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When our kids were over 1
year and had finished their last tin of formula but still having
bottles we simply filled the old tin with regular milk powder
and carried on as usual. They happily drunk powdered milk until
we weaned them off their bottles. - A,
- Car seats can be expensive!
Instead of buying a capsule, then toddler seat then booster, the
best seat I have found is the Cosco Scenera. It goes from birth
to 18kgs and can rear face till 16kgs, meaning baby/toddler can
travel rear facing (and safer) for longer! Plus... it's only
about $150! - Plingie,
have six children (and counting), and have found that lots and
lots of baby items that you buy are pretty much a waste of time.
There is nothing that your baby will like better than being in
your arms (rather than those gadgets). Front packs and beds are
good, but apart from that, I have found that even prams can be
excess to requirements. Also if you’re cooking dinner, this is
a really good time for a busy daddy, to get to know baby. Except
for my eldest, all my kids have been out of day time nappies by
18 months and mostly out of night time nappies by two years.
Good relationships make parenting easier - and children much
easier to train. No equipment will ever replace that. - Anyway,
- I have come up with the
cheapest and most effective way to deal with messy baby spills!
As the mother of a 16 month old, I was sick of cleaning the mess
up after my son had been eating in his high chair. More food
seemed to end up on the floor than go in his mouth! I couldn't
find any good floor mats that could be wiped clean and re-used,
so I made my own using a $2 plastic table cover from the local
bargain shop. I got a large sized one which measured 152cm x
274cm and cut it in half. Now I have two re-usable floor mats
for just $2. No more mess on my floor and they are easy to wipe
clean, then fold up and store ready for mealtimes. - J.C.
- I saved heaps on recovering my son's highchair. I was given a
great highchair, but it had a cloth covered seat and as you can
imagine, this was quite hard to keep clean as things would soak
in before I could wipe them up. I decided to re-cover it but
after checking out the price of vinyl per metre, I realised I
needed to get creative. Instead, I used a cheap shower curtain
and stapled it over the fabric. There was still enough left over
to use under the high chair for any food that hits the floor.
Fantastic, cheap and easy to clean! - K.B.
- My savvy sister has saved
me heaps on buying baby bibs. As the proud single mum of a
beautiful nine month old, I was finding the costs were really
adding up! So my sister (who has three children of her own) came
to the rescue. She used some old towels, cut them up and made
them into bibs! She just bought some 'cuffing' from Spotlight
for around the neck, and some velcro to fasten at the back and
they are great! Much better than the shop bought ones, as they
soak up more of the mess and are much longer lasting and harder
wearing. My sister jazzed them up with some little motifs sewn
on the front and no one would ever know they were made from
unwanted towels. I've had so many comments from people saying
they look great and I always proudly reply 'my sister MADE them!
3 yrs old children, love playing with containers out of the
Recycling Bin and a bucket of water. - G.B.
made a Family Corner, at Home, outside, from things brought from
the Op Shop. From cupboards to pots, pans and tables. The
children would set up shop with the containers/boxes out of the
Recycling Bin. - G.B.
- Save milk bottle tops, old
boxes, cardboard tubes, magazines, anything you can think of,
then get out the glue and scissors and have great fun making
things. Keeps my three year old busy for hours on rainy days. -
make chocolate ice blocks that turn out exactly like the
expensive store-bought ones, at a significant savings. First
make a chocolate custard. Place 500ml milk in a saucepan (I use
fresh whole milk, but you can use reconstituted powder milk for
extra savings) and bring it to the boil. Then add a tablespoon
of sugar, a tablespoon of cocoa, and a tablespoon of cornflour.
Stir constantly until thickened, then cool. Second, pour the
cooled chocolate custard into pre-moistened ice block moulds.
Freeze for at least three hours. Cost to make one ice block (if
using powdered milk): approx 6 cents. Cost to make one dozen:
approx 80 cents. Savings: $27.60 per dozen (based on the price
of a dozen chocolate ice blocks at the corner shop). - LTB,
kids save for their own college fund by encouraging them from a
very early age to earn money by getting paid for what they enjoy
doing! Our little boy who is now three loves dogs, so we offered
to walk the neighbours’ dog for $5 a week. It makes us get out
for exercise and gives the dog half an hour of much needed
attention while their owner is at work. I know it doesn't sound
like much but each year he earns himself $260 for his college
fund so I'm calculating by the time he is 18 he will have well
over $4,000 towards his college education - just from this hobby
alone. Similarly our daughter enjoys baking so every week we
invite her friends over to a baking session making simple things
like scones, biscuits, raisin buns etc. They are learning
something new and having fun. The mums are more than happy to
contribute $5-$10 for the ingredients and the pleasure of not
having to mess up their own house. We put half in the kitty for
the ingredients and half goes to my daughter’s college fund so
she can save between $10 and $20 each week. If we are able
to do something like this every week until she is 18 she would
have over $8,000! - Stephanie.
Cloth nappies save
thousands of dollars! Now days you can get a variety of
different kinds and they are so effective. My complete set costs
less than $500 (could have been less if I made them myself too!)
and they have done my daughter who is now toilet trained, and my
son now! I have saved over $2000 a year! - Plingie, Christchurch
- We made our childrem a play area
dust instead of sand and an old bath instead of a paddling pool - it's
deeper and elicits louder screams of delight. - M.H.
Here's a playdough recipe. You will
need: 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 4 tsp cream of tartar, 2 cup
water, 2 tbsp cooking oil, and food colouring of your choice. Mix dry
ingredients together. Add water, oil and colouring. Blend until smooth.
Stir over heat until mixture comes away from the sides and forms a ball.
Tip onto board and knead well then store in an airtight container. This
is really nice playdough. - Aliza,
Racing car tracks
- Use off-cuts from roof guttering (plastic)
for a cool sloping track four your kids cars to go down. My son loves them,
and they are free! – K.C.
Holidays... Can't afford a school holiday programme? Then get
together with friends and start your own. If you can only get
one day a week off work, then get your mates to do the same
thing, (different days), and drop your kids at the appropriate
house with their packed lunch. Arrange between yourselves
different activities for each day depending on what each can
provide. For instance one person may be able to take all
swimming while another may not have the transport necessary, so
maybe they could do art and crafts, video days, pizza making,
board games, a wheel outing, (skateboards, bikes, skates or
scooters). Remember to join the kids in the activities because
the kids will appreciate it more especially if it embarrasses
you or if you have trouble doing it. They then learn that nobody
is perfect and that they too can participate in difficult
challenges and enjoy it. - Mean Girl, Hastings
- Don't bother buying cot sheets - they look pretty, but your
child will outgrow the cot in a year or two. Instead, buy and
use single bed sheets, which (if you buy the right ones) will
last the child until it leaves home! Simply fold them in half
when using them in a cot. - TwinMum, Christchurch.
Halve children's toys, and store in the ceiling for six
months... then swap them over. - Betty, Masterton.
- The best money I have ever spent on toys for
my children is my annual toy library membership. Our toy library has no per
toy charge. We get a wide range of toys and puzzles and they get changed
every two weeks so the kids always have something new and interesting. The
second best money I spent on toys were a set of coloured wooden blocks (a
gift actually) which we added to until we have over 100. When my eldest
girls were three and four they literally spent three hours per day for
months playing quietly with them. Most days the blocks will be played with
for some time. (I expect these children to grow up to be architects and
engineers as a result!) – M.W.
- Borrowing toys from toy libraries means that
the children get to play with a variety of toys and the bedrooms aren’t
cluttered up with rarely-played-with toys. - A.C.
Groups like Plunket, Parents Centre and Playcentre run courses
for parents, to learn how to make toys. - G.B.
groups like Parents Centre, Plunket, Council Libraries,
Churches and Community Centres run cheap Story Telling, Coffee
and Music Groups. - G.B.