Having a new baby is a joyous occasion for any family, but it can also be a very scary one. Babies are expensive and unfortunately, it only gets worse as your child grows. Luckily there are ways that you can help yourself afford a new baby and cut your costs. They’re not too hard, but they might not work for everyone. Pick the ones that work for you and skip the ones that don’t.
Affording a new baby – 7 tips for cutting your costs
Start Early – The best way to afford a new baby is to start saving early. Before your pregnant is ideal, but if that isn’t an option for you, start socking away money as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Ideally, you’ll want to build a $1,000 emergency fund to start and then progress onto 3-6 months’ worth of expenses as your pregnancy progresses if possible.
Stockpile – As soon as you are into your second trimester, start stockpiling baby items. You’ll want to build up a stockpile of diapers and wipes, clothing and everything that goes with having a newborn. There are TONS of baby deals all the time that paying full price for anything baby related is not needed. Gymboree which is my favorite place to find baby clothes always has sales going and their clearance section is awesome too!
Use Coupons – As you’re building your stockpile, be sure that you use coupons. You can save as much as 90% off diapers and wipes if you find the right deal. There is almost always a deal on baby items somewhere so put these items on your “never or rarely” pay full price list. CVS and Target are my favorite places to find deals on diapers. Target often has promotions of buy select baby items such as diapers and wipes and get a gift card. Then I use the gift cards the next time they have a deal to keep the savings going.
Go Cloth – Using cloth diapers is usually a major savings for most moms. Your initial costs can be high though and there are the costs of keeping them clean and in good shape so be sure you do your research before you make this leap. For some people, it actually won’t be any cheaper. You can save money on your cloth diapers by purchasing them used on ebay, and I have also seen some on sale at times on Zulily and on Amazon.
Make what you can – Making your own baby items versus buying them will almost always save you money. You can make everything from homemade baby food to diaper rash cream and everything in between. There are lots of things you can make like DIY Sleepy lotion to help baby sleep, homemade stain remover, Easy DIY Minky Blanket, DIY Lovie Blankets, DIY Door Latch cover, and this adjustable crib skirt that you can make yourself.
Breastfeed – Another option that can save money but may not be right for all moms is breastfeeding. While it isn’t free like a lot of people think, it can be cheaper than formula feeding. Just like with cloth diapers, you’ll need to do your research and decide if it is right for you and your family. You can get a breast pump if you want one but it is not always needed. You will also want to check with your insurance because many plans cover breast pumps for nursing moms.
Barter with other moms – Finally, one great way to save big when having a new baby is to barter with other moms who have older children. Chances are good that they still have some (or a lot) of their baby items in storage. Ask them if there is anything you can do for them that they would be willing to trade for those items. You never know who might be willing!
Buy Used: Babies use things for such a short time that chances of them actually getting worn out from 1 (or even 2,3,4) kids is slim. You do not want to buy a carseat used but excersaucers, bouncers, high chairs, strollers, pack and plays can easily be found really cheap at thrift stores, consignment stores, in facebook resale groups, yardsales ect. Baby clothing is the same way too, infants really don’t mess up their clothing since they do a lot of nothing but “hanging around” so infant clothing tends to look brand new. Plus there is also that perk of people buying LOTS of adorable new things for an itty bitty baby that the baby ends up with to much clothing and never gets a chance to wear it all!