When I had my first son I was the first in my circle of friends to have a child. Five years later, I had my second child. By this time most of my friends had already had one or more children.
I had never intended to have more children so I had gotten rid of just about everything. I was starting from scratch with the new guy. At first I really wanted to kick myself for getting rid of everything. But soon, I started speaking to my friends and was able to borrow lots of things. Also, hindsight being what it is, you have an idea of what proves useful and what doesn't. However, I should caution you--all babies are different. I was absolutely sure I wanted another vibrating seat; it was a lifesaver with my first. As it turns out, Max, my second son, thinks vibrating is aggravating.
Ideal Borrowing Items
This short list below is what I suggest borrowing if you can. These things are both pricey and used for a very short time if it all--your baby might like a swing, but he might not.. why shell out the 100 bucks as a gamble? These items can easily be washed and returned in basically the same condition you received them. I don't suggest borrowing strollers or cribs since you use these long term and could wind up damaging them or really using the heck out of them.
Infant car seat
A Word on Car Seats
I still had the car seat from my first and thought I was super lucky on that... save a hundred bucks here and there, right? I took it from the basement, washed it down good, and then noticed a little warning label.. the car seat is going to "expire" in a few months. I had no idea that car seats actually had a shelf life. Better check yours if you recycle seats. Remember to NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a car accident, no matter how minor or if the seat "looks" okay. This is one place you should never scrimp. A great resource for car seat safety is the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
I got rid of a majority of Luc's clothes but I did save the "special" stuff. Unfortunately, my two boys were born in different seasons and as any Mom knows, there's a big difference between a baby that is 3 months old and one that is 9 months old. So, a lot of the clothes didn't work. My friends were great and both loaned or gave me PILES of baby clothes (and maternity clothes!) Look to ebay for great prices on clothes that get used for a VERY short time. Don't you remember putting an outfit in the wash and when you go to put it on your child you think, "wow.. you grew!"
With my first son I didn't do much "bulk" shopping. You cannot imagine what a price difference there is between buying a small pack of name brand diapers and a mega pack of
BJ's wholesale club
diapers. Incidentally, their diapers are sensational with minimal leaks. Their baby wipes are really terrific too, very cloth-like.
Ebay and Garage Sales
Other ways to save money are to utilize
and garage sales. I've had to buy a suit now and then for my son (for a wedding or other special event) and have found gorgeous clothes on ebay for a fraction of what the cost would be new. Incidently, you can get RID of all the stuff you don't use anymore and get some cash in your pocket instead of cluttering up the basement.
Click here for eBay!
Formula vs. Breast
I tried to breast feed my first son; it was a disaster and I won't go into it. One day my girlfriend, a Mother that has been successful breast feeding two children, emailed me to see if I wanted to go to a
La Leche League
meeting with her. I wrote, "No thanks. Breast feeding was a terrible experience that I'd like NOT to repeat." Always a friend, she didn't push but simply wrote back, "understood" and we left it at that.
About a week before my son was born I started to reflect how different this pregnancy had been compared to my first. I remembered how different my two younger brothers, each only one year apart, were and it dawned on me that maybe this baby could be breastfed. I didn't tell anyone; not even my husband. I didn't want any outside pressure on either direction of the issue. At the hospital one evening I asked a Lactation consultant if she could help me try and nurse my son. I've not only been successful, I've been sincerely enjoying the experience and my son is thriving. Formula, while fine, is incredibly expensive (especially if you have boys that eat constantly like I do). I'm lucky in that breast feeding has been working for us. Maybe it can work for you too? However, if it's not for you.. be sure and check out the powdered formula sold in bulk at the warehouse stores like BJs. It's nearly half the price you'll find at other stores.
You're probably over-run with toys already (and if you're not, PLEASE email me and tell me how you managed that) so you don't have to buy toys for the new guy. But I have to admit that there are "new and improved" toys out there that catch my eye and I have bought one or two for Max. I don't want him to have hand-me-down syndrome (or maybe I can't help myself when it comes to spoiling my kids--who can tell?) My older son has even donated a few of his toys to his younger brother. Be sure to ask, when appropriate, if your older kids would like to donate a toy or two to their younger sibling.
Have any tips for me? I'd love to hear from you. Write me at