Recently I have come across a lot of blogs and social media posts on the subject of ‘Nobody Told Me.’ The articles then go on to describe frustrations at not knowing that having a baby was so hard, painful, expensive and exhausting.
With so many resources online and in books, it surprises me that expectant mothers didn’t actively seek knowledge in this area, or at least stumble across the information by accident. Even before I was pregnant with my daughter, as soon as a new pregnancy was announced, there were always discussions about the more difficult elements.
Sometimes pain points, such as financial pressures, can exacerbate the other difficulties of having children. They can also affect relationships, stress levels and sleep patterns – which are already influenced by the shift in dynamics that comes with a new baby. One way to minimise this, is to do research on the most cost efficient products beforehand.
Using modern cloth nappies like Peapods is one way of saving money, whilst reducing your environmental footprint. This may or may not seem important in the new mother haze.
If you're going to use Peapods full time, and you're prepared to wash every second day it's recommended that you purchase at least twenty-four modern cloth nappies. When comparing the price of Peapods to other brands of modern cloth nappies, they come out looking quite reasonable; a full set costing around five hundred dollars. Still, it seems a little steep for nappies right?
Well let’s look at the costing of using disposable nappies. It's been recommended that we toilet train our children by the age of two, but the average age of toilet trained children in Australia is three, and nappies are made to fit children up to 17kg's which is the average weight of a four year old.
Let’s just say you get right to it, and toilet train your child by two. If you're using Huggies nappies, the average cost per year is $660. Over two years that’s $1320, $820 more than modern cloth nappies. By age three, you're looking at $1980 and for those late bloomers who toilet train at four, you're looking at $2640. That's just with one child. If you then use the Peapod nappies again for a second child you save right from the first use!
If you can breastfeed, it’s a great saver. Formula costs around $22 per tin in Australia, and a formula fed baby can go through a tin in less than a week. This adds up really quickly to over a thousand dollars a year. Breastfeeding (if you're able to do it) is worth it financially, even if you don't take into account the emotional and physical bonding that comes with it.
The expense of having a child is the one hard thing you can plan for and minimise. The exhaustion, the pain and the everyday challenges are additional. If you're struggling, think long term. Your child is a beautiful gift. A challenging, puzzling, frustrating, beautiful gift. For the most part, the tough times are phases, and they'll pass. When they're over, your child is growing up. They're not babies any more, so appreciate the time you have with them during the early stage.