In the Baby Bucks series, we babble about babies and money and sleep deprivation and cuteness overload. In that order.
In one week, our girl will be four months old, so we thought we’d update you on our parenting journey so far, financial and otherwise.
General Baby Thoughts
Gripping: Babies have tiny fingers. But these fingers’ gripping ability is a gazillion times stronger than the average adult’s. And things get grabbed that shouldn’t. Like the apparent extra skin on my forearm. Or Johnny’s arm hair. Or my hair-on-my-head hair. Or necklaces. Or the package of raw chicken breasts that you’re trying to open while holding said baby in a front pack. Nothing is safe. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife!
Drooling: Imagine a bulldog with thick strings of saliva running down its jowls and you now know what four-month-olds are like. That said, there’s much less spit-up going on these days, so it’s a fair tradeoff. All hail the mighty burp rag and its multipurpose use for every stage of our baby’s mouth.
Laughing: Our girl laughed for the first time a week ago, and we now spend all our time trying to make her laugh again. We’ve succeeded only once every other day or so because we’re never quite sure what will put her in a giggling fit. A few days ago it was just being in Costco and seeing lots of people. Hilarious, I know. Another day it was Johnny sneezing. And recently, we’ve been able to get some consistent giggles by putting her in front of a mirror. But the payoff is so worth whatever bouncing, tickling, and funny faces that are necessary to hear that sweet sound.
Being Parents: The people we were pre-Baby Girl are not the same people we are now. Having a baby changes you. It forces you to stretch, grow, and get real uncomfortable (and sleep deprived). For the first time in my life, I’ve learned what it is to be completely selfless. There is no reward or the comfort of knowing you’ve completed a job well done, because the job is never done, and there will always be highs and lows. But we’re better people because of it. And we have a little human in our lives who is preeety incredible and we love in an unconditional way that only parenthood can bring. Johnny and I have never felt so complete, rundown, and happy.
Our 4-month ball of joy.
Financial Baby Updates
Diapers and Wipes: Keeping our girl’s bottom clean and diapered continues to be our main expense. Before she was born, we wrote about finding the best bang for our diapering buck. I’ve found a brand that works well for us, and I order it from Amazon and save 20% using Amazon Mom with the Subscribe & Save feature. Our monthly diaper expense totals about $50. Four-month-olds poop about 10x less than newborns, which is kind of awesome.
Clothing: We still haven’t spent much in the clothing department thanks to Johnny’s sister sending us her girls’ clothes. But I have spent close to $20 on a couple extra footie pajamas since there’s a 50% chance she’ll pee while I’m changing her diaper right before bedtime. Which is always accompanied by a massive grin that makes us think she knows exactly what she’s doing. Our girl loves an excuse for a wardrobe change!
Shipping: When Johnny’s sister sends us baby clothes, we pay for the shipping. The box of three- to six-month clothes we received cost us $20. It’s well worth the savings of not having to buy new clothes each month when our girl has a growth spurt and hulks out!
Toys: Toys are very necessary little boogers. Our girl is really loving to grip and hold onto and shake and slobber all over her toys right now. I’ve spent about $40 on different teething toys, and we received some as gifts as well.
Books: Even though our girl doesn’t like being read to yet, I still give it a try at least once a day. I’ve bought her four books, totaling close to $25, to add to a few we got as gifts before she was born. I will teach our girl to love books if it’s the last thing I do!
Plane Tickets: Our main vacation in past summers has been to a beach somewhere far from home. But this year we’re heading to go see family instead. We probably couldn’t justify flying out to see them if it weren’t for Baby Girl. We’re just dying for her chubby cheeks to be seen and kissed by everybody. We’ll be using credit card reward miles to get there and back for $0. And we’ll still get a weekend trip to the beach in, which is probably all we’re up for with our girl in tow! Sand and diapers and feeding and drooling and sand and sun screen and sand…sounds like nothing can go wrong.
“I dare you to say something about my ‘thunder thighs’ again.”
So that’s our four-month-update on our little monkey. Our daily expenses aren’t nearly as affected by a baby as I thought they would be. Our water bill may be a tad higher from extra laundry and baby baths. And the diaper expense is definitely something. But for the most part, our budget has stayed relatively neutral. I know our girl will just cost more as she gets older, so we better save now while we can!
For the been-there-done-that crowd, does this sound pretty typical? How do we relate and differ? Anyone have some tips on entertaining a four-month-old because I’m running out of ideas!