I am doing this page more for me than for anyone else, but maybe you will all find it interesting.




I live in Canada, land of lovely universal healthcare and polar bears, not the U.S., so paying for doctors, obstetricians, and hospital visits and stays is a foreign concept to me, and luckily, a cost that I have not ever incurred in my life, even with my little stint of living in the U.S.


What I am not listing because it’s free in Canada:

  • Doctor’s visits are always free.
  • Pregnancy test was free, because I went to my doctor and she tested me right away.*
  • Obstetrician visits are also free; I didn’t go to a gynecologist.
  • Sonograms are also free.
  • Bloodwork and all kinds of tests are also free of charge.

Fun anecdote: I bought pregnancy tests before going to see her, not realizing she could test me for free, so I returned the tests right after I found out I was pregnant, and got my $20 back.

What I think about before I buy something:

I want to spend as little as possible and accumulate as little stuff as possible.

No cutesy outfits here, or furniture that they’ll grow out of in a year. I’m not interested in accumulating more junk, but I also want to be sure I am adequately equipped to take care of a baby. Immediate convenience versus benefits, and all that.

Anything I buy for the kid, I think about it for the long-term.

I don’t like baby-sized things if it isn’t necessary. Why buy a baby-sized towel when a larger one will do, even if it’s not as cute and a little awkwardly large for the first little while? They’ll “grow” into the towel.

If baby clothing stores had their way, I’d be buying 10 onesies for each of their months, and spending a boatload of money along the way.

Instead, I am buying slightly larger onesies and waiting for them to outgrow it, before putting them into another, slightly larger onesie.

As a result, my purchases will look inflated for now, but I won’t be buying a toddler-sized bed, or a child’s-sized bed as they grow.

I only like organic cotton, natural fabrics and non-Chinese crap I can help it.

Polyester is the P-word in my house, and anything from China, unless I simply can’t do without it, will be avoided like the plague. This makes things a lot more expensive.

Anything I buy for myself, that is in direct relation to having the baby goes on here.

I am tempted to put ALL MY clothing under here, but I will be reasonable and only put things I bought specifically to use as maternity-wear, even though I can wear it long after the kid is born.

I also put things like trying out prenatal yoga, because I didn’t know what I could and couldn’t do with a baby. Turns out, I shouldn’t do anything on my stomach, my back, or try to squish my little one.

We got a good pile of clothing from a family member already.

Thank goodness for hoarders in the family.

We had a pile of baby clothes that we estimate will save us about $1500 (even with our minimalist tendencies). They saved the clothes for 15 years if you can believe that.

Anyway, we inherited most of it, and we are now only buying things to fill in the gaps (newborn stage).


I only bought one book What to expect when you’re expecting which has been quite helpful especially with the first pregnancy (it’s also nice to know how your baby is doing week to week), but these other books are also very helpful if you are so inclined to read them:

I didn’t agree 100% with any book above, but I agreed with parts of each, which is good enough for me.

All amounts are in CAD$ unless otherwise noted.

Note: I am also only really paying 50% of everything that is listed here, as my partner is paying the other 50%.




My drinking milk is almost $1000 for the entire 9 months because it’s organic and in glass, and I need about 3/4 of a liter a day, including taking prenatal vitamins. I don’t want the baby to suck calcium out of my bones and teeth just because I am not getting enough…

Under Bed / Bath, are a lot of things I bought for the baby to use for life well into adult years if they want to, like their bed, pillows, room heater, bath towels…

Whatever we had on hand, we tried to re-purpose for the baby, but frankly, we are minimalists, so we don’t really have old towels or old ANYTHING lying around that we DON’T already use for ourselves and need.

Otherwise, we tried our best to use whatever was around without having to buy anything new.

 Health / Medicine  $1,331.31 Pregnancy Book, Prenatal Vitamins, Organic Milk for the entire pregnancy (accounts for about $922), Shea butter for stretch marks, Pads, Thermometer
 Feeding  $100.48 Nursing Pads, Glass Baby Bottles and Nipples
 Bedroom  $759.06 Japanese Futon, Pillows (Head and Body), Linens, and Room Heater (All to be used FOR LIFE!!)
 Toys  $108.81 Teething Toys, Bath Toys and Regular Toys
 Bath / Cleaning  $98.43 Bath mitts, Bathtub mat, Toiletries (Hairbrush)
 Diaper  $620.30 Cloth diapers, Disposable Diapers, Diaper liners, Diaper pails, washboards
 Transportation  $270.12 Stroller, Car Seat, Baby Sling
 Baby Wardrobe  $84.21 Baby Clothes from 0-12 months (we had the rest given to us from a family member)
 Maternity Wardrobe  $746.73 Admittedly I did not need to spend this much but I did not want to wear a muumuu or anything made in China
 Other  $36.95  Baby Memory book and Piano Book
TOTAL  $4119.45 During the pregnancy up until the birth of the child (prep for the first year)



$19.90 What to expect when you’re expecting (Book) Kind of necessary. The Indigo guy found out before anyone else in my family or circle!
$14.11  Folic Acid (365 pills) In hindsight I should have just bought Prenatal vitamins that already had folic acid in them
$4.41 Small garbage bags To be used as barf bags for the plane/traveling
$150 Blue Cross Pregnancy-Specific Travel Insurance For peace of mind.
$41.21 Benadryl, Tylenol Pregnancy-safe medication for allergies and headaches
$921.20 1L of organic milk in a glass bottle per day for the entire pregnancy For the extra 1000-1200mg of calcium pregnant women need a day
$16.45 Cedar blocks for the closet To keep moths away from the baby’s clothes
$60.99 Small shredded rubber pillow for when the baby is older and Organic Cotton Wipes No pillows when they’re a newborn, but as they get older, they’ll want a pillow to sleep on and this is the only place we can buy one
$4.58 Organic cotton Bath Mitt To wash the baby
$27.66 2 boxes of Prenatal vitamins Enough to complete the pregnancy; Will stock up for post-pregnancy if I see a sale
$8.48 Organic cotton Baby Hat It’s large enough that they can wear it even past the newborn stage
$22.60 Prenatal yoga (1 drop-in class) Having done yoga before but unsure of what to change now, I wanted to see the difference. Not worth the expense, I’m doing yoga at home.
$56.94 2 X Organic cotton nursing pads and 3 Organic cotton Baby Wipes We need 24 wipes (face and hands, and butt have to be separate wipes), so we’re slowly buying out the stock of what we can find.
$54.24 2 X Bathtub mats We are using these absorbent mats to lay on top of the changing table instead of buying specific changing-table covers.
$40.66   2 x Twin-sized fitted sheets We are skipping the crib/baby bed and buying a twin-sized 2-layer all cotton futon (firm enough so the baby won’t suffocate)
$7.33 Organic cotton footed leggings We only needed one more in this size range.
$3.02 10 x Emery boards Made in the U.S.
$12.56  2 x cotton footed leggings  Filling in the gaps for a newborn.
$313.58 J Brand Mama J Maternity Jeans and a Ruched Maternity Top My first 2 maternity-specific pieces because I hate maternity wear.
$327 Aritzia stretchy long dresses I call this maternity-wear, but really they can be worn afterwards; Bought them because most of my dresses cut into my belly now.
$62.15 Thigh-High Black Wolford “Maternity” Tights Wolford does not do maternity; these are the warmest leggings they have, as thigh highs so that they don’t cut into my bump any more.
$28.20 Be Maternity Leggings with a full belly cover Couldn’t go without these; I caved to have something to wear at home. It’s the last of my maternity wear pieces.
$9.91 2 X cotton onesies The last onesies we needed in the newborn size.
$35.58 1 X Terrycloth mattress protector; 100% waterproof This is for the twin-sized futon we will buy for the baby. One bed, for life.
$16.93  Hevea Teething Ring (Similar) Natural rubber teething ring
$28.24  Hevea Bath Toys (Similar) Natural rubber bath toys
$35.59  7 Organic Cotton Wipes Baby wipes in organic cotton
$15.80 5 Washable Hospital Panties Sounds gross but you need something secure to hold up post-hospital pads
$5.62 Evenflo Glass Baby Bottle The only brand we found so far with glass baby bottles
$6.73 [RETURNED] 2 sets of Evenflo baby bottle nipples 2 different nipple flow types (medium / strong) Returned them because they’re made in China
$11.27 Hevea Pacifier (Similar) Natural rubber baby pacifier
$16.94 Cocoa Butter Bought more cocoa butter for stretch marks; this is a softer formula that is easier to melt & rub on
$40.68 Wooden baby toy No plastic toys in our house
$45.20 Aquapac Scuba diving bag For dirty diaper changes when outside; really seals in the stink/liquid, etc, as it’s a scuba bag
$7.90 Plastic pail For washing the dirty diapers in
$15.70 Natura Maternity Pads (20) and Pantyliners (30) For fluid during pregnancy *ahem* & after the hospital; they’re biodegradable
$52.82 Natural Rubber Pillow In anticipation of when they’re older and will not suffocate themselves and be able to sleep with a pillow, we bought a natural rubber pillow for them.
$157.07  Twin-sized 4-layer all-cotton Japanese futon as a baby bed This will be their permanent (baby to adult) bed on the floor. Any cover will be securely fastened so they can’t suffocate and we’ll be swaddling the baby.
$40 2 organic cotton swaddling blankets Canadian-designed and manufactured from Oemi Baby
$25.89 Natura Maternity Pads and Pantyliners Stocked up for the entire pregnancy
$0 Philips Avent Breast Pump (Originally $56.42)Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump The only brand not made in China, other than Lasinoh (their quality looked/felt like crap).UPDATE: Returned this because a friend gave me her old Ameda electric breast pump made in Switzerland
$72.29 Braun Thermoscan 5 Thermometer We don’t even have a thermometer, so we needed to buy one. It’s digital.
$22.04 Baby Hairbrush Made out of goat’s hair and made in Germany
$16.26 Lifefact Glass Baby Bottle Another glass baby bottle with a silicone cover for grip
$32.04 Organic Cotton Wipes For the butt
$5.93 Baby Mittens  So that they don’t scratch their faces (they don’t know any better)
$10.80 More Organic Cotton Wipes For the face
$42.91 Changing pad for baby Bought the Serta changing pad made in U.S.A.Found it on sale, was originally $54.23
$25.99 Washing board to scrub diapers Scrubbing baby poo is gross. We have a board just for this so we don’t gunk up the machine.
$22.59 Cocoa Butter for baby bump To prevent stretch marks; I already ran out!
$82.69 6 organic cotton cloth diapers (Similar) From Motherease. We are using these as diaper covers instead of plastic diaper covers. We’ll buy pre-folds for padding & diaper liners too.
$16.26 Lifefact Glass Baby Bottle Bought a third glass baby bottle (now we have 3 in total) with a silicone cover
$85.02 Bummis Prefold Diapers (6-each) 3 sets of Bummis prefold diapers, going to use these as baby soaker pads
$395.49 Dyson Hot + Cool Fan We bought one for ourselves already, this one is for the baby / future childrens’ room
$152.53 MacLaren Triumph Stroller Scored it on sale for $45 off on Boxing Day!
$117.59 Safety Enspira First Car Seat Enspira 65 Car seat on sale for $38 off the $150 price, but the Guide 65 is very similar. We wanted the Guide 65 but it never went on sale and this was much cheaper.
$0 [Gift from Grandma] 2 X Baby 100% Cotton Slings We’re using the sarong method, video located below. It’s the cheapest and it is not a bulky ridiculous contraption
$22.37 4 packs of 6 Bummis cotton wipes (diaper) We’re using reusable cotton wipes for diaper changes rather than actual disposable diaper wipes
$123.60 7th Generation Disposable Diapers (for the hospital); 3 packs of Bummis cotton prefold inserts and 3 packs of Bummis diaper liners We need to provide our own diapers at the hospital, and we finished buying the rest of the cloth diapers we need (prefold padding for instance) and bio-liners
$22.54 Plastic Snapware (tupperware boxes) We’re using corn starch for the baby instead of talc, plus baking soda for the diapers (deodorizing), soap, etc and needed plastic containers to store these items in as glass would be too dangerous around a baby.
$14.46 Natura Maternity Pads I read that you have to change your pad about 3 – 4 times a day, so my initial estimate of 1 a day was far too low. I need to stock up a lot more of these for post-birth.
$11 Baking Soda (stocked up a few packs) and Corn Starch We are using baking soda to deodorize the cloth diapers in the pail, and the corn starch is in lieu of using talc on the baby’s butt.
$10.14 Bathtub for baby Bought a simple bath tub to bathe the baby. I wanted to use the sink but partner was not on board.
$20.96 4 packs of Bummis diaper liners More liners as I anticipate changing these a lot.
$30.22 Delora Diapers for a newborn Only for hospital / emergency use. We have to provide our own newborn diapers after the first day. Oddly enough, Seventh Generation Disposable Diapers  no longer makes newborn sizes or sells them in Canada.
$5.40 Bottle Brush Brush to clean the baby bottle
$11.69 Baby Math Kit It’s so cute, we have a little math kit ready to go for the baby to learn with
$11.80 Peter Rabbit Baby Book (Peter Rabbit Naturally Better) Bought a memory book for the baby (I hate paper but I really appreciated that as an adult, my mother had one for me); Printed in Italy on eco-friendly paper / natural inks
$8.25 All-in-One Course for Children: Lesson, Theory, Solo, Book 1 (Alfred’s Basic Piano Library) In anticipation of teaching the baby piano!
$34.34  Prenatals DHA for the baby’s brain
$4.71  Natura Pantyliners
$16.80 Peter Rabbit Baby Book (Peter Rabbit Naturally Better)  Take 2 on the book. I royally effed up the first one. O_o



We decided to supplement the cloth diapering with disposable diapers but only at night. It was getting to be too much to have the baby sleep, only to wake up in a fright because he was soaking wet.

To have our baby (and us!) sleep better and to avoid changing him every 2 hours, we put him in disposables during the night and cloth during the day.

For feeding, we fed him formula (supplements) when I was unable to produce enough pumped milk to feed him but only twice and then we switched to goat milk as formula had a list of ingredients that scared me.

 Health / Medicine  $99.94 Infant Tylenol; Diaper rash creams/ointments
 Feeding  $797.85 Goat Milk for when I did not make enough milk to feed him yet
 Bedroom  $247.25 Had to replace changing pad and pails
 Toys  $70.00 Pacifier and a used baby swing (purchased online via Craig’s List)
 Bath / Cleaning  $11.02 Mini Thermos
 Diaper  $614.26 Disposable Delora Diapers that are Biodegradeable
 Transportation  $141.36 Chimparoo Mei Tai Carrier
 Baby Wardrobe  $57.03  Baby Sun hat!
 Maternity Wardrobe  $  Don’t need this category any more!
 Other  $529.68  Birth Certificates; Stokke Chair
TOTAL  $2038.71 First Year Only



$17.98 Enfamil Infant Formula  When I did not produce enough milk and then I stopped and used goat milk
$20.92 Enfamil Infant Formula  When I did not produce enough milk then I stopped and used goat milk
 $11.02  Thermos  To hold water to wet those cotton wipes for when I wipe his bum
 $15.11 Delora Diapers for a newborn  For when we leave him with someone else (parents) or at night to sleep through the night
 $20.30  Delora Diapers for a newborn  For when we leave him with someone else (parents) or at night to sleep through the night
 $14.68  Medela Nipple Shield  For when I tried to get him to breastfeed directly; I have since given up
 $11.87  1 Ameda Purely Yours Flange  I broke one; Had to buy a replacement
 $118.10  Newborn Prefold Diapers (Bummis); Diaper Covers and Delora Diapers for a newborn  The cloth diapers we bought were too large of a size and we needed to buy the newborn size as well which is what we did
 $10 Natursutten Pacifier  Bought another one
$60  Graco SweetPeace Baby Swing  Bought online (used); normally retails for $300
 $9.93 Infant Tylenol  In case he gets a fever after being vaccinated
 $50.37 Delora Diapers for a newborn   For when we leave him with someone else (parents) or at night to sleep through the night
 $60  Birth Certificates  Long and Short Form
$41.23 Goat Milk  I am exclusively pumping breastmilk (not feeding directly) and cannot feed 100%
 $85.89  Breast pump accessories  Extra flanges (I broke a few), extra valves (they split)..
 $87.21  Diaper Covers  His legs / thighs got fatter but his overall body shape is still too small for the original diapers we purchased which I think are meant for toddlers
 $39.79  Sunhat I am starting to walk outside with him and he needs this hat to not burn
 $131.08  Chimparoo Mei Tai Carrier  I use this carrier to carry him for walks. Will review it after I get used to it.
$150.54 Supplemental Formula  This is a cost that is going up and up because I am starting to pump less and less in anticipation of going back to work.
$1.93  Vitamin D Drops  Used a $50 gift card I got from a friend to buy these drops for the first year and onwards.
$45.49  Diaper Cream  He got a serious diaper rash and started having eczema flare-ups, which is where this cream comes in
$8.61  Non-Petroleum Jelly His skin is getting SO DRY
$91.40  Baby changing pad and so on In our haste to move cities, I left it all.
$16.99  Diaper Cream (take 2) Another ointment because the first one didn’t work, this one treated his fungal diaper rash like a charm
$9.18  Batteries  For the pump; I pump at night in a closet to stay as quiet as possible and there’s no outlet there, so I use batteries
$155.30 Delora Diapers  I’m starting to get lazy and use these more often when we go out for long stretches. I use cloth at home exclusively but sometimes you just don’t want to change a cloth diaper every half hour when you’re out and about.
$4.59 AA Batteries for the pump Double electric breast pump needs batteries sometimes when I can’t use the AC adapter (no outlet)
$5.74  Baby First Birthday Card I am too excited to be doing this stuff, I bought it well in advance
 $18.04  Baby Bottle  He needed another one
 $6.89 AA Batteries for the pump  I burn through theses
 $17.24  Sunhat  His head got bigger
$172.53 Goat Milk
 $77.65 Delora Diapers
 $2.29 Disposable Baby Wipes  For an emergency, if he poos or something and I have no other alternative, I use disposable wipes
$463.94  Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair w/ Baby Seat Attachment  Baby Chair! Made in Romania, Baby attachment seat made in USA.
$16.99  Diaper rash cream I have it just for when I see flareups
$77.65  Night Diapers  Moved up a size in the Delora Diapers
$95.81   Goat Milk
$10.28  Stroller Cover  For the rain
$10.28  Second Trash Bin  For the diapers (cloth), I do laundry every other day now
$32.01  Life Factory Y Cut Nipples 6 of them, to feed him semi-solids
 $72.26  Goat Milk
 $29.79  Nipple covers
 $104.50  Goat Milk
$140.28  Goat Milk
 $155.85  Baby Locks  We are baby proofing the ENTIRE place… little bumpers, the whole nine yards



I hate the idea of baby carriers and baby slings of any kind. This is the simplest, most minimalist method, and you can just buy 100% cotton cloth and do it yourself.

It’s very safe and secure. You can even go farther and knot it to make it more secure so the knots don’t come out, but it has been done for years in other parts of the world.


Don’t fret!

J Money has a similar page from Budgets are Sexy, and has been listing out the cost of the baby so far, which is where I was inspired to do something similar.

He lives in the U.S., so just seeing how much it costs for sonograms and visits, blows my mind and makes me kiss this maple-syrup scented ground a little more fervently.


  1. Kelly

    And hi.. CLEARLY need to do more research into the China though… pretty sure that is where Old Navy clothes are made. Wah.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Just check the label 🙂

  2. Kelly

    This is a great, really interesting list! I was thinking of doing something like this but then I was like, I actually don’t think I want to know!
    I am getting many of the same things as you. My mom just got me some glass bottles last night and I think it was a different brand so I’m going to look up in the name for you in case you are interested!
    For things like a swing, I decided to wait until the baby is born. If he cries a lot, I’ll try a swing at a friend’s house before I buy it. Otherwise it just takes up so much space and what if he doesn’t even like or need it? Just one way I am trying to save a little space/money. I hopefully have not got too much from China either but I have to look into that to make sure.

    It’s funny bc you said you have loved pregnancy and I definitely have not, but I DO love maternity clothes. I have no idea what my deal is but I love maternity clothes SO much more than my regular wardrobe. I’ve scored some really good deals at Old Navy and some more at the Gap- they had a crazy Black Friday 50% off. I am going to be sad to go back to my regular wardrobe haha. We just need to combine the two of us and we’d be a REALLY happy pregnant person lol.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh yes please! Tell me the brand. I have been mostly trying to buy items from certain stores I tend to frequent.

      I am not going to buy a swing I think.. I just think they’ll grow out of it.

      I really have loved being pregnant so far. I am not a fan of maternity wear to be honest, but I’ve been buying items that can be worn even after I give birth (that look chic no matter what). My only real maternity purchases were my maternity tights with the belly cover, my J Brand Mama J Starless jeans and this $25 (on sale) ruched top that I can wear after I give birth too.

      My pregnancy so far has gone really well, which is why I have been loving it. After the first trimester of basically sleeping all the time, I’m good now.

  3. LAL

    Never got a response but how do you budget moving into a bigger size place once the baby comes? Where are you living now? In the studio still?

  4. MelD

    Oh right, the daughter with kids? She’s the one who survived my apparently wicked and negligent parenting LOL (by today’s standards!)…

  5. MelD

    Wow. I thought you wanted simple.
    My, I am glad I had my babies before the internet if this is what it generates.
    For my first pregnancy I bought one pair of maternity pants, used an existing oversize sweatshirt and one of my dad’s shirts (it was the 80s!) and borrowed two A-line 70s dresses from my mom. I had a cape instead of a coat (winter pregnancy in Switzerland) but didn’t buy it specially, I think it was my mom’s.
    For the baby, a neighbour lent us her baby clothes that were about 18 yrs old and I was given some more modern ones as gifts. I think we bought a cotton cap/mitts for the hospital that I only used coming home from the hospital and never again.
    I did buy a “Moses” basket for her to sleep in and in those days we used it in the back of the car, too (shock horror gasp). My mom made a tiny duvet and pillow for it.
    Someone else lent us a toddler bed and a rocking horse for a couple of years. I used no-name disposables (less perfume). No dummy (pacifier). No bottles except the one they gave me free in a sample box – I did later get a couple of bottles (glass) when I had to quit breastfeeding at 2 mths. There was nothing else I needed or missed having. What IS all this stuff you list?!!
    If I had needed anything else I would have gone to the store. But I didn’t.
    Only my last child had a carseat as a newborn (1995). Otherwise, I didn’t need anything else that I couldn’t just use regular stuff from round the house for the first few months.
    Times seem to have changed a great deal.
    (True, my daughter also has quite a lot of superfluous stuff for her kids despite wanting to keep it simple – maybe social pressure is simply too great :o).

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @MelD: I do want simple but I also want quality and I am thinking long-term for a lot of these purchases.

      I tried begging people for things but everyone has already given things away or they’re made in China and I don’t want plastic or cheap things for my kid…

      We did get a lot of baby clothes which helped the bulk of the purchasing, but now it’s the big stuff like the stroller we have to buy.

      Car seats are also non-negotiable, and we wanted a good sturdy one.

      Our kid’s bed is a futon that goes from baby to adult.

      Organic cotton wipes are to clean the baby (we don’t want to use disposable baby wipes), and we bought a few toys already that we plan on using for the next kid.

      We also needed changing covers, but we didn’t want the changing table, so we needed things like a mat that we could wash afterwards in case poo gets on it…

  6. Carolina

    Interesting concept. I agree whole-heartedly that the baby industry markets tons of things that you don’t need (wipe warmers, baby bathtubs, etc)
    If I may suggest one item that saved our lives during the first insanely colic-y weeks: a swing. I bought an older, simple one from a friend’s garage sale. It wasn’t pretty and didn’t have all the gadgets. However, my daughter adored that thing. Best $25 I’ve ever spent and it is currently in the service of a friend’s newborn. I’ll keep lending it out as long as it functions. If your child is difficult to sooth, try to borrow or buy one.

    I’d also suggest a good pump if you plan to work outside the home and breastfeed. But perhaps Canada covers such things better than the US.

    How are you managing with so few maternity clothes? I am new to the blog. Do you not work in an office? I had to have at least two pairs of pants so I could have a clean pair for work every day.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      @Carolina: A swing eh? I’ll keep that in mind. Babies do seem to love jumping around in them .. from what I can see.

      As for breast pumps, Canada does not cover that. I will not get maternity leave at all or any help because I am a freelancer, not an employee.

      I will be planning to breastfeed for the first 3 months exclusively, and then if I need to go to work I will buy the breast pump and pump at work, and leave milk with the daycare to feed the kid.

      As for maternity clothes being very low, I do not currently work. I am a freelancer and I didn’t get a contract this year so my time is very open / free. I told myself I wouldn’t buy any maternity clothes for work unless I actually had to work 🙂

  7. LAL

    Why did you pick the safety first car seat? The ratings aren’t that great. And the price difference in carseats is due to the ease of getting children in and out.

    Another bonus of a baby bucket is toting them around while sleeping. But that may not matter. Not all kids transfer and many parents love the bucket solely for that reason. But it’s heavy and an infant attachable stroller a must. But like I said I had small babies whose shoulder did not get close to the convertible carseats lowest settings. One thing I never skimped on was safety.

    One way to do it is to borrow a baby bucket and stroller. I would also not borrow an older one because you want to have easily adjustable straps. You want one that you can pull tight and not adjust from the back. Otherwise you will be loosening it everyday with different outfits.

    I bought a bunting and infant bucket cover for winters. Why? I walk a lot outdoors. I walk even in the winter. Well worth it. My kids loved it. But with a maclaren you probably won’t be walking as much outdoors in the winters the tires won’t make it on pavement even shoveled well. Then a jogger is well worth it. If you wanted an all in one stroller the city mini GT is great but a lot heavier than the regular because of the tires.

    As for the bed I agree that you may want to contain your little one during naps and stuff unless you are lying there next to them. If you put them in a room on a futon, once they are moving they may surprise you. As for toddler beds, I like ours. $69 for something that fits in a small room and we my kid won’t hurt herself falling down. We considered a twin mattress on the floor but decided for that price we’ll use it through 3 kids and consider ourselves well worth it and we’ll sell it after for $20.

    There are many things you can buy used and there are many things you can resell after buying. I bought my toddler a new costume for halloween (it’s a giraffe) but I kept her costumes to trade and use for the younger. I am borrowing a duck for the baby.

    Also I know you are think you are doing cheap on kids but if you want to see really frugal living check out some blogs about moms who live on $30k/year or less with 2-3 kids. Humble housekeeper I think is one. And there are a few others I read. They give excellent tips on kids for cheap and they really talk about purchases.

    Myself like you are “frugal” in our income bracket but to really live frugally everything would be used and hand me downs including a free/cheap crib. And some people would do it that way because they are minimizing their footprint by not buying anything new.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The first thing I can safely say that NO parent would ever compromise on safety for their kid, so you don’t even need to point out that YOU would never skimp on safety.

      Let’s not assume otherwise, mmkay?

      1. Safety First car seat because it’s the only one that looked the sturdiest out of all the ones we had offered here. The rest were all shaky, shoddily made… the safety first seat at least, had a solid base on it. The others had very flimsy plastic parts holding them together. Remember, I am in Canada not the U.S., we don’t have the range of products here that are offered there.

      2. I do not want to carry any baby in any baby bucket if I can help it. It is an oversized purse and I am not willing to break my back.

      3. We will not be walking out a lot in the winter with the kid, unless they can actually walk without a stroller. Again, I am not interested in taking them out in freezing winter if I don’t have to.

      4. We’ll probably end up putting heavy boxes around the futon against the wall and box in the baby until they get big enough.

      5. I do not plan on buying any Halloween costumes, I rather hate the whole “holiday”.

      6. I am not interested in bloggers that go too cheap either, because their ideas of “frugal” probably includes the dollar store and thrift stores/consignment which BF is not up for. I’m going to go with my own version, but thanks for the tip.

      7. We are trying to NOT buy anything new, but we do not want secondhand things from 18 years ago when the safety standards might have changed.

      1. LAL

        @save. spend. splurge.:

        There are many parents who won’t buy the baby bucket because they are saving money by not purchasing a carseat that could last only 3-6 months. And yes there are many parents like that. My neighbors bought only the Britax roundabout convertible seat for their newborn. Good thing she was big enough and they said so afterwards. If she had been a small baby then she wouldn’t have fit.

        Now you are getting defensive for pointing out that many frugal and thrifty people are there by necessity and those who will only buy from consignment and thrift stores. They don’t want to increase foot print so everything is used. Yes there are people like that. Not from friends but if they buy something it’s used so that way they are helping the environment.

        Used cloth diapers, used clothes, everything. Everyone has their own decisions and judgments. By the way what is wrong with dollar stores and thrift stores and consignment?

        Isn’t that the point that many people can raise children on very little money if they needed to?

        I forgot to ask what about your rental? Are you still in a studio or did you chose to get a 1 bd? Does that factor into the cost getting a larger size place?

  8. Tania

    Yup, I totally find this type of thing interesting. Thanks for pointing me to the link. Also loved reading all the comments. You made me laugh with the return of the home pregnancy tests, I don’t think I’d have the patience to wait for the doctor’s visit. I’ll also be checking out J-Life as I prefer Japanese products for many things. I personally slept on a futon for over ten years. I didn’t get my first adult mattress bed until I was 35.

  9. Daisy

    Oh, man! I saw What to Expect at a used book store in New Orleans for $1 yesterday, and I was tempted to buy it for the (probably far off) future, and I didn’t. Regretting it!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well they update it every year or so.. I bought the latest edition although I don’t even know what they would really change in there.

      I also have the First Year baby book in an ebook online. I am considering it in a book form because it’s harder to flip through my Kobo e-reader for notes.

  10. J. Money

    Haha… I love that you’re crazy enough to do this too 😉 I just updated mine and we’re now at $20,000 at 15 months – yikes! Damn daycare and insurance…

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Insane, right? $20K!! But you also have healthcare to pay for which I don’t..

  11. Danielle

    Thank you for writing this! I’m watching in earnest with my little ticky-tape, while my eyes explode at the numbers, but honestly, NOBODY TALKS ABOUT THIS STUFF so I’m glad you are. (I’m not expecting/looking to expect/expecting to expect anytime soon but definitely interested in the numbers.)

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Hahah 🙂 I find it harder to find Canadian numbers than American ones. J$ had the right idea, I just thought I’d do a Canadian view on it.

  12. LAL

    Crib can be essential can use a pack and play. But seriously if you have a kid that can run around they will rather than sleep. Me personally? No. But other people’s kids I know they can’t sleep unless contained. Just saying something to consider. Also mine could climb out by 18 months.

    Everything is kid dependent so nothing is a must. Borrow a baby carrier and see which one you like. I have an ergo and baby bjorn. Ergo is great because it goes on back and is great support and good for back. Bjorn can outward face.

    Stroller depends on what you use it for. Personally if you are going to not have a car and only one stroller? Then get something lightweight. I know EVERYONE buys the uppa baby or bugaboo but seriously those are heavy strollers and BIG to be trucking around the city up and down stairs with. People are nuts.

    You are better off using a maclaren umbrella style stroller. Why maclaren? Steers better than the cheaper models. Now as to would you want more than one? Depends if you are a jogger or walking person. I have a jogger but I walk and run with my kids, but I stay at home. Does a working parent need it? I would guess no.

    Now as to carseats. I would buy an infant bucket, though some would argue not. My neighbors did not. They put their baby into the Britax Roundabout convertible immediately. But their babies (unlike mine) was overdue and big enough. Mine were premature and unable to fit into the convertible seat rear facing though it said 5 lbs. What if you have a baby smaller than that? Just pointing out that “yes” you can save money by buying one car seat, but in many cases it may NOT be possible. My two kids both needed carseat tests in the hospital to make sure they could breathe in the carseat. They passed but if they couldn’t I would have been forced to buy a carseat bed to take them home. Again cicumstances dependent.

    I am all about saving money for kids, but there are some things I don’t think are worth compromising and car seats are one of them.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m going to see if the kid can contain themselves without climbing out. 🙂

      As for a baby carrier, I am going to try a sling for now (we already have one coming our way), and see how it goes. It seems to have worked well on the kids in my family, so.. fingers crossed it will be fine for a newborn at least up to 6 months until we can have a stroller.

      As for the stroller we thought about that too. I was testing out strollers and I couldn’t even fold them with my foot, even though they were “easy fold” strollers. They were also HEAVY AS HECK, I can’t imagine going up and down a bus (if I ever did) with a stroller that heavy without breaking my back, and having to lift a kid in there too.

      YES! McLaren is the one I am looking at. It was the most lightweight and the easiest to fold.

      I do not think I will buy an infant bucket, but if I need it, I will buy one. I just hope I won’t need it. If the situation arises, I will buy one, but for now, I am planning on a regular infant car seat that can grow with the kid, then we move to booster seats.

  13. Alice

    That bed looks so neat! Love it.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It’s actually what I sleep on. They say in the baby book that babies don’t care abut softness and pillows in the first year or so. A harder bed is fine for them, so they won’t die suddenly and be smothered by anything too soft.

  14. Kimberly

    Something you might want to consider regarding a baby bed is that sometimes you just need a safe place to lay your baby. For the first few months the baby won’t move much, so it might be fine to put them on a futon on the floor. However, once they learn how to roll, you’re going to be finding your kid on the floor. Next they start to sit up, then stand, then walk. Babies sleep sporadically, sometimes while you’re sleeping, sometimes when you’re not. I’m just saying that you might not be staring at your baby when they wake up, and might not find them on the futon once you realize they’re awake. Second, you seem to be on the go a lot, so you should probably think about getting some sort of baby carrier like a Bjorn or Moby Wrap. So much more convenient than a stroller, especially if you’re going to be in a crowded place.

    Also, about the baby hat, if it’s too big it won’t stay on the baby’s head, so it’s kinda useless. And really, they only need the baby hat when they’re newborns. Once they’re older they’ll wear winter hats or brimmed hats to be protected from the elements, but my kids didn’t really wear hats indoors after the first month or two.

    It takes a while to figure out what you need. The only special baby items you really need to have on hand when your little one arrives are: diapers, wipes, onsies, car seat, place for baby to sleep and you (milk supply)! If you’re giving birth at home, you probably don’t even need the car seat. You can decide on all the other items once the kid is here.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Good point! I’ll keep that in mind when they start getting bigger.

      I also don’t plan on going out a lot with the kid to be honest. I don’t like crowds to begin with, and with a baby? Enter more paranoia.

      We only bought the baby hat for a newborn, not an actual cap… but if we DO go out, we’ll need to buy a sun hat.

      The car seat is a must for us because we’re going to a hospital, and so is the stroller but only at 6 months (don’t plan on buying a newborn-specific stroller).

  15. Alice

    I would love to see a pic of the baby bed. I have always thought that a baby crib/toddler bed were a waste of money.


    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thank you!

      The baby bed will just be a 2-layer all-cotton Japanese futon which can be found at J-Life International

  16. tomatoketchup

    Wow… that’s some expensive milk!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Organic, whole unhomogenized milk at $3.29 per liter. I drink 1 liter a day… it adds up. 🙂


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