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Think about what you REALLY need to raise your baby. A lot of the expensive items sold in baby stores are completely unnecessary and some are even harmful. Most of the people raising children on the planet today do so without cribs, walkers (which Pediatricians recommend against anyway!), playpens, changing tables, swings, "educational" toys, etc.
Many Moms have found that a soft cloth carrier or baby sling was the only gadget they really needed. Baby is happy, stimulated by your activities and entertained. And Mom can get stuff done!
The best toys are simple and classic and require imagination. These are often the least expensive too! And most kids do best with few toys that are rotated. Think back to your own childhood...what were your favorite toys? If you can even remember them, they were probably not loud, flashy electronic battery powered gadgets. Your best childhood memories probably come from activities...playing in Grandma's backyard, going places with Mom and Dad, the simple things.
For the baby stuff you really can't live without...
4) Buy or Obtain Used
Let friends know that you welcome hand-me-downs and you'll be blessed with all sorts of great stuff!
High quality clothing and baby equipment generally doesn't wear out from just one child's use. For safety, check to make sure items haven't been recalled and get the owner's manuals from the manufacturer's websites. (The one exception would be child safety seats. Always buy those new.)
Shop at thrift and consignment shops and online auctions. Some of the very best deals can be found at regional consignment sales. Check local parenting magazines and websites for the locations of these.
Personally, I prefer used clothing because much new clothing has been treated with flame retardants and other scary chemicals that can be absorbed into children's softer skin.
Being a frugal parent minimizes the impact on the environment, saves you money and models a healthy lifestyle to your kids. Teach your kids what really matters in life...people, not things!
About The Author
Carrie Lauth publishes an informative newsletter for Moms doing things the natural way. Get your free issue at http://www.natural-moms.com.