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Feeding Baby on a Budget

When it comes to feeding babies, it can either be really expensive or almost free! Breastfeeding and making your own baby food are the best ways to feed your baby on a budget!

I was very blessed that we had no major nursing issues in the beginning. I exclusively breastfeed my son for the first 6 months and reached my goal of 1 year of breastfeeding! We never had to buy any formula, I don’t know how much we saved because I’ve never had to buy formula but I’m guessing we saved hundreds of dollars!

Of course breastfeeding is free but you do need some ‘supplies’ to help make breastfeeding easier.

Here are some of the essentials:

  • Breast Pads I used disposable nursing pads when I’d go out for the first 6 weeks until my milk regulated {using washable pads at home}. After that I switched to reusables which saved me a lot of money over 15 months of nursing. The best disposable nursing pads that I’ve used for the cost are AVENT Washable Nursing Pads, at $6.99 for 3 pair they are at a great price and they held up great using for over a year of nursing {in fact, I’m going to use the same ones for baby number 2!} Another great option are Bamboobies, they are more expensive than the Avent pads but are a great option! {I loved my Overnight Bamboobies!} {I recommend having at least 12-14 pair of regular pads and 3-4 pair of overnights, you could get by with fewer if you do laundry frequently!}
  • Nursing Cover I always felt more comfortable covering up around others while nursing simply because it made them feel more comfortable {and I had a very active little boy from about 2 months forward!} Most of the time I used a nursing coverthat went over my neck. I also used aden + anais swaddle blankets as nursing covers. If you’re going to spend the money on the aden + anais swaddles, you can skip the nursing cover and use these! I would frequently just tie them around my neck or tuck a corner into my shirt.
  • Breast Pump If you hope to nurse for awhile and plan on leaving your baby for any length of time {such as date night} a breast pump is necessary! I knew I would be breastfeeding most of the time so I purchased a simple manual pump. I went with the Medela Harmony Manual Pump which was around $30! I love this pump, it’s easy to carry with you {for a quick pumping session in the car when you’re on a date}, takes up little space and is so easy to use. It held up great with a year of use and I recommend this pump to mamas looking for an inexpensive pump!
  • Milk Storage Bags If you are going to be pumping with the intentions of freezing your milk, you need to invest in some milk storage bags. Having pumped milk stored in the freezer is great, we still have a shelf full of breast milk that my son is still enjoying!
Approximate costs:
$43.92 {200 milk storage bags}
Total: $161.32 {much less than buying formula!!}

Of course you have to factor in that you should be able to reuse your reusable breast pads for your second baby as well as your nursing cover and breast pump. And, I did not factor in nursing bras, they are essential in my opinion but you have to find what works best for you!

Once baby is ready for solids, the most economical option is making your own baby food. It’s super easy and will save you money!

A month or so before Paxton started on solids, I started stocking up my freezer with homemade baby foods. I pureed homemade applesauce, pearsauce, green beans and carrots and froze them in ice cube trays. I then transferred the cubes of food into large freezer bags and had a large stash of foods to begin introducing to him!

I also made some of his foods fresh such as sweet potatoes and peas that I would cook and the puree before serving him. As he got older, I’d just mash the vegetables we were eating for him.

He only ate maybe 10 jars of baby food. I got a few free with coupons and we were given a few jars. I don’t even want to think about how much we would have spent on baby food paying $.50 or so a jar for a few months!

I found the only things I needed to make baby food were a small food processor, ice cube trays and large freezer bags! That’s all cheap and almost everyone has those things on hand already!

Wholesome Baby Food is a great resource if you are interested in making your own baby food!

Feeding baby on a budget is possible! I plan to do the exact same thing with baby #2 but this time it will cost even less since I won’t have to invest in a breast pump, nursing pads or a nursing cover!

*This post contains affiliate links.

15 Months of Breastfeeding

Paxton at 15 months, Mama at 16 weeks pregnant

Since it’s World Breastfeeding Week, I’m sharing our breastfeeding story!

When Paxton was born, I hoped and prayed that we would have a successful nursing relationship. Once we got the hang of it, I set a goal of exclusively breastfeeding him until 6 months! Once that goal was reached, I decided that the next goal was to breastfeed him to 1 year. On April 16 we reached that goal.

From there I knew we were going to continue nursing until he was ready to wean. Little did I know at that point that there was another little one on the way! When I found out I was pregnant, he was still nursing morning, early afternoon and before bedtime. I decided to wean him from his early afternoon nursing which wasn’t difficult.

The midwives I saw in our practice were all supportive of me continuing to nurse Paxton during the early stages of pregnancy even though I wasn’t gaining any weight. I was so thankful for their support and reassurance that our baby was fine!

When he turned 14 months old, we began substituting his morning feeding with a bottle. This was a little difficult because every morning for the past year I’d go get him, bring him back our bed, lie down and nurse him and we’d both usually drift back off! Weaning him from morning nursing meant I have an additional step of getting a bottle and taking a bottle isn’t nearly as comforting as nursing so he rarely will go back to sleep anymore!

Around this same time, due to pregnancy, I began experiencing nipple tenderness and breastfeeding was something I didn’t look to as a sweet time but instead as a slightly painful experience. Typically once he latched on good and had nursed for 2 minutes it got better but those first 2-3 minutes were uncomfortable. We skipped one or two nights of nursing, substituting with snuggles and a bottle and he seemed fine. Finally, on Saturday, July 16, after 15 straight months of nursing I nursed him for the very last time.

It was a bittersweet moment knowing that it was the last time he would nurse. I honestly wasn’t as sad as I thought I would be. I think that’s due to the discomfort I’d been experiencing recently and the fact that I have another baby on the way and was looking forward to a bit of a break!

I’m amazed that my body provided nourishment to him for 15 months. I look back and am so thankful for all of the times we had cuddling and the bonding experience breastfeeding truly is! Honestly, I miss breastfeeding now because for the past 2-3 months that was the only time that he’d stay still and cuddle with me! {I’m now learning to be content with quick hugs and frequent kisses instead of holding him in my arms.} I also miss him falling asleep in my arms and just holding him and cherishing those sweet moments of a sweet sleeping babe.

I am thankful that weaning was easy for both of us. For me, my supply was diminishing and I never experienced any engorgement! And Paxton hasn’t had any issues, he’ll occasionally grab my chest and sign ‘milk’ but he’s happy and satisfied with a bottle of milk, either mine or cows milk!

I wouldn’t change a single thing about the past 15 months. Right now I’m enjoying my 5 month breastfeeding break and looking forward to beginning another nursing relationship with our new little one!

Previous Breastfeeding Posts:

My Breastfeeding Experience (So Far)

Exclusively Breastfed for 6 Months

A Year of Breastfeeding

This is just my breastfeeding story. I wanted to write it out so I will remember as well as to encourage mamas that extended nursing can be done. I am not sharing this to judge any mama who doesn’t chose  to or can’t breastfeed beyond a few weeks or months. We all make decisions that we believe are the best for our children. I know both formula and breastfed babies and toddlers that are happy and healthy!

Dressing Baby on a Budget

When we found out we were expecting our first child, we didn’t give into the temptation of beginning to shop for baby! We knew that we would have family and friends who would shower us with gifts and  hand-me-downs.

We purchased the very first outfit on the day we found out we were having a boy to celebrate {and we paid with a gift card!} Before he was born, we picked up a few items on clearance and some essentials that we needed, using gift cards we had been given for him, but paid absolutely no cash out of pocket for clothing!

It is possible to dress your baby for almost nothing if you are grateful for the ways people bless you and aren’t too picky! {Sure, we’ve been given things that we wouldn’t pick out for Paxton to wear but honestly babies look cute in almost anything!}

Here are sources of dressing baby on a budget:

Shower/New Baby Gifts

Newborn sleeper we received at a shower

Almost every mama-to-be has a shower – or 2 or 3- for a first baby! Even second or third babies are given gifts so this is a great way to outfit your little one!

We were very, very blessed with gifts of clothing for our son. We returned the duplicates and items we received too much of (like 20 size 0-3 month bodysuits!) We used the cash and store credit from returns to purchase items we needed for him.

Hand-Me-Downs

Hand-me-down romper from my parents pastor's boys

Hand-me-downs are the cheapest way to outfit children! We’ve been given several boxes of clothing from friends over the course of the past year. Looking through a box of hand-me-downs and finding adorable clothing is so much fun! Paxton’s wardrobe for this coming fall/winter is composed of at least 50% hand-me-downs from friends at church!

Borrowed

Borrowed overalls from friends at church

Borrowing is another great way to save lots of money on outfitting your children! Since we have been given so many clothing items, we haven’t had the need to borrow much but we’ve had a few friends who have loaned us clothing items we need to fill in gaps in the wardrobe. If our second child is a girl, I plan to borrow most of her clothes from my sister who has 2 girls!

The best part of borrowing clothing, once you’re finished with it, you return it and don’t have to store it!

Secondhand

Secondhand t-shirt from a resale store

Buying children’s clothing secondhand saves a ton of money! I still haven’t needed to purchase many items for my son but almost all of the items I’ve bought for him have been from secondhand stores.

We are very blessed to have several resale stores in our town. I’ve sold items for cash and store credit at two different stores in town. Having store credit has been a frugal way to supplement his wardrobe without spending anything out of pocket! This past spring I sold some clothing and after purchasing several items, I still have about $25 in store credit that I can use for any fall/winter items Paxton may need or to purchase items for our new baby!

{Buying baby clothing from yard sales would fall under this category too. That is a wonderful way to spend almost nothing to outfit your child. Since we have been so blessed with hand-me-downs, gifts and store credit to a secondhand store, I’ve had no need to yard sale for his clothing.}

Birthday/Christmas Gifts

A play outfit he received as a birthday gift

Paxton has received many clothing items as Christmas and birthday gifts. This past Christmas we received clothing that helped our quickly growing boy get through the rest of the winter! He received several outfits as birthday gifts which make up a large part of his summer wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to ask for clothing for gifts for your child, babies and young children don’t need many toys!!

Clearance

Romper purchased on clearance at the end of last summer

Clearances are another wonderful way to save big dollars on clothing! Last summer I purchased several cute clothing items (up to size 3T shirts) that were marked down very low (with a gift card we received as a shower gift, costing us nothing out of pocket!) This is another great way to save money on clothing. It does take some guess work in sizing but even if your child can’t wear an item or two you can always give them as gifts or resale them!

These are the ways we outfit our son (and will do the same with baby #2)! At 15 months, we’ve yet to spend a dollar out of pocket for his clothing {remember we’ve used gift cards and secondhand store credit to purchase the items we’ve personally bought for him.} Sure he’s not wearing $50 smocked items or clothing from trendy and expensive baby stores but we think he’s dressed incredibly cute! {Of course we have our family and friends to thank for most of these cute clothes!!}

Now that we’re expecting baby #2, we’ve only bought a size 3 month white bodysuit (we didn’t have a white one in this size and white will work for boy or girl!)

Babies aren’t as expensive as most people make you believe! If you don’t give into the temptation of having the latest, greatest and most expensive baby items you can have a baby on a budget! {And I’d much rather outfit my children on a budget and have a house full!!}

 

Cow Appreciation Day 2011

Of course you all know we’re frugal, this blog would not be frugal and simple if we weren’t! I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that our family celebrated Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A this past Friday!

Dress like a cow and get a free meal at Chick-fil-A? Sure, the Boreings will do it!!

The most fun part was dressing Paxton up like a cow and giving him a little tail!! I’m very excited that  we’ll have 2 babies to dress up next year!

We had a great little family outing and of course we enjoyed our free chicken {which would have cost us around $15!} Paxton even had a kids meal complete with lemonade!

Did you participate in Cow Appreciation Day?

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