Green/Cheap Baby Ideas

I decided since it seems like a lot of you enjoy my pregnancy posts and a few of you miss me posting on things of the sustainable persuasion that I would consolidate some of the concepts/things/ideas that have been most helpful to me in preparing for Jude’s arrival. A lot of these things I just had no idea about before I was pregnant. I strongly suggest that you know all of your options with what’s out there before registering for baby stuff! You may be surprised at what you don’t need!

  • Bella Band – Something good to have for the beginning of pregnancy and post-pregnancy – it helps extend your  wardrobe so you don’t have to buy as much. You can make your own and save the $25 at Target
  • Candied Ginger – this and moderate snacking on fruits and veggies helped keep my nausea away, although I really didn’t have much to speak of (I know, all the women that had morning/all-day sickness hate me now).
  • Craigslist – we have found numerous things on craigslist. Maternity clothes, our crib, a bookcase, and you can find used baby clothes, toys, cloth diapers, etc. You can also get a lot of baby items for free if you monitor their free section. Also, I’ve found that of the things we’ve spent the most money on, maternity clothes was one of the highest and I tried to be very cautious in how much I spent.
  • Convertible Cribs – These save a ton of money long term – we got our crib for $20 on craigslist and it converts to a toddler bed.
  • Flippable Mattress (infant and toddler sides) – Again, convertible options are good for saving money long term. They may be more expensive up front, but they save you from having to buy the ‘upgrade’ in the future. We got the Dual Firmness Naturpedic Organic Mattress. There are a lot of weird chemicals used in mattresses these days, so we decided that this would be the best option for us.
  • GDiapers – these are the flush-able diapers. They are not cheaper than disposables but they are a good supplement for cloth diapering when ‘on the run’ diapering since it has the convenience of disposables. Also, you can compost the ones that only have pee on them.
  • Bum Genius All in Ones 3.0 – Very economical cloth diapers (they have organic options for just a bit more money too). For about $600-700 you will have all the diapers you need for your child (and future children) from infant through potty training (most people spend anywhere from $1200 to $2000 a year on disposables). We’re blessed enough to have received all of these diapers as shower gifts. Hopefully that means we will never have to spend any money on diapers!
  • Changing Pad – You don’t need to buy a changing table – just buy a dresser that will accommodate a changing pad. Then you don’t have to get rid of baby furniture once your baby isn’t a baby any longer!
  • Hook On High Chair – it’s small, compact, transportable, and for us, we inherited it so it’s cheap too! 🙂 One less big piece of furniture to try and cram in our house.
  • Baby Slings – we are going to attempt life without a stroller. Both Jason and I have slings to carry Jude around and several friends have said they never used their stroller. We hope to spend a lot of time outside once Jude is here, so hopefully this doesn’t backfire on us, but we figure we can either borrow a stroller or buy one on craigslist! I made the three slings that we have (two ring slings and one pouch sling) so it was really inexpensive for us.
  • Britax Roundabout Convertible Carseat – I know people are very fond of those clip in car seats where you can just carry your baby from the car to wherever you’re going, but that makes you have to buy more than one car seat in a very short period of time! We got a car seat that is rated good to use from infant through 35 lbs and it seems more expensive up front, but since you don’t have to buy a new car seat after your baby has grown out of the carrier, I think it ends up saving a lot of money. I know this won’t work for everyone, especially if you’re going to use a stroller system that has a built in carrier, but since we’re going to try life without a stroller, I think it will work for us!
  • Lily Padz – These are reusable nursing pads. Yes, when you breast feed you need a little help to keep from leaking through your clothes. This saves money and is a green option. Apparently they are also nice to have because they don’t show through tighter fitting or thin shirts the way that cotton nursing pads do.
  • Baby Cubes – I guess just making your own baby food in general is the point here. I like these baby cubes because they have lids and you can grab one and throw it in your diaper bag if you’re in a hurry (which I often am). Using ice cube trays is probably cheaper but takes a little more thought – once the cubes are frozen, toss them in a freezer safe storage container and then grab and defrost as needed! You can also use them to freeze breast milk for a future date. Yes, you can freeze breast milk for several months. Weird, right?
  • I have had a great group of friends and coworkers that have loaned me their maternity clothes and baby items. Don’t be afraid to ask if people will give/loan items their children are no longer using! You don’t have to buy a pack ‘n play, breast pump, stroller, crib, high chair, etc if people will let you borrow theirs! Most people are happy to either loan or get rid of items that are taking up space in their house.

I think the biggest thing to remember is that you really don’t NEED anything except some diapers, wipes, your breasts, burp rag, a blanket,  some clothing and maybe a carseat – everything else is elective. There are so many items out there looking to gain your favor and purchase but then they end up as clutter in your house!


  1. Posted May 8, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have no idea why but I thought it was funny when you were listing the short list of things you need when you have a baby and just throw breasts in there…I know – sometimes I’m so jr high!

    • Elizabeth
      Posted May 8, 2009 at 9:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Haha well it’s true! Most people don’t NEED to buy formula (I know there are exceptions for sure), that’s one of the reasons we have breasts! It really saves SO much money to not use formula! And not to mention the convenience factor! ‘Oh, baby is hungry, let me stick him under my shirt to feed him!’

  2. Posted May 8, 2009 at 11:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with everything on here, Elizabeth. I didn’t do much babywearing with Eden, but I’m hoping to with Rhys, so we don’t have to buy a double stroller. No doubt strollers can be convenient at times (it served a lot as a storage area for the farmers markets, etc).

    And if people REALLY wanted to be minimalists, they could even do without the crib and cosleep.

    Making Eden’s baby food was one of my favorite things to do when she was little. There’s something great about shopping the farmer’s market and knowing what exactly she is eating. Plus saving money is always something I enjoy doing. 🙂

    Good post. 🙂

  3. Posted December 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It amazed me throughout my pregnancy and after the baby was born to go on message boards and see how much stuff people were buying for their babies – stuff that I thought was totally unnecessary. I think that parents get into this “I’m only doing right by my child if I buy a lot of stuff and it’s expensive” mentality (and boy, do the companies who market the stuff capitalize on these thoughts – and encourage them), and then end up having a bunch of things they don’t need around their house that cost them a lot of money. We tried to be pretty minimalistic, and it’s carried over into Christmas. Our baby is only 9 months old, so we didn’t buy her any Christmas presents (she doesn’t understand, and she can’t even open them herself!), but family and friends thought we were crazy.

    • Elizabeth
      Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, it makes me sad to see how commercialized having a baby is. You really don’t need much for a child and most of it you can get secondhand. Even if you get them a toy, they want the box. Less is more for sure!

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