how to save money when expecting a baby

Parenthood comes with a lot to prepare for, from daycare, to daily necessities, to medical expenses, there are a lot of costs you have to account for.  While you don’t want to skimp when it comes to your new bundle of joy, there are areas where budgeting and careful choosing can help cut costs.

With my first child, I found myself getting caught up in the parenting checklists, the television ads showing me how blissful my little one will sleep with the newest soothing bouncer option, and the movies showing me what the perfect play area for a baby should look like.  By the time the third little one came around, I had figured out the formula on how to save money when expecting a baby.

To help stay in budget and save some bucks, try these 12 tips:

1.  Hold Off on Items That Are for Older Babies

While filling out your registry it is easy to get caught up in feeling the need to check everything off that is recommended.  Yet, when it comes to the items that are for when your baby gets older, it is best to hold off.  By the time my first child was three months, I already had many of the big items to help her learn to walk and keep her occupied once she was standing or moving around.  Unfortunately, when she was finally old enough to use them she only showed interest in about half of them, and the additional items took up so much space that they ended up going in storage.

2.  Don’t Overstock

You will want to have a few necessity items ready for when you bring your newborn home such as bottles, pacifiers, and nipples, but don’t overstock on these items.  With my first little one, I stocked up on everything I could to make sure I didn’t have to worry about running to the store to pickup items, only to find out that my sweet girl apparently was not a fan of the pacifier or nipple brand I had bought.  After a little bit of trial and error we finally found out what worked best for her and the extras from my early purchases ended up going to a friend.

3.  Don’t be Afraid to Borrow the Big Items

If you have a friend, who has kids that you feel comfortable borrowing items from, ask them if they mind loaning you a few of the more expensive items.  My best friend and I had our children at staggered intervals and ended up sharing a swing, bassinet, and pack-n-play between four kids.

4.  Make the Nursery a DIY

We all want that perfect nursery that we see in magazines and ads, but in truth, that nursery will only probably look picture perfect until you bring your newborn home.  Lack of sleep, constant feeding and changing will leave you little time to make sure everything in the nursery is precisely in its place.  That being said it doesn’t mean you have to have your nursery plain.  Check out Pinterest for some do it yourself decorative ideas that will help personalize and make your nursery special without costing a small fortune.

5.  Put a Limit on Baby Clothes

My personal baby purchase weakness was shoes, and my little bundle of joy had a wardrobe full.  Due to her rapid growth and seasonal changes, along with the fact that she flat out preferred to go barefoot, I ended up only using about three or four out of the 10 pairs I had purchased for the first year of her life.  The same goes with baby clothes.  Those first few months your child is most likely to spend their day in onesies and jammies aside from the short periods of time you go out.  Check out consignment shops to take care of the outing outfits you need and put the extra cash in the bank for your little one’s future expenses.

6.  Don’t Spend Too Much on Nursery Sets

While the comforter looks cute on the crib when entering the nursery, the truth is you won’t be using it.  You are not supposed to have blankets or comforters in the bed until your child older and will most likely need a bigger blanket at that time.  As for the sheets, opt for less expensive options as they will often be changed and no one will see the fabulous pattern on it expect for you and your significant other.

7.  Check Out Local MTM Sales

Mom to mom sales are an excellent way to find gently used well-kept baby items to get your nursery started.  Many of these are moms looking to make a few extra dollars, while others are charity events trying to raise money.  Either way, you can score some great prices on items that can retail for much higher.

8.  Get Insider Tips From BTDT Moms

The been-there-done-that moms will not only be able to give you insider advice on what items are necessities, but also what products work best.  I find pregnancy and baby forums are great resources to pick the minds of moms who have tried a variety of products and know which ones are worth the cost.

9.  Sign Up for Free Baby Swag

Take the time to sign up for as many baby coupons and offers as you can.  Many of these companies will give you great offers and most will give you some free sample as well as baby gifts to welcome your newborn.

10.  Choose Items That Can Pull a Double Duty

Make the most of your purchases by finding items that can serve a duel purpose.  For my second child, I nixed the changing table and opted for a dresser with a lip on it, then converted it to a changing table by adding a changing pad.  The drawers worked for storage, and when she out grew the table, I had the dresser for the room.

11.  Don’t Be Wowed By Amazing New Items

It seems every day there is a new baby must-have.  Try not to be swayed into buying items you don’t need. When new items come out that I get excited about, I take them time to think about how many times I would use it and limit my purchases to those that I will most utilize.

12.  Hold Off on Purchases Until After Your Shower

Having a baby can be exciting and sometimes it is hard to wait to make purchases, but it is important to limit your purchases until after your shower.  Not only will you have had time to determine what you will need, but you will most likely get a lot of your desired items at your baby shower.

While the excitement of your new bundle of joy may make you want to blow your budget, take the time to find ways to save a few dollars that will come in handy as your little one grows up.

Featured image via royalty-free stock photo

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