Baby Items: 7 Clever Ways to Save Your Cash
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Knowing how to budget well and the ways to save money on baby items is really valuable as you prepare for the arrival of your baby.
This post originally appeared on The Chronicles of a Babywise Mom.
Want to know how not to spend a fortune on a new baby?
This is the list for you!
1) Accept Hand-Me-Downs
We have been so abundantly blessed to receive a ton of baby gear from friends and family.
If you’re looking to save money then saying goodbye to any pride you have about accepting second-hand items will do you in good stead.
It’s also good to bear in mind that by accepting the gift of hand-me-downs from another family you’re allowing them to be a blessing to you.
Most times people are happy to get rid of clothes and other baby items so that they can de-clutter their home.
I would suggest asking what their expectations are. For instance, I when we have been given clothes I always ask if it’s okay to pass them on to someone else once we’re finished using them.
That way, if there’s anything that isn’t to your taste or doesn’t suit your child you can re-gift them to another person with no guilt.
Hand-me-downs aren’t limited to clothes either. We were given a crib, bassinet, bouncer, baby bath, and a number of other items.
Of course, you’ll want to know the kind of home the item has come from, but so long as you’re comfortable with that there is nothing wrong with second-hand!
The only exception is a mattress. Over time they lose their firmness and may not be as safe to use. Not to mention they tend to hold onto dust mites, etc.
Do some research and get your baby a good quality mattress, but otherwise be open to receiving second-hand items.
2) Buy Second-Hand
If you’re not lucky enough to have baby gear passed down to you, then the next option is to look for second-hand items to buy.
Generally speaking, baby gear is used for such a short period of time that it is often still in really good shape.
This tip is something I would really stress in regards to your big-ticket purchases. i.e cribs, rockers, swings, etc.
Clothing is something that I’m a little more particular about. I tend to like to know what kind of home my baby clothes have come from.
I’m not opposed to accepting hand-me-downs from family and friends, but I’ll admit I’m a little more fussy about buying second-hand clothing.
Generally speaking, I tend to keep outfits very simple during the first year anyway, so baby clothes aren’t all that expensive to buy new.
3) Use Cloth Diapers
If you’re serious about saving money then cloth diapering is the way to go.
I’ve used a combo of disposable and cloth diapers with both of my kids so far. Usually, I stop using the cloth after around 12 months because they’re down to so few diapers a day that the extra washing isn’t really worth it for me.
However, cloth diapers, in general, are much more economical and once you’ve got your washing routine down it becomes fairly easy.
I know a lot of people talk about cloth diapers being quite expensive initially but I’m a bit of a cheapskate and went with one of the cheapest options – prefolds and covers.
We had a great experience with these with my daughter and plan to use them again.
You can find a full review of them in this post –> Alva Baby Diaper Cover Review
4) Know What You Really Need
There is so much baby gear available out there on the market. It can be completely overwhelming for new parents to know what is and is not necessary.
Don’t make the mistake of getting sucked in my gadgets and gizmos.
Do your due diligence and talk to other parents you know. Chances are they will be able to give you a good idea of what things you really need for your baby.
Another great option is to check out my comprehensive collection of pre + post-baby checklists. The will have everything you need listed for both mom and baby.
5) Read Labels + Do Your Research
This is another trap that parents can easily fall prey to.
Buying more expensive items just because they have the word ‘baby’ on the label.
Be careful! I’ve seen products that have identical ingredients, but because one has the word baby on it, it’s a couple of dollars more.
Be wise and recognise that companies are often wiley and will use these kinds of tactics to make a quick buck.
6) Prioritize Expenses
Once you know what you really need it is wise to make a list of your most important expenses.
For instance, having an infant car seat, clothes, and a place for your child to sleep are not things that you can push to the wayside.
List out what you need in order of priority. That way, if finances are tight you can know that you have the absolutely essential items and haven’t spent precious money on things that are more wants than needs.
7) Wait To Purchase
My final tip is that when in doubt, wait.
All babies are different and while you may think an item is necessary it may not be. Or, your baby may not like it.
Get the basics sorted and then hold off purchasing anything that you’re not sure whether you’ll need or not.
I think often times we start our baby registries and such like with the idea in mind that we can’t go out and purchase anything once the baby arrives.
In today’s world, you can usually just pop out to the store. Or order something online and have it in your home within a day or two.
So, hold off and see what you actually need after your baby has arrived.