Friday, September 24, 2010

What's best for baby (and your wallet)

What's more of a money saver than opting for breastfeeding over formula? According to La Leche League International, formula costs can range from $134 to $491 per month, totaling $1608 to $5892 per year!

Other than the obvious perk of being completely free (minus the cost of breastfeeding accessories such as a pump (I use a manual one--a good manual pump is the Lansinoh pump,) milk storage bags, bottles (for pumped milk for that occasional outing), lanolin, and nursing pads (to save money I use reusable ones--I use Fuzzibunz), breastfeeding is so much better for my baby. By breastfeeding, I am protecting my baby from many illnesses including ear infections, lower respiratory infections, and meningitis. Breastfeeding also offers protection against food allergies, obesity, and type 1 and 2 diabetes. Breast milk is tailored to each individual baby (breast feeding benefits). I love knowing that I am giving the best possible start to my baby's life.

As well as being a major benefit to my baby, breastfeeding is also benefitting me. I am able to loose the weight that I gained during pregnancy faster, I am reducing my risk of certain cancers, and lessening my chances of post-pardum psychological effects (benefits for mommy).

With as natural as breastfeeding is, it doesn't always come as naturally as one might think it would. Breastfeeding has a learning curve not only for mommy, but for baby as well. I found it helpful to throughly research nursing and all of the techniques before I had my baby. I read a ton of articles, and watched many videos on youtube so I was well prepared. Being so prepared helped me to be more calm when the time came (which was within 10 minutes of giving birth) to feed my baby. Your emotions translate over to the baby, and if you are not frustrated and clam, your baby will be calmer as well. Also I really took advantage of what was offered to me by letting the nurses in the hospital give their advice to me, and seeing the lactation consultant on staff.

Breastfeeding is a huge commitment, that is something that anyone who plans on nursing needs to know going in. Even I, who read and watched countless articles on breastfeeding, was somewhat shocked at just how much time I spend on the couch with my baby nursing. But the lost time is a sacrifice that I am more than willing to make for the health and well-being of my baby.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a money saver

Something that is an absolute necessity for baby right from the start is baby wipes. Wipes can cost anywhere from $4-$7 a package, and they go quite quickly. Not to mention that these products can contain chemicals that could irritate baby's sensitive skin, or even cause health problems.

By making your own baby wipes, you can minimize health risks, as well as diaper rash. Wipes are surprisingly easy to make, and they don't take that much time either. I have been making my own baby wipes because I like the fact that I know exactly what is going onto my baby's skin.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of warm water 
  • 2 tablespoons of baby oil
  • 4 tablespoons of baby lotion
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • bottle for storage (I use a plastic water bottle)
  • choose a size paper towels (make sure that you use a quality paper towel; I use viva--they are nice and soft)
  • container to keep wipes in (I use a wipes container from some wipes that I got at my baby shower; I made sure to clean the container first)
  • scissors
The process:

  • Put the baby oil, lotion, and water into a pot.
  • Heat the pot over low heat. (the ingredients don't have to be heated before you combine them, however, they will mix easier if they are slightly heated)
  • Using a wisk, vigorously mix the oil, lotion, and water together.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Using a funnel, pour the mixture from the pot into the empty bottle.
  • Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil (use an eye-dropper) to your prepared wipes solution.
  • Allow the mixture to cool. (it should only be slightly warm)
  • While the solution is cooling, tear 6-7 sheets from the choose a size paper towel roll.
  • Cut the stack of paper towels in half width-wise.
  • Place the stack into your wipes container.

  • After the wipes solution has cooled, shake the mixture.
  • Pour enough mixture over the cut paper towels to throughly the wipes.
  • Close the lid, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes open the lid of your container and flip the stack of paper towels over.
  • Close the lid.
That's it. Simple as that. Make sure that you don't saturate too many wipes at once. Since these wipes don't have preservatives in them, they won't keep as long. I make only as many as I need for a day or two (7-10 choose a size sheets). For the diaper bag, I have a travel wipes case that I fill with only as many wipes as I will need.


For the past year I have been a homemaker, cooking, cleaning, and doing the weekly shopping. The role of stay at home wife was forced upon me as I, along with many other people across the country, was laid off. Not only was now out of a job, I was also forced to quit doing something that I really enjoyed and that I know I was good at. I worked as a behavior analysis tutor helping children who have autism. After going through a period of adjustment, I have truly come to love my new job as a domestic diva.

I have recently joined the world of stay at home moms, or SAHM. On Christmas day, I had come to discover that I was pregnant after nearly five months of being unemployed. Not exactly the best timing, but things happen.

I have chosen not to return to work to stay home. I feel that being a mother and a wife is my calling.

Throughout my pregnancy I dedicated a lot of my time to doing research on how to save money while raising a baby. So many things that you have to buy add up so quickly; diapers, wipes, formula, baby food... I realized that many of these necessary items can be made at home with minimal ingredients.

Join me in my journey through SAHMhood as I learn and grow about being the best wife and mother that I can be.