As brand new parents you are going to want the best for your baby; you may buy the most expensive and best quality everything to show your baby just how much you love them. Reality check, babies laugh when you make funny faces and pooting noises with your mouth, they care nothing about a Coach diaper bag and a going home outfit from Vera Wang. Cheaper is better, in more ways than one. Here are some tips on how to make your newborns money go further.
1. Get Coupons and Samples: Coupons and Samples from the hospital and your doctor are a good place to start. Never throw them away, you can trade formula coupons with friends or on-line, or give them to a charity for others in need. Get your friends to bring coupons for formula and diapers to your baby shower and have a coupon tree. Get an artificial tree with clothes line pins on it and have them pin a coupon to the tree, you’ll get great deals. Also, don’t underestimate free samples, put them in your diaper bag for emergencies.
2. Take the Stuff from the hospital: When you have your baby, the hospital will bring out a bassinet and underneath is all kinds of the latest and greatest formulas, diaper bags, shirts, blankets, hats, socks, and diapers. Take them! That’s what they are there for and it will save you a good $40-$50 dollars.
3. Borrow a breast pump or ask for one at your baby shower. I know it may seem strange or even gross to borrow a breast pump, but it can save you money. One time through the dishwasher and its as good as a new one. I preferred the AVENT one-hand pump, and it comes with a bag that even years later, I use as my makeup bag. The pump also comes with two AVENT bottles, saving me from having to buy those bottles.
4. Breast feed: Breast feeding is a great way to save a little money. Pumping before you go somewhere can leave you without an emergency if you are where you cannot feed. The nutrients from breastmilk is better for your baby, and you save on weeks of formula buying. Another plus to breastfeeding is breast milk does not stain your baby’s clothes like some of the formula will, prolonging the life of their clothes.
5. Ask your friends to borrow their old baby clothes or trade them clothes for something they would need, and skip the shoes for a while. The more you can save on clothes the better. Babies will ruin clothes with spit up and diaper leaks faster than you can buy them. If you must buy clothes, consider buying the four packs of onezies or diaper shirts when around the house, and save the good clothes for outings. The side snap diaper shirts are great because you don’t have to pull them over baby’s head and get spit up on their face and hair. They are no more expensive than the pull overs and they don’t go all the way over the diaper, saving you from the leaking diaper stain.
6. Skip buying the changing table. I really thought I needed the changing table, but after the first few weeks, I changed my son wherever I was. I threw down a blanket on the couch, bed, or floor and changed away. If you already have a cabinet and such to keep clothes and diapers, there really isn’t the need for the table.
7. Go cloth or buy in bulk. If you are going to be at home with baby and don’t mind laundry, cloth diapers may be a good way to go. Yes, they are old school and not as convenient, but baby’s bottom is less likely to get a rash, and it will save money on purchasing disposable diapers. If you buy disposables, buy in bulk from a place like Costco or Sams. If you don’t have a membership, buy from Walmart, they carry some bulk amounts. Also, save on wet wipes by washing baby’s bottom with warm water with dial antibacterial soap when they have dirty diapers. It isn’t a full bath, just a little rinse off of the back side.It can make a big difference with diaper rash if baby’s bowel movements are real acidic.
8. Return Unwanted Gifts: There is no need for four diaper genies, return them and save the money for diapers and formula.
9. Make your own baby food: I never bought food. When it came time for my son to eat solid foods, I began with smashed bananas and rice and formula. Buy a food processor or a baby food grinder. Watch out that there are no chunks in the food. You can freeze all of this, put it in ice cube trays and freeze, when frozen put them in a zip lock bag and thaw as needed. There are lots of homemade baby food recipe books and web sites, but the best suggestion is, once food allergies are known, just feed baby what you are eating, just make sure there food is not seasoned like yours.
10. Don’t Underestimate the help of family and friends: Family and friends are going to be your life line. Support is going to be what keeps you afloat. If someone has half a pack of diapers left from when theirs was a baby, take them! If someone gives you coupons, take them! Reach for any hand that is out to you. It will save you in the long run.