We all know having a kid comes with more than enough added cost. It starts with the extra doctor appointments and what to expect books and ends 22 years later with college tuition and
beer textbook money.
During each and every step in between, there will be someone there trying to sell you the latest and greatest gadget to make parenting a breeze. Your Facebook feed will be filled with pictures of smiling moms and dads and kids that will leave you wondering where you’ve gone wrong and how much money you can spend to achieve this holy grail.
Side note: My best cure for the ailment of trying to live up to the picture perfect Facebook family is to show up at one of their houses unannounced for a little visit. 5 minutes and you’ll be reminded that as parents we’re all the same behind the scenes. Stressed out, tired and living with messes that we’d never have let go before the kiddos showed up.
But I digress. 7 months into my first stint as a new parent and there have been a few things I’ve picked up that aren’t always recommended in the baby books but have been an incredible help. I can personally guarantee that none of these will break the bank or sit in the back of a shelf for 7 years before they are regifted to a new
4 Gadgets for New Parents
Here are my four technological and not so technological but often overlooked gadgets for new parents. Note there are no affiliate links in this post. Any links to Amazon or whatever other website’s products are just as a way to show you exactly what I’m referring to. If you’d like to support the site and our little dream of financial freedom feel free to Venmo me $5.
#1 – A Stick Blender
These things rock. Honestly. I think a lot of people look at them as just another kitchen gadget that will just sit in the back of a drawer after getting used once or twice because, let’s be real here, we all have a blender so what good is this thing.
You’ll just have to trust me. Full-size blenders are great for larger batches of stuff. A double batch of crepe batter. Smoothies. Etc. Try blending half a sweet potato in a blender. Try blending 15 blueberries or a third of a banana. Here’s what you’ll get. A bunch of stuff stuck to the side of the blender. Now you have unpureed sweet potato and a bunch of blender parts to clean.
Buy a stick blender with a blending cup and you can puree the smallest items so, so easily. It’s also a snap to clean up and saves that precious dishwasher space for the bottles.
A stick blender also works great for mixing or blending eggs, batters, and soups (roast some potatoes, leeks, and garlic until they are caramelized then puree them with milk and butter. Best and easiest soup ever).
So in summary. Buy a stick blender. They are small, easy to clean, cheap and versatile. Way better than buying a baby food processor that you’ll never use again and you’ll save a ton by making your own baby food.
#2 – Scrap Bin Microfleece
I probably can’t call microfleece a gadget but I’m still including it in the list. If you use cloth diapers, or even if you don’t, microfleece liners are an awesome way to keep baby’s butt feeling dryer in their diapers. Cloth diapers especially tend not to wick moisture away from a baby’s skin so adding a layer of wicking material can help them stay a bit more comfortable a little longer.
Sure you can go out and buy fancy diaper liners. They have disposable versions that seem like kind of a huge waste and reusable that, since they are marketed towards new parents, cost way more than they should.
So here is a money saving tip. Go to your local craft or fabric store and check out the cutoff or scrap bin. See if there is a chunk of microfleece laying around in there. Even if there isn’t you can always pick out the gaudiest, on sale roll they have since this won’t exactly be used in the most scenic of places.
Just cut the strips to fit inside the diaper and you’re good to go.
Fun fact: It also serves an awesome barrier to keep diaper cream off of your cloth diapers which over time will make them far less absorbent.
#3 – A Clothes Line
We’re really getting into a groove with these high tech items here. Another blast from the past but potentially a huge money and time saver. Once again I’m going to go a bit down the cloth diaper rabbit hole since that’s the route we’ve taken.
Washing and drying cloth diapers takes FOREVER. I thought I’d be bothered by the ick factor or smell of cloth diapering but really those don’t bother me at all. The hardest part by far is just the time require to wash and dry these dang things. It feels like we have to commit half a day and the washer and dryer are out of commission for everything else.
Line drying for the win. Benefit #1 – It frees up your dryer for all the other baby and adult clothes you’ll be washing. Benefit #2 – The diapers will smell great after spending a few hours out in the sun. Benefit #3 – The sun naturally bleaches clothing so it will help to lighten up the stains that will inevitably show up in the diapers. And benefit #4 – It’s free. No electricity or natural gas costs to hang up a load of laundry.
Luckily baby clothes are so small that you don’t need a very long line to fit a lot of stuff so find a sunny spot and start hanging.
#4 – A Smartphone
Huh? Bear with me. This will make sense in a second.
Fact: Baby gear is insanely expensive. Especially if you buy new.
Fact: Buying stuff off Craigslist is creepy.
Fact: Buying stuff off Facebook is slightly less creepy since at least you kinda can see who is selling it.
Buy a smartphone, download the Facebook app, and go to the marketplace section. You can find literally every single piece of baby gear you’ll need for the first year at a huge discount to buying new.
You can also join local buy/sell or Mom groups where they’ll be constantly hawking all their old baby gear as well.
Well, there you have it. My list of awesome gadgets that will help save you a few bucks and some time during your first year as a new parent.
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