About Me

Maybe if I stop changing my mind on what I want to be when I "grow up" I'll end up with a degree and a job! Right now, I'm about to start a new school... I have a wonderful son and awesome hubby. I am a flutist and bassoonist, music is my first love.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Agree to Disagree

I used to trust doctors. Until I started doing things like researching on the internet and watching shows like Mystery Diagnosis. Now, I feel that the profession is just like any other--filled with the good, the bad, and the completely incompetent.

Having my son come early left me without a pediatrician lined up for his care. I hastily agreed to see one that came very highly recommended by a family member. Let's just say it was not love at first sight. That first meeting was rather disappointing. I was in my hospital room when he came to see me. I had no questions for him other than his opinion on vaccinations. I really wanted to feel him out on this issue having just done a bunch of research myself. He told me, "I hope you haven't read The Vaccine Book." Really?! He went on, "I just skimmed through it, but it's not a good book." I questioned him about the studies citied in the book. "All those are bad studies," he said. Really? All of them? I'm so sure he actually went out and read every single one, especially since he admitted to not even reading the book itself. Red flag, right there. However, he was very kind and I got the feeling he was a very gentle and caring physician. And, he is. He is just not right for our family.

Throughout the last 15 months we have had various differences of opinion. On certain issues I remained silent, such as co-sleeping, but on others I couldn't help but to speak out. We disagreed about many things, including vaccinations, iron supplementation in an exclusively breastfed baby, and most recently, the care of a natural (uncircumcised) penis. There was never a raised voice or angry tone, just uncomfortable conversation and a general feeling of conflict.

At our last visit, we argued about at what average age a boy's foreskin will naturally become retractable. Predictably, neither side budged. This was brought up after he held my son's penis and manipulated the foreskin so he could see the urethra and size of the foreskin opening. He did not tell me he was going to do this, and he did not offer any explanation as to why it was medically relevant. Everything I have read about the foreskin has told me that this is completely unnecessary. Of course, he wouldn't listen to me as I tried to explain to him my reason for concern. He tried to tell me that it was necessary to wash the end of the glans, and when I told him I did not believe that was true, he then thought I was somehow talking about lifting the penis to clean between it and the scrotum. Really, I don't know how he could have thought that's what I meant. Conversations like that always happened. Either he didn't like what I was saying and tried to twist my words, or truly believed I was that dumb. I never felt like he even listened to anything I said, or gave me any credibility whatsoever as a rational, educated adult.

After this visit I was determined that I could somehow educate him with the knowledge that I have on the subject. I also wanted to validate my argument. I dropped off an envelope with information about the average age of natural foreskin separation along with a letter which stated he was not to touch my son's penis without my permission. Two weeks later I received a certified letter stating that he was terminating our physician-patient relationship.

I had never been anything but kind to this man, and I feel that he just did not want to enter into any kind of discussion. All I ever wanted to do was to have a rational, meaningful conversation. I felt like he wanted nothing to do with any opinion that wasn't his and didn't respect me enough to even listen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Five Stages of Grief

There are many things that may trigger us to experience grief. I was unexpectedly overwhelmed by my emotional response to the realization that neither my husband nor I will every be able to experience sex in a normal and natural way. My husband is circumcised. I was okay with this until I began to research and learn about the functions of the foreskin. Now, I grieve the loss of an experience I can never have.

I don't believe the denial stage lasted very long for me. At first, I really didn't think that the foreskin would make much of a difference in my experience. I knew how sex was with partners who were cut, and I wasn't complaining. The more information I took in, the more I realized that there was a difference--that I was missing out on something.

 I don't know that I will ever stop being angry about this. I am still angry. I am angry every day that this was not only taken (forcefully, without consent) from my husband, but it was also taken from me. My anger runs deep to the core of my being. It is an intense anger that drives me to fight to stop this senseless practice.

I am not sure how one can bargain over the loss of a foreskin. There is nothing I can do to change the past. I can only hope to bring my husband around to my side. I would absolutely love it if he would attempt to restore, but I feel that it will be a long emotional journey before we reach that point.

I have always been prone to bouts of depression. It seems to come and go sometimes without reason or explanation. This time it hit me hard. I felt defeated and dejected for days. I did not want to be intimate with my husband, every time I looked at him it reminded me of what we were both missing, of what I could not have. It made me even more sad that I felt I couldn't talk to him about it. I still don't feel like I can talk to him about it.

It will never be okay. It will never be alright that my husband was cut. But perhaps I can learn to live with it. I can accept that this is the man I love and I love him even if he is not whole.

 It is true that in time all wounds will heal. Becoming an intactivist and fighting to help those that need to be protected from unnecessary circumcision is helping me to heal. One day all our children will be protected from genital modification.

No One to Blame

There has been an awful lot of anger running through my mind lately. Frustrating anger that cannot be directed at any particular person. Anger about my husband's circumcision.

I am angry that I have not been able to experience natural sex with a normal penis.

I am angry that I am reluctant to have sex with my husband since becoming aware of the purpose and anatomy of the foreskin.

I am angry that every time I look at his penis I see it as damaged.

I am angry that this surgery was done without his consent.

I am angry that he doesn't agree with me that it is unnecessary.

I am angry that I feel unwilling to broach the subject with him because I don't want him to become sad or angry over what he is missing.

I am angry that countless other boys and men will have to deal with this injustice until we successfully put an end to this barbaric practice.

I am angry that I have no one to blame.

I cannot blame my husband, the choice was not his.

I cannot blame his parents, they were told it was beneficial for him.

I cannot blame the doctor who performed the surgery, he was no doubt convinced it was beneficial.

I feel lost in this circle of anger.  Anger without a face.

But I will move on. I have to move on. For all the little boys out there that I can help. All the minds I can free from the misinformation and misguided advice. I will fight to put an end to this cycle of abuse.

Monday, September 12, 2011


I will be out of town for a week starting Wednesday, so I probably won't have any posts then. Also, I was gone over the weekend, hence no posts then either...


A Link a Day: The Joy of Cloth Diapers

From Mothering Magazine
"...even in an environmentally conscious town like Boulder, Colorado, I'm surprised at how few parents use cloth."
Interested in cloth diapers? Need something to convince you to take the plunge? This is a great article that compares the pros and cons, including the environmental impact of both cloth and disposables.

Just like this author, I feel that cloth diapering is just a natural extension of my generally crunchy (natural) parenting and living.

I've been told I am "brave" to cloth diaper, and I've also surprised a few, and gotten some funny looks from others. But, I can tell you I feel great that I do it, and I would never choose sposies (disposables).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My K.I.S.S. Baby Theory

There are only four rules:

1. If baby is hungry (rooting, fists in mouth, etc.), feed him.
2. If baby is wet/soiled, change him.
3. If baby cries, pick him up (and probably nurse him).
4. If baby is tired (rubbing eyes, getting crabby), put him down (nurse or rock to sleep if necessary).

That's it.  Happy baby.

A Link a Day: Letting Baby "Cry-It-Out" Yes, No!

Ask Dr. Sears
"...not listening and responding sensitively to baby's cries is a lose-lose situation: Baby loses trust in caregivers and caregivers lose trust in their own sensitivity."
As a mother, I know that every time my newborn cried I got a huge knot in my stomach. Sometimes, I even felt nauseous. How any mother can ignore these feelings is beyond me.

I see a lot of people in our society who are convinced that babies are manipulative from birth and that you can only do harm by soothing their whines and cries. It is so engraved in our culture to resist the natural nurturing instinct that we need to care for our babies.

Every time I see a baby in public I secretly pray that it doesn't cry so I don't have the chance to witness the mother ignoring it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Link a Day: ‘Babywise’ Linked to Babies' Dehydration, Failure to Thrive

From: peaceful parenting
"On Becoming Babywise, has raised concern among pediatricians because it outlines an infant feeding program that has been associated with failure to thrive (FTT), poor weight gain, dehydration, breast milk supply failure, and involuntary early weaning."
I did glance through this book once a couple of weeks ago. Definitely contrary to any advice I would give to a new mother. Babies are not all identical, you can't just fit them into the same mold.

After all I have heard and read about this book, I was almost sick when I saw several copies of it prominently displayed at Babies 'R Us.

To anyone considering this book: Put it down and just listen to your baby.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Link a Day: How to Choose a Pediatrician

How to Choose a Pediatrician
"Most pediatricians offer free interviews, although some may charge for this preliminary visit."
This is something that I never knew you could do. I think it is important that you entrust the healthcare of your child to not only someone you trust, but someone who you feel comfortable with. Someone you can engage in conversation easily with, and who understands your perspective and concerns.

I am always on the fence about changing pediatricians. I probably should trust my gut and see someone else. This is partly because I didn't interview and seek out several candidates, and also because my son was premature and I hadn't had a doctor lined up for him.

Anyway, I think the most important tip to take away from this is to be comfortable with your pediatrician. You can't get optimal care for your child if you feel shy or ignored by your doctor.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Link a Day: 15 Helpful Tips For a Cesarean Birth

15 Helpful Tips For A Cesarean Birth
"Do NOT feel like a failure. You are a mother and just created a beautiful life!" 
  Being involved in the natural birthing world, there certainly is a lot of pressure put on women to have a vaginal birth. We need to also be supportive of women who need to birth via cesarean.

These tips are great for anyone, regardless of birth plan.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Link a Day: Hidden Booby Trap: Is Your Lactation “Specialist” an Impostor?

Hidden Booby Trap: Is Your Lactation “Specialist” an Impostor?
"All too often, new parents are getting poor breastfeeding guidance from so-called hospital lactation experts, some of whom are not even experts at all! " 
Although you don't need an official title to be knowledgeable, it's wise to be wary of those with good intentions, but bad advice.

I have experienced this first hand. The hospital where my son was born had what they called "Lactation Counselors." I know now that these nurses had only about 2 hours of training in breastfeeding. I have recently discovered that my son may have an upper lip tie. This could be the reason we did not get off to a smooth start with breastfeeding. No one liked his latch, but never articulated to me why or how to fix it. In stead I was told it was because he was premature and was given a nipple shield, which did work for us. If this has been properly diagnosed in the beginning, I may have had it corrected by now, but instead I'm afraid that it may have to be done under general anesthesia because he is older.

Don't be afraid to ask for the best. Everyone deserves the best help they can get. Make sure your nurse or consultant is an Independent Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Link a Day: A Necessary Cesarean by Mother’s Instincts

A Necessary Cesarean by Mother’s Instincts
"I told him something wasn’t right as I cried. I didn’t want surgery but I knew I needed to."
Sometimes it is easy to get so caught up in the idea that cesareans are pointless, evil, and something we would not wish upon our enemies. We have to remember that there is a reason they exist. To save lives.

This story is very touching. It is just as beautiful as a mother trusting her instincts to guide herself through her home birth. It shows us that our bodies do know what to do, that they can even tell us when we need to ask for help.

As much cesarean bashing as I've seen, we need to see more stories like this. We have to remember that even if it's the last thing we want, medical intervention can be necessary and life saving.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Link a Day: Making Milk When There's No Baby to Feed

Making Milk When There's No Baby to Feed
"Tanya and Jessica talked about the experience of lactation after mothers lose babies – either in pregnancy, at birth, or as infants – and the range of feelings and challenges it rasies [sic].
This is a podcast interview with a graduate student who studied women who donated their milk following the loss of their baby.

It's nice to see this topic discussed, mothers need to know that they most likely will have to deal with making milk even without a baby. This podcast touches on the lack of support many of these women get about this issue because it is such a sensitive one, and how it can be healing to know that the milk can help other babies.

Very moving topic.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Link a Day: Breech Babies Can Turn in Labor and/or Birth Vaginally

Breech Babies Can Turn In Labor and/or Birth Vaginally
"It’s their birth, it’s their way, we’re just going along for the ride." 
I love reading stories of breech birth. Birthing a breech baby has become a lost art. Thanks in part to insurance companies, OBs in America are quick to cut (even before 39 weeks!) if the baby presents as breech.

This trend is reversing, slowly. In Canada, doctors are once again being taught how to catch breech babies. Hopefully this will trickle down to the states.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Link a Day: Breastfeeding in Emergencies

"Consider informal human milk donation in a situation where the infant is not with the
mother or she is not lactating, and the person responsible for the baby prefers feeding donor breast milk, and understands the risks and benefits of feeding unpasteurized breastmilk from a healthy donor. 
"Consider the use of pasteurized donor human milk when refrigeration, transportation, safe water, and basic infrastructure are in place, if an infant’s mother is not available due to separation or death, or as supplement when a mother’s milk supply is inadequate. 
"Control the distribution of purchased infant formula so that it is offered only to those
infants who do not have access to human milk. "
All these points are awesome. This document is intended for all local, state, and federal emergency policy.

There is much more good information in the statement, including offering information on relactation, and providing lactation professionals to breastfeeding women.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Love These Moments

The other day, a coworker asked me what I thought about the new "slip-on" diapers. I told her I'd never heard of them. We were standing in the diaper aisle at the time, and said, "I don't know anything about any of this stuff." She seemed surprised and asked if I used cloth. I replied I did and noted how much I loved saving money by not buying disposables. I told her it's a lot easier to run the washer than to run out of diapers.

I love to surprise people by being different. I love to show my enthusiasm for things that aren't "mainstream." I love that I chose an environmentally (and wallet) friendlier way to care for my child, and that I don't know anything about doing it any other way.


I wasn't going to touch this subject with a ten-foot pole, BUT...

I do feel it is relevant to the topic of birth in this country. It is the time when all mothers are asked if they will have this surgery performed on their boys.

I don't care if anyone disagrees with me, but I would like to try to present some factual information on the subject. I know there are a lot of women and men out there who are looking for information and guidance.

The following article sites a very recent study, published last spring.

A Link a Day: 100 Deaths Caused Annually by Circumcision

Infant circumcision causes 100 deaths each year in US
"To put this in perspective, about 44 neonatal boys die each year from suffocation, and 8 from auto accidents. About 115 neonatal boys die annually from SIDS, nearly the same as from circumcision.
According to this article, the study hints that these deaths are often kept hush-hush. It is strange to me that as a society, we feel that we, as Americans, are a modern, just, ethical culture. We balk at such atrocities as genocide in Sudan and terrorism. I have a feeling that if I asked most Americans if they would condone the mutilation of the genitals of their babies, most would say absolutely not. But, when you hide behind the euphemism, "circumcision," suddenly it's perfectly acceptable.

We as Americans hide this problem because our culture often takes on the view that we are morally superior to other nations. We have freedom of speech and a democratic government and so on. We feel we are morally superior because we condemn (and outlaw) female genital mutilation (FGM).

We are NOT superior. We constantly mutilate, cause harm to, and kill infant boys over something that has absolutely no net benefit. (Except to the medical industry, and those who buy and sell foreskins for medical or cosmetic uses.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Link a Day: Screening to Reduce Preterm Births

Study urges screening for condition that leads to preterm births
"Compared with a placebo, daily use of Prochieve by women with short cervixes reduced births before 28 weeks - when death and disability are most likely - by half."
 In an age where more are more women are growing suspicious of interventions during pregnancy, this may not be a bad idea. This study shows a benefit for women whose cervix prematurely shortens, or "ripens" between 19 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The results not only reduced preterm birth before 28 weeks, but there were also fewer preterm births at any gestational age.

No side effects or risks are noted in the article, but as a mother of a preemie, it is very intriguing. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Link a Day: LactMed

LactMed Search
"A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider
From the United States Medical Library's Toxnet (Toxicology Data Network), LactMed is a resource I feel every lactating woman and medical professional needs to have on hand.

It lets you easily search for a particular drug, like 'amoxicillin', or even a keyword, like 'antibiotics.' The results will give you detailed information about the effects and potential side effects of medications on the breastfed baby.

I cannot tell you how valuable this is. In our culture, at least in my neck of the woods, breastfeeding is not considered the "norm." I was even advised by a dentist to find out from my pediatrician which medications I could take while breastfeeding. In my opinion, it's the prescribing doctor's responsibility to know the safety of all medications prescribed to his/her patient and her baby. The next time I needed a prescription, I knew better. I pulled out my phone and looked up the drug right there at the office. It turns out that the drug he chose was not the best option, and I was able to get a different prescription before I even left his office. I made sure to give him the link.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Link a Day: Why Delay Solids?

kellymom.com :: Why Delay Solids?
"Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it's best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods.
New research indicates that it is best to wait until the child is six months old before introducing solid foods. This is a change from the older recommendation of 4-6 months. Many health care providers are not adhering to these new guidelines, but there are reasons why even 4 months old is too young.

 The World Health Organization (WHO), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Health Canada are among those organizations that recommend a whole six months of exclusive breastfeeding.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Link a Day: Pitocin Side Effects

Pitocin Side Effects 
"Neonatal seizures and permanent CNS or brain damage has been reported."
 Like all drugs, there are risks as well as benefits. Now, I admit I did point out the most disturbing side effect in the list. My point is that no drug taken during labor (or ever, really) should be taken LIGHTLY. I declined pitocin both before and after the birth of my child. I must add that I was educated on natural birth and knew that it was most certainly not necessary in my case. There are times when pitocin is warranted, but don't believe that there are no risks to using it, even if you are told otherwise.

Pitocin can lead to what has been coined the "cascade in intervention." It causes more intense contractions that the uterus normally experiences, more intense than the baby normally experiences. This can cause fetal distress and lead to an emergency c-section.

More issues...

So, shortly after I posted the previous entry, my internet went out. For the second time this week.

Now, hopefully I've got both the computer and the internet working, and will resume my link series.


Saturday, August 20, 2011


Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while. My computer got hit with a Trojan, and my apparently worthless antivirus did not stop it. I've been trying for a week to get it back to where I don't get a blue screen whenever I try to use it. Right now, I can only use it from Safe Mode.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Link a Day: Amniotic-fluid embolism and medical induction of labour

Amniotic-fluid embolism and medical induction of labour
"Medical induction of labour seems to increase the risk of amniotic-fluid embolism. Although the absolute excess risk is low, women and physicians should be aware of this risk when making decisions about elective labour induction.
The overall risk of AFE is very low, it can easily fatal if not properly diagnosed. One easy way of reducing the risk is to avoid unnecessary inductions. According to this study, the risk of AFE was DOUBLED when the mother was induced.

Unnecessary, convient, scheduled, and (more common than you might think) induction proceedures used DURING labor (which my "doctor" ordered for me but I refused, and consented to by a friend of mine during her labor) can be harmful and even fatal to the mother or baby. Babies need to cook as long as is healthy for them and their mother.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bragging Time

I rarely brag or post about my baby. I just don't want to come off as the type that is always saying "My baby is soooo cute! Look at this!" Every parent feels their child is the best/cutest/whatever and I know you all don't really care that he just hit that next milestone. It's not your kid.

Anyway, here's a video I took today:  

A Link a Day: Teething May Not Be Linked to Fever

Teething May Not Be Linked to Fever
"In a safety announcement from April 2011, the FDA states that over-the-counter gels and liquids with the ingredient benzocaine should not be used on children under age 2
Ok, so the quote really doesn't relate to the title, but I did want to point it out.

I know that my son's pediatrician would tell me in a heartbeat that any slight fever without other symptoms would be attributed to teething. Now there is some proof that may not be the case. In the study mentioned, no babies recorded a temperate high enough to be considered a fever even though each baby gained on average five teeth.

Give it about 5 years or so before this information disseminates throughout the medical community and they believe it enough to change their minds about causes of infant fever and symptoms of teething.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Link a Day: Blood Test Detects Fetal Sex Much Earlier in Pregnancy

Blood test detects fetal sex much earlier in pregnancy
"A May analysis in The Lancet estimates that between 4.2 million and 12.1 million female fetuses were "selectively" aborted in India from 1980 to 2010
  Although many would be able to use this information for good, such as testing for rare gender-based diseases and other genetic disorders, many feel that the abortion rate would increase due to gender-selection.

It is well known that India and China have long practiced gender-selection, and a tool like this may make it even easier. It is much easier, and some consider less amoral to abort a fetus during the first trimester. Currently, gender can't be determined until around the 20th week via ultrasound.

Not sure where I stand on this one. I have no desire personally to know the gender of my child before he or she is born. If my child was at risk for a gender-specific genetic disease, I may choose to find out, but only that it may prepare my mentally for the possibility of a special needs child, not so I could abort a potentially imperfect baby.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Link a Day: Are American Women Out of Touch with the Reality of Childbirth Facilities?

Are American Women Out of Touch with the Reality of Childbirth Facilities?
 "Our [sic] of the 51 states in The United States, only excluding Puerto Rico, there are 19 states with no freestanding birth center option."
I have heard many times over the benefits of using a free-standing birth center. It would actually have been my first choice in location to deliver my baby. Unfortunately, (I foresee this word popping up in almost every one of these posts...) this simply wasn't an option for me, and it isn't an option for a large portion of the population. I won't get in to specifics about reasons for choosing different types of birth, that's another topic. I do want to point out, that even if you know what kind of birth you would strive to achieve, you are still limited to the resources around you--and those resources can be limited. The numbers are sad: 19 states have no birth centers, it is illegal for Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) to practice in ten states and are unregulated in three, five states have no other option besides hospital births. Women need options. Industrialized countries where 70-80% of the births are attended by midwives have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality. Proof that hospitals and OB's do not improve outcomes for low-risk pregnancies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Link a Day: Hospital Support for Breastfeeding

Hospital Support for Breastfeeding
"Babies who are fed formula and stop breastfeeding early have higher risks of obesity, diabetes, respiratory and ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and tend to require more doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescriptions."
 Only 4% of our nation's hospitals are considered baby-friendly as described by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. This is terrible. There is so much information available about the risks of exclusive formula feeding, yet those in positions to help new mothers the most, seem to be ignorant of them. Or worse yet, do nothing with such information because maybe it would be inconvenient to change hospital policy and practices. In a country where most of our births happen in hospitals, it is up to them to educate mothers and to realize that every baby deserves the best food for him-- his mother's milk. It is awesome when a mother can be an advocate for her baby and speak up about unnecessary pacifiers and supplements. Unfortunately, not all women, maybe most women, are not convicted, or brave, or outspoken enough to speak up to hospital staff. The doctors and nurses are supposed to know and do what's best for babies, why is it that we as mothers, cannot put our full faith in them?

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Link a Day: The Business Case for Breastfeeding

I'm starting a new series about pregnancy, birth, and childcare. Everyday I will post an interesting link about one of these topics, and include my thoughts on the subject. Here's the first one:

The business case for breastfeeding
"...one-day absences to care for sick children occur more than twice as much for women who formula-feed their children." 
This is really a no-brainer. Healthy kids and healthy moms means more productive employees, and lower health care costs. Finally, following California's lead, our federal government has extended the right to pump milk at work to most American women. This is a huge step forward culturally for our nation. Not only is it healthier for moms and babies, but it is a step that will help change our mindset. It will be a relief for women who have grudgingly had to choose between nursing their baby and returning to work. I am grateful that not only is my employer accomodating for my needs, but that if necessary, I can quote federal law to back me up.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Humor Me For A Moment...

I somehow got this picture in my head while thinking about diapers...

If you think you want to diaper your child with disposable diapers, please consider the following:

1. Withdrawl $2,000 from your bank account. If you don't have this much, please get a cash advance on your credit card, or take it out of your 401k. It is preferable you take the money in $1 bills.

2. Spread the $1 bills on your floor so that they don't overlap.

3. Pee and poo all over them.

4. Pick them up and put them in your trash can.

5. Wait until trash day.

6. Take them to the curb and kiss $2,000 goodbye.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kids Are Cheap (If You Want Them To Be)

Like the rest of us, I'd rather not throw my money in the drain. I would spend my last dime on my child if I needed to, but there are many ways you can cut costs and at the same time have a healthier, happier baby.

Most of these choices were not made in order to save money, they are just a reflection of my parenting style and philosophy.

1. Cloth diapers.
Not quite sure exactly what drove me to look into cloth diapers, but once I did I was convinced it was the way to go for my family. I like that they have a smaller impact on the environment, they are more natural and cooler against a baby's bottom, and they are so much cuter!
Cost comparison: (Average cost for a child from birth to 3 years)
Disposable diapers: $2,400
Cloth diapers: $400
Savings: $2,000

2. Cloth Wipes
It just seems to follow naturally that if you are going to buy cloth diapers, you might as well get cloth wipes also. For all the same reasons.
Cost comparison: (Estimated cost from birth to 3 years)
Disposable Wipes: $240
Cloth Wipes: $45
Savings: $195

3. Milk
I'm sure most people are familiar with the myriad of reasons why baby formula is inferior to natural mother's milk. Another major reason to avoid it it cost.
Cost comparison: (Estimated cost from birth to 12 months)
Formula: $1,260
Mother's Milk: $0
Savings: $1,260

4. Solid Foods
In contrast to the above, I bet most don't realize that babies do not need to eat purees, or baby "cereals" at all. Think about how a woman in a developing nation might feed her child. Children learn to eat what their families eat. The only food I have ever bought especially for my child is sweet potatoes. They are super nutritious, but the baby is the only one with a taste for them!
Cost Comparison: (Average cost from 6-12 months)
Cereal and Purees: $242
BLW: $0
Savings: $242

So, let's add all this up.

Total Savings: $3,697

That sure would be a nice addition to his college fund...