Editor’s Note: Who knew this was coming? Nobody! Enjoy and hope this will help out some financial issues for the first time parents.
First time parents worry about a lot – and money is only one of many worries that tend to make the list.
Fortunately, there are some great ways to save money while providing for a baby, too.
- Don’t buy a lot of baby clothes. Think about how fast babies grow. This goes particularly for newborns. Baby clothes are sized in months for good reason – babies grow out of them just that quickly. The ones is that a baby wears at one month old won’t even come close to fitting at three months. Any time that it can be helped, don’t buy baby clothes new. Ask friends and family for baby clothes to use. Also look around consignment stores, thrift shops, and yard sales. Baby clothes in these places tend to sell for just a few cents and are practically new, anyway.
- Avoid new baby books. Of course it is wise to build a collection of books for a baby to use as he or she grows and enjoys being read to. However, these don’t have to be bought brand new, especially when they go for $5-$10 or more a pop. Go to library book sales and used book stores to find extremely inexpensive items. The same goes for books on baby care.
- Consider nursing. Breastfeeding will save new parents at least $100 per month. Newborns don’t need anything except breast milk for the first six months and many mothers keep this going for a year before introducing solids – a healthy baby doesn’t need solids or cereal added to the milk before that time. This can save thousands of dollars each year. When the baby gets old enough for solids, cook up fresh ingredients, mash them, and freeze in ice cube trays for individual servings. This is healthier and less expensive than the jarred variety.
- Be prudent about furniture. If planning to co-sleep, a crib isn’t needed at all. For furniture that is required, family and friends may be able to provide that, as well. Think about how much a piece of furniture will be needed, though. Don’t buy things like baby swings and high chairs before trying them. Many babies can’t stand being put down in these, and there is a high chance they won’t get much use if the baby screams when set down in them.
- Invest in cloth diapers. If both parents can handle it, use cloth diapers. By using cloth, parents can save thousands of dollars a year – not to mention save landfills the extra piles. These can be tossed into the washing machine at home or handled through a diaper service for far less money than disposables.
- Baby Items and Accessories. Wait until after having a baby shower before purchasing the lion’s share of a baby’s paraphernalia. People tend to be extremely generous when it comes to a baby, particularly a first baby. A list of needs could be cut down significantly by shower guest gifts.
- Rethink decorating the nursery. Most parents find decorating a lavish nursery for a new baby a sort of rite of passage. However, hundreds of dollars can be spent on a baby’s room, only for parents to redecorate in five years for a child who wants a less babyish bedroom. When decorating, paint the walls a gender-neutral color and use modest, non-permanent decorations. For wall art, beautiful, reusable wall decals can be bought for just a couple of dollars and removed when a child grows out of the style.
- Keep away from Baby jams. How many parents get to the verge of meltdown after one too many repeats of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? Cure or avoid this altogether by resisting the temptation to buy baby music CD’s. Much of the music included in parents’ collections can suffice and the more complicated sounds can even be better for brain development. If children’s songs are specifically requested, it will be of more benefit to hear Mommy or Daddy sing the songs in person.
Allison Snowden recently graduated with a degree in journalism and is currently writing regularly about finance. Allison has also written about online shopping and personal finance tips. Some of her online shopping tips were featured on the site Savoo.co.uk, a discount code site & blog.