Having a baby is undoubtedly an expensive adventure for parents to head on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it on a budget. All you need is a few of these tips to save money when having a baby to keep parenthood within your budget.
Everyone has a different budget, and while some say that it costs five-digits to raise a child, it’s possible to do so for much cheaper. You have 40 weeks to prepare for your baby to arrive and months after to keep your baby within your set budget. Families raise children on all ranges of income, so remember, it’s all about needs not wants.
Buy what your child needs first and save the wants for later.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite tips to save money when having a baby.
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Related: What You Need for Your New Baby: A Mom of 3 Tells All
11 Tips to Save Money When Having a Baby
1. You Don’t Need to Buy Everything!
Despite what you think, you don’t need to buy everything you see. It’s normal to want to get everything your child may need or want, but save yourself some money.
Many trendy items that you see may be convenient but serve no real purpose. If you’re trying to save money and have a budget, you have to focus on NEEDS not wants. For example, bottles are a need if you’re bottle-feeding, but a bottle warmer is only a want.
Parents need to have items like a car seat, a crib, a dresser (or place to store clothing), diapering supplies, and clothing for your baby. Even things like an infant swing or a bouncy seat are optional.
2. Buy Secondhand Gear & Clothes
Newborn babies grow out of their clothes rather quickly, so one of the best ways to save money when having a baby is to buy secondhand gear and clothing. You can get clothes from friends and family, consignment stores, and yard sales.
Also, if you plan to have more kids, make sure you save the clothes you buy. That decreases costs for future kids.
The same goes for gear! Other parents may have cribs, bouncy chairs, swings, high chairs, and plenty of things to save. Hard toys are easy to clean with soapy water, as long as you wash and rinse thoroughly. Soft toys may be washed in a washing machine and placed in the dryer to kill anything.
3. Borrow or Shop Secondhand Maternity Clothes
Maternity clothes are a necessity, but it’s a place you could spend a lot of money. If you have friends who are pregnant or recently had a baby, try borrowing or swapping clothes if you wear the same sized clothing.
When you buy maternity clothes, consider working on a wardrobe capsule, buying versatile pieces of clothing that work for different circumstances will help you save money. You also can buy non-maternity clothing in a size up that you can wear later after pregnancy.
I suggest getting a few new maternity shirts, maternity leggings, a pair of maternity jeans, and a cardigan or two. Don’t forget some nursing tank tops for layering, and if you’re having a summer baby, you’ll need some maternity shorts.
Related: 11 Postpartum Capsule Wardrobe Pieces You Need to Have
4. Say Yes to Baby Showers
People love to give parents-to-be gifts, and if you receive an offer to host a baby shower, make sure to take the offer. A shower thrown by co-workers, friends, neighbors, or family helps you gather things you want and need to have.
Let them know the things you need and create a registration, making sure you don’t have duplicate products on them. Nowadays, people even have baby “sprinkles” with close family and friends for second or third babies.
Related: 51 Baby Registry Must-Haves You Need to Include
5. Compare Hospital Costs
Believe it or not, not all hospitals charge the same amount for maternity costs. One of the biggest costs when having a baby is the cost of delivery, so you need to figure out what you will be charged by the hospital and what the balance will be after your insurance covers their part.
This helps you decide where to deliver and which OBGYN you want to use for your delivery.
6. Put Aside Money for Paternity & Maternity Leave
Both parents need to have time with their new baby. Having my husband home whenever I had my children for several weeks helped with my recovery.
However, you want to be prepared financially for this time off because not all employers provide compensation for this leave. When you find out you’re pregnant, figure out how much you need to have available for this time to pay for necessities and save that amount throughout your pregnancy.
7. Get a Breast Pump from Your Insurance
Most insurance companies provide mothers with a free electric breast pump. Before spending hundreds on a good pump, find out what your insurance offers.
My insurance company also set goodie boxes to new parents when they registered for a breast pump. Our box contained baby books, bottles, pacifiers, and plenty of great coupons.
8. Get Free Samples from Your Pediatrician
Many pediatricians offer free samples, so if you visit your pediatrician before your baby arrives, ask for them. Don’t be afraid to also ask when you visit in the future with your baby. Many have samples of formula and diapers to provide.
9. Clip Coupons
Many coupons offer coupons when you become pregnant or send them out regularly to email customers.
Whenever you have your baby, manufacturers often give maternity wards coupons. The staff is often too busy to remember to give them out, so make sure you ask. You can also receive plenty of samples by asking if they have any laying around.
10. Try Cloth Diapers
Diapers are one of the biggest expenses you’ll have for babies, so using cloth diapers or off-brand diapers helps you save money. Using cloth diapers will save thousands of dollars, especially if you use the diapers for more than one child. You have an initial investment up front, but after that, you save money long-term.
11. Stock up Freezer Meals
When you bring your new baby home, the last thing you want to do is cook dinner, but it’s important to have eat and stay healthy after having a baby. You end up spending money on fast food or take-out, but you can avoid this by making meals ahead of time and freezing them.
I made freezer meals for all three of my pregnancies, and it was a huge help. You pull out a meal and warm it up – easy peasy.
It’s possible to save money when having a baby; you don’t have to spend a fortune on baby gear and getting ready. Remember to figure out how much money you need for maternity leave and shop secondhand before buying new. A budget-friendly baby is possible with the right tips.