Frugal: New Baby - No Money (1 of 3) - FYI
Use old washcloths for bottom wipes. Store damp in a plastic container (leave lid slightly ajar to avoid mustiness). You can use either plain water, mild soap and water or witch hazel to dampen your "wipes." You can also keep plain water wetted wipes handy, use a spray bottle with mild soapy water and then rinse with plain water wipes
Use facial tissues for baby's bottom. Have a squirt bottle filled with 2-3 tablespoons baby wash, 2-3 tablespoons mineral oil (baby oil) and water. Squirt their bottom then wipe with the dry tissues. Facial tissues are softer and much less expensive than paper towels.
Make your own:
1 roll of premium brand paper towels
2 ¼ cups of water
2 tablespoons baby bath or shampoo
1 tablespoon baby oil
Cut the roll of paper towels in half using and electric knife. Mix all the liquid ingredients together. Put towels in a large mixing bowl, and pour the liquid over the top. Let the mixture soak through for 5-10 minutes and pull out the center core. Wipes will pop up through the middle. Wipes can be stored in a plastic container or a gallon-size plastic bag. Don’t try use cheap paper towels. They will disintegrate.
Diaper Rash Cures:
Fresh air, Zinc Oxide cream and/or pure cornstarch is all you need for diaper rash. Most important, change diapers frequently. Too much detergent and/or not enough rinsing can also cause a rash when using cloth diapers.
To Prevent Diaper Rash:
Coat your baby's bottom with a solid vegetable shortening like Crisco; it's a lot cheaper than brand name diaper creams and usually works just as well. If baby's bottom is particularly sore, spread on diaper instead of on baby's bottom. Then fasten diaper as usual, and shortening or cream will be applied painlessly.
Or use aloe vera. It saves money and is a great barrier cream.
Soothing Baby Bath:
Make a soothing bath for baby with oatmeal. Put plain oatmeal in the blender and pulse until powdery. Add about ½ cup in the tub water for a soothing oatmeal bath. This works well for diaper rash, too.
Antiseptic Hand Gel:
Combine equal parts of vodka and aloe vera gel.
Electrolyte Solution: (Pedialyte Substitute)
2 quarts boiled water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ C. sugar
1 packet Kool-Aid (don't use red)
Gatorade diluted with 50 percent water is also effective in re-hydrating baby.
Onions makes an inexpensive natural decongestant for your baby. Cut an onion into chunks and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar, cover, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. The syrup that is created makes a sweet and natural decongestant. Feed baby the syrup and leave the onions behind.
Homemade Baby Formula:
If prepared properly, this still ranks third. Breastfeeding ranks first and commercial formulas second. Under certain circumstances, it may be all right to use homemade formula, but consult your baby's pediatrician before introducing this to your infant.
This is the formula that was used for years before commercial formulas were available.
2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
32 ounces water (boiled for newborn or well water)
2 tablespoons Karo syrup
3ml Poly Vi Sol Vitamins (or give to baby separately) Very important
Mix thoroughly. Will need to warm to mix.
If you run low of commercial formula, do NOT dilute it, but call your Well Baby Clinic at your government's Health Department. Every county in USA has one and they will help you get a voucher for formula. You get Free baby shots there also.
Tell your doctor or hospital that you cannot afford a new seat and ask if they know where you can get one. Some police departments also know where to get the correct car seat and will check out a used one for you. Call and ask. Borrow only if you are positive it’s in excellent condition.
Baby Head Holder:
And as for the special head gear to hold baby in place during those first months, skip buying the little U-shaped accessories at the store and simply roll a blanket or two up for each side to keep baby's head sturdy.
Travel Bed For Baby:
Bring along a small inflatable plastic wading pool, and line it with blankets for a non-mobile baby to sleep in. When used on top of a regular bed, the baby won't be able to roll off. Not only are the sides nicely cushioned, but the waterproof bottom will protect the bed from leaking diapers or spit-up. The deflated pool will take very little room inside your diaper bag, and you'll always have a safe place for your baby to sleep.
Hand a simple list of items you really need to a friend or relative and ask them to pass it around to these who want to give a gift, leaving what they purchase up to them. Thrift shops, E-bay, Craigslist, Freecycle are all places to complete your baby needs in the least expensive way.
Economical Baby Bassinet:
Use a large plastic laundry basket and line it with a flat quilt (not a soft one) or several layers of blankets. Make sure it is not too soft and never use pillows or lie babies on their stomachs. This is very portable to go room to room.
Sew up this hi-chair - that stores right in your diaper bag.
You'll need 40" of 36" wide of any fabric. Cut two tie-strips 7.5" by 40." Hem or zigzag all edges of remaining piece. At one short side, bring sides in to meet at center front and sew along each edge of triangle formed.
Fold each tie-strip in half, right sides together. Sew 1/2" seams along long edge and one short end. Turn right way out, tuck in and finish last short edge. Center one tie-strip at each short end of larger piece and topstitch or zigzag in place.
To Use: Lay fabric seat over back of chair, spreading cloth down over the seat. Place your baby on top of fabric, bring front ties up between legs to baby's stomach and tie straps
together at sides. You could also fasten ties loosely first, then slip baby in and tighten straps.
Toddler's Booster Seat:
Cover an old phone book with a roll of rubber non slip for a rug or shelving cover. Place on a regular kitchen chair to create an instant booster seat for your toddler.
Store Cart Cover:
The very simplest cart cover, at least in terms of its shape, is a large (approx. 45") oval or circle with a drawstring or elastic in a casing around the edge. To make one of those, fold your fabric in quarters, draw an arc from one fold to the other, and cut along that line, making a large oval. You can use two layers of fabric, or use one sturdy layer and some wide bias tape. If using two layers, sew them right-sides together, leaving a small, reinforced space for turning. Turn right-side out, then sew about 1" from the edge, making a casing, and sew all but a small segment (about 1") of your turning space closed. Cut two holes about 15" from the edge for your child's legs, and finish them with bias tape (or leave raw, if using fleece). Thread a drawstring or some elastic through the hole in the casing. Voila -- a very quick cart cover.
Crib for a Small Space:
Babies R Us has a wooden travel or grandparents size crib. It has long legs attached so you can stand up straight taking care of your baby. It can also be lowered for a play pen. Be sure and buy the extra mattress because the one that comes with the crib is too hard for a baby to sleep on every night. It will fit a baby up to two years of age. Reinforcing the legs with metal L brackets would be a wise safety measure.
Fitted Sheets for Crib:
Cut from a larger sheet. Measure mattress across and down, down all sides, add enough extra inches for hem so it will not slip up over corners. Cut square from each corner from measurements of side and hem allowance. Sew square corner together to fit over crib corner, hem all around & insert elastic. Pattern is on the Internet: How to sew a fitted crib sheet
Make the Most of your Space:
Stop house-hunting out of your price range just because you're bringing a little one home. Instead, find "hidden" storage space in your current residence. Use hooks, bookcases, shelves and ceiling racks to create extra space.
Over-the-door shoe racks are also great for organizing baby's various lotions, potions and small accessories. Repurpose a room; think outside of the box when considering how to use the rooms of your home. Transform your dining room, guest room or home office into a nursery, or carve out space for baby in your living room or bedroom. Hang screens, shelves, curtains or have a temporary wall built to separate each space
Making Nursing Bras from regular ones:
Cut straps across just above cup, sew on swim suit hooks (sewing stores, like JoAnns, carry them) Now, the cup of bra can be unhooked from bra strap and lowered for nursing. Can also work with strap T-shirt.
Breast-feeding: You may need to purchase or rent a breast pump, an essential for moms who work outside the home. Nursing bras, breast pads, nursing tops and a breast-feeding pillow can be hand made by yourself. Go on the Internet and under search, type: how to sew a ……..
The general rule of thumb is that a baby needs about 2.5 ounces of milk per pound of body weight per day. An old remedy for swollen sore breasts is to place a cold cabbage leaf over them inside your bra.
For sewers: Fold a small hand towel or large washcloth 1/3 down, cut out ½ circle for neck, cut up the middle of the back part. Sew bias tape on cut edges, leaving ends long enough for ties.
Or place a hand towel length way around baby's neck, clip with a clothes pin in back of neck.
Car Seat Strap Covers:
Protect baby's tender cheeks from rough shoulder strap webbing with these easy covers. Just cut two 5" squares from quilted fabric or acrylic fleece. Bind or serge around all edges. Sew a strip of hook Velcro® down one edge, and loop Velcro® on the opposite edge and side of fabric.
Or hammer-in a row of three snaps. Fold one cover over each shoulder strap, and fasten Velcro® or snaps.
Baby (diaper) Bag:
Recycle a used backpack in good condition for an excellent diaper bag. The secure zippered outer pockets are great for first aid kits. Small things and, if you want to ditch your purse, your own things. The large inside compartment will have plenty of room for diapers, bottles, wipes and extra clothes. If there is a small pencil pocket inside, use that to easily reach rash cream, travel-sized baby powder and other small items, like extra pacifiers; or
Take a 99 cent cloth grocery bag with handles, turn inside out to hide store name, cut off tag and place bottom reinforcement back into bag and decorate with permanent markers; or
You can also measure and cut off the bottom of a sleeveless tank top and sew across to close. Place diapers and bottles in a plastic bag first.
Changing Pad for Baby Bag:
Cut a square from a vinyl tablecloth. This can be slippery so don’t leave baby alone on it, not even for a second.
Classical Music like Mozart and Beethoven:
It doesn't need to be packaged especially for babies. An extraordinary assortment of classical music choices can be borrowed free from the library or obtained inexpensively from the bargain bin at the mall.
Putting Baby to Sleep:
Warmth and/or Scent: Make a rice bag out of the leg of an old pair of pants, and a pound of rice. Simply cut off one pant leg about 24-28 inches . Stitch closed one end of the cut-off pant leg, and pour in the rice. Stitch the other end of the cut-off pant leg closed. To use, place the rice bag inside the microwave and heat on HIGH for 2 minutes. Give the rice bag a good shake, and make sure it isn't too warm. Then get a T-shirt you have worn but not yet washed. Wrap it around the rice bag. The rice bag will hold it's heat for about 30-40 minutes. Before nursing or rocking baby, place the rice bag in the crib or bed. It will warm up the bed nicely. So that when you remove the rice bag and lay baby down, he or she won't notice such a shift in temperature. The warmth of the rice bag, fills baby's crib with the scent of you. If you use a family bed, the warm rice bag next to baby as you creep away will make baby think you are still near-by.
Baby Sling Carrier:
Moderately Easy To Make
Step 1- Choose a piece of cloth depending on your body size and the weight and height of your baby. Generally, the cloth should be three to five yards long and at least 25 inches wide. However, you may have to experiment a bit to find the perfect size for you.
Step 2 - Make sure the cloth is breathable, cotton is best, and not too thick to tie tightly. The cloth should also be resilient, washable and have no right or wrong side, as both sides will show when used.
Step 3 - Finish the edges of the cloth with a sewing machine if the piece of material you are using has no finished selvage.
Step 4 - Place the baby on your back in a piggyback position while you are slightly bent over. Center the cloth, covering the child. The bottom of the cloth should cover the bottom of the child and cover his or her entire body.
Step 5 - Bring the edges of the cloth up over your shoulders and cross the edges. Be sure that there is enough fabric around the child's bottom so that the cloth does not slip. When tied properly the edges of cloth should cross at your chest, comfortably covering your breasts.
Step 6 - Pull the ends of the cloth baby carrier around your waist and tie them tightly under the bottom of the child, and stand up straight. The child should be sitting comfortably and snuggley in the fabric, the final knot hold him or her firmly in place. There should be enough cloth to cover the baby's head if needed.
You may carry the baby in front, just reverse.
Tip: While learning to use your cloth baby carrier, you may need assistance, but as you and your child become accustom to using the sling, you will find this process quick and easy.
Make a Mexican Rebozo.
Rebozo is a Mexican word for the shawl that is a woman's constant companion -- day and night. This shawl was commonly used to carry babies on mother's back. The fabric is simply tied in a knot, and placed around the mother's body. An amazing tool, a Rebozo provides your baby with a safe and secure place, while participating in life with Mom and dad.
Make your own. First, pick out a suitable fabric. Look for a gorgeous print that you love, in a resilient and breathable cotton, silk or wool. It should be strong enough to hold your baby's weight, but still allow air circulation for when baby is all bundled up. If you aren't sure, place it over your mouth and breath through the fabric!
You will need 2 7/8 yards (100") or 2.54 meters (254 cm) of fabric at least 29" (73.7 cm) wide. Fold your fabric over lengthwise, then measure and mark your fabric into thirds along the length. You should have three equal sections of about 33.3" (84.6 cm) long each.
Next measure out the width at 14.5" (36.8 cm) in the middle third, and mark straight across the open side, parallel to the fold, with a pencil or piece of chalk. On the other two-thirds, measure 12" (30.4 cm) from the fold, and draw a tapered line from the middle third to the outer measurement at each end. You can do a straight line, or a slightly curved line.
Pin the fabric together so that it doesn't move about, and cut along your marked line. This leaves you with a 1/2" (12.7 cm) border for hemming. Fold in the raw edge 1/4" (6.4 cm), then again another 1/4" (6.4 cm) and stitch.
For a fringe, simply add 10" (25.4 cm) of ready-made fringe at each end.
A Free Baby Carrier:
Turn your old jeans into a sturdy denim baby carrier. You'll need two pair of adult jeans, with no worn spots on the backside. Remove the backs from the fronts, leaving the thick side seams attached to the discarded fronts. Cut off waistband, belt loops and leg hems. Make a T-shaped cut up the center from each crotch, as follows: On one jean-back -- "T" is through the center of the back pockets. On the other jean-back -- "T" is midway between the crotch and bottom of back pockets. Fold the legs in on themselves to form 4" wide straps. Double-stitch along the length of both sides of these straps. Place one jean-back on top of the other, to form an "H" shape -- lining up one jean-back along the top of the other's pockets. Double-stitch the two jean-backs together. Tie the shorter straps around your waist. For a front carrier, have a friend help place baby's stomach against your stomach, baby's legs on either side of the carrier seat. For a back carrier, baby's stomach is against your back. Bring carrier and longer straps up over baby, with one strap over each of your shoulders. For a front carrier, you could cross the straps at your back. While you hold securely on to the longer straps to support baby, have your friend mark or pin where these longer straps meet the seat part, making sure this is a comfortable position for baby and you. Remove baby and carrier, double-stitch longer straps to marked spots, on the inside of the seat part.
Finish by folding and hemming any remaining cut edges. Make sure all stitching seams are strong and sturdy for safety.