Looking for ways to save money on baby items? Then let us help you prepare for all your baby essentials on a budget!
Congratulations, you’ve just found out you’re pregnant! But, before you rush out and buy up all the cute onesies and deck out your nursery, you’re going to want to read this article on tips on saving money for a baby!
Why? Well, whilst having a baby is full of adorable moment, cute little clothes, and cool baby items, it is also expensive and something you should be budgeting for.
Yes, having a baby is expensive. There are certainly things you’ll need to buy every month for them. You may also feel more motivated to save money and set up a college account for your baby as well.
The good news is that there are a lot of ways you can save money on baby stuff. From setting up a baby registry to hosting a diaper raffle to buying gear secondhand.
So, let’s dive in and look at get you financially ready for baby and make sure your budget is ready by the time your bundle of joy arrives.
And if you love this guide on how to have a baby on a budget, then you’ll love our diaper buying guide, things new moms need for themselves, and best pregnancy journals for new moms. Or even our minimalist baby registry!
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Money Saving Tips For New Parents
Before we dive into our tips on how to save money on baby items, we are going to look at how to budget for a baby so you can ensure your finances are working for you.
This is especially important if you are looking at taking unpaid maternity leave or leaving your job altogether.
How To Budget For A Baby
Calculate Your Income And Expenses
The first step into budgeting for you baby is to work out how much money you have coming in and where you spend it all.
The easiest way to do this is to keep a log of everything you earn for and spend for a month.
Make sure to write down the amount and what it was for.
Don’t forget to include all your fixed expenses such as your mortgage, insurance, savings, or rent. As well as essential costs such as groceries, phone, petrol, medical and all your variable expenses such as takeout and clothing.
You will also need to consider if your income will be reduced once the baby arrives. For example, will you be going from a two-income family down to one income.
Once you have a better idea of your income and expenses you can decide if you need to consider trimming your expenses or adding to your income before your baby arrives.
Way to trim your budget might include:
- Paying off your credit cards or switching to a lower interest rate
- Contacting your home loan, insurance, phone companies to negotiate a better rate
- Meal planning
- Cutting out variable expenses such as takeout
Ways to add to your income might include:
- Teaching English online
- Decluttering and sell off items you no longer need
- Start babysitting
- Start a blog or other online business that you can continue once your baby arrives
- Become a virtual assistant
- Freelance bookkeeping
- Become a transcriptionist
- Drive an Uber
Create An Emergency Fund
Once you have your income and expenses working for you, it is important to create an emergency fund so you can ensure that you’ll be able to cover any unexpected costs that come with having a baby.
Unexpected costs may include:
- Additional paediatric costs for your newborn other than routine appointments, such as illness, tongue or lip ties, physical therapy, etc.
- Extra postpartum care appointments for you such as physical therapy
- Unexpected baby gear needs for example if your baby has colic
- Unexpected baby care supplies if they are ill or have colic
Most financial experts will recommend an emergency fund of at least $1000 and ideally enough to replace 6 months of salary. But any amount you can have is a big help, and naturally, the more the better.
Saving Money On Baby Stuff
So, baby budgeting tips aside, lets look at how you can save money on baby stuff.
1. Consider your Must Have Baby Items
There are thousands of baby items and gadgets that you will come across when you’re pregnant so it can be hard to know what you need for a baby and what is a nice to have.
Many parents, me included, find that they buy baby gear that they never use. From adorable baby clothes to expensive baby rockers to dedicated nursery gliders.
So, before you start buying baby gear, write a list of your must have baby items and nice to haves if your budget can flex.
We also recommend buying just the basics and then when your baby arrives consider buying the additional items once you decide you have a need for them.
Whilst this list will vary for each parent, basic baby items include:
- Crib mattress
- Diaper essentials like diaper cream and baby wipes
- Baby clothes
- Infant car seat
- Baby thermometer
- First aid kit
You may like guides on:
- How many baby clothes do I need?
- How many crib sheets do I need?
- How many swaddles do I need?
- How many nursing pads do I need?
- How many blankets does a baby need?
- How many nursing bras do I need?
- How many baby wipes do I need?
2. Create A Baby Registry
If you have family and friends that are wishing to help you welcome your baby into the world with a gift or are fortunate enough to have someone throw you a baby shower, then a baby registry is a must.
Not only does a baby registry make it easy for people to buy you the exact items that you actually need or want, down to the brand and model, but it also helps to avoid receiving double ups of baby items.
It’s also a great way for family and friends to pool money together and buy you some of the larger baby items like a stroller or a crib.
You can try a few different baby registries at your favorite big-box stores, or you can go all in on one registry with everything you need, however we prefer using the Amazon Baby Registry.
Why? Well Amazon gives access to almost all the brands and products you love, and if by some chance a product isn’t on Amazon, you can easily add it to your baby registry from another store.
But what we love most about it, is that the Amazon Baby Registry offers a completion discount to users. Basically, if items on your registry are not purchased, you have the option for a one-time purchase of the remaining items at 10%-15% off. You’ll get an email 60 days before your due date and you have up to 60 days after your due date to take advantage of the competition discount.
Further to the discount you’ll get other perks like free 365-day returns, free two day shipping, and a free Amazon Welcome Box up to the value of $35!
There are also great features that allow you to organize your baby registry to get the most out of it.
You can mark priority items as a ‘must have item’ so people know that it is a high priority.
You can make items available for ‘group gifting’ so family and friends can pool together to buy it.
You can even add items, then mark them as ‘private’ so only you can see them.
So, whilst a baby registry can seem a bit overwhelming to set up, it can be a great way to receive help from loved ones as well as then clearly identify what outstanding items you have left to budget for.
When it comes to creating your baby registry it is hard to go past Amazon.
With Amazon, you have access to almost all of the brands and products you love in one convenient place. You can even add products from other websites using their Universal Registry feature!
When you register with Amazon, you’ll get a 10-15 percent off a one-time purchase of products from your registry (for Prime members).
It has an incredible 365 extended returns period as well as free two-day shipping on registry items.
Best of all, it includes a free welcome box of mom and baby products that you can test out after your little one arrives, valued up to $35.
3. Buy Second Hand Baby Gear
Buying baby gear second hand is a fantastic way to reduce costs when preparing for your baby especially as many of the items will only be used for a short period.
However, it is important to note that some items are best brought new:
Car Seat And Any Travel Accessories
When it comes to safety gear like your car seat, it’s best buy these new, so you know exactly what you are getting. Car seat straps can wear over time, and it can be difficult to assess the safety of a used car seat, even by a professional.
In addition to that, many new parents are surprised to learn that baby car seats do expire.
So, instead, shop around and look for the best deals or add a car seat to your baby registry.
If you are really tight for money and cannot afford to purchase a car seat, then try borrowing one from a friend or check with your local firehouse and community center as they may be able to offer you a car seat free of charge. However, keep in mind to check the expire date and ensure that there is no visible damage.
Like car seats, baby carrier straps, buckles, and fabric stretch and wear over time. Whilst, it may be okay to borrow a friend’s carrier if you know the history well, if you can afford to and especially if you plan on having more than one child, we recommend in investing in a new baby carrier that will last for your family.
You may also like our guide on:
Whilst purchasing a good quality second hand crib is a viable issue, as long as you check the manufacturer and product number to ensure there are no recalls against the crib, we highly recommend that you invest in a new crib mattress.
Because who knows what has happened on that used mattress and what is lurking on it.
The same goes with a bassinet mattress.
And while you’re there make sure you also get a mattress protector or two.
Breast Pump and Other Pumping Supplies
Whilst you can purchase as secondhand breast pump there are a few things you will need to consider.
Firstly, even if you clean the pump thoroughly, if the used pump had any moisture left in it or was not cleaned properly there could be instances of mold or other trapped bacteria which could be harmful to your baby.
Secondary, motors aren’t designed to last through the years, especially on cheaper breast pump models, as such an older pump may not be as effective at extracting milk.
However, that said if you do still choose a secondhand pump, a hospital grade, closed system pump, like Spectra S2, is your best option. A hospital grade pump means it is designed for multiple people use and the closed system reduces the risk mold and bacteria build up as milk does not enter the tubing which is the hardest part to clean and dry.
The good news though, if you live in the US then you can get a new breast pump for free through your insurance company. Simply contact your insurance company to find out how to go about getting yours.
Even if you are a second-time mom you are still entitled to a new pump.
What Are The Best Things To Get Second Hand For A New Baby?
Now that we’ve established what you should buy new, everything else, truly, can be acquired via yard sales, craigslist, local mom groups on Facebook, and friends and family with kids.
While it is nice to get new things like a stroller, baby swing, bouncer chairs, etc. If you are tight on your budget and won’t receive these things as gifts, go second-hand.
Some of our top picks for buying secondhand include:
- Baby Books – As you baby grows, you’ll discover you can never have enough books!
- Baby clothes – Baby’s grow so fast, there is no reason to buy everything new. Clothes are the perfect items to get used because it’s so easy to sanitize yourself by washing in hot water in the washing machine.
- Baby Linens – Receiving Blankets, crib bedding, changing table covers, etc. are other items that can definitely be purchased second-hand. If they look like they are in good shape, you can easily sanitize these yourself.
- Toys – Toys are another great option to buy second-hand. However, some may be tricky to sanitize, so before buying you’ll want to make sure you can thoroughly clean them before you give them to your baby. As a general rule of thumb, we like to stick with second hand toys that are made out of plastic as they are easy to clean and sanitize.
4. Consider Cloth Diapers
Diapers are one of your biggest ongoing expenses when you have a baby.
One way to cut down this expense is to use reusable cloth diapers.
This can save parents upwards of $1,500 over a three-year period. And that doesn’t include if you also choose to use reusable baby wipes.
If your budget is tight, then you can easily buy cloth diapers secondhand (as well as sell them once you’re finished with that size).
There are even cloth diaper libraries available where you can hire your cloth diapers. This is a great option when starting out so you can find a brand that works for you and your baby.
Best of all, it is also a win for the environment!
You can learn more in our guide on the 8 different types of cloth diapers.
5. Have A Diaper Party
If you’ve never heard of a diaper party then in simple terms, A diaper raffle is a fun activity at a baby shower or baby sprinkle, where guests bring diapers (disposable or cloth diapers) and are entered into a prize drawing during the event.
It is a great way to get a ton of diapers and set you up for your baby’s first year or more.
We have a whole article on what is a diaper raffle and how to host one!
6. Sign Up For A Diaper Subscription
Once you’ve found a diaper brand that works for you, you can often save a ton of money by signing up to a diaper subscription.
We love the Amazon Family program as you can save 20% off your diaper subscription.
Is a free service as long as you already subscribe to a Prime membership. It offers discounts on countless baby and childcare products, not just diapers.
You can get up to 20% off wipes, bottles and more, as well as handy email newsletters filled with information tagged to your child’s age.
With Amazon Family you can choose from popular brands like Pampers and Huggies and schedule the diapers to be automatically delivered regularly.
You can also choose how frequently you want the diapers delivered, and Amazon also lets you to skip deliveries if needed.
When you sign up for diapers on Subscribe and Save option, you receive a discount on your products ranging from five to 20% off each shipment. Amazon has no hidden fees, and they let you cancel at any time.
We love Amazon Family for saving extra dollars on diapers and it’s easy to see why! However, you must have an Amazon Prime account to be able to use this option.
Amazon Family is so much more than just a diaper subscription!
Whilst you can save a huge 20% on your favorite diaper brands, Amazon Family also comes with a ton of other great benefits such as:
- Exclusive Coupons and Deals from Amazon Family
- Exclusive Baby Registry benefits
- FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items
- Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
- Unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and more Prime benefits
7. Give Breastfeeding Your All
Whilst we understand that breastfeeding will not be an option for every mom, for those that are able to it is a great baby budget saver.
A typical baby formula will cost you around $35 per week. Plus, the addition of bottles and feeding gear. That can add up fast.
By breastfeeding, you’ll be able to save heavily on formula and bottle costs.
An electric breast pump is also a great option for those moms that are wanting to bottle feed with breast milk.
If you have a low milk supply or are struggling with breastfeeding, we recommend seeking the advice of a lactation consultant.
7. Get Free Baby Product Samples
Many baby companies will offer free samples to entice you to try their products in hope you will become a regular customer.
Whilst they are generally sample sizes, they can be a great way to save a few dollars as well as try out new products. Many also come with discount coupons.
We love the Amazon Welcome Box that comes when you create and Amazon gift registry. It is valued up to $35 and comes with an assortment of full-size, sample-size and travel-size products.
There is some fine print though, you have to be an Amazon Prime member, create an Amazon gift registry, complete 60 percent of the registry checklist, and then purchase at least $10 worth of items from your registry (it counts if someone buys a $10 item for you).
8. Consider Borrowing Baby Items
If your family members or friend have kids, then it is likely they still have a ton of baby gear that they might not be using and in storage. Especially if they are still growing their family.
So, consider asking to borrow some of the items.
Items that are only used for a short period such as a bassinet or baby sleeping bags are ideal to borrow.
You may even find your local community has a library set up to borrow items from such as a toy library which can be worth joining.
9. Consider Hiring Baby Items
Just like borrowing baby items, hiring baby items can also be a great option especially for higher priced items that are only used for a short period.
Great items to hire include basinets and care seat capsules that are only used for the first few months.
10. Look For A Cheaper Alternative
If you’ve got your heart set on a high-end baby product, the chances are that there is a great budget option out there that has similar features without the price tag.
For example, if you love the SNOO bassinet but can’t justify the high price tag, especially when it is only used for a few months, then you’ll be pleased to know there are some great SNOO Alternatives available that are also budget friendly.
You can check out some of our budget friendly alternative for products here:
- Best bassinet alternatives
- Best stroller alternatives
- Best high chair alternatives
- Best diaper pail alternatives
- Uppababy bassinet stand alternatives
Final Thoughts On Ways To Save Money On Baby Stuff
There are many ways in which you can save on baby products and ensure that your budget covers the things you’ll need.
If you haven’t yet had your baby shower or made a registry, consider what your priorities are and what you can get away with second-hand. Maybe register for cash fund gifts instead if you’re worried about diaper or childcare costs.
If you’re later in your pregnancy, it’s definitely not too late to plan a diaper party! Have your friends help you create the diaper stockpile you need.
Don’t forget to see what you can borrow, hire, or even find a cheaper alternative for.
We hope this guide has been helpful in helping you to find ways to save with a new baby. And if you love this guide on practical ways to save money on baby items, then make sure to check out our guides on when to start buying diapers when pregnant, best pregnancy gifts for first time moms, best postpartum diapers, and best maternity pajamas. Or even our guide on when should I start setting up the baby nursery!