It’s not a secret that babies cost money. Just thinking about everything you need for your baby can be overwhelming. Many people feel discouraged about the costs of having a baby. However, you don’t need to be making 6 figures to have a child. If that was true people would never have kids. It is completely possible to have a baby on a tight budget. Trust me, I did it and you can too. I’m sharing with you 5 things I did that made having a baby on a budget a bit easier for our family. Enjoy!
I don’t know about you, but patience is not exactly my specialty. One of the hardest things to do during pregnancy is wait. Everything about pregnancy screams wait. Wait to hear a heartbeat, to have an ultrasound, to find out the gender, to meet your baby, to bring baby home, etc. Now I am going to add another wait to that list. Wait to shop for your baby. I know the urge to nest is strong. I’ve been there. However, if you are trying to prepare for your new baby on a tight budget the best thing you can do is wait.
If you are having a baby shower you will get plenty of gifts for little one. Family and friends will still probably send gifts even if you aren’t having a shower. People love to shop for babies! This is why I like to wait until the third trimester to do any major shopping for baby. Of course I’m not perfect and sneak a few purchases here and there. A mamas gotta do what a mamas gotta do. I do try my hardest to resist though. Around the 35 week mark I make a list of things we are still needing for baby. Then, I go ahead and order them using the rewards from my registry. This still gives you plenty of time to get everything in, organized, and ready to go before babies big arrival.
One of the best tips I received when preparing for my baby on a budget was to shop used. Babies use things for such a short period of time that these items are often in like new condition. Sometimes you will even find things that still have tags on them. Now that’s a steal. Here are a few places to start looking if you want to buy used.
- Facebook Buy Sell Trade Pages
- Facebook Marketplace
- Garage Sales
- Local Consignment Stores
- Friends/Family With Children
Toys and clothings are great baby products to buy used. You will go through them so quickly that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pay full price. You can also save big bucks buying used baby gear. This includes baby swings, bouncers, carriers, diaper pails, monitors, etc. One item that you won’t want to buy used though is a carseat. It’s hard to know exactly how a used carseat was taken care of. The integrity of a carseat can be comprised if it has been in an accident – even one as small as a fender bender. Damage to a carseat is not always visibly seen. So, it’s better to be safe and start fresh.
I will always stand by my stance that breast is best. Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for both mama and baby. It is also extremely easy to do on a tight budget. Many people like to say breastfeeding is free. Technically, breastfeeding isn’t free. You will need to purchase nursing pads, nursing bras, nipple cream, and a breast pump (if you have insurance you can get your breast pump for free.) However, even with all those costs breastfeeding is still significantly cheaper than formula feeding. If you are on a tight budget breastfeeding is definitely the way to go.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. That’s why it is so important to set yourself up for success. Learn as much about breastfeeding as you can before your little one arrives. This way you will have all of the knowledge you need to tackle any small issues that arise. I love to recommend Stacey Stewart’s Ultimate Breastfeeding Class. Stacey is a lactation educator who created an online breastfeeding class. You heard that right – you can take this class from the comfort of your own bed! This class is packed full of information such as the benefits of breastfeeding, understanding lactation, latching and positioning, mastering your milk supply, diaper output, weight, milk expression and storage, and so much more. The class retails for only $19. The amount of information you get for that price is unbelievable. I highly recommend taking this class to help set yourself up for success on your breastfeeding journey.
I know that breastfeeding isn’t always possible for many moms. In fact, I was one of them. I tried so hard to breastfeed my daughter, but unfortunately our journey needed to end at the 3 month mark. If you are not able to breastfeed please do not beat yourself up. You are doing what is best for your child by recognizing that this isn’t working and trying something different. Formula fed babies are just as healthy and happy as breastfed babies. If you do end up formula feeding I have plenty of advice on how to save money on that route as well. Here are 6 simple ways to save money on infant formula.
Evaluate Needs vs. Wants
It’s hard as a parent, especially a first time parent, to figure out what you really need for your baby. The baby industry feeds off of a parent’s emotions to sell their products. They make you feel like everything is a truly a need for your baby. You begin to feel like you aren’t a good parent if you don’t provide these items for your child. That’s the magic of good marketing. However, you don’t really need that many things to care for your child. Do they make life more convenient? Absolutely! Are they really necessary? No.
When I think about needs vs. wants for a baby there a few big opportunities for savings that jump out at me. You obviously need a carseat for your baby. However, you can save major money by skipping the infant carseat and starting out with a convertible carseat (just make sure you choose one that provides good support for newborns). You also don’t need the top of the line $400 carseat. All seats must meet the same safety stands. Essentially all that extra money just goes towards the extra bells and whistles. Another big need vs. want that stands out to me involves bedtime. You need to provide a safe sleep space for your baby. However, this sleep space doesn’t necessarily need to be a crib. You could substitute a pack ‘n play for a crib and save a significant amount of money.
Create a Baby Registry
A great way to prepare for a baby on a tight budget is to create a baby registry. This is a simple way to let friends and family know exactly what you are needing for your baby. This will make shopping for your baby shower so much easier for everyone. It completely takes the guessing game out of shopping for gifts. My favorite place to create a baby registry is with Amazon. Create an Amazon Baby Registry.
You should create a baby registry even if you don’t plan on having a shower. It is a great way to keep an organized list of all of the things you still need to purchase. Plus, the benefits you get from creating a registry can help you save big bucks on your purchases for baby. For example, Amazon’s Baby Registry gives you a 10% completion discount on select purchases. This discount jumps up to 15% if you are a member of Amazon Prime. Discounts like that really add up when you think about all of the things you will need to get for your baby.