How Natural Parenting Saves You Money
Many families choose the route of natural parenting and/or attachment parenting in an attempt to raise calm, healthy, emotionally secure children. Most of them also find that natural parenting saves a whole lot of money as well.
Natural moms in favor of an attachment parenting approach tend to breastfeed, often for much longer than the average breastfeeding mother. They do this for a variety of reasons. Breast milk is the natural food for infants, perfectly balanced, packed with maternal antibodies, and available at the perfect temperature at any time of the day or night. It’s also free.
They actually did the math on this one over at The Simple Dollar, and estimated that a breast feeding mother would save over $1700 by breastfeeding during the first year of her child’s life.
It’s possible to argue that this didn’t factor in the cost of extras a nursing mother might need such as a nursing bra or a breast pump. Then again, a nursing bra is not essential and if you do want one you’ll find a good quality nursing bra costs about the same as a good quality regular bra. Breast pumps can be expensive, but I’ve never seen one priced at $1700. Breast pumps can also be rented or borrowed from some hospitals and birthing centers.
The above figure also doesn’t factor in the future medical costs that may be saved due to the huge health benefits provided by breastfeeding.
Cloth diapers can be expensive to buy, but over the two years or more that your child will be in diapers, you’ll make a substantial saving. In this article, we estimated that cloth diapers can save around $200 per child, even if you factor in the cost of water and electricity needed to launder them.
If you’re planning on having more than one child, cloth diapers can be passed on to the next baby (No this is not gross. They have been properly laundered and reusing them is no less hygienic than reusing your other baby clothes).
Not planning on another child? Cloth diapers can be donated to charity or even sold to another crunchy mom.
Other things many attachment parenting enthusiasts don’t need include cribs, strollers and items such as baby monitors and pacifiers.
Many families choose to co-sleep, eliminating the need for a crib. They also often carry their babies in slings and baby carriers, which tend to be cheaper than strollers. Baby monitors aren’t necessary when you’re always near your baby. Infants who are breastfed on demand and kept close to their parents may have less need for items such as pacifiers and expensive fluffy toys that make womb sounds.
It seems that natural parenting, like many other natural choices, is the savvy decision financially as well as emotionally.
Karen is a freelance writer and homeschooling mother of two. Originally from England, she has lived, worked and studied in Canada, Spain, The Netherlands and Australia. She loves the fact that freelancing and homeschooling allow her family to be (fairly) location independent. Her writing specialties include travel, lifestyle, parenting and natural living. She also blogs about writing, publishing and creativity at Change The World With Words.