When you learn the news that you are expecting a baby, along with all the excitement, you also start thinking of how to better prepare for welcoming the new family member. While raising a baby is surely costly, it is not necessary to spend too much especially on supplies and gadgets that you don’t actually need.
There are several ways to save some money on baby stuff and a handful of useful hacks and tips on how to shop so that you don’t end up spending unnecessarily. You can browse through the ideas below and find the way, which best fits your family budget and lifestyle.
How to save money on baby stuff?
If you want to save money while shopping for the baby, you need to follow a few rules. While pregnancy, birth, and the first days with the baby are an emotional journey, it is necessary to approach shopping objectively. Let your mind drive your decisions and not only your heart. Well, of course there is room for some cute and unnecessary toys or pieces of clothing.
Here are a few ideas that can help you with your shopping for the new baby.
Plan before the baby’s arrival but don’t shop
It is good to start planning about your baby prior to their arrival but do not start shopping yet. There is no way to envisage all the details and you may end up regarding some purchases after the baby is born. It may turn that the clothes don’t fit or you do not need a bottle sterilizer at all as you breastfeed with no issues. In order to avoid buying some items twice, you can just make a list of what you need and make the purchase once the baby is born.
Do good research prior to any purchase
A good piece of advice reads that you need to buy with a notebook in hand and not with your pocket. Do not rush to the nearest baby shop or log in in the first online store for all your purchase. Research to see what other parents say about each product, ask friends and relatives for their feedback and then decide which is the best option. You can also check if there are any promotions or discounts.
Reuse or borrow
If you have an older kid, you can surely reuse some of the staff that you already have. Check which items are still good and which need to be replaced. You can also borrow staff from friends who have grown-up kids and do not need it anymore.
Yet another good option is to buy second-hand items as long as you make sure that they are of good quality.
Identify items worth spending more money on
There are certain items, that are worth spending a bit more on as they will last longer, offer convenience or provide higher quality. In general, these goods can include a car seat, a stroller, a high chair or a good breast pump. It all depends on your preferences and lifestyle.
As a whole, if you intend to use that item a lot, it is worth paying a higher price for a quality product that can live up to your expectations.
Test before you buy
If there is an option to test the item before you buy it, make sure to avail of it. If a friend has the same stroller that you want, for example, you can go on a walk with them and ask to push it around to see how it feels. You can also test how certain gadgets work before you buy.
Once the baby is with you, you can also check if they like to be carried in a carrier or if they like swings at all. Check if your baby will really enjoy them prior to spending money on an item that won’t be of any use.
Which are the must-have and don’t-need baby supplies?
The first rule to follow if you want to save money on baby stuff is to buy only the essential items that you and your baby need. There are several items that you definitely need to have, some are optional while others are a complete waste of money.
Which are the must-haves when it comes to:
– crib or co-sleeper with mattress, sheets, and blankets. It is good to have a changing table and you can also invest in a humidifier and a rocking chair to breastfeed. There is no need to buy pillows, mattress padding or sleep positioners since they are SIDS risk and should be avoided. A bassinet is also not a smart investment as it is safe only until the 3rd month of the baby.
– depending on whether you breast-feed or formula-feed your baby, you need different supplies. For breastfeeding, it is good to invest in a nursing pillow, a couple of nursing bras and a breast pump. It is good to have nursing pads, nipple cream and storage bags for extra breastmilk. If you are using formula you need several bottles with newborn nipples, formula, bottle drying rack, bottle cleaning brush, several cotton bibs. It is good to invest in a bottle sterilizer and in an insulated cooler for when you go out. There is no need for a bottle warmer as you can simply use hot water to warm up the bottle if need be.
– you need about 2 packs of newborn diapers to start. Do not buy in bulk as babies grow fast and may outgrow them quick. You need wipes, waterproof changing pad, pad covers, diaper pail with a lid, diaper rush ointment. Any other cosmetic products for the baby need to be introduced only if needed. A wipe warmer, on the other hand, is one of the items that will most probably won’t come into usage and you will regret spending money on it.
– you need a car seat, a stroller, a diaper bag. It is good to have a front carrier or a sling or a baby backpack if you are fond of carrying your baby around and they like it. A rain cover for the stroller is also a necessity in case it doesn’t come with one.
– bath time is important so you need to be prepared. You will need two hooded towels, infant tub, baby shampoo, baby soap or bath wash, baby comb and brush set, nail scissors or clippers, cotton swabs. It is good to have bath toys and a bath thermometer as well as a faucet guard. There is no need to buy a baby bathrobe as it is hard to use.
– you need 7 onesies, several side-snap shirts, snap-up rompers, 7 pairs of pajamas or other sleeping outfits, shirt-and-pant sets, socks, hat and snowsuit if the weather is cold. It is a good idea to buy a special outfit for bringing the baby home. Do not buy too many newborn-size clothes as your baby will quickly outgrow them. Try not to buy many clothes before giving birth as your baby may be smaller or bigger than the average and the standard newborn clothes may not fit. You do not need shoes until your baby starts to actually walk.
– toys are important for the physical and cognitive development of babies and kids and should be present in your house. Yet, it is not necessary to overstock on toys. You need soft books, rattles, some toys attached to the crib and to the stroller for going out. It is a good idea to have a basket to store toys in.
Can baby stuff be environmentally friendly?
When you consider buying baby items, it is necessary to look for high quality and kid-proved materials. Thus, the items will be safe for your baby.
You can also think a bit about the environment and invest in environmentally-friendly items. There is a great variety of eco-friendly products for kids and babies that you can purchase. You can opt for reusable baby cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers, for example. This solution is not only greener but can actually save you a lot of money for the period of 2-3 years when you are going to use diapers.
Waterproof silicone bibs are also a great alternative to cloth bibs as you can easily clean them and use them multiple times.
You can also opt to purchase more organic products or support companies that offer items made of recycled materials. You can find anything from bottles to shoes offered on the market.
Reusing baby stuff from another sibling, from friends or relatives is also a way to protect the environment. The same goes if you decide to buy some of the items second hand. Be careful when choosing a crib or a car seat, though, as they may pose danger if they are too old.
Some hacks to save your sanity
Purchasing baby items may sound like rocket science to first-time parents. Hence, it is necessary to keep in mind that your baby does not need much staff at the end of the day. Make sure to have the basics and then add more items as you need them.
There are a few hacks that can help you handle your baby supply shopping.
Useful shopping tips
When it comes to shopping for a baby, there are several tips that can be quite useful. If you stick to them, you won’t spend too much on items that you don’t need or your baby will outgrow quickly. Here are a few of them:
Check the safety of used baby gear
While it is good to use hand-me-downs or buy second-hand stuff, it is necessary to check its safety first. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission site for recalls and see if any of the items that you are aiming at is present there. If you find it, it means that the item doesn’t meet safety standards and you should not buy or use it.
Opt for simple clothes.
When it comes to clothes, it is good to select simpler clothes that are easy to put on and off. While fancy clothing looks cute, your baby cannot appreciate it and there is also a chance they won’t feel comfortable in it. Not to mention your frustration trying to put it on.
Avoid designer brands
There is no point to spend more money on an item simply because it has a name on it. When it comes to clothes, it is useless to throw your money on a shirt that your baby will outgrow in 2 weeks. Most of the other baby supplies also have a cheaper, yet high-quality version that will serve you just as well. You can use store-brand diapers, shampoo, wipes and save big time.
Create a registry
When your friends organize your baby shower, you can direct them to the registry you have created so that you can get some of the items that you want and need.
Helpful baby supplies you may not have thought of
There are some baby supplies that you might not have thought of but that can easy your routine. Your friends who are already parents can give you useful advice as to what is worth buying. Some examples of useful baby-related goods include:
- Baby stroller hook clips that let you carry a lot of staff hooked on the stroller quite handy to use when you need it.
- Baby teething toothbrush that can soothe your baby while they are teething and help you create first hygiene habits
- Baby pacifier and thermometer in one that will let you check your baby’s temperature quick and easy
- Portable baby chair pouch that can be mounted on any chair or car seat and even tied to you to easily feed the baby or simply carry them around
Surely, there are many more items on your baby list that you need or want to buy. In order to buy smart, follow the tips above and try not to get too emotional about cute little baby clothes, toys, and fancy items. Ha! If that’s possible at all!
While making your baby shopping list, you can also check our online shop and its baby supplies section.