Last week I talked about 5 baby items that are worth their cost and they aren’t cheap! Entering the world of parenting is SO exciting. Especially with the first child. And if you love shopping (like me) it’s like a dream come true to finally be able to walk the baby aisles with any kind of purpose other than getting to the electronics department. However, just because some items are worth the splurge, that doesn’t mean we need to go hog wild!
So if you need a little breather after dropping some major cash on your stroller and nursing chair, here are some ways you can give your debit card a rest!
Most hand me down items are not a safety concern. Of course you need to be careful about car seats and make sure whatever you re-use hasn’t been recalled, but beyond that second hand items that are given to you or can be borrowed are amazing! I will admit, I was actually disappointed when people started offering me baby items when I was pregnant with Oscar. I wanted to be the one to pick out the colors and the style and I wanted my stuff to be “just so”. But golly if our friends and family aren’t generous! We were gifted a baby swing, bouncer, pack n play and toys for every stage of baby’s first year. We still bought some new things, but getting over my color scheme dreams saved us hundreds of dollars if not more! And in the end, the items we accepted were probably nicer than what we could have purchased on our own.
Skip the “White Noise” Machines
We are big on white noise in this house. Just like our old house, this one was built in the 1960s and we have the squeaky hardwood floors to prove it. Add in a barking dog and nap time is a minefield of disaster. There is a lot of hype about white noise machines with different sounds to choose from (crickets, wind, the ocean etc). My advice is to skip it and opt for a mini fan for the nursery. Ours was less than $20 and it is perfect for dulling the outside noises when Oscar is asleep.
Pass on Fancy Diaper Bags
OK this is one where I learned from experience. I have a thing for diaper bags. I am drawn to them. I oooh and aahhh over the colors and features and have quite a few. That said, I have come to realize that it’s just not practical to spend big bucks on diaper bags! I would say to get one diaper bag or a large purse and throw in a reuseable grocery bag for times when you leave your little one with others. Since my diaper bag also doubles as my purse, I don’t want to leave it in the gym nursery just hanging there for anyone to take. My solution is to throw a couple diapers and the essentials in a reusable grocery bag so I can make sure Oscar has everything he needs while keeping my wallet with me.
Don’t Go Clothes Crazy
Oh this is a tough one isn’t it? Everyone says not to buy a bunch of baby clothes and no one that I know of has ever listened. Part of the fun of planning for a baby is shopping for baby clothes, so don’t skip it completely. But I will say this, you NEVER need to pay full price for a baby item! Ever! Especially if this is your first baby, do you really think (s)he will look any less cute in last season’s onesie than the one that is in the window? Just walk straight to the back of the store friends. Do not pass go. Do not look at the fancy display.
I am also a huge fan of consignment sales. So if you have one in your area, check it out! This can be an awesome way to get really great stuff second hand for pennies on the dollar. These sales have everything too, so look here for anything you need before paying full price!
Forgo the Toddler Bed
Unless you have been given a free toddler bed, my suggestion is to skip it altogether. It’s not a piece of furniture that you will use for very long. And if you happen to have a second baby while your first is still using the toddler bed, you will be in the position of needing a second crib mattress which is another big expense. My humble opinion is to go straight for the Twin bed. Bed rails can be purchased pretty cheap and you will have an excuse to get new bedding! I’ll leave it at that though because this post is about saving, not spending. 😉
Did you save money on baby gear? How?