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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.
Babies don’t have to be expensive.
It’s parents that make babies expensive in too many cases. Often, parents don’t take advantage of ways to save money with a baby.
You can still smash your goals while preparing for the most important job in the world.
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Some of the common mistakes parents to be make are:
Not planning ahead when expecting a baby
Planning 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
Some used buying groups let you set up alerts to tell you when an item is for sale.
If you have a list of more expensive items on your baby registry, this can be a good way to slowly shop for the right deal over buying new.
Before 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)
In the end, if a few support purchases help save you thousands of dollars, you’re still ahead than if you feel discouraged and quit.
Having this help was invaluable in the first few weeks after delivering my daughter.
They’ve helped me breastfeed and save money over 12 months later.
The relationship has been unexplainably rewarding and helped add to our debt payoff goals!
It 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
If you’re interested, you can check out my thorough Q&A Guide: Using cloth diapers to save thousands without it taking over your life.
Big box stores will incentivize sending new Mamas coupons for disposables.
Don’t let it fool you, though. Convenience doesn’t come cheap.
Spending money on cloth diapers once can save a lot of moolah in baby’s first few years.
Your 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
When a need comes up later, you can buy it and know that you’ll have an actual use for it.
What could wait are:
- 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
You can also wait to buy most items until after the baby shower so you won’t have duplicates.
Spit up cloths? Never too many duplicates of those. 😉
Some of our generous families and coworkers enjoyed buying the can wait items like books, 18-month clothes, etc.
Buying everything now
Any 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
What’s your approach to saving money on baby products? Share with me in the comments.