How to Save Money on Your Baby
Having a baby is more expensive than anyone who’s never had one would ever dream. Maybe you’re trying to come up with a way to stay at home with your baby, so that you don’t have to pay for daycare (or let anyone else share all of those precious milestones). Maybe you’re just looking to save a little bit of money so you aren’t in debt for the next eighteen years. Ready to learn how to save money on your baby? We have some tips for you.
- Check out cloth diapers. They aren’t as gross as you think, and they can save you a ton of money over the next two to three years. If possible, visit a local cloth diaper store, where you can actually look at all of the different styles of diapers. Prefolds and covers (the cheapest method of cloth diapering) seem intimidating at first, but once you get past that initial learning curve, they’re actually not too bad. As an added bonus, when your baby potty trains, you can sell your cloth diapers and make some of your initial investment back on them. Try not to get caught up in the hype as you’re doing research and meeting other moms who cloth diaper, though! Solid-colored diapers work just as well as rare, hard-to-find prints; and you don’t have to have a huge “stash” to make it work for your baby.
- Breastfeed, if at all possible. Sure, there are some women who just can’t, and there are plenty of reasons why it might not work; but why not at least try? If you can make it work, breastfeeding will save you a ton of money over your baby’s first year of life. If you can’t (or don’t want to) breastfeed, register with formula companies so that they’ll send you coupons throughout baby’s first year of life.
- Check out consignment sales for gently used baby equipment. There are some areas where you’re just better off buying new, unless a hand-me-down comes from a friend or relative that you trust. These include car seats and cribs, which you want to know are safe and up to current safety standards. Other equipment, however–bouncers; strollers; saucers; and all of the dozens of other items that you need to get through baby’s first year–can be purchased used for a fraction of the price you’d pay for it new, and let’s be realistic: unless you’re planning to have half a dozen kids, your baby isn’t going to get enough use out of a product to justify paying for a new one.
- Don’t buy fancy clothes. Aside from one fancy outfit for holiday pictures (and you don’t even have to do that–simple outfits are just as precious), you probably aren’t going to have any use for those oh-so-precious overpriced clothes. Baby shoes? They are adorable–but they aren’t necessary until baby is walking (and even then, it’s recommended that baby be barefoot most of the time to help with balance and foot development). Most of the time, your baby will hang out in a sleeper or a onesie and pants (and if you make it a sleeper, you don’t have to buy–or keep up with–tiny socks).
- Want to save even more on baby clothes? Check out consignment sales and thrift stores, where you’ll find plenty of adorable, precious little outfits that were hardly ever worn for just a couple of dollars each. Babies outgrow clothes so fast that they almost never wear out even your favorite outfits. Is your best friend offering hand-me-downs? Even those spit-up stained sleepers are just fine for days when you’re lounging around the house and not going anywhere, so don’t turn them down!
- Don’t buy toys (or at least keep them to a minimum). For the most part, family members will purchase plenty of toys for your little bundle of joy without you ever having to do anything. If they don’t, keep it simple–baby doesn’t need dozens of toys to be entertained!
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