Parents disagree on many things, but If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that babies are not cheap. In the first year of becoming a parent, you’ll notice that your money seems to be disappearing rapidly faster than ever before.
Baby on A Budget
It is possible to raise a baby on a budget. You just have to know how to save on baby gear. Here are some tricks and tips that can help you stress less about money and focus on the time you have to spend with your little bundle of joy.
Go For Gently Used Items
You don’t always need the latest baby gear to find options that work for your family. Check out used options for everything from strollers to furniture on Kijiji, Craigslist, or even eBay. Of course, you’ll need to exercise caution for some items and check expiry dates on safety gear. But for the most part you can find gently used baby items that are in perfect condition for a lot less than buying new. Many online marketplaces also offer groups where parents can connect with one another and trade hand-me-down items they don’t need anymore.
When you want to take your search offline, check out local yard sales. Your local consignment shop or thrift shop may also have some usable options for baby gear that can save you as much as half the price of a brand new item. Look in thrift shops in higher income areas for a higher chance of better quality finds.
Look For Gear That Does Double Duty
There are many great options out there for baby gear that can do more than one thing. For example, try a changing table dresser. Everything is built in, which can save space and money. Choose a diaper bag that converts into a changing table, or a Diaper Genie that can convert to a garbage can or compost bin once diapers are no longer necessary.
This also goes for baby gear that can be used long after your baby grows into a toddler. For example, a convertible crib-to-toddler-bed system is perfect for saving money on buying two different beds within a few years’ time.
Buy Diapers in Bulk
You’re going to go through a lot of diapers. That’s a fact, regardless of what your baby eats or how it develops. And diapers can be expensive. You can save a lot of money if you purchase items from wholesale stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club, or from wholesale websites. The money you’ll save doing this can amount to way more than the cost of basic membership to one of these locations.
If you are willing to give it a shot, cloth diapers are also a great way to save money. They are also a more environmentally friendly option than disposable diapers. However, not everyone is able to use cloth diapers effectively. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, and that’s okay.
Don’t go out and buy a whole new wardrobe your little one is going to grow out of faster than you can get it on them. Babies don’t need to be in expensive designer clothing. Don’t go out and buy a ton of clothes far in advance, either. You can’t predict when a child will have a growth spurt, and you could end up wasting a lot of money on unused clothing that just gets tossed to the back of your closet. For special occasions, buy from used clothing stores. Chances are the baby who originally wore that item only wore it once before they outgrew it.
Being clothing-conscious is also important for mom and/or dad as well. This is particularly true if you or your partner are considering purchasing breastfeeding clothing, such as nursing shirts. The last thing you want is to go out and spend a lot of money on breastfeeding clothing, only to have a child that simply won’t breastfeed.
Keep Extra Diaper Bags in Your Car
Every parent, at some point or another, has forgotten something on an outing, whether it’s extra diapers or the entire diaper bag. Keep an extra one in your car with some travel wipes, diapers, extra clothing, and even snacks. This way, you can avoid the need to purchase these items while you’re out, and you can avoid the higher price markup from convenience stores or other retail outlets. If you end up in an area where you can’t run out and buy those items when you need them, this will save you the headache as well.