Blog Template Theology of the Body: The Simple Life: Babies...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Simple Life: Babies...

I hear it all the time. Babies are expensive!

The knee-jerk response of many in our generation is to wait 4-5 years to conceive following marriage...because, well, "babies are expensive!" This is true only if you buy into the marketing department at babies-r-us-generated myth. The baby industry, dear readers, is huge! Between changing tables, and formulas, and strollers, and car seats, and bottles, and gadgets, and monitors, and cribs. There certainly is a lot of stuff to buy - but do you really need it?

Somehow, we believe that western babies are uneasy about peas under their matresses! Or - that they actually care that the sheets in the crib came from Pottery Barn! The secret is that by concentrating on the simplicity of a baby's needs, you can save hundreds - even thousands of dollars.

Here's how:

Baby need number one: diapers! Babies go through thousands of diapers a year. In 1998, diapers generated 3.4 million tons of non-biodegradable waste, or 2.1 percent of U.S. garbage. Further, when you throw away diapers, you're burning money. This calculator can show you how much money you can save by using cloth diapers. We calculate that we save over $2,000 annually just by using cloth diapers.

Baby need number two: milk! This is where breastfeeding is so great! First, it is absolutely the most healthy food for babies, easily digested, high in nutrients, and full of antibodies. Second, the formulas out there are insanely expensive, especially when paired with the expense of keeping an arsenal of bottles!

Baby need number three: a place to sleep! Cribs are big business. When you add up bedding sets that start at $129 at Babies-R-Us, plus matresses, plus mobiles, it's quite a lot to consider. But, here's another thing to consider - co-sleeping! Babies need comfort! For all of human history, babies have been sleeping comfy and cozy right next to mama, with quick access to a food source and warmth and just the right mixture of CO2 and Oxygen. More info here. Even better - you never have to drag yourself out of bed at night to calm a grumpy child.

Baby need number four: emotional closeness! Mommy substitutes don't come cheap - but they're really popular. Pacifiers, day-care, carriers, all of those toys, even womb-sounds bears - they sound great - but are no substitute. Attachment parenting teaches self-sacrifice and leaves our children with a joy, confidence, and peace that modern parenting methods cannot provide.