My Favorite Cloth Diapers

Have a baby that is still in diapers, or maybe you’re planning for a newborn? These are my top 5 favorite cloth diapers. This list is always up for discussion because cloth diapers, just like reusable diapers don’t work the same for everyone. Some kids are heavy wetters at night so you’ll need a different nighttime solution than I would. However, after over a year of cloth diapering these are my favorites!

BumGenius (Cotton Babies) Cloth Diapers – Cotton Babies tops my list only because they have so many different types of diapers under the same brand. We used BumGenius Freetimes during the day and Flips with prefolds at night. This allowed us to customize our nighttime diapers without having to buy a special type of diaper for an overnight solution.

Softbums Omni and Echo Cloth Diapers – These diapers were another favorite, but didn’t top the list because of the velcro. They are essentially shells that you add the inserts into, which once again allows for customization. Another favorite from these? They are literally one size fits all because the legs can be sized up or down with adjustable elastic.

Wolbybug Cloth Diapers – I actually won my one and only Wolbybug cloth diaper when I first started diapering and it quickly became one of my favorites. It was a ladybug like print, and it was an AIO (all-in-one) that fit perfectly. It did it’s job and that’s why it tops my list.

Osocozy Prefolds – These aren’t technically diapers, but they go on the list because they could be used solely as diapers with a snappy and cover. We actually used these as inserts in our Flips for nighttime customization. We used the bamboo ones and they hold a lot of liquid!

Grovia Cloth Diapers – These would probably be at the top of my list, but I didn’t learn about the brand until towards the end of cloth diapering, so we only owned one. It was a great diaper and very customizable, but they recently came out with a O.N.E. diaper, meant to be the true “all-in-one” diaper!

 

All of these diapers were rated based on how well they held up and actually worked for us over the last year. Plus, take a look at how cute some of those prints are! I know that I missed out on some favorites, but sticking with my budget, once we had enough diapers I stopped purchasing them which helped me save even more money in the long run! I covered the average cost of raising a child per year previously, and buying cloth diapers can help cut down on those costs!

 

-Mama Budget

This post may contain affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.


Sun Safety: How to Keep Your Baby Safe from the Sun

Sun SafetySummer is in full swing and that means we have been outside as much as possible! The only drawback to always being outside is that we’re constantly battling the sun. However, there’s a few things that can help make it a little easier. Keep in mind that these tips may not work for all ages, infants should not be in the sun as long as older children and most pediatricians recommend no sunscreen before 6 months so you should keep that in mind as well.
Sun Shirts or Rash Guards – These are a lifesaver! They help to cover a lot of the skin, if not all of it, and they keep the suns harmful rays off of your little one’s skin. Even better, they’ve started to make them in adult sizes so the whole familSwimZip Sunsuity can be safe. I’ve found them pretty much anywhere that sells swimwear for kids but my favorite brand is SwimZip! They may not be the easiest on your budget, but if you watch for a sale they are pretty reasonable.

Hats and  A lot of people forget about their head when it comes to sunshine. Hats are the perfect solution and if you purchase a swim hat or a wide brimmed hat it not only protects their head, but also their face and eyes. I’ve My Swim Baby Sun Hatpurchased a My Swim Baby Sun Hat for the last two years and will continue to do so until Baby Budget no longer fits in them. They are super cute, have a strap that you can tie, are reversible, and are machine washable!

Sunglasses-Most babies won’t keep sunglasses on, or even older kids for that matter. However, if you’ve got a stylish dude or dudette who doesn’t mind the shades then it’s a perfect addition to your outdoor wardrobe! We purchased a pair of Babiators last year when they had a sale and not only did they fit perfectly, but they offer a lifetime guarantee on them! Perfect for a kid who loves to see how far sunglasses will bend before they break!

Sunscreen – The opinion on sunscreen seems to vary depending on who you’re talking to whether it be parent or pediatrician. However, we use sunscreen and I have found that Babyganics is my absolute favorite! (EWG rates it a 3 on a scale of 10 with 1 being the best, but honestly I didn’t know that before writing this we had just received it as a gift.) It’s a little thicker than other sunscreens that we have tried, but I tend to like that because then I can see that I have applied it everywhere. We currently apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours depending on whether or not we’ve been in the water. You can always apply it more often if needed. Snoozy Pop Up Tent

Shade- This can be a little harder to come by especially if you are in an area with no natural shade. A few options
could be an umbrella or a kids play tent. I recently discovered a few different varieties on Amazon and am hoping to test a few out! My favorite so far is the Snoozy Toddler Easy Pop Up Tent, plus it’s only $20! We always try to seek out shaded areas but when it’s not possible we make sure to keep ourselves protected with the other ways listed.

These are just a few quick tips that I follow to keep Baby Budget safe when in the sun! Do you have any additional ideas?

-Mama Budget

-Read my full disclosure here!

Average Cost of Raising a Child Per Year

The average cost of raising a child per year according to the Huffington Post is about $12,000 a year. This might seem steep, and depending on how you are raising your child it could be even more. Let’s get into the specifics:

Pampers DiapersPampers Baby Wipes  Best Bottom Cloth Diaper Cover OsoCozy Cloth Baby Wipes

Diapers and Wipes:

You average 8-10 diapers a day, at about $0.20 a diaper if you catch a good sale means you will pay $730 for diapers. Add in wipes and that’s an extra $100. If you choose the cloth diaper route you will pay for your stash to start with which can average $100 for covers and prefolds. Add in an extra tub of laundry detergent every month and some cloth wipes for about $90.

Disposable $830

Cloth: $190

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Tonight Took A Little Longer

I started Baby On A Budget not only because I truly want to help others save money while raising children, but also because I enjoy writing. I enjoy letting others know the endless stream of thoughts and ideas that cross my mind on a daily basis. This is my outlet, and therefore tonight I bring you…

Tonight Took A Little Longer

I bathed Baby Budget and put her in her pajamas. We read a book, drank a bottle, and then rocked. She decided it wasn’t quite bedtime so we went out into the living room and played, had a snack, and read another book. Thirty minutes later she still wasn’t quite ready for bed, but we went into her room to rock anyway. She drank a bottle, and we rocked. Generally getting Baby Budget to sleep is a pretty quick process, yet tonight it took a little longer. I rubbed her head and face, hummed her a song and we rocked. Did I mention we rocked? It took about an hour the second time until she fell asleep, and then we stayed there and I watched her sleep. Now what’s the point to all of this?

On a daily basis I see the crime and hate on the news and even my Facebook feed. I see parents who lose little ones way to early, and little ones lose parents too early as well. There’s so much sadness and hate in the world, that tonight I just wanted to spend extra time with Baby Budget. She won’t be little forever, and she surely won’t want mom to rock her forever. I laid my head on hers and simply smelled her hair and kissed her sweet head. Most nights I’m not home, as I work a full time job, and even when I am home I am often in a hurry that I forget to take extra time. I forget that in no time at all she will be grown. Yet, tonight it took a little longer and I’m okay with that. So when your little one just doesn’t want to sleep, or they need to be read just one more book and get that last drink of water, just remember they are not little forever. Hug them close and kiss them tight, because some nights it takes a little longer.

-Mama Budget

Babies Don’t Need Toys

Have you ever seen the movie Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium? It has a character that receives a block, and continues to call it a plain piece of wood, until she believes it’s more than a block. I feel like this is a parenting point of view on toys. Your baby needs very few things when they first come into this world and those are; food, diapers, clothing, shelter and love. While it’s nice to have fancy gizmos and gadgets, if you are on a budget those items should be your main focus.  If you are buying gifts for someone on a budget please keep this in mind as well.

Children have absolutely amazing imaginations, and low expectations when it comes to things to play with or keep them occupied. Currently, Baby Budget is playing with our dog pen, opening and closing the door repeatedly. This is where Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium comes in, we may look at a plain piece of wood and see simply that, however a child looks at that same piece of wood and sees something different. Parents often joke that they could have given the child the box the toy came in, instead of the toy itself, and this is true. When Baby Budget was first learning to sit we used a large red bowl to help her keep her balance, it was something we already owned, and we still use it rather than going out and getting something such as a Bumbo to assist her. Am I telling you to never purchase toys for your child? No, I’m simply saying that if you have a budget, don’t spend it on toys for a baby, find fun things to play with in your house.

Some examples include:

  • Measuring Cups
  • Boxes, of all shapes and sizes!
  • Clothing – socks seem to be a favorite.
  • A Blanket – Peek-A-Boo anyone?
  • Bathroom Mirror – As babies age they love to look at themselves!
  • Tupperware containers
  • Music (This isn’t exactly a toy, however most kids love music!)

 

Anything that is safe meaning no sharp edges, can’t be swallowed, won’t suffocate a child; can easily be turned into a toy. Larger items such as blankets should be used under supervision unless the child is older and can safely play with it themselves. Again, I’m not saying your child doesn’t deserve toys, however buying them should not be at the top of your list when you only have enough money for food and diapers. They are little and they won’t remember not having every toy under the sun. Save your money for the important things, and if or when you have room in your budget, purchase a few small toys!

-Mama Budget

 

Saving Money with Cloth Wipes

Cloth wipes are an amazing investment, and they are so inexpensive! Not everyone wishes to use cloth wipes full time, and admittedly, I don’t either. However, if you use cloth wipes simply for wet diaper changes, think about how much money you are saving! Plus, there’s nothing special you have to do with a cloth wipe, spray it with water, wipe baby’s bum, and throw it in the laundry with everything else! You can purchase solutions or additives for your spray, however we’ve been using a spray bottle with water and it works just fine!

We’ve used a few different brands of cloth wipes and so far my absolute favorite are these, from Generation Me.

Cloth wipes

 

We currently own 24 of these, and they are fantastic! Not only do they have cute prints, but after 7 months of daily use the only wear I’ve seen is some slight curling at one of the edges, and some pilling which doesn’t affect use.

Cloth Wipes

 

They are thicker than most of the wipes we use, which is great because your hand doesn’t get wet when you spray the wipe. They are also the perfect size! The water bottle we use to spray them is from the Dollar Store. So, let’s do the math!

Cloth Wipes 25-ct.; $18.75

Huggies Wipes 648-ct.; $11.11

We change Baby Budget about 8-10 times a day, sometimes even more, but as a general we will say 10 wet diapers a day. This means that in a little over 2 months we would have to buy another box of wipes. After 4 months we would have already exceeded the cost of cloth wipes. Plus, if you have multiple babies, this is an even bigger savings! The Generation Me wipes are my favorite, but there are also some great tutorials online to make your own, which would make the savings even greater!

Cloth Wipes

This review is completely my own, I wasn’t provided the wipes for the review, in fact, I purchased them at least 6 months before Baby On A Budget even existed! Let me know if you use cloth wipes as well!

-Mama Budget

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Weekly Baby Giveaway Roundup 9/28

Weekly Baby Giveaway Roundup

Swaddle Designs Blanket – Ends 9/28

Bubble Bum + $75 Lego GC – Ends 9/28

Lace Romper + Headband – Ends 9/29

Healthy Mama Prize Package – Ends 9/30

Yum Earth Snacks Giveaway – Ends 9/30

$25 Paypal Cash – Ends 9/30

See Kai Run Shoes – Ends 9/30

The Ollie Swaddle – Ends 9/30

Chicco Prize Package (18 Winners!) – Ends 9/30

Diono Rainier Convertible and Booster – Ends 9/30

Vtech Prize Pack Giveaway – Ends 10/06

Baby Genius Goody Basket – Ends 10/12

Urban Bums Boutique Cloth Diaper – Ends 10/13

Marguax & May Swaddles – Ends 10/15

 

Bonjour, Baby Monthly Diaper Giveaway – This is an ongoing giveaway for expecting moms who wish to cloth diaper!

Diaper Fund – This is an ongoing giveaway with an option for a daily entry by entering your email address. They choose winners monthly to win free diapers!

 

Follow me on Twitter to see additional giveaways that I find during the week! @baby_oab

 

-Mama Budget

 

-Disclosure: All of these giveaways are from trusted sites that I have entered myself. Some of the links are my personal referral giveaway links. –

 

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How to Have a Baby On A Budget: The Basics

How to Have A Baby On A Budget

First off, you’re on the right track! Simply reading this means that you are expecting, or already have a little one and are looking for ways to save money. This is technically the first step, wanting to save money doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to take away from other things in your life.

 

Step 1: Start now. Start saving for your baby today. There’s little things that you can start doing right away, and that includes either setting aside money every week or purchasing something small every week. Start with the little things, this week when you go buy groceries add in a bottle of baby shampoo, or baby q-tips. Think of things that aren’t going to go bad by the time baby gets here, and are things that you will continuously use. I know a lot of mom’s want to go out and buy a bunch of clothes, but don’t! If this is your first and you are having a baby shower then you will most likely receive a bunch there. If it’s not your first or you’re not having a baby shower, wait and shop the off-season sales for clothes.

Step 2: Make a plan. Most people think this should be step one, but I think getting in the mindset for saving, and actually saving is most important. Plus, my plan isn’t how am I going to pay for this baby, but rather what products are we going to use with this baby. You need to decide, but always be ready to change your mind on a few things:

 

Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers

Nursing vs. Formula Feeding

Baby Shower vs. No Baby Shower

Co-sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping

 

Now, you don’t have to make a final decision on these things, and you could decide to do one and end up doing the other. Just start somewhere! I highly suggest doing what’s right not only for your family, but what also feels right for you. Do a little research, you’re going to get plenty of advice from others on all of these topics, just make sure you’re doing what’s right for you and your baby.

 

Step 3: Make a registry. Even if you are not going to have a baby shower, register for the items that you want. Why? Most places offer you a registry discount when your baby is born. This can range from 10-15% off anything left on your registry. Plus, most places give out registry gifts, which means free items for baby and sometimes even mom! Another great thing about a registry, besides letting others know about the items that you want, it also allows you to keep track of what you still need. If you decide that you have to have a specific item, then you can watch the sales for that item. At the same time, be flexible. I knew that I wanted a white crib, and the one I had picked out was gorgeous, but Amazon had a similar crib on sale for $80 vs. the $150 one I had chosen, so we purchased the $80 one. Does Baby Budget know, care, or sleep any differently than had we chosen the more expensive crib? Absolutely not!

 

Step 4: Get thrifty. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to shop at thrift stores, but there’s nothing wrong with buying something second hand, as long as you’re mindful of recall’s and outdated items. Getting thrifty means that you are not only watching the sales, but also purchasing wisely. Often times Toys R Us will offer something for free if you reach a dollar amount threshold. Last year they offered a free Dr. Brown’s bottle for each holiday if you spent $15. I took advantage of this by buying gifts during this time for other family members, or by picking something up for Baby Budget. Between the bottles I received through the promotion, and the bottles I received from baby registries, I never purchased a bottle. Another way to get thrifty is to follow a coupon/deal site that does weekly drugstore roundups. These are great ways to get diapers for pretty cheap if you are going to use disposables. I also recommend checking out Amazon Warehouse.

 

Step 5: Be realistic about the items you need. Papa Budget hates stuff. If it doesn’t serve a purpose on a daily basis, he tries to get rid of it. So, this meant that we planned out each and every item we purchased. If you have a very small budget, or just wish to raise a baby in a more minimalist approach, then just buy the needs. We also tried to purchase things that would serve multiple purposes. We don’t have a changing table, but we have a dresser with the pad you buy for a changing table on it. It serves as a changing table and storage, plus it can be used until the day Baby Budget moves out.

 

That’s it for now. Follow this page, take a deep breath, and prepare for an amazing time in your life. There’s a ton of more tips and tricks to help you save money that I’ll be discussing, but those are the basics. Do you have any additional tips, or tricks that you used to help you save for baby? Share them with us!

 

-Mama Budget

 

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Baby Giveaway Roundup 9/21

Weekly Baby Giveaway Roundup

Exergen Thermometer Giveaway – Ends 9/21

Teddy Bear Giveaway – Ends 9/21

One Z Breastfeeding Pillow – Ends 9/21

Philips Avent Breast Pump – Ends 9/21

Ready to Pop Grand Prize – Ends 9/21

Miniland Toys – Ends 9/23

$500 Cash Giveaway – Ends 9/24

Swaddle Designs Blanket – Ends 9/28

Bubble Bum + $75 Lego GC – Ends 9/28

Yum Earth Snacks Giveaway – Ends 9/30

$25 Paypal Cash – Ends 9/30

See Kai Run Shoes – Ends 9/30

The Ollie Swaddle – Ends 9/30

Chicco Prize Package (18 Winners!) – Ends 9/30

Diono Rainier Convertible and Booster – Ends 9/30

 

Bonjour, Baby Monthly Diaper Giveaway – This is an ongoing giveaway for expecting moms who wish to cloth diaper!

Diaper Fund – This is an ongoing giveaway with an option for a daily entry by entering your email address. They choose winners monthly to win free diapers!

 

Follow me on Twitter to see additional giveaways that I find during the week! @baby_oab

 

-Mama Budget

 

-Disclosure: All of these giveaways are from trusted sites that I have entered myself.  –

 

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Product Complaints – Contacting the Company

“If you don’t tell them, they can’t fix it.” -Papa Budget

This is Papa Budget’s favorite line. Anytime I have a problem at work, an issue with a product, or someone in my family is driving me nuts, Papa Budget simply asks if I’ve voiced this frustration. Generally my answer is no, giving him an opportunity to throw in his favorite line. Now how does this play into having a baby and saving money? When you buy products for a baby, especially if it’s your first one, you are generally going off of the recommendations from others. This bottle worked best for your aunt, but this pacifier worked best for your sister, and your mom says that this bassinet is a must. So, what happens when you follow these recommendations and you have an issue with the product? I’m not saying that you don’t like the look of the bassinet or the feel of the pacifier, but rather that the bassinet leans or the pacifier is falling apart.

I’ve seen a video surfacing on the web a lot lately about Huggies wipes containing actual pieces of something. The something that is in question is still up in the air as to what it actually is, however Huggies “claims” they are still safe for baby.  I was telling Papa Budget about the Huggies issue, and he threw in his favorite line.

Contact the company! Yes, let others know, but please also let the company know! They can’t fix their products if they don’t know something is wrong! Plus, they are usually very understanding and sometimes compensating. Now,  I’m not telling you to falsely contact a company. However, I’ve had bottles that leak, toys that fray, and wipes that contain some not so pleasant pieces. The first thing that I do is contact the company. I make sure that I have the item in question in hand, and let them know everything about the item; how long I’ve been using it, what my problem is, and I ask for a solution. I never ever ask for compensation, I do however ask that they help me remedy my problem, or just let them know that I’m so fed up with a leaking bottle that I’ll just be tossing it in the trash, and would love if they would change their design!

Almost all of the companies that I’ve contacted have been fantastic, and truly do want to know about any issues I’m having so that they may better their products. On the flip side of this, if you ever find a product that you just adore, let the company know! There’s been a few times where I genuinely loved a product, and after letting the company know, I’ve sometimes also received coupons for additional products! So, whether it’s good or bad, let them know!

-MamaBudget

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