Kids will always be expensive to raise, but that doesn’t mean parenting will break the bank. Sure, life might be easier sticking to one child, but having a second is unlikely to cost you as much as having the first. There are several reasons for this. Here are just a few of the reasons why your second child might not be quite so expensive as the first:
You’ve already gone through the steep learning curve of parenting. You’re wiser and more experienced this time around. There won’t be any of the panic buying that came with the first one! You also know just how much you can do without this time. When you’re about to have your first baby, you can’t possibly know that you won’t need three different types of nappy rash cream. You didn’t know that your little one would be too big for the newborn onesie by the time winter came around. And you know to avoid the newborn fashion boutiques when you’re on a strict budget!
Everything will be so much easier now you know what to expect. Sure, every pregnancy, birth, and baby are different. As for the essentials, they’re not likely to change this time around. It’s the extras, and all those panic buys you can easily do without. How much went to waste last time? Tally it up to see your savings for baby number two.
No Big Buys
If you haven’t got the money, or you simply don’t want to repurchase it all, you can reuse everything you bought for your first baby. The stroller, car seat, crib, playpen, changing table, and even the bedding can be used again. This little lot probably added up to hundreds of dollars, maybe even a few thousand. Some of those early development toys and even some of those outfits your first baby has outgrown can be used. Are these ‘hand-me-downs’? No, they’re sensible recycling and reusing of perfectly good baby items.
There will, of course, be things you want to buy new for your second child. You didn’t know with the first that the travel system was so heavy. This time you want a lighter stroller instead. The Moses basket was only used a couple of times, so maybe you won’t want it at all this time. Of course, now you know where to get the best deals for purchases like that. You might even be familiar with websites like DontPayFull.com, and you know you can usually wait for the sales. Now you’ve been a parent for a while; you know what works well for you and what doesn’t.
Don’t assume that all the cute fashion items from baby number one will work well for baby number two. For a start, second babies tend to be born heavier and bigger than their older siblings. And many baby clothes aren’t perceived as gender-neutral, so you may prefer something different anyway. Remember all those beautiful gifts you received for the baby shower and after your baby was born? Most of them were baby clothes. Chances are your friends and family will provide plenty of options for you to choose from.
When you’re new to parenting, it’s easy to be a little wasteful. After all, you never know how many nappies your newborn might need in a day. As for all those mommy extras like nipple cream, breast pumps, and sanitary wear, you know what you’re going to need this time. All those weaning cups, special nipples for bottles, and the extra sanitizer? Maybe some of those will get used this time! Tally up how much you must have spent on these things. Chances are you’re making enormous savings this time.
Now you’re a more relaxed parent; you probably have a couple of hobbies or even a home business on the side. There is no need to let any of this go again. Simply take a couple of weeks off to bond with your new baby, and then gradually slide back into your new-found routines. You know when all the best mom-and-baby classes are scheduled so there is no need to miss out on anything you want to do. If that includes going back to work, then you already know what is involved in making that happen.
The Big Picture
Not only are you saving a lot of money this time around, but you’re also in a more confident and relaxed position to get out there and earn if you want to. But perhaps it is the cost of your time where you are making the savings. There are no steep learning curves. There are no midnight calls to the pediatrician for every little sniffle. Everything seems more natural and easy-going because you know what you’re doing and what to expect this time.
You know where to buy the cheapest diapers. And you know the best technique for nursing or expressing. You’ve already figured out which post-natal exercises are the most fun to get you back into shape. And you’ve given your partner plenty of practice at taking care of night feeds and diaper changes too. Your parenting is like a well-oiled machine now. Does this mean you will enjoy baby number two more than baby number one?
No. It might mean you’re able to enjoy parenting more than ever, but the experience is about the whole package. As your new baby becomes a toddler and playmate to your first child, you’ll find they’re able to keep each other entertained. Perhaps you’ll even feel a little left out as their sibling bonds strengthen. Maybe you can convince the kids to share so you can save money on toys? There will still be times when you want to spoil them both with a treat or two.
It’s not just money you’re saving by having two or more children. You’re keeping your sanity at times too! Of course, sibling rivalry and arguments might cause a few headaches from time to time. You’re saving time too because your experience makes you more efficient. Whether you pass on the big purchases from child to child or not, there will always be things you find you use again and again. Where did you make significant savings for your second child?