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Which One Should I Buy?

Eight handy price comparisons for the new DIY parent

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Despite the appeal of home-mashed beet porridge and stitched-by-hand hemp diapers, baby DIY can seem like an impossible dream if you lack two things: time and money. Perhaps if you have a partner working in tech and the ability to stay home and are still not, somehow, passed out in a pool of locally sourced ice cream by the end of your toddler-chasing day, you can be the kind of parent who carves alphabet blocks from reclaimed redwood. But if you're like many of us, you too often find yourself at the neighborhood Big Box, thinking resentful thoughts about the elitism of homespun yarn and feeling sad and guilty underneath.

But what if doing it yourself for baby not only saved money, but was possible without massive amounts of time? What if we could break down, mathematically, how going Prairie Parent would give you an easier, thriftier life? Mamas and papas of the eco-hipster-poor, we present you with a price comparison chart to guide you through a different—and more egalitarian—kind of DIY.

One can of Gerber pears: $1.74 vs. One pear, split with you: 30 cents

One two-piece Carter's outfit: $9 vs. One canvas grocery bag with holes cut out for limbs: 99 cents

One bag of ABC blocks: $18.79 vs. Three large rocks: free

One Evenflo entertainment center: $119.99 vs. One drawer full of mixing bowls you already own: free

One Sophie the Giraffe teething ring: $15.99 vs. One stick: free

One trip to the San Francisco Zoo (including parking and gas): $30 vs. One bike ride to Santa Rosa Creek to visit the skunks: free

One small time-out chair, for when she hits the cat: $12.99 vs. Letting her continue to hit the cat and learning a valuable lesson: four band-aids, 10 cents each.

One package of Pampers: $10.99 vs. Hanging out outside: free

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Totals: $219.49 vs. $1.69

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