Don’t buy these! Parents & grandparents, don’t waste your money

Part II

Don’t Buy These:

Don't buy
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

 6.  Crib Bedding Sets & Bumpers–Crib sheets and waterproof underpads are an obvious nursery must-have; however, skip the crib bumpers and bedding sets. While bedding sets and bumpers are adorable, they are also unnecessary and unsafe. Any baby comforter or quilt poses a suffocation risk, as does a padded crib bumper. Your best bet for baby bedding includes bleachable white sheets, a mesh crib bumper, and wearable blankets.

7.  Baby Shoes–Unless your child is actively walking around a public environment, hold off on buying baby shoes. Safety is always the first concern when going shoeless, but delaying the use of baby shoes for as long as possible makes sense. Both of our kids wore grippy socks at home and would only put on shoes when we’d go out. I firmly believe that going barefoot or running around in socks helped strengthen my kids’ feet, consequently avoiding foot issues that plague me.

Read Part 1 Now: 10 Top Parenting Money Wasters

8.  Franchised Tutoring Programs–It’s always difficult to watch your child struggle with a subject in school, especially if you aren’t knowledgeable about the material. Our son had some math difficulties during his middle school years, so we signed him up for weekly tutoring sessions with a franchised educational support company. The program focused on reinforcing math facts rather than helping him with topics he didn’t understand. 

Don't buy
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

Learning math facts leads to proficiency, but our son needed a more focused approach. Based on our experience, I think hiring a private tutor for an older child makes the most sense. A private tutor can work one-on-one with the student to pinpoint the specific areas of concern. Franchised tutoring programs stress the learning and repetition of facts and don’t typically address how to apply concepts. While young children can benefit from the structure of a franchised program, private tutoring is a better bet for academically at-risk older children.

9. Formula Feeding–Breastfeeding versus formula feeding and working full-time or being a stay-at-home mom are probably the two most hotly debated topics of parenthood. From a strictly money-saving perspective, breastfeeding during the first year of an infant’s life can save up to $1500 over formula feeding. In addition to buying the baby formula, there is the cost of baby bottles, nipples, bottle liners, a feeding pillow, formula warmers, bottle brushes, and a bottle sterilizer. Some of these items are disposable and need to be replenished, which ups the environmental impact and overall cost of formula feeding. There is a definite learning curve to breastfeeding, and every mom should feel empowered to do what’s best for her situation. Beyond the money-saving benefits of breastfeeding, I thoroughly enjoyed how nursing helped me bond with my kids. 

Don't buy
Photo credit: Lynne Conner

10.  Homemade Baby Food–With the current cost of prepared baby food at over $1.00 for four ounces, fixing homemade fruits and veggies for your baby is practically a no-brainer. Not including baby food meat products, it’s effortless to puree cooked vegetables in a blender or food processor and portion out baby-sized servings in an ice cube tray. The initial investment in a good quality name brand blender saves money in the future. Making your own baby food also alleviates the worry about recalled products. Traveling with a baby may necessitate using prepared food, but homemade baby food is a healthy, money-saving winner.

Trying to save money on goods and services isn’t something parents should try to hide from their kids. Kids who grow up with financially savvy parents learn fiscal responsibility, the tradeoff of cost vs. convenience, and the benefits of working toward a goal. 

Editor’s Note: does not receive any monetary compensation for the products or services discussed in this article.

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