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I can tie my own shoes
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I figure this is as good as a place as any to ask about having kids. The wife is expecting in a couple months (#1 here) and while I have a decent idea of costs, I would really like to hear from others who maybe track this stuff what a new baby really cost you. Diapers, formula, etc. She is planning on breast feeding but until the kid comes along and decides for us, we may have to buy formula after all. Did you use cloth or disposable diapers? The clothes?

For the first 6-8 months of raising Jr, if you had to tell somebody a certain amount to budget for per month, would you say you should have $200, $400, $XXX amount for the child to pay for the needed items? I realize that there are thing like craigslist, 2nd hand stores, etc and those will be used when possible. I just want to not be shocked. But I probably will be.
 

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First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! to you and your wife!!

I run a licensed daycare in my home. Some of the mom's buy diapers at Sam's Club because they are cheaper. Almost all of them buy Pampers because they leak less than other brands. Cloth is definitely the cheapest.

You don't have to use the flat cloth diapers that your grandma used. There are women who make fitted cloth diapers and they love using them. Go to www.diaperswappers.com and you'll get tons of information about them, and lots of good advice about anything to do with babies and saving money.

The last prices I saw on large cans of powdered formula were in the $25 - $27. That's not the largest cans though.

Look for garage sales in neighborhoods with expensive homes. It's been my experience that I find newer looking baby / kids clothes for very little money. Also, check out children's consignment shops.

Buy the best car seat you can afford. Never buy one at a garage sale or off Craig's List. You have no way of knowing if that seat has been in a car that's been in an accident. Buy new or borrow / buy one from a family member or close friend.

If you PM me with your address, I can send you coupons for diapers, wipes and formula.

Barb
 

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Yes, congratulations as well! I found that the entire time my kids were growing, there was very little I could predict in the way of expenses. Sure, there are the predictable things like diapers and formula. But, each age brings so many new expenses, it is mind boggling. I used to keep a budget with a "misc" category and blew through it every month.

Don't buy too many outfits at first. We found the kids grew so fast we didn't get a chance to use them before they were too small.

There are a couple of things you can do that will let you get used to having kids around the house.
1) Freshly paint the walls and trim. Then, get a bucket and fill half way with dirt. Mix some water, take a brush and paint a line all around the house about 3 ft up. Paint all of the entrance floors as well.
2). Mix some sugar with water and make a paste. Coat every door knob in the house.
3). Get some juice. If you have light colored carpets, grape works well. Pour a large amount in a very noticeable place. Let it sit for several hours before attempting to clean it.
4) Take you car out just before you really need to use it and run it into a ditch.

Chaos becomes normal, but the first 3 months is the worst. The baby only sleeps a few hours because it's stomach is small and feeding is necessary. After a few months, it will sleep through the night and you will feel so much better, especially your wife!

Good luck!
 
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