Where's Margie's Money?

Preparing for baby

I unexpectedly got a check a week early from my side-gig yesterday for $292.  This makes me happy!  Paying off credit card #2 is within my grasp.  I just wish I wasn’t obligated to purchase that darn bridesmaid dress ($250!!).  If it weren’t for that, I’d have the card paid off completely next month.  But, I STILL might be able to do it even with the dress purchase – I’d just have to see how much pain I’m willing to feel. 

Yesterday DH and I went on a tour of the labor and delivery department at the hospital I’ll be giving birth at (in just about 10 weeks!).  I was happy to hear that they have the lowest c-section rate in the entire county – that definitely puts me more at ease.  Having a c-section is one of my worst fears related to L&D!  Today I’m leaving working for a couple of hours to attend a baby care class with DH and tonight I’m taking a breastfeeding class (this one I gave DH a free pass on!).  These classes have all been free thanks to my health insurance.  As the time clicks closer I’m definitely getting more and more excited.

We decided not to have a baby shower – which I know might sound crazy, especially to a bunch of fellow personal finance bloggers.  I mean, who doesn’t want free baby stuff?  But I have just been dreading this shower thing and I really don’t want to do it.  I hate being the center of attention.  Plus, it’s been less than a year since my wedding shower!  I feel like asking for more presents at this point in just greedy since it’s the same people!  I KNOW some of my friends and family members think I’m nuts – they really do want to throw one for me.  But I’ve decided that no, I just can’t have ANOTHER shower in one year.   It’s kind of ironic because as the matron of honor in my good friend’s wedding, I’m actually throwing her a wedding shower this summer.  But it’s different when it’s not your own – I love ATTENDING and PLANNING showers, just not having it be all about me!

Here’s another rationalization for why I don’t think we need a shower: I don’t want to be mired in a bunch of baby stuff we’ll only use for a few months or not use at all.

Recently Trent at the Simple Dollar wrote in reply to a reader’s question about “start-up” costs related to having a baby (see question 5).  He said:

When the baby comes home, make sure you have a simple bassinet or crib, several changes of clothes (which you can get very inexpensively at a children’s clothing consignment store), whatever you need for feedings (depending on whether you’re breastfeeding, using formula, pumping, etc.), and some diapers (cloth diapers are far cheaper over the long run, but they require some work and have a startup cost). You really don’t need much else.

Soooo…DH and I aren’t going quite THAT frugal but we’re definitely not going to rush out and buy a ton of stuff right away.  We’re sticking to the basics.  My parents are buying us a car seat and two bases (something that Trent doesn’t mention above but if you drive at all this is obviously an essential).  We already bought a crib and bassinet so that’s done.  I hope to be successful at breastfeeding but will be purchasing bottles and a breast pump (buying one used from a friend and just purchasing replacement tubes and parts).  I would LOVE to cloth diaper but unfortunately it’s not going to work out for us – most daycare centers won’t allow cloth diapers because of health code issues.  It doesn’t make much sense to invest in the diapers and covers when we’ll have to switch to plastic in three months when I go back to work.  Also on my shopping list: a baby bath tub, an extra set of crib and bassinet linens in case of “emergency”, a changing pad, a swing, and some swaddling blankets.  We’ll be shopping at the Navy Exchange so we’ll be able to get this items tax-free – and what we don’t find there I’ll search for at consignment shops.  At this point, I think we are set on clothes – we have a lot of 0-3 month onesies and outfits (people LOVE to gift cute baby clothes!).

Any experienced moms or dads out there have any advice on what to buy or what to avoid buying?  Do you think I’m reasonable to expect to get away with purchasing only these items at first?

As for the nursery itself, we still have some sprucing up to do.  DH is painting in June and we’ll be buying a small bookcase and a dresser. I’d also like to purchase a curtain rod and curtains for the window. 

I still need to put together a budget for these last purchases, which I’d like to do next month.  We’ll pay for it out of our “baby savings” account so it won’t affect our monthly budget but I’d still like to keep costs as low as possible.


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  1. * Serendipity says:

    I’m not a mom or anything, but it sounds like what you are purchasing is pretty reasonable. My stepmom had my sister about three years ago and she didn’t have a shower either but instead she let people buy her gifts if they wanted to. Perhaps you can do a registry and just have the option, which would help relieve some of the purchases off of you guys? Sometimes people want to buy gifts because thats how they show they care, as weird as it sounds.
    It’s also a baby, so I don’t think you need much. I would say crib, bassinett, stroller, carseat, and bathtub for now. Plus, you know, tons of diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, lotion, powder, etc. You know the essentials. I think people really spend a lot of excess on babies and while thats fine, I completely understand wanting to do it simple. Less stuff, less fuss. But only you know what your going to need for your baby. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 7 years ago

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