Let people in your community know that you need baby stuff. Casually mention that you have no family with babies so have no hand me downs coming. You may be surprised by the generosity of others.

You don't really need alot. Diapers yes. A few outfits for the first few months yes. But everything else you could manage without, but they are nice and make the job a lot easier.

We used the top of the washing machine for a changing table for the first child. He also slept in his car seat or between my husband and I in bed (A rolled up towel between the baby and Hubby gave Hubby a landmark, so he knew how far he could roll toward the center, Hubby liked that). There was no room for a basanett or crib. Some nights we blocked one side of the couch with kitchen chairs to make a temp. crib or use an empty dresser drawer placed on the bed.

Check out how African women carry their newborns in a long strip of cloth tied cleverly around. Being able to cary the little one and keep your hands free is great. I luckly had a front baby pack, and later got a back pack. I loved them.

Don't forget garage sales. I always see lots of good baby stuff there cheap. You can leave a low bid on stuff with the seller and have her/him give you a call if no one else buys.

Good luck.

-- Kathy Dice (, August 29, 1999.

My cousin and i were having babies at the same time and lived down the street from each other so we got together and did some great homemade baby food that cost much much less than store bought. The prob. with store bought is that the combo jars have too little of either meat or veggie in it to be of perfect nutrition. One bag of frozen baby carrots: simmer in water with little or no salt. Keep lid on to retain vitamins. Put in blender or food processor, keep adding the carrot's water (you need to boil in enough water to use to help blend the veggies well and smooth). Put the carrots in ice cube trays and freeze well. Pop them out and store in zip lock baggies. 2 cubes equals about a jar. Do this with chicken, beef liver, green beans, beets, squash, etc. And baby has a whole variety of foods. Hope this helps. I am writing a program for mothers and babies in our state and this is one suggestion we make. dw

-- dianna wilson (, August 30, 1999.

Look for the book, Feed Me, I'm Yours. It has great ideas on homemade baby food, teething biscuits, etc. It got me thru my four! Simplicity, etc. all have patterns for baby clothes, and DO check out yard sales, thrift stores, etc. for clothes and blankets. A lot of formula stains can be removed by using chlorine bleach, and stained stuff can be had cheaply and restored easily to nifty shape. Don't feel guilty if you don't have the newest stuff for your little one; they don't care, they just want YOU. I felt horrible when mine were little and sister in law could afford all the newest clothes, toys, and gadgets. But mine are teens now, and turned out to be good kids, just as well if not better than theirs! If at all possible, NURSE your babies. It is what God intended for them to eat, and they and you and your budget will do so much better.

-- Leann Banta (, August 31, 1999.

First of all, hit yard sales, church bazaars ( where they sell clothes priced for the bagfull), or put up an ad at the local supermarket/drugstore/library. If you can, learn to knit. This will definately pay off, espescially if you are in an area with a winter season. You just can't buy mittens as good as they used to (and still are in some parts like mine) be made. If you have a library nearby, get a book out and teach yourself to knit. It can be done, I did it when my son was an infant, he's 18 now and has never worn store bought mittens. In fact his friends liked them so much as kids, they asked if they could get a pair for their birthdays. One boy lost a mitten at school, and had his parents search until they found it! I am very grateful that I learned to knit it has always proven very useful, especially when I couldn't afford the expensive baby things. E-mail me if you'd like, and I can arrange to send you knitting materials, extra books, needles yarn etc. I have been running a guild for 8 years now, and do a lot of teaching. And of course this could lead into getting a sheep and learning to spin- I do that too, or weave- yes, that too! Both do not require a lot of money invested.... but e-mail me and we can chat.

-- sandie baker (, November 01, 1999.

Do a search for "frugal baby tips, cloth diapers" etc. I found some great stuff! Also, find the book version of the Tightwad Gazette. I have the book that combines all four volumes...tons of cheap baby info! They did a really good article on how the threw out all their baby stuff, then had surprise twins. They spent only $100 on "new" stuff, and $65 of that was on new cloth diapers!

-- philomena (, December 03, 1999. Andrea Lyman has a great sling (click on sling) that is excellent quality. Besides the above mentioned answers get the book The Womenly are of Breastfeeding. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, December 03, 1999.

OHH BOY! This is my specialty!

#1 Breastfeed your baby! Get books to help you that are published by La Leche League International - that will ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date information. Use interlibrary loan if you have to.

#2 I have patterns for baby slings , menstrual pads (for postpartum bleeding), and diapers. My website is at I should be adding more items later this year. I try to keep my instructions simple, my patterns low-priced, and the final product professional-looking. I also have doll patterns, which make great toys for babies from 3 months on. They are easy to make, beautiful to look at, and one of the dolls doubles as a teether!

#3 Until I get my breastfeeding patterns ready for publication, the best place for clothes for YOU is Elizabeth Lee Designs ( ). Easy to sew clothes with breastfeeding access.

#4 forget baby wipes! You can make your own with 8" squares of flannel - zigzag or serge the edges to keep from ravelling. Keep them in a plastic container , moistened with 2 c. Warm water and 2 T. baby soap (baby bath, castille, baby shampoo). Add essential oils (like lavender or tea tree) or infuse herbs into the water (like calendula, comfrey, chammomile, or lavender) for their healing properties. Lavender and tea tree oils are also anti-microbial, so that helps, too.

#5 Forget baby food! Breastfeed exclusively until your baby starts to show signs of being ready for solids. Usually they will grab food off of your dinner plate and try to cram it into their mouth. Then start the baby on hot cereals, smashed soft fruit, well-cooked diced vegetables, and cheerios and puffed rice. My youngest started with cheerios and "peeled" peas, and moved up to cooked carrot dices, cooked green beans, banana chunks, and small pasta, and now eats anything we put in front of her (she's 9 months) WITHOUT choking on anything. She gets frozen peas a lot for treats between meals. Baby food companies will tell you that table food will not give your baby the nutrition they need, but that's BULL. Breastfeeding and table food is TONS better that formula-feeding and baby food. If you are concerned about the baby not getting essential nutrients, supplement with vitamins. Most pediatricians prescribe them to every baby anyway.

#6 Forget the crib! I have slept with all my babies. It makes nighttime feedings a lot easier. I don't even have to wake up - I just roll over and nurse the baby. Nighttime Parenting by Dr. Sears is a good book on the subject, and will cover all the precautionary measures that should be taken when sleeping with a baby in your bed. The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin is another good book, that covers the theory of co-sleeping, and has a lot of anthropological research on the subject.

#7 Get only the furniture that you need. We still keep the baby's clothes in a laundry basket on top of my dresser. She gets changed on a towel on our bed. I never use my stroller - I shop with my sling instead.

#8 The best baby clothes patterns are by Kwik Sew. They have a basic book that includes patterns for each size range. Sewing for Baby is NB-12 months, Sewing for Toddlers is T1-T6, and Sewing for Children is 6-12. Eash book has patterns for the basics - shirts, pants, dresses, pajamas, jackets. Kwik Sew is also the only pattern company that has footed pajama (blanket sleeper) patterns from Newborn to Misses XL size - perfect for if you sleep in a cold house!

#9 Check out for other baby items. Aside from Elizabeth Lee, they have the best selection of patterns for "essentials" that I have seen anywhere.

#10 Lastly, check out the online auctions at Mothers Nature - you can find baby items, patterns, breastfeeding clothes, toys, slings - all from moms.

Becky Come see The Children's Garden - patterns for mothers

-- Becky Michelsen (, January 05, 2000.

Laurie: Where do you live? I live outside of Colorado Springs, about 30 miles east, and have a couple large boxes of baby stuff left over from my daughter. No diapers, unfortunately, but have bottle liners, nursing pads, lots of sleepers, etc. Would be glad to ship them to you if you can use them? Just email me and let me know. Or, have you already had your baby, and don't need any more stuff? What did you have? Let us know. There are some excellent ideas from others on this site, if you have access to sewing machines, time, etc. Jan

-- Janice Bullock (, January 27, 2000.

Becky -- thanks so much for mentioning the Kwik Sew pattern books! I just found a copy of the Sewing for Children at the local fabric shop (last copy!!) and am thrilled with it. Trying to keep up with the kids growing out of their clothes (tell me how a six year old boy can grow four inches overnight, leaving two brand new pairs of pants three inches too short?) is keeping me broke. I have more fabric than I can possibly ever use (garage sales and farm auctions are great sources!) and the kids are getting their summer clothes custom tailored this year!

-- Tracy (, April 24, 2000.

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