As our babies grow, so do their needs. It seems everything gets bigger and more expensive. In todays world of iPads and iPhones, our lil ones become IT experts right before our eyes. This need for technology grows and before you know it, you are being wrapped into the “digital trap” with nowhere to turn. Still, your toddler’s need for digital goodies can be met the “baby on a budget” way.
1. Friends are key. When my son was learning about technology, he was constantly using my iPhone which means I could never make calls. Lets not even begin to talk about the occasional “sticky” screen. After complaining, a dear friend offered me her old iPod Touch! She just had it sitting in a drawer collecting dust. It was an older model which was perfect for my little one’s need.
2. Again with the Freecycle. I see posts all the time for free computers and monitors. This is a great source to pick up somewhat dated items that will be perfect for sticky fingers and goldfish crumbs.
3. Recycle. Don’t buy a new iPod Touch for baby, buy it for you. Baby will be tickled pink (or blue) to get mom’s hand me down. And remember, iPhones work as an iPod Touch if no data plan is attached so old iPhones are perfect for wifi environments.
4. Sales Baby. Electronics sales happen all the time but seem to happen big around the holidays. Black Friday sales are always a treat but shop at home and avoid the long lines. Another great time to pick up great deals is after Christmas. All those “opened returns” are often discounted close to 50%. Finally, comparison shopping online will help you get the best deal.
5. Educational Options. Manufacturers learned quickly that “educational technology” means big business. Companies like Leapfrog and VTech offer great educational toys that feed baby’s technology need. These items can be expensive but not when you buy with a group of friends. Several budget mommies worked together and purchased a top of the line VTech unit and one game each. It cost each family $20 to buy into the group purchase. Then, each family picked a month to “use” the system. It was a perfect alternative and it meant that little ones did not spend every waking hour of everyday playing video games. Each family had it for 1 month for a total of 3 times a year. It saved everyone money, it filled the little ones technology need during their month, and each family was not tied down to a video game system all the time.
Technology is fun but can also be addictive. Please be sure to limit your little one’s time on these devices.