Ok, I found this article, and just had to share it:
How Much Does a Baby Really Cost?
I couldn't agree more. You always hear these ridiculous figures about how expensive children are. But that's assuming that parents are buying every little gadget possible for their kids, AND that they're buying everything new. I read the book Baby Bargains when I was pregnant with Sly. I would recommend it as a good guide to what baby products are available, and which one might be worthwhile to have. But you definitely need to take all the cost totals with a HUGE grain of salt.
In this article, the author calculated that it costs about the same as buying a cup of coffee a day to raise a baby. I haven't done my own calculations, but this seems very believable.
So how is this possible?
- Accept donations from friends and family! I already have more (hand-me-down) clothes than I will ever need for the baby girl we're expecting, up to at least a year old. It was the same way with Sly. Our crib, changing table, stroller(s), high chair (s), baby carrier(s), bouncer, swing, cradle, and innumerable other baby implements were completely free. As soon as people hear you're expecting, they start emptying out their attics, or scouring the garage sales for you. It's awesome. Ask someone to throw you a baby shower if it's your first one - people are more than happy to give you the things you will need.
- Cloth diapers - as I've already talked about ad nauseum, they save you bundles.
- Breast feeding - obviously MUCH cheaper than formula
- Buy second-hand - we've picked up all our books that way (besides ones that were gifts), and most of the toys which we've purchased ourselves (which is a very small percentage)