- In This Feature
- Make a Realistic List of Essential Items
- Start Accumulating Baby Items
- Distance Yourself from Emotionally Charged Purchases
- Borrow from Friends and Family or Purchase Secondhand
- Organize a Baby Shower
- Don't Feel Guilty for Opting to Less-Expensive Products
- Keep Sale Prices in Perspective
- Join a Toy Library
Make a Realistic List of Essential Items
What do babies and weddings have in common? The answer is not a punch line, but rather both events are the center of major marketing campaigns designed to exploit the high emotions of newlyweds and parents-to-be, effectively convincing them that these joyous occasions cannot be successful without costing a small fortune. It's not surprising that our culture of consumerism causes a lot of unnecessary pressure during what should otherwise be a peaceful time of preparation.
Commercials and magazines tell us that electronic toys, musical mobiles, vibrating rockers, and flash cards are essential for a baby's mental stimulation. You'd think it's a miracle that anyone who lived before the technological age had any imagination and intelligence at all! We often forget that simple, loving interactions between babies and parents, such as feeding, reading, singing, or playing together, stimulate babies' brains in authentic and meaningful ways.
If you feel pressure to be the perfect parent or find yourself doubtfully comparing your baby budget to others', try these suggestions to combat buying more than you need:
Before you race out on a wild shopping spree, consult like-minded friends for tips and ideas of what exactly you need before Baby arrives. Do your research thoroughly. The Nappy Bag Book by Nappy Bag Publishing is an excellent starting point and will tell you exactly what is essential and what items, although nice to have, are just a luxury. Talk to other parents to find out what is useful and what is superfluous.