Congratulations! You are planning for a baby. I’m sure you’ve realized how expensive it is to have a baby. And maybe you’re looking for ways to save money. But babies need so much stuff it can be hard to know where to start. Well, I have 2 kids that are less than 16 months apart, so let me share with you how I have saved money. And how you can too! These are the things I wish I’d known from the start.
1. Car Seat
There are a lot of different car seats in a rather large price range. It can be difficult to know what to look at the first time you are planning for a baby. And being the only item that is designed specifically to save your baby’s life, it can feel very hard to look at the less expensive end of that price range. We bought Graco car seats for our first. Two of them actually, an infant one that came with our stroller, advertised as a travel system. And a convertible car seat.
After all my research I thought that convertible meant that it would take the child until they no longer needed a seat or booster at all. But I know now that it just means it can be rear facing and front facing as a car seat. We will have to buy a booster when the time comes. So the $200 car seat I got for my son was not necessary. My daughter has a much less expensive one that has worked great since we installed it a few months ago.
So here’s the important things about car seats.
- All car seats pass the same tests so they are all very comparable in safety standards if they are on the market. Every seat you can buy will keep your child safe assuming it is used properly.
- A ‘forever’ car seat, one that transitions from rear facing for an infant to forward facing to a booster is helpful if you have the money to spend.
- If you don’t have the money now for an all-in-one, get a cheaper infant carrier and save for a few months for the investment. It will be worth it.
We switched to cloth diapers after my daughter was born. So my son was almost 17 months and my daughter was 1 month. And we have save SO much money.
We used disposables for over a year and I tried multiple different things to make it cost less money. But you can only do so much. And with my son, he is a heavy wetter and has to be changed often or he leaks. To the point of if it’s been 2 hours in a disposable diaper, he has probably leaked.
So not only can we adjust the absorbency in cloth diapers, but they are also super cute. I really do wish that I had started right away with cloth when we were planning for a baby the first time. Once you have a proper wash routine setup, it is really very easy to do. And doesn’t take much more effort than disposables do.
If you’d like to read more about cloth diapers please check out Cloth Diapers: How To Make The Change
In the house we were renting when I had Tobias, the second bedroom really shouldn’t have counted as a room. It was about the size of a full sized bed. Add enough room for an average sized man to stand next to the bed, touching the bed and the wall, and a door to opn into the room, and that was it.
So we had to be as minimal as possible with the furniture in the nursery. We ended up with a crib, rocking chair, bookshelf, and a dresser. The amount of space left was just enough for me to sit on the floor to organize things into the dresser drawers.
So we knew we wouldn’t have a changing table. And honestly, I think the are not necessary anyway. I have a changing pad on top of the dresser in the nursery. We just got nonskid paper to lay down and set it on top of it. And boom! Changing table. Although, now that I have an infant and a toddler, I use the changing table maybe 2-3 times in a week.
Usually we just do diaper changes and getting dressed right in the middle of the floor in whatever room we happen to be in at the time. It works for us.
So buy as little new furniture as possible when you are planning for a baby. And keep in mind that you don’t need designer anything for a baby! All a baby will do to a crib is kick it, smear poop on it (yes, prepare yourself), and chew on it. It might as well be the least expensive one you can find.
4. Skip Unnecessary Items
There are a lot of things that are only to make life a little easier. And you can get by just fine without them. That is not to say they aren’t nice to have, but we are talking about saving money here.
- Wipe Warmer – if it is really that important to you that the wipes not be cold, rub them between your hands for a few seconds and you will have a warm wipe.
- Baby Monitor – in most houses, not all, you can get away without a baby monitor. I only use one if I am on the opposite side of the house with a door closed between me and Temperance when she is sleeping. I have almost never used one with Tobias. He is very loud and it is just not needed to hear him.
- Bottle Warmer – It is nice to have it be warmed quickly and have you not have to worry about it in the middle of the night when you are formula feeding. But I wasn’t a huge fan. I burned my fingers on the steam. And the bottle. And the warmer itself. The milk would be too hot so I’d have to then wait for it to cool off. It could be a pain. But I thought everything was a pain because I was used to nursing and not having the extra step of making a bottle while the baby got more upset when I was using the warmer with Tobias.
If the main reason for an item is that it makes your life easier, I would probably skip it. In the matter of the monitor, be got a super basic, inexpensive one and have used it as needed for almost 2 years with zero issues.
5. Shop Thrift Stores
Sometimes you will actually find exactly what you want in thrift stores. It will be super inexpensive. And if it can be washed, I’ll buy it. And it can mean huge savings when you are planning for a baby.
Clothes, toys, even bottle nipples. I got a set of 2 Avent nipples for $.50 once. I took them home, sanitized them and they were perfect. We just bought Tobias a bucket for $.98 and he carries it all over the house. He puts just about everything he picks up into it and carries it all around.
You can save a lot of money on all kinds of different things if you check in periodically to see what’s new. We have a few nice options where we are now and I enjoy going to them a lot. Even if it is just to walk around.
Planning For A Baby
If you really do your research and have a plan you will be able to only spend money where you have to. Talk to moms in your life and find out what they used and why. How much did they get out of it? And what would they buy again?
The best thing you can do is buy what you know you need and buy the rest as you go.
What money saving tips do you have for people who are planning for a baby?
PS. Check out 6 Items You Need Postpartum