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
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
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)
Mother's Milk: $0
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
So, let's add all this up.
Total Savings: $3,697
That sure would be a nice addition to his college fund...