My husband and I were on a tight budget when we had our newborn; and we’re still watching our budget today. With that being said, when it comes to baby items, we’ve opted to forgo “fancy”. Don’t get me wrong, we want our child to have nice things—safe carriers, nice clothes, and fun toys—but we don’t want the pursuit of fancy and “fitting in” to cause us to be wreckless with our finances. We would rather have more money going to her college fund than her crib bumpers (because those things are so controversial anyway). I flip through parenting magazines and Pinterst and see whimsical nurseries filled to the brim with toys and trinkets that light up my own eyes; and it can be difficult not to let it get me down or discouraged. I don’t want to be the mama who wishes she could give her child better, but I also don’t want to be the mama who believes that giving her child better means giving better things.
My husband and I made it a point—before our daughter was born—to get on the same page. We decided, while we wanted her to have a comfortable room and cute nursery, we wanted to give her put-together parents and a happy marriage even more so. If you’re not married or you find yourself as a single parent, doesn’t your own attention, communication, and stimulation far outweigh that of the latest Baby Einstein toy? Don’t let being on a budget get you down. It can actually become something that invokes you to push through all of the decorations, gadgets, and must-haves and determine what it is your baby actually needs; and what it is you actually need.
We’ve purchased a few developmental toys for our baby and a few things that make our life easier. We’ve also hunted for bargains and done some DIY in order to furnish our nursery. For our baby shower, we registered for items we really wanted and could use; and have been blown away by how gracious and generous our friends and family have been. Don’t forget, everyone loves babies; and if they know you’re in a tight spot, they are usually even more helpful. You, undoubtedly, know where to go when you’re a hunting a bargain: craigslist, garage sales, store sales, utilizing coupons. But, when you feel like your heart is getting mowed over by plush diaper bags and high-end strollers remember You—emotionally healthy, physically healthy, present YOU—are the best gift you can give your baby.
By Holly M.