Our organic baby budget

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I know that we could have save even more money (we made some mistakes as first-time parents), but looking back on how much we have spent over the past almost 9 months on Jack, I’m pretty proud of us resisting a lot of unnecessary baby items and spending more on non-toxic high quality organic things.

Here is our total expenditures on baby things for about the first 9 months. I forgot to add some things I’m sure, and didn’t have totals for other things like the small number of health supplies like baby Tylenol etc.

big items 734
clothes 219
diapers 277
eating 168
other 205
1603

Specifics from each category:

Big items:
mattress 170
2 sheets 30
crib 200
changing pad 107
pad cover 27
high chair 200
734
Clothes:
hat 7
swim diaper 14
green hat 8
long cat T 14
socks 9
bibs 14
sun hat 23
blue long T 14
blue pants 14
blanket 8
long T turtle 16
green pants 12
2 short T 31
long white T 11
green legwarmers 11
brown legwarmers 13
219
Diapers:
prefolds 84
fleece 18
2 imse covers 32
2 thirsties covers 24
wool wash 5
blue newborn wool cover 39
wet bag 25
tree diaper cover 25
orange diaper cover 25
277
Eating:
place mat 18
4 sm bottles 40
2 pumps 60
ice packs 20
large bottles, 2 30
168
other
laundry detergent 15
toilet chair 13
beach tent 36
outlet plugs 4
baby scale 40
night light 7
potty 20
2 pack snappi 20
2 spare car seats 50
205

We also got a lot of generous gifts from family. This included about half the clothes we used, all the toys, part of the money towards the extra car seats, and maybe 1/3rd the diaper covers. The big gifts were:

stroller 200
bouncer 167
car seat 400
moby 60
beco 130

Hopefully we can have another child, and since we already have so many one-time purchases like the cloth diapers and furniture, I bet if we had another kid or two we could only spend a couple hundred dollars on a few things like clothes and maybe another baby carrier or double stroller.

I’m sure we could have spent a lot less if we had known how everything would be beforehand. For example, we could have done with just a smaller umbrella stroller I think. We also didn’t need the changing pad, although I definitely do use it for large poopy messes sometimes. I also could have done without a pump (I find hand expressing more comfortable) and with a few fewer bottles. I also haven’t used the ice packs yet. Oh well, I feel good about how much we did save though! And we still have a happy baby who doesn’t care that he wears a lot of the same shirts all the time.

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Nursing with teeth

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Jack got his first tooth a few weeks ago (a front bottom one) and it’s been growing in really slowly. That’s fine with me since I’m so scared of getting bitten while breastfeeding! He clamped down several times before when he had no teeth and that already hurt, so I’m not looking forward to it happening with teeth.

The good thing about his bottom tooth coming in first is that while he nurses his tongue covers his bottom teeth, so I don’t feel anything sharp while he’s actively eating. He is growing in his top two teeth now (I can see them under the skin) and has bitten me a little three times in the last few days, and it’s scary to have a little pointy thing pressing onto your nipple! Luckily he didn’t bit down too hard, so I was able to do what the pediatrician said and stop feeding him and try to avoid eye contact or positive reinforcement for a little while so he learns nothing good happens from biting.

It’s sad because now I’m really nervous while he is breastfeeding during the day, and I watch his mouth like a hawk to try to tell is he’s going to stop eating and get bored and bite. At night it seems fine luckily. He also bit once when I offered him my breast but he wasn’t hungry, so I’m trying to be better about only offering if it’s been a while or he definitely seems hungry. I’m worried he won’t eat enough, but since he’s at the 50% percentile for weight I think he is getting enough food and hopefully can make up for it at the next feeding if I’m a little late in offering him my breast.

I’m not looking forward to feeling his little top teeth when those grow in though. Hopefully I won’t have the same experience as my friend who said her baby bit down and wouldn’t let go!

So to summarize what I do to avoid bites:

  • Remove my breast when it seems like he’s done eating
  • Don’t offer him my breast all the time
  • Keep my finger near his mouth so I can unlatch him quickly if he bites
  • If he bites, unlatch him and put him down and avoid any reinforcement (no eye contact, cuddles, talking) for a few minutes

10 ways attachment parenting helps you lose the baby weight

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  1. Walking around with your baby strapped on to you in a carrier for hours is good cardio! You wouldn’t just let your baby cry, and holding them and carrying them around is free exercise!
  2. Breastfeeding burns 400-600 calories per day! (Doing cloth diaper laundry burns even more!)
  3. If you try to eat meals with people, the baby cries if you sit down for longer than 10 minutes so you automatically can’t eat dessert.
  4. Never using a stroller means you burn more calories babywearing. Squatting down to pick things up is even more exercise!
  5. Breastfeeding not only burns calories but seems to mean that your baby decides he wants to eat as soon as you heat up your food. Therefore, you eat less because your food gets cold and unappetizing.
  6. You don’t own a baby swing, bouncer, walker etc, so instead you get extra exercise by rocking your baby, bouncing them in your lap, and holding them.
  7. If your baby cries a lot and therefore possibly has allergies, instead of trying hypoallergenic formula you go on an elimination diet. It’s basically impossible not to lose weight if you’re avoiding dairy, gluten, nuts, and soy. Soy is in almost any processed food, so you have to cook everything from scratch which is great for weight loss. Also, you can only eat salad with no dressing or cheese at restaurants!
  8. The fact that you don’t nap train means baby naps at random times, so by the time you prepare your food he wakes up and you don’t have time to eat.
  9. Trying to eat while wearing your sleeping baby in a carrier eliminates entire genres of food from your diet like soup which could too easily spill on your baby, hot liquids, and crumbly foods.
  10. Not using a crib may mean you get stuck sitting right next to your baby in your bed while he naps, so you can’t eat any foods that make noise (bag of chips etc) while he naps. You also can’t get up for seconds without waking him, so automatic portion control!

Sample day with a 6 month old

I remember when I was pregnant I wondered what to expect my days to be like once I had a baby, so I thought I would write out approximately what out typical day is like. It really varies a lot though depending on what we are doing. I’m not working much at all these days, so I spend most of the day taking care of Jack. He generally eats about every 3 hours, and takes either 2 or 3 naps per day (the 3rd one will often only be 20 minutes).

7:00am  Jack wakes up and poops on the potty

7:00-7:30 breastfeed

7:30-8 express breastmilk for later in the week, play with baby in bed

8-8:30 baby plays in bed while I get my clothes on and put the harness on the dog

8:30-9 walk with the baby and dog

9-9:30 baby has tummy time while I play fetch with the dog in the living room

9:30-10 I get my food ready and feed the dog while baby sits in highchair

10-10:30 wear baby in the carrier and sing since he’s tired and fussy

10:30-11 baby breastfeeds to sleep

11-1 nap time, I eat my food and check email, look online (naps vary from 20 min to 1.5 hours, average 40 min)

1-1:30 I do some kind of errand like calling health insurance company and staying on hold for a long time

1:30-2 play with baby doing a new activity every 10 minutes or so (reading, music, standing, tummy time, sitting with toys)

2-3:30 have a dog playdate or meet at the park for a baby playdate for an hour

3:30-4:30 walk around and nurse the baby until he falls asleep

4:30-5:30 nap

5:30-6 make dinner while Jack is in his high chair watching or in the wrap

6-7 eat dinner, feed Jack with us at the table (then give him a quick bath)

7-7:30 walk with the dog and Jack

7:30-8 wear the baby while picking things up around the house to clean up etc (he’s usually fussy in the evening)

8-8″30 nurse until Jack falls asleep (bedtime varies a lot- it’s between 7 and 9 usually, with different amounts of walking around needed depending on how fussy he is)

8:30-10:30 relax and look online, occasionally exercise, sometimes watch an arrested development episode with my husband while wearing headphones so we don’t wake the baby. Jack often wakes up every 30 minutes for a few hours and wants to eat for a while, then falls back asleep so I try to stay close by.

I try to sleep around 10:30, but sometimes it gets later. Jack wakes up and I nurse him and change his diaper every 2-3 hours recently. I nurse and change him right before I go to sleep too. He used to have a 5 hour stretch at the beginning of the night, but at around 4 months that went away. At least he eats and then goes right back to bed though, so it’s not that disruptive.