This page may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosures for more info.If you’re expecting a baby, chances are you’re wondering how you can make a baby fit into your already tight budget. I heard over and over while pregnant babies are expensive.
Not planning ahead when expecting a babyPlanning ahead allows you to snag deals as you see them on items you know you’ll need like diapers, a carseat and some type of sleeping arrangement. Plenty of used baby gear groups exist locally selling a variety of products used. This can help put together the nursery slowly as items become available for less money. Some commonly sold used baby gear products are:
- Dual purpose Pack ’n Play + diaper changer to save space
- Cloth diapers (Don’t miss out on this free cloth diapers guide)
- Rock ’n Play for baby’s crib before 6 months
Not breastfeedingBefore I go further, I realize some moms are unable or unwilling to breastfeed. That’s A-OK, and there’s no shame in this. Fed is best. That said, there’s tremendous value in breastfeeding. In 12 months, breastfeeding Mamas can save $3,164 per child, according to kellymom.com compared to using formula. Those costs don’t include the lowered risks of breast cancer for breastfeeding moms and the numerous health benefits to baby. It’s not without work and commitment, though. How you and your baby learn to breastfeed from day one can make a big difference in whether it works for you. To help make breastfeeding easier, the most affordable and helpful products I found were.
- A gentle and effective electric breast pump
- Breastfeeding guide and one for employed Mamas for reference
- A few nursing bras
- A trained lactation consultant and/or doula to encourage good latches (aka, it shouldn’t hurt)
Using disposablesIt might be that shoppers see disposable diapers in grocery store and assume it’s what they’ll use when they have a baby. Using disposables are expensive! By using cloth diapers, my estimates show you can save over $2,000 by using cloth. Why does using cloth save so much?
- It’s a one-time purchase
- Cloth diapers can make back your original investment in 2 months
- Disposable diapers cost every month
DisorganizationYour nursery doesn’t have to be Pinterest-approved for baby and you to use and love it. Baby wants Mom 24/7 in the first few weeks anyway and won’t care if the crib has a perfectly ruffled crib skirt. Seriously. Take that stress off your list. Instead, make a “Need it Now” and a “Can Wait” list. On the need it now list, you’ll have everything you’ll need for the first week. The main items you’ll need right away are:
- Milk or formula
- Diapers and wipes
- Swaddling blankets
- Car seat
- Sleeping unit
- A few onesies
- Baby monitor until baby’s sleeping in a separate room
- Big crib if baby is sleeping in a bassinet
- Any clothes beyond the first 4-6 months
- Night light
Buying everything nowAny walk through a baby store and you’ll find tons of great products. This may make you wonder, “Do I need this?” It can get a little overwhelming—at least it was for me. My friend, Amanda, told me she decided to buy once she had a need and not before. This saved her a lot of money in her baby’s first year. When she did buy a product she knew what the purpose was and why she needed it. Waiting to buy until there’s a need frees up cash now to pay off debt and build wealth. You’ll almost always come out ahead if you take this approach.
- How to make your first budget
- Grocery tips that actually save you lots of money
- Planning for baby while paying off debt