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My best advice is just to think REALLY HARD about what you REALLY need. Don't just put it on your list because someone told you that you need a swing or fancy stroller. You don't need anything except a carseat. Heck you could even do Elimination Communication from birth and never even use diapers. That is an extreme example but just to show that "needs" are relative. Like many people just use a pack n play and never get a real crib and do just fine.
My baby saving tip is the money I am saving to stay home for my full 12 week maternity leave. I only get paid for 6 weeks of it through my company and that is 2 weeks using PTO and 4 weeks at 60% salary (much better than most, I know). So we found this tip about each week putting like one days worth of salary into savings. It has helped tremendously in getting the savings up to what we need to be comfortable while I am off and I am excited to use it in the future after I return to work. Hoping to increase that to one days salary for me and one day for the hubby so we are putting double in there.
We are currently putting money in an account each week and any left over money from our budget already we dump into that account as well. As far as baby items and budgeting for those, we have money set aside specifically for items we don't receive for our shower. Then we will prioritize what is most important to have. I'm making about half of my diaper stash which cuts down on cost as well.
Once you have a car seat, an idea where baby will sleep, whether your going to do disposables or cloth, and whether your going to breastfeed or formula feed, everything else is pretty much subject to personal needs. I honestly don't find babies expensive at all. Once DD turned 2/3 she started costing us more money. At 4 she can eat more than me at almost every meal and feeding/clothing her is probably our biggest expense. This time i've gotten tons of gently used (or brand new) clothes from consignment stores and have been thrilled with the quality. I spent a fortune on cute frilly things for DD that got ruined or were never worn.
My biggest expense this time was 500$ for the crib/sheets/rails/mattress, but considering it converts to a toddler bed and double bed, we have saved money in the long run and it was a really good deal.
I also think if your not a FTM you generally have toys, playmats, toy boxes etc. that can be used for the other child so I can see how that would get expensive quickly.
I've started stocking up on baby shampoo when it's on sale because it seems to work best on DDs hair and I can use it when the baby is born too. Our medication cabinet is full of unopened infant and child tyelnol/advil/tempra as well as other medication type products that you always need last minute for a fever or pain and we have multiple thermometers. (I stock up on everything that I use on a regular basis when it's on sale and I think it saves me a ton in the long run)
Overall I think once you've had a child before you have a pretty good idea what items you tend to NEED and what is just a WANT. If you can afford the wants that's wonderful but at the end of the day, your child needs food, clothing and shelter. If you have all of that, you can work on building up to being able to afford everything else as time goes on
Mom to my wildchild Kalyna (Dec 2008)
I agree with prioritizing what is most important. I also love hand me downs and thrift stores for stuff that can be washed and reused . We have been buying stuff that goes on sale--like baby tyenol, wash clothes, bath soap, formula etc the whole time I have been pregnant. We do have a couple big things to buy--a swing being one. But other than that we don't have to spend too much more Woohoo
Jocelyn Gabriel Grayson and due in September!
With our first, I made sure that the big baby gear that we got was something that would last through multiple children and be gender neutral just in case. We'll have to get a new carseat since our other one expired this year (and we sold it a few years ago). But we have everything else for the big stuff. I had tons of hand me down clothes for the girls when they were babies, and now Abri wears Lily's hand me downs. My sister also has a little boy, so we'll be getting boy hand me downs now too. Cloth diapers and breastfeeding was a huge savings for us with Abri that we didn't really do with Lily. DH was really hesitant at first about cloth, but after a month, he was hooked. For us, the first year isn't really all that expensive. It's after they really start eating and then quickly outgrowing the hand me downs that it gets a little pricey.
Hoarding baby/child clothing from previous kids helps so much. Hoarding all of it. We're going be be using cloth diapers from 10 yrs ago when DD1 was a baby.. Saved $30 there.
So many things can be purchased used from Craigslist, thrift-stores. Of course there's always friends/family for hand-me-downs.
Like Shen7 said, it's all relative. And those bulky strollers are more trouble than they're worth, for sure! Also, my kids liked the swing for one month tops so I'm not even bothering with that this time and our old one got ruined.
Facebook has many county-wide online yard sale groups.
I got 6 months worth of clothing for less than 50 bucks used there.
A bassinet for 30 bucks,
a crib/mattress set for 150.
I got a bumbo for 15.
60 bottles (way too much I know) for 25 bucks,
21 receiving blankets for 9 bucks.,
baby bath for 5 bucks.
A bouncy seat for 12.00
Everytime I go to Target, i always walk up and down the baby aisles and look for items marked "clearance" where I have gotten crib sheets and other things.
Consignment stores. And if you can borrow any of the big stuff that tends to be baby specific, at least until you will know if your kid likes it or not. Some kids love the swing, others hate it. Same with the bouncy chair. Better yet, buy it from consignment.
Also, look long term at your needs. Travel systems are cool for newborns, but is the large stroller going to fit your needs in a year or two. Some of you it will, others it won't.
My biggest money saving tip? I only buy dark colors for B1. Anything white, beige, cream etc ends up stained on the first wearing.
Consignment sales!! They are SO AWESOME here in NC. I swear, I'm coming back twice a year for the sales after I move to FL because they just don't do them the same there! It's crazy here and SO AWESOME! Ever since I was introduced to it a couple of years ago, I can't get enough of it. We get WAY more than we need, so I really need to try to focus on what I really need, but we walk away with shopping bags full of clothes, more than enough for an entire season for like 60-80 bucks usually. I could spend less and be OK, but I can't LOL
I second the second hand/thrift store option. I'm so glad that I hoarded so much of Jaleigh's clothes because now I've got girl clothes saved up to size 4T! I love clearance racks at my favorite stores and I generally shop for things that don't stain easily...at least until they are older.
Also, we bought a lot of things for our first just because all these people said we would need it. Boy did we learn quickly what is really a necessity and what is just a convenience (or completely useless). This baby is turning out to be relatively cheap because I BF, we have all of the baby gear from Kiefer, we have tons of clothes from Jaleigh, and I now know that some things are just not necessary.
Tanya, just make sure with the medication that you check the dates so you don't end up using expired medications..
Oh I do I don't mean I have infant meds left over from DD haha Those would definitely be gross and expired since she's been taking childrens chewables for about a year now. I just buy them when they go on sale and most don't expire till 2015. But yes its a good point if you are stocking up and buying on sale to make sure you check dates on everything because often they're getting rid of stock that is close to expiration
Mom to my wildchild Kalyna (Dec 2008)
I have been going on massive coupon hoards...as well as registering for every baby product site I can think of since majority of them send out coupons and freebies here and there. I'm also stocking up on what I can as far as diapers, medicine, shampoo etc goes. Carters and Childrens place had some amazing sales last week so I went and got him some clothes. I usually look for bigger sizes since it seems everyone wants to give the tiny clothes at showers lol. Theres a floor model pack and play by Chicco I want thats marked down $70, I'm a little hesitant on buying floor model items at times, but this one has been displayed on a high shelf so it hasn't seen the traffic other ones might have (hopefully the boyfriend gets off work in time to buy it before someone else does ) My mom purchased a beautiful Bonavita crib at buybuybaby that was $300 off market price, and I got the floor model dresser to match it for $400 less than i could find anywhere else. My buybuybaby is starting to get the new '2013'furniture models in so they are putting the old ones out at drastic reductions...check em out ladies!
Overall the best tip I ever got was babies don't need more than a place to sleep and a carseat. And most things we "think" we need, we either don't end up using or don't need it as soon as we think we do, so wait and see is the best way to save. Personally I didn't want a pack n play in the beginning. But my SO's mother "fosters" cats and dogs for the local shelter...only she keeps bringing in more without finding homes for the others first, and now it's gotten ridiculous the amount of animals in her house. We don't plan on having our son there that often (she can visit us), but if for whatever freak reason he would have to go there we need to have a place for him to lay, sit and play, since her couches are ruined, the floor is splintering plus some of the dogs aren't house broken. ick.