25 Smart Ways To Make Parenting So Much Cheaper

Every first-time mom has the same thoughts when baby is about to arrive, or has already been born: she needs to buy everything in bulk. There's this notion that always lingers in the mind like how long the baby will need stuff like diapers, onesies, rompers, socks, booties, vests, baby oil, and everything else needed to ensure they're clean, content and comfortable. Granted, family and friends usually come through with some baby shopping that will be a great booster for the long haul, but a mom will always be a mom - so there is really a need to buy everything in large quantities. Suddenly every little thing in the stores seems to call out to a mom that it is important to pick for the newborn, so sometimes she'll find herself with stuff that she has not used, others not even unpacked by the time baby is 3 months or older - so they're just there, staring at her, and she cannot sell or give them away. This, however, ends when baby number two, three, four, five...however many others come along, because she's wiser, and she's learned so much through the mistakes made with baby number 1 that she's almost ready for anything. One interesting thing most moms get to discover along the way is they can actually make so much baby stuff with what they already have in the home. At the beginning, doing DIYs on baby stuff may seem hard and time consuming, but it is much cheaper and faster than heading to the store to find something that works in its place. Check out the 25 smart ways to make parenting so much easier, moms never know when she'll need them.

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25 Baby Carrier Are A Must For Convenience And Can Be Handmade

Baby carriers are one of the most essential items that moms need when baby arrives. They come in handy when you want to move around the house and get stuff done, yet the baby needs attention at the same time, so you want to find a way of doing both. As a necessity, baby carriers can be found in most baby shops, and they come in different designs and really cute colors and prints. However, you can make your own baby carrier using materials that are available at your disposal like an old linen material, or a shawl, or kikoi, and use them as baby wraps.

24 Frozen Baby Food To Soothe Cries

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There is no fury like a hungry baby. When its time to feed, it is actually time. There's no cry more painful than that of a hungry baby, so their food has to be ready at any time of day or night - as and when they want it, or fee like eating. Thankfully, there's a wide variety of baby food, especially those who have started weaning or eating solids, like ready made foods that save you the hassle of preparing a whole meal. But these aren't the same as homemade meals, because babies need to eat fresh meals. So instead of buying ready made, create your own unique baby food and stash it in clear bags then keep refrigerated. So anytime you hear the 'hunger cry', just pick out a bag, warm up the food, and its a win-win for everybody.

23 Anyone Can Baby Proof Their Home

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Once kids are on their feet and know how to walk without struggling to balance on chairs or walls, or without your help, they believe they have the freedom to move around the home and access the areas that they couldn't go when they weren't mobile. Baby proofing, when done by a service provider or interior designer, may be expensive and can be challenging trying to explain to them the areas you want proofed. But you can do it yourself, as long as you know which hot spots the child frequently visits like the refrigerator, kitchen cupboards, and the toilet! Don't forget the wall sockets or power outlets, because most of these spots are within their reach and/or height, which is why they rush there first. For sharp corners, you could add softer padding like foam pipe insulation, and for the fridge, child lock is your best friend. Kitchen cabinets can be lassoed together using hair bands to keep them from opening the doors.

22 Mittens Are Useful, And Socks Are Cheap Replacements

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Kids don't like mittens. In fact, if they had their way, they would ensure that the mittens never existed. They have lots to do with their hands or fingers and mittens just mess this up for them. Oblivious of why we try to keep them tucked away in the mittens, they struggle to remove them, sometimes becoming really fussy about it. Mittens prevent babies from scratching their faces especially if they have growing nails, plus their little fingers from freezing cold in the winter. You could choose to knit a few pairs for your little one, or just DIY with baby socks. Sometimes fold over cuffs work where socks are not required.

21 Stitch Together Booties & Sweaters From Scraps Of Old Ones

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With so much to shop for ahead of baby's arrival, its easy to forget how fast babies grow and suddenly nothing fits anymore, so you have to go out again and get the same things but in bigger sizes. This totally drains your wallet because baby clothing (especially new stuff) isn't as cheap as it look if you have to buy in bulk. Among the stuff that needs to be bought includes sweaters and booties, which don't necessarily always come in the patterns or colors we desire, and when they do, you've either paid a lot for it or really walked in and out of stores to find them. The trick to this is DIY it by taking old sweaters then redesigning booties and other baby sweaters using shapes cut out from the old ones, then stitching onto the new and voila! A whole new wardrobe for baby.

20 Breastfeeding: Free Food Anytime, Anywhere

Babies sometimes cry for a meal at the oddest of hours and places, and there's no telling when that cry will get louder, which actually creates a sense of urgency and pressure on mommy to hurry up with the milk already. Warming refrigerated breastmilk is a sensitive process, sometimes it may spoil thus you have to pump all over again. Instead of hassling with the baby feeding bottles and formula milk, especially when baby is already weaning and can eat solid food, the best and fastest DIY to keep them calm is breastfeeding. Yes, mom's milk is always a life saver!

19 Any Fabric Can Be A Baby Gate

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When baby begins to walk, even crawling, they are very excited, and want to try out any and everything they can think of, then deal with the consequences later. The greatest fear of most parents when kids begin to move around the house on their own, is that of accidents within the house, and one of the high risk areas is the staircases and open door ways. They somehow fascinate kids not because they know the area, but knowing they may injure themselves. Baby gates bring some comfort to parents knowing that it prevents the baby from exploring other rooms while you are engaged in other areas. Instead of buying one, you can make your own from fabric like an old drape that can seal the bottom of your stair case and tie them around the stair poles.

18 Baking Soda And Hot Water: Natural Bottle Cleaner

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When it comes to cleaning feeding bottles, a lot is required to ensure it is sanitized. There are many products to help clean the bottles, and other baby feeding items. However, most mothers just want a product that is safe and easily available. Cleaning with soap may leave residue that could harm the baby, however, you can actually make a feeding bottle cleaner from scratch with very little cost. One of the home DIYs you can use is some baking soda, hot water and just a little soap when rinsing - that'll do the trick.

17 The Time-Honored Hand-Me-Downs

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Baby essentials can be costly sometimes. Their cuteness can move you from one shop to another and by the time you have the particular item, the baby wears it for a short while then they outgrow it. Eventually, there is a whole box of kids items that look new, or have not yet been unwrapped or used. However cute baby items may be, one needs to work within the budget sometimes. It is cheaper to use hand-me-down items especially clothes that have not been used before, and the best way to find unused clothes is through spring cleaning.

16 Headbands Are Pretty And So Easy To Make

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Whenever baby girls are dressed up in those cute dresses, sometimes we throw in a little hat to complete the look or tie tiny ribbons on their little hair. However, headbands make girls look glamorous and oh so cute. Headbands come in different designs and colours to match with the baby's outfit. Some of them may be pricey, but you can make some from scratch, choose the colors you want, based on baby's wardrobe, designs and embellish it with flowers, stars, and other little but pretty add-ons.

15 Toys Can Be Made Out Of Anything

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Kids love toys, that's a fact. They would not mind staying in an environment full of toys, if their attention span allows. However many you buy, there is a possibility that a huge percentage of them may not remain in good condition or in the state they were when they were bought. By the time you are done buying more toys, the budget would have blast through the ceiling. The beauty is you can make toys like cars, dolls, kites and other little things using items around the house. Something like a toy car can be made using container lids, toilet rolls or plastic containers, while dolls can be made using worn out clothes and wool, among other items - the kids will love it!

14 Baby Dam And Bath Toys Make Cleaning So Much Easier

Bath time is usually one of the most fun moments for both baby and mom or dad. Initially, folks used basins, then moved up to bath tubs, and today there are baby dams, which have really saved a lot in terms of time and money for parents. Baby dams help parents save on water and bathing space, because all you do is use a divider in the bath tub, which doesn't take up space, then add toys like the famous rubber ducky, and enjoy bath time with baby. Kids are fascinated by new things as long as they can hold and play with them so stuff like empty jam containers or their lids, bath cloths and cute rubber toys will make bath time fun and memorable, as they pour water in and out of the jars, creating fountains and singing - a good sign that they're loving it.

13 Laundry Basket Make Great Play Pens

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There are some items that seem impossible to make from home. That is what some may think. One of the items that may look like a necessity is a playpen to keep kids safely grounded as you run errands around the house. While they it may cost you to have a playpen, and it may add a lot of value, you can easily make a play pen using a laundry basket which makes for a good play pen by filling it with a few toys that will not harm the baby, then pad it to keep them from falling out or getting hurt.

12 Anything Can Be Nursery Decorations

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When it comes to decorating baby's room, the idea is to make it comfortable, attractive and baby friendly - whether it is an expensively done room or spruced up with DIY items. Some of the items required for the room may go beyond one's budget but it is possible to make a few Nursery Decorations for baby's room using cheaper strategies. You can use buttons on picture frames, cut out designs from old material to make crib skirts, paper cutout designs, hand prints, goofy or abstract cartoon images and much more. The process just takes you back to kindergarten days when you explored your creativity with all the materials around you.

11 Unlike Their Own Socks, Babies Can't Kick Off Stockings Of Your Old Socks

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One thing that kids keep fighting about is wearing socks. They hate socks! The minute you put them on, they're already fidgeting to get them off their cute little feet. So parents opt for stockings which would make it difficult for kids to remove. With time, the stockings become small and are quickly packed away where they gather dust without knowing what to do with them. You can turn baby's stockings to leggings or leg warmers by cutting the lower part of the stocking and stitching the end to stop it from running. For leg warmers, just cut both the lower and upper part of the stockings and stitch the loose ends. You can save money on buying new ones, by up-cycling the old ones.

10 Play Mats Are So Easy To Create

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When baby begins to crawl or walk, Play Mats really come in handy. Today, play mats come in different shapes, sizes and colorful or playful designs. Kids are attracted by the images or colors, and their curiosity makes them journey through the mat, keeping them busy while you take a break or do other things around the house. You can make a Play Mat for baby by buying a printed fabric or using an existing one like an old blanket, or you can tap into your artistic skills and draw images that excite kids on a plain fabric. If you are not as skilled in stitching, you can use fabric glue to place your cut out designs on the mat, and make it puffy then give it a good finishing as desired.

9 Any Basket Can Be A Portable Diaper Basket

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When you have baby showers, some of the guests may come with baskets, or baby items in gift boxes. Sometimes they may be many and you may not know what to do them. Well, those gift boxes or baskets can be turned to portable Diaper Baskets for changing the baby and you may not need to spend cash buying again. Simply put an attractive lining and neatly arrange the baby essentials. Diaper baskets are very effective when you are tired and don't want to take the long stretch to baby's room. They are a quick access to clean up the baby on time. You can store the diapers, oils, bottle of water to clean the baby or wet wipes, a set of clothes to change just in case the others have been soiled and baby cream.

8 Shoe Boxes For Toys

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Sometimes it is tiring to collect all the tiny toys that kids leave behind and look for storage containers to keep them. However, Shoe Boxes are a great DIY as they come in different colors and images which are appealing to children. They're a good way of encouraging them to store away things. You may wish to create something from the shoe boxes that relate to the kids' toys like a doll house, crib for teddies, or even a parking shade for the toy cars.

7 Use Elbows To Test Bath Water Temperature (Instead Of Buying Gadgets)

Technology has rendered many historical practices redundant. Some are long gone, while others forgotten until and unless they resurface for some reason. One of the practices that may not die so fast is testing baby's bathing water with your elbow - it is fast, cheaper, and has a personal touch to it as compared to using thermometers and other such gadgets. Once you test the water with your hand and are satisfied, test with your elbow, because its sensitive skin is similar to the baby's and will give you the right temperature.

6 Use Pacifiers To Administer Medicine

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Administering medicine to babies is a daunting task. The measuring cups or spoons hardly make it easy, and the fear of the oral syringe chocking the child creates a lot of panic. Although the oral syringe may do the job, kids tend to work with friendly products that they relate with or are used to. The Pacifier is one of the essentials that babies love and can enjoy at any time. So why not use the Pacifier, with a measuring instrument, and get the job done. They will quickly put it in the mouth and by they time they are sucking the Pacifier, the medicine is long gone and you are at peace.

5 Wet Wipes Are Expensive, Wash Cloths Aren't

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When baby does the number two, or wets the diaper, we quickly grab the wet wipe and clean them up. Sometimes moms are cautious about the chemicals that come from the wipes and try to look for alternatives natural products. However, the number of wet wipes used affects your budget and you keep spending more and more. If you have a Wash Cloth, and a bottle or thermos of warm water, it should do the trick. All you need to do is have enough of them in your changing basket which will solve your problem through out the day. After every use, you can wash them, and after they dry, you can store them for another use. It will reduce the expense you incur on wet wipes.

4 Plastic Bottle Baby Rattle

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As much as baby rattles are irritating to parents, especially when you need some peace and quiet, they are very effective on babies. The jingles in the baby rattles are like music to the baby's ears and they don't mind making that racket all day. You can actually make Baby Rattles with items in your house. You can pierce holes on plastic bottle lids, insert them in a string and tie a knot. You can also put other safe items which make the jingle exciting. You can also put colorful beads in a light plastic water bottle and tightly seal it the lid, or you can use some of the Christmas decoration bells and tie them together. Whichever design you come up with, it'll save you money!

3 Rain Coat From Bin Bag: They'll Outgrow It Anyway

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Kids would love to have fun with all types of activities regardless of how much you try to keep them from getting their clothes wet or dirty. They may not understand the cost of keeping their appearance neat and dry. It is difficult to cut out playtime just to keep them neat even with the clothes reserved for playing. At the end of playtime, there are some stubborn stains that end up aging the fabric, which would mean buying other clothes. One of the ways to keep them clean is the Bin Bag or a Dry Cleaner Bag. They usually come in handy. All you have to do is cutout a hole where the head will go through and another two for their hands. You can do the same for their shoes and leave out the shoe soul so that they do not slip and fall. By the end of the day, their clothes are intact and shoes still tidy, unless they are very adventurous.

2 Baby Swings Can Be Handmade Too

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Baby swings are one of the most soothing play items for kids and parents, yet exciting when you move back and forth. Kids love the swings and can even fight over who is to take the next turn. Purchasing baby swings usually costs something and includes the installation fee for some. However, you can create a Baby Swing yourself using the available items in your garage or house. Some of the items may be a bread basket, laundry basket, old tire or tube, car seat, buckets among others and a strong rope. You can choose to paint it or wrap it with a cloth, or other creative ways to make it as comfortable as possible.

1 Story Book

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Kids like a good story. In fact, most of the stories they like have adventures and a happy ending, and some parents actually create engaging and interactive bedtime stories that keep kids excited and desiring for more. Finding Story Books that appeal to them and are closest to the values you as a parent hold dear, could be challenging and you end up picking the one that seems closest to what you want, or story books that you read when you were young. DIY your own Story Books, by creating the characters from pieces of fabric, using simple writing paper or plain fabric of different colors. Patch the characters to the material, creating a story line, and bind them together with a ribbon, or by stitching the pieces on the joint. Alternatively, you can draw the characters on the papers and staple or glue the joints and you have your own DIY Story Book.

References: homeguides.sfgate.com, abeautifulmess.com, hellowonderful.co, onecrazyhouse.com, architectureartdesigns.com, sewbub.com, vickymyerscreations.co.uk, lifeasmom.com, youtube.com, babycentre.co.uk, todaysparent.com, jellibeanjournals.com, wonderfuldiy.com, hefty.com, cutediyprojects.com

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