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If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest at all researching baby products you’ll know there’s a whole world of gadgets and devices out there promising to be the ‘one essential item’ for every parent. It can be incredibly overwhelming and leave you not knowing where to start when it comes to preparing for your baby. But, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get the things you need. In fact, there are ways you can save money on baby products and still manage to have all the essentials.
Keep in mind, there are different levels of essentials for everyone and every person will give you advice on what you ‘need’. If you’re trying to save money and blaze through all your savings buying things for your baby then my advice is to buy the basics first, then buy things as you find you need them.
However, if you want to splurge a little and buy your baby girl a suite of headbows or your little man a cute little tuxedo outfit then do it! Save in other areas so you can splurge where you want (just make sure you take a whole bunch of photos in the cute little outfits before they grow out of them!!)
Work Out What You Want vs Need
It’s okay to get excited about the super awesome gadgets and fancy products, really it is! And there are no rules saying you can’t have them. But, you need to differentiate between what you want and what you need.
Start making a list, write out all the things you need (think essentials) and then write a list of all the things you want. Before you write something on your ‘need’ list, ask yourself if this is an actual ‘need’ item, how often it will get used and if there is something else that could be used to do its job instead.
‘Shop’ Friends And Family
If you’ve got friends or family who have had children before you, chances are they have a few items they’d love for you to take off their hands. Shop your friends and family’s stash and grab some items at an awesome price.
You don’t have to expect to get things for free, but you’d definitely get them cheaper than if you were going to buy something brand new. Plus, you’ll know how it’s been treated and if it’s come from a pet free home etc.
Avoid Wandering In Baby Shops & Baby Expo’s
Baby Expo’s can be so exciting and so much fun, you can see wide range of products and you can grab a bargain or two while you’re there too… but… they are so dangerous for spending money unnecessarily. If you want to go to the Expo’s by all means, go ahead, but create a list of what you want to see and stick to it!
It’s the same with baby shops, while it can be exciting and fun to wander around your local baby store, you’ll find you end up buying items you don’t need.
Compare Prices Online
Before you make any purchases, do your research. You might find you can buy the same item online for a much cheaper price. Here in Australia, things can get quite expensive. I’ve often purchased items from the US for much cheaper (including shipping) and they were exactly the same item!
You can even find that an item varies in price significantly from store to store! A little shopping around can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Buy The Basics
There are items you’re going to need and will use over and over again. While they may not be as cute and exciting as other baby items, these basics are going to see you through. Things like simple white onesies can be dressed up with a pair of cute pants and top or can be used as an undergarment in the cooler months (these are seriously my favourite baby items!!) Also things like simple large washcloths can be used in the bath, as a change mat, a vomit cloth and just about every other purpose imaginable.
When people give you gifts they tend to buy the cute outfits and the one of a kind type items, which means you can spend your money on the basics instead and make sure you have all the bases covered.
Invest In Timeless Items
While buying the basics may seem like the boring way to go, you can also have something special by investing in timeless items. Rather than buying every cute, expensive baby item you see, perhaps just buy one or two special items and be okay with spending a little more on them.
We purchased a rather expensive cuddly bunny for our baby girl before she was born. While she was given other soft cuddly toys, this one is super special, extra soft and means a lot to us.
Other items that are worth spending a little extra on are things like strollers as they last for years and a good quality breast pump. We still use our stroller from our son and it will easily last 8+ years by the time we are done with it.
Be Savvy With Your Gift Registry
If you’ve created a gift registry for friends and family, be savvy with what you put in there! While it might be cute to pick out 8 different printed blankets, you’re not going to need them. Why not put your bigger ticket items in and ask friends and family to pitch in.
Often family members will want to help purchase your larger items, like car seats and bassinets, so be upfront with what you’d like.
Having 6 people put in $50 to pay for your car seat is far more beneficial to you if you’re trying to save money than if those 6 people spend $50 on cute baby clothes and blankets that you might end up with a whole heap of anyway.
Baby registries can also be such a help for people who are attending your baby shower as some people just really don’t know what to buy. If you don’t have a registry, perhaps you could have a ‘wishing well’ for your baby shower where guests give gift cards or money so you can put them towards larger priced items.
Stock Up On Essentials
You know you’re going to go through thousands of baby wipes during the early years, so why not stock up on them when you see them on sale?
For months leading up to our baby girl being born, we would grab an extra packet of wipes during each grocery shop. They were around $5 a packet and for us, we didn’t notice the extra money in the grocery bill each week and by the time she arrived we had a whole heap of packets of wipes and didn’t have to buy them for months!
If you’re going to do this for diapers I would suggest going for the next size up rather than newborn sizes. Depending on the brand of diaper and the size of your baby, your little one may not be in them for long and you could end up with boxes of diapers that are too small!
Avoid ‘Just In Case’ Items
When I had my first baby, I purchased so many ‘just in case’ items. These are items that you’re not quite sure if you’re going to need, but you think you should buy them anyway.
I have always found the best way to save money on baby items is to only buy what you actually know you need, then purchase things as you go. There’s rarely any occasion where you’re in such a situation where you need something immediately. Even if you do find yourself needing an item quickly, you can usually make do until you can get to the store (or send someone) or until Amazon arrives at your doorstep.
When my daughter was born she had tongue and lip tie and had a lot of difficulty breastfeeding. We just happened to have one bottle on hand, but she still struggled with that, so we were able to feed her with a syringe, which was actually the best option anyway. Bottles, sterilisers and all the getup can be super expensive and not necessary to have ‘just in case’.
Getting yourself set up with baby products doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune. Keep to a minimalist theme, only buy what you need and keep in mind that you can buy things as you go and you’ll save yourself so much money.