As I sit in the delivery room waiting for the birth of our second child, I am thinking about what needs done once the baby arrives, and ways we saved money like last time. Obviously I am here to assist my wife with the delivery process. However, as she is laid up in bed, I will turn to her for suggestions on this post. Luckily she has a really funny sense of humor, so we have been laughing about some possible ideas.
Travel to the hospital started this morning around 4:00 AM, just like we did with our first child ironically enough. Of course we got hit with a pretty big snow storm last night, so I had to go out and shovel a path to the vehicle, then scrape off all the snow and ice. Since we were not in emergency mode (i.e. the water had not broken yet), we had no need to speed to the hospital. However, at 4:00 AM, there is nobody on the road, so I did go through some “changing” stop lights. We arrived safe and sound, and handed our son off to my in-laws, who met us at the hospital. Now we sit and wait for things to happen.
After the baby arrives, we have the normal announcement to family and friends. At some point today when we get closer to the birth, our families will wait in the waiting room, but it is too early just yet. We may be hours away at this point. We do not know whether we are having a boy or girl. Perhaps my favorite portion of the delivery day is coming out to the waiting room to tell everyone what we had. Since we already have a son, I am really looking forward to getting to go out to the waiting room to tell him first, before everyone else. It will drive my family nuts for a minute while they wait to hear the news, but he is the immediate family member, and I want to share that moment with him first and foremost.
So earlier today we had to sign a waiver for a circumcision should we have another boy. After the bills start to come in over the next several months, I plan to do a side by side comparison of the costs. I remember the five minute surgery associated with the circumcision costing in the thousands. Unfortunately, every hospital you go to, you are pretty much at the mercy of the insurance for your responsible portion.
Prior to our first child arriving, we had to make a decision whether we wanted to use disposable diapers or reusable ones that could be thrown in the wash. Back then, we really wanted to do as many “green” things for the environment, but also save money. However, our good friend (I wish), Bill Nye the Science Guy, had a show on the Planet Green Network called Stuff Happens. Bill has an amazing way of portraying science topics in an easy to understand and amusing manner. Bill had an excellent segment though on diapers. By the end of the segment, Bill had proven that from an environmental standpoint, disposal diapers versus reusable made absolutely no difference.
The environmental impact associated with washing the diapers, including purifying the water, manufacturing the soap, etc. all equaled the costs associated buying and throwing away disposable diapers into a landfill. Therefore, we decided at that point we would just go with disposable diapers. There are however great ways to save on the cost.
We typically buy our baby supplies from Target, whether it is the Up and Up brand or Similac or Enfamil. By watching for sales, and then using Target and manufacturer coupons, we can sometimes get the cost of the name brand down to the generic. Target also sometimes has some excellent gift card promotions where you purchase a certain number of formulas (or diapers), and you get either a $5 or $10 gift card. The same thing goes for diapers. However, in recent years we have been going to Costco to stock up on diapers if they have a monthly coupon. We have heard great things about the Kirkland brand, but have always stuck with Huggies from Costco. We also love the Target brand diapers. We have also found that we love Costco brand baby wipes over Target brand because they are a lot moister. When the sales are good, we tend to stock up on a several month supply to make it worth our while.
Here are my thoughts on the formula as well. My wife tries to breastfeed as much as possible as the rewards are huge for a growing baby. However, there comes a time when you may need to supplement with formula. It seems like whenever you talk to someone about having a baby, they inevitably complain about the costs of formula and diapers. When you really think about it though, where else can you feed someone for approximately two and a half weeks for around $20-30? If we purchase the larger containers of formula, we can easily get a couple of weeks out of it, even if the baby is exclusively on the formula. If I could feed myself, or even my 22 month old son for that same amount, I would be impressed. So when you think about how long the formula is lasting, there really is an incredible value.
Additional things that we will need to do once the baby arrives include apply for a social security number, sign up and start contributing to a new 529 College Savings Plan, and purchase the new baby’s website domain name (I am a sucker for purchasing them before they are gone). For now, I will sit and ponder about the wonderful things that are about to bestow us.
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