Thursday, October 02, 2008

2 Babies In One Year On A Budget

Alex and Olivia were born 322 days, or 10 months and 18 days, or less than a year apart. Back then, it was an exciting and hectic time around our house. But it was also a time that had the potential to break our budget.

And if we had listened to all of the magazines that claim an endless list of things as "absolute necessities" for a new baby, we surely would have. (For that matter, if we had done that with even one of our children, we would have been in the same budget-busting financial state.) Eric and I decided we would pay no attention to those lists. We knew we already had plenty and with a little creative maneuvering, there was no reason why having babies less than a year apart would have to be a financial strain.Here's a brief rundown of some of the things we did in an effort to be as financially and environmentally responsible as possible:

  1. I went through all of Alex's newborn clothes to pull out everything that was gender-neutral and still in good shape. I'm always surprised by the number of onesies, pajamas, and playsuits that work equally well for a boy or girl. When I realized the number of clothes we would be able to use again, whether we had a boy or girl, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Of course it was important to us to be able to have girly clothes if we had a little girl (which we did), but the knowledge that we could make-do with what we had, if necessary, was very freeing.
  2. We spoke with our pediatrician about moving Alex into a convertible car seat from his infant car seat. Our doctor said that this was not a problem at all since he was right on the weight and height border for the infant seat anyhow. Even if we didn't have another baby waiting in the wings to use that seat, we would have been switching seats for him. So our thought that we would have to buy an extra infant seat was unfounded. It always pays to speak with your pediatrician when you are not sure about something.
  3. We once again evaluated what was a true necessity. We did not use a changing table with Alex so we knew we would not need one for Olivia either. We did not use a diaper genie with Alex so we knew we would not need one for Olivia. There was not a single "must-have" item that we would need with two babies less than a year apart that we did not need with one.
  4. We discussed, examined, and were able to rule out duplicates of many things. Alex had outgrown his infant swing, so we did not need another one. Same with his bouncy seat. He had not yet outgrown his exersaucer, but we knew that by the time the new baby was ready to use it, he would be too big for it. Our sling was still in good shape, and I didn't think I could wear two babies at one time anyhow. (And I am not saying that any of these things are necessities either. We were fortunate to have some things left from Isabelle's baby days, as well as very generous friends and family.)
  5. We staggered the purchases for items that we knew we would need two of. Olivia was four months old before we got a double-stroller. Up until that point, either she or Alex were held when we went out while the other was in a stroller. She slept in the bassinet Alex had slept in next to our bed until she was able to pull herself into a sitting position. Then we purchased a second crib. A second high chair was not needed until Olivia was a year old. Until that point, we staggered feeding times or she was fed in the exersaucer.
  6. We began preparing for the extra financial needs as soon as we learned Olivia was on her way. It wasn't much, but we did set a little money aside each month to use in the early months after her birth. This was to help offset the extra expenses of diapers (that really was the only consistent additional monthly expense after her birth) as well as to give us a little money to buy some new things for the new baby. It was important to us to be able to treat her as specially as we had her older sister and brother before her, so we were prepared to be able to do that.
Stop by Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday.


Audra Krell 11:19 PM  

What a sweet pic of the two of them. Your plans is very impressive and encouraging!

Anonymous,  11:20 PM  

Um... that's awesome your were able to get your budget through it, but how, may I be so bold to ask, did you get your body through it? I confess I am a total wimp. Is there a prize for having 2 babies in 1 year? Get this woman a prize people! Here's to hoping you are lavished upon this Mother's Day. :o) Seriously, those were great tips, you're right, most of the necessities are hype. Blessings, Whitney

Jerralea 7:25 AM  

Two babies in one year, wow! My two youngest were 21 months apart and I thought that was close enough! I agree with Whitney, you deserve a prize.

Your planning was great and I agree that we do not need everything that the media tells we need for babies (or life, for that matter).

I love your picture of your sleeping babies. Definitely a keeper!

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I agree that fall is the best time of year for us tree-lovers!

Extraordinary Ordinary Life 8:04 AM  

That picture is the sweetest! I did the same thing about going through gender neutral clothes. Your ideas are great. We don't need two of everything, and you soon learn that you don't need all those new fancy baby things anyway!

Coco 8:53 AM  

That is so good to think about. We plan on having one sometime with in the next year and a half and what does Hubby worry about... money. LOL I will have to tell him that it is manageable.

Niki 9:58 AM  

You go girl. I would be thinking survival not money. Good for you. That has got to be the cutest picture ever.

SheMom 10:26 AM  

Love your blog! Isn't it amazing how many baby products you really do not need? Thank you for the reminder :)

Blessed Mommy 6:17 PM  

Yes, you are soo right about the actual things you need with babies. Our twins are 21 months. I remember when we found out about having twins, we went in a kinda panic mode. Then we thought about it. We had all of our older son's clothes, his crib, and infant seat, even his car seat. So, we purchased one crib, a friend had a infant seat that actually matched ours, can you believe that, two inexpensive high chairs, two inexpensive bouncy seats and that was about it. No changing table, no dressers, and our cribs do not have fancy bumper pads on them. They only have the fitted sheet and a plain ruffle, cheap. With twin boys we lucked out and had to buy very few clothes. Anyway, sorry long comment, but I see so many people go overboard and spend so much money on things that are not necessary. I really enjoy your blog.

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