Top 10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Had Kids

My Biggest Complaint About The Eco-nomical Baby Guide 

Where was this book THREE YEARS AGO when I had my first child???  I spent countless hours researching affordable green living on the Internet while holding my new baby on my lap and suffered through painful deliberations regarding endless purchasing decisions.  This book could have saved me a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears - and money

The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet

Top 10 Things I Wish I’d Known 
Before I Had Kids
How to Spend Less on Baby

1. Don’t buy an infant car seat
Just buy a convertible car seat.  My babies grew out of our infant car seat in about 2 seconds.  It weighed a ton by itself and attaching it to my jogger stroller made the stroller ridiculously heavy.  I injured my wrist carrying our infant car seat so badly that I couldn’t chop vegetables or brush my teeth with my right hand for months.  My wrist still hasn’t healed completely 2 years later, and I still haven't forgiven the infant car seat.
2. You don’t have to bathe the baby every darn day
How dirty do they get before they can crawl?  My mobile 9-month old is lucky to get a bath once a week.

3. Consider a second-hand baby shower
A wonderful green alternative to the standard shower where you get lots of junk (I got a zillion burp cloths and flimsy washcloths) you don’t want anyway.  Invite your guests to give you their own gently used baby items and purchased used items.  If someone invited me to a shower like this, I would have tons of fun buying them a boatload of infant clothes at my favorite thrift store.  Also nice because it saves your guests money.

4. Cloth diapering is not as hard/gross as you think it is
No pins, no toilet dunking, lots of options and cuteness.  Unless you go the most expensive route, you will definitely save money.  If you use the same cloth diapers for more than one child, you will save tons of money.

5. A brief intro to infant potty training
It's not all or nothing!  It might work for you, and will save you money and make later potty training lots easier. 

6. Alternatives to bottled baby food
Make your own or buy regular baby-friendly food (like applesauce).  Less packaging, less money.

7. Best sources for used gear, and guidelines for buying it
Yes, under the right conditions, you can use a second-hand crib or car seat.

8. Great sources for greener toys
Alternatives to plastic junk.

9. Skip plastic baby bottles -- buy glass ones
Which plastics numbers are toxin-free?  Is it OK to put plastic through the dishwasher?  Sidestep the plastic drama and just use glass.  Who knew they still made glass bottles?

10. How to dispose of non-green cleaners
What to do with your household cleaners after you decide to make the switch to non-toxic ones.

Saving money while saving the earth works for me!

This post is part of
Top Ten Tuesday
Works for Me Wednesday
Frugal Friday

What do you wish you'd known before you had kids?

[To enter to WIN your very own copy of The Economical Baby Guide, click HERE.] 


  1. The 1st thing that comes to mind is something small...I wished I had bought nightlights before baby arrived so that I wasn't bumping into everything in the dark!

    We are about to downsize in space by 1000 sq ft because we are no more guest room for us, either!


  2. I am still unsure about the glass baby bottles. Baby #3 never had a bottle, the little snob only wanted a sippy cup, but the 1st two did. My hubby bought glass bottles on ebay (not with nipples or anything of course) and I will admit, I kind of laughed at him. I was just imagining trying to soothe a crying baby with a broken bottle of milk at my feet.
    Is that not a big deal, do they not break, or is every body just uber careful?

  3. Teaching Money to Kids -- Let's be honest, I used bottles about once a week with my 2 kids. By the time my kids were old enough to hold a bottle unsupervised, they were using sippy cups, so I guess there was never a scenario where it was likely the bottle would break (my husband and I were always holding the bottle during feeding). Also, mine are tempered glass, so they can probably withstand a minor drop.

    Alicia, yes nightlights would have been great with my first baby. With my second, I somehow figured out how to nurse in the dark (I co-sleep) and rarely need a light. We have some mini lanterns I still use sometimes. Thought I often wish I had something not so bright -- like a night light!

  4. I totally get your post about the carseat and baby gear in general. Luckily, I was able to get some of the major items used from family members. What I had to buy new, I made sure to give them away. I got lucky bc I knew a few people who were pregnant as Jack was outgrowing his toys.
    Thanks for visiting my site,New To Mom.

  5. If I ever have another baby I'll definitely be using that book. So many wonderful ideas I wish I would have known with my three kids.

  6. Visiting from Top Ten Tuesday...I agree with your list, especially the cloth diapers! I am finally using them on baby #3 and wish I'd done the same with my older two. I am sick when I think about how much money we wasted on disposables--plus how much trash they generated!

  7. I totally agree with the infant carseat! I don't like to lug a stroller into the grocery store though, so I used a baby sling and never had to fuss with a stroller OR an infant sleep!

    Great list!

  8. Umm...replace the word SLEEP with CAR SEAT. It's pretty clear what is on my mind :)

  9. Frugal Frontier, I agree -- use the baby carrier instead of a car seat. I skipped strollers all together until I could use the umbrella one occasionally at around 6 months.

    KApted, way to make the change and keep some disposables (and poo!) out of the landfills! Although I love saving money, I honestly switched more b/c I was a bit icked out by whatever is in disposables against my baby's bottom.

  10. These are great things I wish I had known. I'm going to pass this along to a friend of mine that is expecting her first. :D

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Considering I don't have babies yet, but my husband and I are preparing to start a family, I'm so glad I happened upon your post. This info is great! Thanks

  12. I would say that I wish I had never given my kids things like chicken nuggets, pizza, etc. Maybe they would have been more adventurous eaters if we had not allowed them to have any junkie stuff.

  13. Very good tips! I've considered switching to glass bottles. The plastics thing has me freaked out. I just wonder if my twins would break them.

    I wish I'd known all these things before I started having kids eight years ago. Hopefully lots of other people will benefit. :P


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