Image: KINGMAS Folding Reusable Grocery Bags | Washable Waterproof Nylon holds Heavy Groceries | Eco-Friendly Shopping Bag fits in Pocket
Reusable Shopping Bag
One day I noticed the paper gift bags were costing more than the cloth shopping bags grocery stores are now offering!

Since then I have made the gift bag part of the gift I am giving.

I either fill up the cloth bag with my gift and add tissue paper, or buy some cellophane bags (3/$1 at the dollar store) to put the gift in first, then place it in the cloth shopping bag.

There are all kinds of cloth shopping bags available now, some even seasonal!

Since many stores have decided to start charging 5 cents each for their plastic bags, I think people will appreciate my reusable gift bags more and more.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Baby's first diaper change. Photo Credit: Carin Araujo on FreeImages
Photo Credit: Baby's first diaper change, by Carin Araujo
Here's a great cloth diaper suggestion to fit your tiny newborn or skinny baby!

Consider getting smaller wraps, and using night liners (or diaper doublers) inside to ensure a good fit around your baby's legs to prevent leakage.

Then you can buy larger diapers to give your baby longer wear, skipping the size small.

Re-use the night liners again inside your diapers to double diaper when your baby wettings get heavier!

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Cover - Made from polyester with a PUL layer; Includes hook and loop closures
Diaper Doubler Suggestions:
All Together Diaper - Cloth Diaper Doublers
Kushies 10 Pack Washable Diaper Liners
Dappi Diaper Doublers

Small Wraps Suggestions:
Bummis Super Whisper Wrap Diaper Cover
Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap
Prorap Classic Diaper Covers

Image: Unhappy Baby, by Steve Clayton on Freeimages
Photo credit: Unhappy Baby, by Steve Clayton
Coat your baby's bottom with a solid vegetable shortening - or coconut oil; it's a lot cheaper than brand name diaper creams and usually works just as well.

If baby's bottom is particularly sore, spread the shortening/coconut oil (or diaper cream) on the diaper instead of directly on baby's bottom.

Image: Vita Coco Organic Virgin Coconut Oil | Non GMO Cold Pressed Gluten Free Unrefined Oil | Great for Skin Moisturizer or Hair Shampoo

Then fasten the diaper as usual, and the shortening (or diaper cream) will be applied painlessly.

Thanks to Catherine for this Frugal Baby Tip!
Thanks to Cyndi for the coconut oil tip!

Image: So windy!, by TheNamelessBear on Flickr
Photo credit: So windy!, by TheNamelessBear
There was a time in my childhood when we didn't have any toys - we moved so often.

We rarely took anything with us when we moved.

So I had to make up games and toys with what I had on hand.

If you are ever stuck anywhere with a child and need to entertain them, and there is space to run - here is an incredibly frugal and easy idea!

Image: Plastic Bag Kites, by Liz Henry on Flickr
Photo credit: Plastic Bag Kites, by Liz Henry
Take one plastic grocery bag with handles.

Tie a long length of string to one handle, and tell your child to hold onto the string, and RUN!!

TIP: if you don't have any string, just hang onto the bag handles. It won't fly as high, but little ones don't mind.

If you are out kite-flying with an older child, make one of these kites for your little ones.

Even a little one can handle this kite!

Thanks to Paul for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Wellington Cordage Parcel Post Twine | made from natural soft fiber which handles easily and holds knots securely | made from natural soft fiber which handles easily and holds knots securely
Shopping Suggestions:
Wellington Cordage Parcel Post Twine
Black Plastic Shopping Bags
Kids' Paper Airplane Book
Instant Paper Toys: To Pop, Spin, Whirl, and Fly

Image: Smiling at a fresh delivery of diaper wipes, by Jessica Merz on Flickr
Photo credit: Smiling at a fresh delivery of diaper wipes, by Jessica Merz
I prefer to use Puffs facial tissues for my baby's bottom rather than the homemade baby wipes to save money.

I have a squirt bottle filled with 2-3 tablespoons baby wash, 2-3 tablespoons baby oil and water.

I squirt his bottom, then wipe with the dry tissues.

Facial tissues are softer and much less expensive than paper towels - and I don't have to bother with cutting the paper towels in half (which can get quite bothersome).

Thanks to J. Buffett for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Puffs Ultra Soft and Strong Facial Tissues | Two times stronger when wet vs the leading value tissue
Shopping Suggestions:
Puffs Ultra Soft and Strong Facial Tissues
Tolco Flip Top Cylinder Bottle
Johnson Head-To-Toe Baby Wash
Johnson's Baby Oil
Dr. Smith's On-the-Go Diaper Rash Spray

Image: Jacob and his diaper pail, by Amber Strocel on Flickr
Photo credit: Jacob and his diaper pail, by Amber Strocel
I find that deodorant disks don't work well at all after about a week...

I have two pails - a dry diaper pail for cloth diapers -- I don't put them in a solution - I soak them overnight in Bio Kleen Oxygen Bleach in the washer.

Then another pail for miscellaneous baby stuff - disposable diapers I use occasionally, the odd disposable wipe when I run out of my homemade ones - but, I digress...

I can't remember who told me about it - but it really works -- I put in a Bounce dryer sheet - I cut them in half and put one in each pail.

They just end up being washed if they are in cloth pail - I suppose if I was a fanatic I could use it as poop catcher in a diaper... or thrown out if in trash pail.

This was one tip I found truly worked!!

Thanks to Lisa for this great Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail - Deodorizer compartment with locking tabs
Shopping Suggestions:
Safety 1st Easy Saver Diaper Pail
Imse Vimse Citrus Circles Diaper Pail Deodorizing Disks
Bio Kleen Oxygen Bleach
Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets

Image: First meal, by HoboMama on Flickr
First meal, by HoboMama
Aching breasts? Need some relief?

Cut out four 6 inch circles of a soft 100% cotton (prewashed) fabric, such as cotton knit, flannelette or double layers of gauze.

You can use recycled T-shirts, worn-out cloth diapers, etc.

Cut with pinking shears, if you have them, for a nice edge.

Image: Cut out four 6 inch circles of a soft 100% cotton (prewashed) fabric, such as cotton knit, flannelette or double layers of gauze
Drawing by Catherine McDiarmid-Watt

Put two layers of fabric on top of each other, right sides out.

Sew a 1-inch circle in the middle of your circles.

Sew about 1/4 - 1/2 inch from the edge, with a zig-zag or serger, a double row of straight stitch, or even hand-stitching - 3/4 of the way around each circle.

Now fill with rice, flax or whole oats, just enough without being bulky. The pad should still be able to lay flat.

Next, add just a bit of your favorite spice or scent, or even dried flower petals - not too much.

Image: Bamboobies Boob Ease Soothing Therapy Pillows | combine the softness of Bamboobies with warming and cooling relief with an all-natural gel-free ultrasoft bamboo pillow filled with flax seeds
Bamboobies Boob Ease Soothing Therapy Pillows

Close up remaining 1/4 of the circle. Repeat, using the second two layers.

Now make a second set of breast pads, because you are going to love these!

To use these pads: Simply heat or chill, then slip inside your bra.

Cooling comfort soothes sore new mama nipples and breasts.
Store a set of breast pads in the freezer for cool comfort - especially helpful for use shortly before a feeding to slightly numb sore nipples - it will relieve that initial latching-on pain.

Or wear them to bring out flat and inverted nipples - which makes it easier for baby to get a good latch.

Gentle warmth opens clogged ducts and helps to increase milk production.
Warm up a set of breast pads in the microwave - start with 20 seconds and check to see if they are warm enough.

(Don't make them too hot, or you can burn your delicate breast tissue.)
These are very comforting when used on sore nipples after a feeding, or to place over a plugged duct.

Image: Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads for Breastfeeding Mothers | provide instant, cooling pain reliefShopping Suggestions:
Soothies Gel Pads
NUK/Gerber Warm Or Cool Relief Pack
Earth Mama Angel Baby Tube Booby
Philips AVENT Thermal Gel Pads
Bamboob-ease Soothing Therapy Pillows
Breast-Warmers Therapy Breast Pads

Image: Sweet Dreams Hunny Bunny: Terlena dalam Susuan Mamin, by Ibu Menyusui on Flickr
Photo credit: Sweet Dreams Hunny Bunny, by Ibu Menyusui
I am a mom to 5 children, aged 5-19 and have used cloth diapers with all of them.

I also breastfed them all, and as a result, needed good nursing pads.

With my last 2 babies, I found I had several cloth diapers that had seen much better days but I didn't want to use them for rags yet, plus I needed breast-pads.

I cut out several nursing pads using a large glass to trace them in the middle of the prefold part of the diaper.

Image: Photo Credit: Nursing Pads, by Ashley Barrett(monkeybunns) on Flickr
Photo credit: Nursing Pads, by Ashley Barrett
They ended up being about 5" circles. I didn't need to put several layers together since they were thick enough.

I simply zig-zagged around the edges, and voila! Great free nursing pads!

I still have them, and my little girls can use them for dolly pillows.

Thanks to Bev Qualheim for this Frugal Baby Tip!

Image: TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads | constructed from 5 layers of 100% organic cotton | ecologically produced and healthier for you, your baby, and the environment
Shopping Suggestions:
Sweet Pea Prefold diaper
TL Care Organic Cotton Nursing Pads
Philips AVENT Washable Nursing Pads
FuzziBunz Reusable Cloth Nursing Pads
NuAngel Washable Nursing Pads

Image: OsoCozy Better Fit Unbleached Prefolds | Baby Cloth Diaper Prefolds Made Of 100% Indian Cotton | Diaper Service Quality (DSQ) | Toddler 4x8x4 Fits 25-45 lbAs far as absorbency goes, you might try using two diapers at a time, to increase the absorbency.

Then put a fleece liner between the diaper and his skin to keep the wetness away.

This is what I do with my son. It makes a HUGE difference!

I just got some polar fleece from WalMart, cut it into rectangles (about 6"x16"), and I place one, fuzzy side up (it's one-sided fleece) next to his skin.

It keeps him comfortable, while the double-diapering is absorbent enough. I use toddler-size Chinese diaper service quality prefolds.

Yes, this is bulky, but it works!

Thanks to Amy for this Frugal Baby Tip!

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