Having a baby can be expensive, there is so much to buy and tiny people seem to need so many things. If you are on a budget and worried about the added costs of raising a child, fear not, there are a ton of easy ways to cut the cost of having a baby while still providing your little one with everything they need.
Also bear in mind that the studies showing the average cost of raising a child are definitely at the higher end of things and most certainly not focussed on the more frugal moms and dads among us. With the tips below, you will see that it’s pretty easy to save serious money on everything baby from diapers to baby clothes.
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20 Smart Ways To Cut The Cost Of Having A Baby
1. Start planning for baby as soon as you get pregnant
Some people like to buy a gift card every paycheck to offset the cost of diapers and wipes when baby arrives. You could also start a savings account and transfer some money each month.
2. Create a baby budget
Compile a list of things that you want/need and add in an estimated cost for each item based on the retail price. If you receive something as a gift or get a good deal mark it down to keep track. This is what I did and it helped me stay on track with spending.
3. Get your hands on as many baby freebies as you can.
The best ways to do this is to take advantage of online freebies that you can apply for from the baby product manufacturers. For example, baby bottle companies will often send you samples if you just ask!
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4. Ask Your OB or pediatrician for free samples.
I got free diapers, formula and infant Tylenol for free at my doctor’s office. This is especially useful if your baby needs a special formula for allergies as those can cost a lot of money and doctors often get a lot of freebies.
5. Buy Second-Hand
Considering many babies are out of newborn clothes within a week or two and use a swing or rocker for a matter of weeks, you can often get second -hand baby gear in like-new condition for a fraction of the cost of retail. Don’t get caught up in the mindset that everything has to be new for your baby. As long as your baby gear is safe and clean, that’s all that baby really cares about!
6. Attend Baby Shows
Baby shows are a great way to check out the latest and greatest baby stuff. They are also fantastic for free samples. If you really want to max out either go at the very beginning of the show when the vendors are all stocked up on freebies or at the very end when they are trying to get rid of their stock. I got a huge package of diapers once just for showing up at the end of the show.
7. Join Freecycle and Other Freebie Sites
Make the most of freebie sites that offer unwanted items for no cost! Many people want to know that their items will be reused and loved instead of ending up in a landfill and are happy to give them to you for free.
8. Consider Your Purchases Wisely
It’s easy to get caught up in only wanting the best for your new baby. Just remember that baby gear is all held to the same rigorous safety standards: Safety-wise, a $500 car seat and a $89 one are exactly the same. The difference come in extra padding, cup holders and other bells and whistles that are “nice to haves” but not necessary if money is tight.
Cribs are another item that does the same job whether it is a $100 Ikea one or a $700 designer model. Unfortunately, babies don’t necessarily sleep better in the expensive beds!
9. Use Your Health Insurance
Breastfeeding is completely free but if you need a breast pump for pumping at work or on the go, make sure to check to see if you can get a free one through your insurer first.
You may also be able to get your prenatal vitamins covered if your doctor provides a prescription.
10. Take Advantage of Registry Completion offers
Even if you are not having a baby shower, consider creating a baby registry to make the most of completion offers.
For example, join the Amazon Baby Registry and get a 10% completion discount or 15% completion discount for Amazon Family members.You will also get FREE 90-day returns on Baby Store purchases. The great thing about the Amazon Baby registry is that it’s universal – add items to an Amazon Baby Registry from any site.
11. Apply For Formula Freebies
This one is a bit controversial but I do believe that it’s worth applying for the formula samples even if you plan on breastfeeding. Firstly, there are often extra freebies with the samples such as diaper bags, change pads and bottles. Secondly, you never know if you will need some formula on hand or if breastfeeding does not work for whatever reason. Having some formula stashed can help in a pinch.
12. Consider Pumping
If breastfeeding is a struggle but you don’t want to or can’t afford to use formula, consider exclusive pumping. I did it for 6 months with my second daughter and estimate that I saved over $600 that I would have spent on formula. Pumping can be a lot of work so make sure to check out my tips for successful exclusive pumping.
13. Trade With Other Moms
Join Mom 2 Mom groups on Facebook and trade your unwanted baby gear for new stuff. I once traded a walker for the $200 swing I was coveting. I’ve also traded diapers for formula from moms who bought too much or whose babies couldn’t take a certain kind that they had bought. This is a great way to get stuff for free and declutter at the same time!
14. Accept Hand-me-downs
If someone offers you hand-me-down clothes or baby gear, accept! You will be surprised at how many outfits a little baby can go through in a day and the less laundry you have to do, the better! Even if the clothes aren’t your favorite style or brand, kids need play clothes for daycare and playing outside so you will always get use out of their stuff.
15. Borrow Items from Friends
If you have friends with kids a few years or months older than yours, you may be able to borrow their baby things for a few months. This will save you money and get the things out of their house! I lent a ton of baby items such as a bassinet and a baby carrier when my eldest daughter was out of them and before I had my second child. It’s great to get as much uses out of your stuff as possible.
16. Get Free Gift Cards
One of my favourite ways to save money on baby gear is to earn free gift cards that I can use for diapers, wipes or other baby items. If you have a few minutes to go online each day and complete surveys or watch videos, you can easily make $25-50 a month which will more than pay for a box of diapers a month and mean you are never paying out of pocket!
17. Consider Cloth Diapers
If you plan on having more than one child, cloth diapers may make financial sense. The initial investment is often large enough that you might not save much money if you only use the diapers with one baby but for more than one, the savings can be huge. Consider that on average you will be spending $30 a month on disposable diapers for at least 2 years. For one child, that will be $720 and almost $1500 for two kids. A good cloth diaper stash will cost around $500 so each additional child will be free!
Cloth diapering is not for everyone as it can be a lot of work but if you are committed, it is a great way to save money.
18. Check Consignment Sales
Yard sales and consignment sales can be a goldmine of gently-used children’s clothing and toys. Go with a list in mind of sizes and seasonal items you are looking for so you don’t get side-tracked and spend more than you planned. Yard sales in particular are great for kids toys like bikes, push cars and sand tables.
19. Buy Things That Do Double Duty
You don’t necessarily need special clothes and items for every occasion, despite what the magazines may tell you. Many loose summer dresses are great for nursing and the Liz Lange tanks from Target are awesome for both maternity, nursing and beyond.
20. Turn to your local community
Most municipalities offer a ton of free resources for new moms and moms-to-be. I was able to attend free prenatal classes, a lactation clinic and many many baby & me programs all for free thanks to local libraries and city-run programs.
Check out Youtube for prenatal yoga classes and even workouts you can do with baby.
More Baby Tips and Ideas
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