How I Saved Over $1500 Doing One Thing
We recently celebrated my son's second birthday - a major milestone. The baby days have come to an end and potty training is right around the corner. These past two years have been filled with sleepless nights along with lots of joy and cuddles. I can hardly believe how much he has grown.
When Colin arrived on the scene in 2009, I wondered what kind of financial impact he would have on our family. The frugal in me wanted to save on baby costs as much as possible. We purchased minimal baby gear, accepted a ton of hand me down clothes, and used coupons to buy diapers. But as I reflect on the last two years, there is one thing I did that saved us some major cash - I breastfed my son. The whole time. Oh yes, my sweet bundle of energy toddler is still happily nursing a couple of times a day. Weaning is right around the corner, believe me, but that's a whole other topic.
Breastfeeding is certainly a hot button topic among moms. Before you send me angry emails, let me just say that I am keenly aware that there are many moms who desperately want to breastfeed, but for whatever reason, are not able to do so. I get that. But as a money-saving blogger, I would be remiss in not mentioning what a huge financial impact it has had on my family.
I am estimating conservatively, that breastfeeding has saved us over $1500. That is the average number experts toss out for the cost of formula during the first year of life. Many parents transition to cow's milk or expensive toddler formula at one year, which is an additional cost I am not factoring in. Bottles and nipples are further expenses, along with the energy costs to clean them.
Of course, there are some expenses involved in breastfeeding, such as bras, tanks, nursing pads, and extra food for mom. A decent breastpump can be costly for working mothers, but thankfully they are now a tax-deductible expense. Formula costs can add up very quickly and far surpass these costs.
The health benefits of long-term nursing are also widely known. It is no coincidence that I can count on one hand the number of times my son has been ill. I have also reduced my own risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding.
I am very thankful that I was in a position to nurse as long as mutually beneficial for me and my son. Working from home part-time made this quite feasible. It was not always a cake walk. Our nursing relationship got off to a rough start since Colin had a small palate which left me with sore and bleeding nipples. I struggled with clogged milk ducts often and even mastitis three times. Overcoming those hurdles was not easy, but completely worth it.
If you are considering the pros and cons of breastfeeding, be sure to do the math on what it will potentially save you. Know that the first few weeks are rough, and getting support is critical for success.