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The 3 Rs with a Baby, Part 1: Reduce

Having a baby means you start using a lot more things. You can’t help it. Babies have a lot of needs. But you can do your best to keep things under control. This week is about keeping up with the the three R’s with an infant in the house.

Anyone with more ideas is welcome to share.

Reduce

This is a difficult one in some ways, as having a baby means you will have a lot of new needs. You aren’t going to be able to avoid it all. But you can cut back, way back, on what people say you need for a baby.

Reuse is the easy way, but today we are looking at reduce.

I posted last month about things I feel you don’t need for a new baby. Not everyone will agree with the list, but it’s a place to start thinking.

Things I didn’t find useful included changing tables, multiple strollers and walkers. There’s more, but you can read it there.

If it works for your family, cosleeping also lets you reduce the things you need for baby. You can probably skip the cradle and maybe even the crib, depending on how dedicated you are to the idea. It works great for many families, but others struggle. Do what works for you.

Another key step to reducing what you get for a baby is taking control of baby showers and such. This is difficult, since you aren’t generally the one throwing the party, but if your registry is under control it will help. Better yet is if you can talk to whoever organizes the shower so that you can encourage simplicity and maybe even encourage used gifts in appropriate categories.

When your baby is old enough, making your own baby food is a great choice. You’ll cut back on waste by not buying so many jars of baby food. You will, however, need some other supplies.

With my first too, I used a baby food food mill once my babies were old enough for food that wasn’t completely pureed. It worked great, and I’ll be using my food mill again this time. I had one of the KidCo mills.

But I also want to use our blender to create my own pureed food, and then freeze it in blocks for use. BPA free baby food trays are getting easier to find, making it simpler than ever to make your own baby food.

There are a lot of things to be careful about with making your own baby food. You have to be very careful about food contamination. Wholesome Baby Foods has some great resources to help you figure out how to make baby food safely for your infant. I’ll be looking at keeping our current VitaMix blender in condition to be safe. I’d prefer to not have to buy something just for the purpose of making baby food when I have a good blender at home already. That would make a bit of a mess of the whole point to reducing.

Reduction is one of the hardest areas to come up with ideas specific to having a new baby, I think. Reuse, tomorrow’s topic, is in many ways much simpler. There are so many things that can be handed down from child to child.

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