It’s spring and babies seem to be everywhere. If you’re not expecting then it’s quite possible you know someone who is. If you are expecting your first child, you may have heard how expensive children can truly be. Although the reality of that may not have quite sunk in just yet. There are many ways to save while preparing for baby, here are just seven frugal baby tips.
7 Frugal Baby Tips
Make A Plan. There are so many adorable baby items out there that it is easy to get carried away. To avoid getting swept away by baby mania, you need a plan. So take a few minutes, sit down and make a list of the things you really need. Hopefully you are doing this early enough that you can put these things on a baby shower registry list.
Some must haves include; a crib, clothing (bibs, socks, hats, onesies, etc.) bottles, burp cloths, breast pump, car seat, and stroller
Buy Used When You Can. Infants and young children grow so fast that they can be in and out of a size in just a few weeks. This makes buying new clothing extremely expensive and unnecessary. You can easily find gently used and even brand new clothing for a fraction of the cost at thrift stores, yard sales and even on Ebay.
Buying used isn’t just for clothing. Other things you can buy used include: blankets, crib and mattresses, rattles and other infant toys, books, infant swing and strollers, baby monitors, nursery décor and even a breast pump.
A couple things to note on buying used. If you buy a used swing, car seat or crib make sure there is not a safety recall on it first. They happen frequently and the seller may not know about them. Also everything from the breast cup to the milk collection bottle can be boiled on a breast pump so using a pre owned one is find. If however, that still doesn’t sit well with you those things can all be easily replaced.
Hand-Me-Downs. In my family we have all been blessed with boys. I have 2 sons, and each of my brothers have a son. One older and one younger than my own children. So hand-me-downs have made the rounds in our family.
If you have friends with children a few months older than yours perhaps they will be willing to gift you or sell to you at reasonable price the things their child has outgrown.
Tip: If you are planning on having more than one child, it’s worth the effort to store all (not just infant) the cloths your child has outgrown for the younger siblings.
Cloth Is An Option. Many moms are using cloth diapers. The new styles now make it a much more user friendly experience for parents and baby today. If cloth isn’t for you (it wasn’t for me) then you can still save on disposable diapers. Using coupons and timing the sales you can save quite a bit. Buying in bulk will also save you a lot of money. We buy our wipes in bulk as well.
Sign Up For Discounts. When I was expecting KC I signed up for many baby related rewards programs and some mailing lists as well. Many of the baby care companies will send out samples and high dollar coupons for their products.
Whenever I was asked if I would breastfeed or formula feed I would check breastfeed only. Similac and Enfamil sent me large boxes with full sized samples of formula to try. This formula really came in handy in a pinch. Huggies and Pampers both sent me small sample packs of their newborn diapers and wipes along with high dollar coupons.
All of these things helped our budget at the beginning as we adjusted to being a family of 2 on a budget to a family of 3 on an even tighter budget.
Important note. Only sign up for those reward programs you are truly interested in or you will be bombarded with things you don’t want. You should also take into consideration the amount of personal information you are giving away when you sign up for each program.
Breastfeed If You Can. I won’t get into the debate of breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. We have all heard the information before. Ultimately each mom has to decide what is best for her and her baby.
From a frugal standpoint breastfeeding can save you between $1,500 and $3,000 each year depending on the type of formula you buy through out the nursing period of your child’s life. It’s free, it has positive benefits for both you and baby. Other than the optional purchase of a breast pump, bottles, and milk storage bags there are no other required expenses related to breastfeeding itself.
Skip The Store Bought Baby Foods. Speaking from experience here, you don’t need to buy the prepared and packaged baby foods. Once your child is old enough to eat those foods they are old enough to eat what you have prepared for yourself. Simply use your blender or food chopper to make tinny pieces for your child to eat. I did this for both of my boys and they enjoyed their meals much more than they did any jarred baby food. Besides, if you have ever tasted the stuff you’ll understand why they don’t want to eat it.
What are some of your favorite frugal baby tips?