Everyone loves a new baby. They bring joy and happiness. However, those cute little bundles often need a lot of stuff. From bottles and beds to clothes and car seats, baby gear is expensive.
Luckily, if you shop smart and look for bargains, you can manage to stock up on everything baby for cheap. Here are some of our best tips for saving on baby gear.
Babies go through clothes faster than you can blink. In order to save the most on baby clothes, follow these money-saving tips.
- Don’t buy too many newborn sizes. Babies tend to surprise you, and you never know how big or small they will be. Avoid stalking up on all those teeny-tiny sizes. Though they are adorable, your baby may not fit in them very long.
- Leave the tags on. If you do decide to buy in advance, resist the urge to wash them all. Have a handful washed, but keep the tags, and receipts, for the rest. That way, you can always exchange them for bigger sizes that will last you longer.
- Buy secondhand. If you know anyone who has kids, don’t be afraid to ask if they have any old clothes you could take off their hands. Hand-me-downs are great for babies, since they tend to outgrow sizes so quickly. If you can’t find free second-hand clothes, check local baby consignment shops for discounted clothes.
- Buy unisex. If you know in advance that you will want to expand your family even more, choose unisex newborn clothes. Onesies, gowns and pants are cute in yellows and light greens; and will work for either sex, should you have another baby.
While babies go through clothes quickly, they use up diapers even faster. On average, a newborn will go through 12 diapers a day. You could end up spending a ton of diapers, so these tips will definitely come in handy.
- Use cloth. Probably the biggest money saver in this category is cloth diapers. If you use the right kind, you can save a ton of money over disposable diapers. Plus, cloth diapers have high resale value, and you can always sell them once you are done with them.
- Clip those coupons. Cloth isn’t got everyone, and that’s okay! There are ways to save on disposable diapers. Name brands like Huggies, Pampers and Luvs offer manufacturer coupons if you sign up for their mailing lists. You can also shop at wholesale warehouse stores like Sams Club or Costco and purchase your diapers in bulk. Another option is to buy store brands such as Up and Up from Target, Parents Choice from WalMart or Kirkland from Costco.
- Ask for diapers as gifts. If you are having a baby shower, you can request diapers in lieu of other gifts. Many times new parents are gifted with more onesies and receiving blankets than they will ever use, so politely suggest to your guests that you would like diapers for your shower in place of other gifts.
Cribs, changing tables, car seats, strollers, oh my! Here are the dough-saving tips on the baby gear.
- Do double duty. Since baby furniture tends to be expensive, make sure the pieces you do spend money on will give you the best bang for your buck. Look for dresser/changing table combos to knock out two pieces at once. For cribs, look for one that will transform into a daybed or toddler bed to get the longest use out of it.
- Test drive the stroller. Strollers come in all shapes and sizes, so make sure the one you buy fits you. Stand with the stroller and see if the handle is at a comfortable height. Also, make sure you can steer the stroller with ease.
- Buy used. Like clothes, second-hand furniture and strollers are great money-scrimping options. Look for furniture and gear that are in great condition, and triple check for anything that is broken or could possible hinder the quality of the item.
- Skip the expensive car seat. While you can buy second hand on clothes and even furniture, a car seat is the one thing you should never buy used. Unless you personally know and trust the seller, you can never be 100% certain the seat was never in an accident, or if it was properly taken care of. With that said, car seats don’t have to cost a ton. All car seats need to pass safety standards in order to be sold. Sure the $200 seat will have more bells and whistles than the $50 seat, but neither will be superior in terms of safety.
When it comes to feeding a newborn, nothing is going to save you more money than breastfeeding. But even that can come with its own set of expenses. Here is how to save on breastfeeding expenses; and also on formula and eventually solid food.
- Borrow or rent a breast pump. Electric double pumps are normally upward of $200. If you need a good breast pump to express milk, consider borrowing one from a friend, and just buy your own plastic attachments. If you may also find that renting one from a hospital may also be less costly for you.
- Save on nursing tops. Nursing clothes can be expensive, and they aren’t always worn that long. Instead of splurging on specialized nursing wear, find regular tops that you can pull down or up, so that you can still wear them long after you cease breastfeeding.
- Find formula coupons. If you are going to formula feed, you can save a few dollars by collecting coupons. Sign up for mailing lists and newsletters-formula companies often send coupons to their subscribers. If your baby does not have any special feeding needs, consider using generic brand formula. It is required by law that these off brands meet the same nutrition and quality standards as the well-known brands.
- Make your own baby food. Once your baby is eating solids, you will find yourself buying a ton of those little jars. Instead of buying pre-made baby food, make your own. Not only do you save money, but it’s also more nutritious for your baby. Buy fresh, or even frozen, fruits and veggies and puree them in a blender or food processor. Easy peasy baby food.
With all the things a newborn baby needs, you could probably stand to cut some costs. Buying used and clipping coupons are just the starting point when it comes to saving on baby gear. Use these tips are a guide to help you save the most money on all your baby needs.