole “minimalist baby” thing it still turns out that little people need a whole bunch of crap. Who knew!
My head has been spinning and it’s hard not to turn this blog into a “HOLY CRAP, THE BABY IS COMING SOON!” blog :)
A few things I should note before I get into the whole mess of what we got, bought, and spent on our little one’s impending arrival:
Regarding the Baby Shower Registry: We registered at Target for ease of use and availability to most of the baby shower guests. Hey, if people want to give us stuff to help us out I want to make it as easy as humanely possible to do so. We also registered at Diaper Junction because we’re going to cloth diaper (after the first 2-ish weeks- no need to make things harder on ourselves then they need to be).
We waited to buy most of our baby supplies until after the baby shower so we could avoid buying things we would (generously) be given. We are so grateful for our family and friends who have helped us get started. Such a huge, huge, help. I breathed a lot of sighs of relief during the shower…
Regarding the baby’s sex: One of the unexpected perks of not finding out the sex of the baby is that people are more likely to give you gender-neutral clothing and supplies. Even doing shopping for the baby myself I think it would be hard to stick to gender-neutral stuff if I knew the sex of the baby. It’d be like, “This dress is SO stinking adorable!” or “OMG! Look at these baby bow ties” (or something like that). Keeping things gender-neutral is a huge plus when you start thinking long-term about the re-sale-abilty (I think I just made up a word) of items and if you have future kids. Also, I think we ended up receiving more practical items for the baby from our baby shower registry (which I’m thankful for) over clothes since we don’t know the baby’s sex. Since we’re having a winter baby anyway the baby will most likely be in pajama’s and cuddly clothes anyway so we won’t need many outfits to start out with.
I used Lucie’s List Baby Registry Cheatsheet (you get a PDF emailed to you when you sign up for the mailing list) to compile the list of what we would need to get started and used some of the recommendations from the Target registry site too (even though I tried to use those recommendations very cautiously since they are clearly in the selling business and not in the saving-you-money business).
I’ll walk through what we did and didn’t decide to get and why. In the parentheses is the recommended amount that Lucie’s List provided. With the items we registered for I wanted them to have more than 1 use, if possible. We don’t have a huge house (nor do we want one;) so compact and versatile items are a must for us.
The Cost of Pregnancy Continues (an Update)…
Car Seats and Strollers
- Infant Car Seat, base, and stroller– Still haven’t decided on this one. We live 2 stories up, share a car, I’ll be bus-riding and lugging the thing around so it needs to be very light-weight, easy to collapse and expand with one hand, and be able to handle the Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood bumpy sidewalks. (Any recommendations on a good, light-weight, not-expensive travel system!? Seriously, I need help!)
- Newborn Carrier– A friend let us borrow a Moby wrap
- Infant Carrier– A friend let us borrow a Chicco carrier (I’ve heard great things about the Boba carrier since it can be used from birth to toddlerhood with adjustments made to the settings and without requiring additional inserts. We probably would’ve gotten a Boba 3G Baby Carrier if we weren’t able to borrow the carriers from friends.
- Bouncers and Swings- Borrowing a swing from one of Aaron’s co-workers and we’re borrowing a vibrating bouncer thing from a friend of mine. (The swing is like this one: Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing and the bouncer is like this one Fisher-Price Bouncer.)
- Infant Tub- Borrowing from the same co-worker who is loaning us the swing (It’s just like this one: The First Year’s Infant To Toddler Tub with Sling)
- Hooded Towels (3), Wash Cloths (3+), Soap/Shampoo- We got hooked up with all the bath supplies at the Baby Shower!
- Temporary Crib- Borrowing a bassinet from a friend. The plan is to have the baby room-in with us for the 1st year. We’ll see how that goes;)
- Swaddle Aids/ Wearable Blankets (aka “Sleep Sacks”)- We were given a HALO SleepSack Micro-Fleece Swaddle from a friend.
- Crib and Crib Mattress- We found a used Ikea crib and mattress set on Craigslist for $40. It had 1 light coat of white covering it from the previous owner so we re-painted it with a non-toxic latex paint. I was worried about if this was safe or not since I know babies tend to chew on that top railing. We decided we could get these plastic covers (Crib Rail Protector) for the railing if the baby started to chew on the railing or we could make a cloth cover like this one: Cribwrap Rail Cover. The crib mattress has a few tears in it that made me a little nervous but they are luckily only on one side. We’ll keep that side down, put duct tape over them, and we got a mattress cover to keep the baby that much more separate from the mattress. Something I should note about the Ikea crib is that it is shockingly low to the ground. There are 2 settings for the mattress but yeah, it’s really short and not something I expected. It’ll be fine for me since I’m kind of short too but if you’re tall I probably wouldn’t recommend an Ikea crib.
- Waterproof Mattress Cover- We weren’t going to get one of these but since the mattress has tears on it we decided it was a good idea. It was about $20.
- Crib Sheets (2 or 3)- Received these as gifts from baby shower.
- Crib Bumper- Waiting on this until baby is 6-ish months old. When we do get one it will probably be this one: BreathableBaby Breathable Mesh Crib Liner.
- Blankets- Received quite a few from Baby Shower so we won’t need to get any more.
- White Noise/Sound Machine- We live on a semi-noisy street that also happens to be on a bus-line so we considered this item to be a “Need”. We got this white noise machine that also has a night-light included (which we hear is good for late night changes and feedings): Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System. The projector part is a bit over-kill but it had all the other features we liked (for example, it’s small and plugs into the wall) so we went with it.
- Baby Monitor- This is an item we weren’t sure we even needed. Our place is only 1 level and not that big. I found a ton of basic monitors on Craigslist for around $10. We have a friend who has a video one that she’s going to let us borrow so we’ll go with that, a Craigslist one, or we might not get one at all since we would only use it for naps anyway.
- Newborn Diapers- We were planning on cloth diapering the baby from the very beginning but then during one of our birthing classes the instructor advised us to not do cloth diapering at the very beginning for these reasons: it would add stress to an already new situation, and it would be hard to fold-down the front of the diaper to keep the umbilical cord from getting rubbed. Ultimately, we decided against doing cloth diapers in the very beginning because the baby will grow out of them so quickly. We have a friend who had some newborn disposables left-over from when her little girl was born a few months ago so she let us have those. If we need more, we’ll get them as we go.
- Wipes- While we are going to cloth diaper after the baby has gained enough weight to fit into the cloth diapers (7 lbs minimum) we aren’t planning on doing cloth/re-usable wipes. I’ve heard re-usable wipes are easy to make so that would probably be a solid DIY to attempt;) Right now, we have about 3 packages of wipes that were given to us at the baby shower.
- Changing Kit- I had no idea what in the world this thing was so after some Googling I found that it is essentially is a waterproof/foldable pad that you put in your diaper bag and it turns “any bag into a diaper bag”. So, we got one of these things with a gift card from Target. It’s pretty much just like this one: The First Years Deluxe Fold and Go Diaper Kit
- Waterproof Pads (4+)- I’m not totally sure what these things are so we aren’t getting ’em.
- Changing Pad- We got one of these with a gift cards. It’s like this one: Infant Contoured Changing Pad, and it will go on top of the dresser.
- Changing Pad covers (2-3)- I have a friend who just so happens to be a sewing whiz so I’m having her make a changing pad cover. We’ll just stick with one for now and if it gets pooped or peed on too much we’ll just wash it as needed. I don’t think we need to get a ton of them right away.
- Diaper Pail- We got this one: Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail and we’ll use it for the disposables in the beginning and then when it’s time, we’ll use it for the cloth diapers. It seems to have a good seal on it so we’re hoping the stink stays put!
- Disposable Bags- We’ll use regular trash bags with the diaper pail (part of the reason we picked the above diaper pail so there are no special bags needed, like the Diaper Genie calls for) and we will use a re-usable pail liner when we switch over to the cloth diapers. We got this one with the super cute little foxes: Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liner (Fox Trot). Super cute, right?
- Diaper Rash Cream- So, with cloth diapers you can only use certain diaper rash cream because the standard stuff will coat the cloth diapers and will affect their absorbency. We went with this cloth diaper booty ointment.
- Changing Table/Surface- In an effort to conserve space we hunted down a dresser that was the right height and had enough space on top to also be used as the changing table. This post on choosing a changing table was great and super helpful. I found myself referring back to it over and over again. We ended up getting a very cute 1960’s dresser with 9 drawers (below). It was $199 from an antique shop in town. While it was a little expensive we justified it by deciding that it would grow with the baby and it was also at least $100 cheaper than the Ikea one we had been eye-balling so it turned out to be quite a good deal. Also, those little diamonds on the top drawers have removable panels that you can flip around and change the color of. I really like that feature :)
- Bottles, Milk Storage Bags- Since I’m planning on breastfeeding I decided to get this kit primarily for it’s milk storage capabilities: Medela Value Pack Bpa-free Feeding Gift Set. I have no idea if this set is good or not but went with it because it’s the same brand as the breast pump I’ll be able to get for free through insurance.
- Bottle Brush- Given one at the shower.
- Bottle Drying Rack- Not getting one; using our regular dish drying rack.
- Formula- Not getting any since we’re going to plan on breastfeeding. Would probably try donor milk before formula if the need arises but we’ll deal with that if/when needed.
- Burp Cloths/Burp Bibs (lots!)- We were given a ton of pre-fold diapers (the old school cloth diapers: Prefold Cloth Diapers) and everyone has told me how these things are the perfect burp cloth, boob-leakage cloth (to lay under you while you sleep), and apparently they have a ton of other uses too. Hey, I’m all about trusting people who have had babies before me and know secrets and tips!
- Nursing Pillow- I borrowed a brest friend pillow (My Brest Friend Pillow), and was then given a Boppy Pillow as a gift so I’ll be returning the brest friend nursing pillow back to my buddy so I don’t boob-up her pillow;)
- Nursing Pillow Cover– Having a friend sew up a cover.
- Breast Pump- Getting a Medela Breast pump from insurance. Be sure to call your insurance in advance to see what the requirements are for qualifying. Our insurance has a whole bunch of paperwork that you have to fill out and then you can only get the breast pump once the baby arrives and it takes about 30 days for it to get delivered- all good things to know in advance.
- Nursing Bras- TMI warning… Awhile back my modestly-sized lady bits grew into behemoth-sized lady bits so I got a cheap, under-wire nursing bra to work double-duty as a maternity bra. I’ve just used one bra the whole pregnancy (washing often, but of course) since I don’t know how the ol’ mammaries are going to change I didn’t want to invest in too many bras. I’ll play this one by ear and will get more/another bra as needed. A friend let me borrow some nursing tanks so those might work just fine. We’ll see how it goes.
- Pumping Bra- Not getting one of these.
- Breast Pads- Received 2 packages of these re-usable pads at the shower.
- Newborn Kimonos (2-3), Footie Pants, Onesies (aka Bodysuits), Footed Onesies, Jammies, Infant Hats- My sister-in-law generously loaned us A TON of baby clothes. Most of the clothes are newborn size and some are 3-6 months so we should be good for awhile. After that I’ll be going to the thrift store for the baby’s clothes. They grow so fast that I can’t see spending much money on the clothes. (Even though Baby Gap did cause me to do a double-take the other day when I saw these bright orange little courdory pants they had. They were so cute!)
- Scratch Mitts- These were un-needed since we could just put socks on the baby’s hands but I got them anyway. (Safety 1st No-Scratch Mittens)
- A jacket or sweater(s)- We got a cute brown bear jacket/coat onesie suit from H&M. It was about 1/2 the price as this one but looks really similar: Bearington Baby – Lamby Coat.
- Socks- We received these as gifts from the registry.
- Shoes or booties- We didn’t register for any of these since I figured the baby would just wear socks but we did receive some super cute little boots, and itty-bitty black and white checkered Vans (Vans Classic Slip-On) at the shower. Man, baby stuff is cute!
- Footmuff for stroller- We haven’t gotten one of these yet and probably won’t if we can keep the baby warm enough with blankets.
- Playmat- Borrowing one from a friend.
- Soft Toys- We were given some at the shower.
- Crib Mobile- I had my eye on this Themis mobile since long before I was ever pregnant but when it came down to it I couldn’t justify spending $37 on a mobile. I decided to get this one instead: Kikkerland Randon Hanging Photo Mobile, and we’ll swap out the hang-y things as the baby grows.
- Diaper Bag- We’re going to use one of Aaron’s old camera bags that just so happens to not look too much like a camera bag but does have a TON of pockets (something I’ve heard is useful) so we’ll throw that changing kit in it and we’re set.
- Pacifiers- We were given a bunch of these at the shower.
- Night Light- The white noise machine has a night light in it so we’re good.
- Baby’s Medicine Chest (Baby Nail Clippers, Baby Acetaminophen, Anti-gas medicine, Snot remover, Thermometer)- Ended up getting a whole bunch of this stuff with gift cards.
- Exersaucer OR Jumperoo- I think an Exersaucer is the same thing as a bouncer… ? If so, we’ve got that covered. If not, we’re not going to get one :)
- High Chair- Waiting on this until baby is older.
- Umbrella Stroller- Waiting on this until baby is older.
- Convertible Car Seat- Waiting on this until baby is older.
Things We Have Gotten/Paid For That Were Not Included on the Lucie’s List Checklist
- Birth and Post-Partum Doula- We’re going for the no-med birth route so having a doula felt especially important to us. The doulas in town that I talked to were at least $500 and went up from there. We decided we were okay with having an in-training doula so we contacted a company that has a training program. Turns out, we completely lucked out with meeting a doula who is new to town and has 7 years doula experience and just needs to volunteer with a family (in exchange for a review of her skills and service) to become a part of the regular doula referral program. I feel like we completely lucked out! It is $95 to secure her as our birth doula and then it is $95 to secure her as our post-partum doula (includes 10 hours of post-partum work). We don’t have family in town so having help with a newborn will be amazing. For those in Denver we are going through this company: Cocoon Birth. Also, you can submit a claim to your insurance company to see about reimbursement for doula services. I’ve heard some insurance companies will pay for doulas. (Do you know which insurance companies reimburse for doulas?)
- Kids/Baby Books- We registered for a bunch of books but I don’t think we got many (if any) from the registry. After the shower I was thinking that was a silly thing to register for since there are probably tons of books we could get for cheap at the thrift store. We have had friends give us books that their babies/kids loved and now we have a solid stack to get started!
- Bumbo- Borrowing from a friend. These were recalled so be careful and don’t leave baby in it without supervision.
- Grocery store cart seat protector- Borrowed from a friend- probably wouldn’t have gotten one if we had to buy it. :)
- Car Seat mirror- Not sure how vital this thing is/will be but we got one anyway. We got this one: Britax Back Seat Mirror. What do you think parents? Is it useful?
- Nursery decorations- We will be having the baby sleep in our room for the 1st year so apart for some minimal art by the baby’s changing table/dresser we won’t be decorating much at all (even though I really want to). The baby shower hosts let me take the decorations so I have those to put up if we decide to get fancy.
- Birthing Classes- $200 for 4, 3 hour classes and these were required by the birthing center. Going to look into reimbursement from insurance… might be a stretch but worth a shot to try, right?
- Newborn Class and Breastfeeding Classes- $50 each for the 2 hour classes. Required by birthing center, and going to try to get reimbursement on these too.
- Pre-natal Chiropractor- Going to a chiropractor was recommended during the birthing class so things could get “lined up for birth”. That sounded like a great thing, so I went. The 1st appointment was $100 and subsequent appointments are $50. These will be getting submitted to insurance and hopefully we will be getting reimbursed.
- Pre-natal yoga- I splurged and got a package of pre-natal yoga classes. It was $85-ish for 5 classes. I haven’t been able to make it to the classes and have instead been walking around the (free!) park for exercise. Go figure! If I don’t use the classes before the baby gets here then I’ll go to them after with the baby since they offer baby-and-me yoga classes.
- Black maternity pants- Most of my maternity clothes have been borrowed (thankfully!) but we have 3 weddings to photograph at the tail-end of the pregnancy. I had to get a pair of black pants to cover my swollen lower half (fun-times!). I wish I had gotten these pants earlier in the pregnancy because I definitely would’ve gotten a lot of use out of them. They were 30% off at Gap Maternity so they ended up being about $45.
- Work Shirt- Same as above with this item. Needed something appropriate for these last few weddings we’re shooting. It was on sale too so that was helpful! I figure I’ll let someone borrow the few maternity clothes I’ve bought so they’ll get more use and I’ll be able to “pay-it-forward” because people helped me out so much.
- Iron Supplement- Turns out I have anemia so they put me on this super-expensive plant-based liquid iron supplement which just so happend to be $22 a bottle at Whole Foods (and it only lasts for about a week-and-a-half!). Um. Yeah. So, I asked for a less-expensive option and they said standard iron-supplement pills are completely fine but you also have to take Magnesium with the iron pills to counteract, TMI warning, constipation. More, fun times!
- Nursing Cover- Had my sewing whiz friend make me one of these in this adorable whale fabric. $20.
- Hand Sanitizer- Pulled a whole bunch of these itty bitty bottles out of our junk drawer. I don’t know how or why we have so many but we do, so we’re set on the sanitizer!
- Tdap and Flu Shot- Got these at Walgreens during lunch hour one day. I believe it was around $90 for both shots. Aaron will need to get these shots too and I’ve submitted a claim to insurance for reimbursement.
- Cloth Diapers- Now these were really pricey up-front. Disposables are convenient but they are also super expensive, bad for the environment, and they constantly need to be re-stocked. I’m all for cloth diapers but Aaron isn’t as big of a fan. He wants to stay as far away from the poop as possible (I get it, I get it). While I would’ve picked the pre-folds with the waterproof cover for economical reasons that’s not something that was flying with Aaron so I knew I had to compromise if I wanted to cloth diaper at all. We went with this type of cloth diaper called “All-In-Ones”. They are pretty much the closest you can get to disposables convenience-wise but it turns out because of that conveince they are one of the more expensive options. I know that cloth diapering would save us money even if we did go with the more expensive cloth diapers so we ultimately decided on these ones: bumGenius Freetime All-In-One One-Size Snap Closure Cloth Diaper. As another compromise, we decided to start with half of the recommend amount (3 dozen- whoa) to see if we even liked to cloth diaper. We got 15 of the cloth diapers and that added up to about $300 total. Gulp. I know we’ll save money in the long-run by going with cloth diapers but it is a big up-front cost to deal with. Other considerations are that if you use the re-usable diapers for subsequent children you don’t have the “start-up” costs like you do for the first-born so there would be significant saving there. Also, we went with a brand that has a good re-sale value. Meaning we could turn-around and sell the cloth diapers to a store that sells used ones or we could sell the entire stash to someone on Craigslist and re-coop some of that initital investment. The diapers we choose can be worn from 7 lbs up through toddler-hood so that will significantly help with costs.
- Cloth Diaper detergent- Cloth diapers do require special detergent. Boooo. We went with this stuff: Eco Sprout Detergent 48 oz..
- Free and Clear detergent- I decided to not go with the standard Dreft baby detergent and to instead wash the baby’s gear and clothing with a detergent that is for sensitive skin and has no dyes or perfumes. I’m hoping that works just fine.
- Storage containers- We had some old containers in the basement that we’ll be able to use for miscellaneous baby stuff.
- Happiest Baby on the Block DVD- Borrowed this DVD from the library and found it so informative that I’m considering buying it (that hardly ever happens). (The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Baby Sleep Longer)
- Baby Album- I haven’t bought one of these yet because I haven’t found one that I love. Guessing it will be around $30.
- Storage Locker- Our place has limited storage so we got an old metal locker to house some of the random baby stuff. We like it because it’s vintage and neat looking. It was $49.
- Glider/Rocking Chair- So it turns out there are 2 kinds of gliders: super cheesy/ugly ones that are around $50 or super cool/pretty ones that are about $500+. That kind of sucks for the person (me) who wants a non-cheesy, non-ugly glider but doesn’t want to/can’t spend $500+ on a great-looking glider. So what’s a girl to do? Well, luckily we were visiting a friend and her new baby and saw her non-ugly glider:) Turns out it was from (of all places) Wal-mart. It was only $150 and then you buy your choice of slipcover for around $50. I’m really surprised there aren’t better glider options available. We wanted to make sure we’d be able to put the chair in more places than just a baby’s room so a versatile looking glider was something we really wanted.
This above list totals about $1,594 (3 x’s the costs of the 1st list!) and with the 1st list of pregnancy costs of $600 we’re at about: $2,194 for the cost of the pregnancy and baby, so far. Apart from the car seat and stroller we’re just about set so we shouldn’t have many more costs come up to surprise us (here’s hoping at least;).
What do you think? Have we gotten a whole bunch of stuff we don’t need or do you see anything we haven’t gotten that we absolutely need? I’d love your tips and insights!
top photograph by mark sink and kristen hatgi