Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Babies Cost a Bundle: How to Save Money on Newborns

Bringing home baby can require a lot of greenbacks. Between clothing, furniture, and toys, you’ve already spent more than you make in three months, not to mention all the medical bills. You didn’t know that your little bundle of joy was going to cost you a bundle, but when you hold him in your arms, you know it’s worth every penny. Unfortunately, those pennies can add up to dollars and debt. So now that you’ve got your newborn home, you may want to start thinking about ways to give him everything he needs without some of the crazy costs associated with baby gear. To that end, here are a few items that you can save big on when it comes to caring for your newborn.

Formula. Of course, the cheapest feed is mother’s milk, but if you find that you can’t breastfeed or you simply choose not to, there are ways to save on the nutrient-rich formula your baby needs. Many companies will send you free samples if you write in to request them, so that’s a good place to start. From there, you can join baby clubs on formula-manufacturer websites to get newsletters complete with coupons.

Diapers. Considering how many diapers you’ll go through in a day, a week, a month, and a year, you will no doubt find that you’re spending over a thousand dollars a year on diapers. That can put a big dent in the college fund! So think about switching to cloth diapers. They’ll take a little more time and effort, but they can save you a ton of money, they’re better for the environment, and they lack the synthetic fibers and potentially harmful chemicals found in disposable diapers (which often cause rashes and allergic reactions).

Toiletries. Shampoos, soaps, and lotions for baby can be pretty pricey, especially if you want options that are natural and toxin-free. For less expense and guaranteed organic products, look online for recipes to make these cleansing items at home.

Clothing. Babies grow fast, and they go through clothing just as quickly. So there’s really no need to spend a ton of money on brand name clothes that they’re going to mash food on and outgrow in a matter of months. Consider asking other mothers for hand-me-downs or get mix and match pieces from discount stores. You’re newborn won’t know the difference!

Furniture. Certain pieces of baby furniture are an absolute necessity (you’ll certainly want a crib), while others can probably be done without (changing table, bassinet). But whether you want the whole set or just a couple key pieces, consider saving your wallet and the Earth by buying recycled furniture (many stores sell both new and used, while other sell all recycled pieces). You can also repurpose old pieces around your house, like a dresser that’s been gathering dust in the garage, by simply slapping on a new coat of paint in a kid-friendly color that matches your nursery.

Kyle Simpson is a writer for Cloth Diapering. The website is devoted to educating parents on the benefits, both eco and health related of cloth diapers for your baby.
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Erica said...

I totally agree with everything here as I am about to have my 3rd child. However, I am in the market for a crib but am very reluctant to buy a used crib. There have been so many recalls plus cribs that have been taken apart never seem to be as sturdy the 2nd go around (due to lost parts or not knowing hot to properly re-assemble. Any suggestions?

Monique said...

Hi Erica-Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your baby.
I personally never skimped on things like that, shopped around and bought new.May I ask what happened to the crib from the last baby? Or was it an older one?
Readers- if anyone has any suggestions, please submit for Erica.

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