If you have recently become a parent, you know how exhausting, rewarding and challenging the journey can be – but perhaps you didn’t realize just how expensive bringing up baby can be. In addition to the hospital expenses you likely incurred in delivering your baby, there are clothes, toys and supplies to buy, not to mention the costs of high-ticket items such as a stroller and a car seat.
It’s understandable that you might have panicked when you looked at your first bank statement after bringing your new baby home. Here are some money-saving tips to benefit new parents.
Breastfeed on a Budget
Nurse your baby if you can. Not only is it an excellent way to bond with your newborn, but you’ll be giving your baby all the nutrients to grow and build a strong immune system. Not to mention, you’ll save money on baby formula.
Also, it’s in new moms’ interest to research where you can get free breastfeeding advice. Why spend the money on hiring a lactation consultant if your hospital or a local community organization has a complimentary nursing helpline?
A Frugal Wardrobe
Since babies grow so quickly in the first year of their lives, don’t buy baby clothes too far in advance. You don’t want to buy a warm winter coat in the fall, only to realize your child has outgrown it before the first cold snap.
You can also save money by not buying shoes for your newborn. Babies learn to walk faster when they’re barefoot. If you need to keep their feet warm, use socks or booties.
When you need to dress your child up in nice clothes for a special occasion, see what you can get secondhand from your local thrift shop or consignment store. You’ll pay a fraction of the cost you would if you bought it in a retail store, and nobody will be the wiser.
Save on Supplies
Look for practical baby furniture and accessories that can serve multiple purposes. Many cribs can do double duty by converting to a toddler bed, and by the same token, you can get a changing table you can turn into a dresser when you’ve finished potty-training.
Buy things like onesies, socks, burping towels and diapers in bulk. Your wallet will thank you.
See if your public library offers free mom-and-baby activities like storytime, puppet shows or music classes.
Look for Freebies
Don’t be shy about asking your pediatrician’s office for free product samples. Most doctors are happy to share.
Sign up for coupon offers from baby-food companies. Then, save even more money by doing your weekly shopping at a store that offers a baby club. Some stores provide discounts or coupons on eligible items such as baby wipes and food.
Yes, You Can Save Money as a New Parent
Babies don’t come with an instruction manual, and parenting remains a learn-as-you-go experience – even in a time when the Internet has put all the knowledge in the world at our fingertips. However, with these tips, you can focus less on your bank account and more on enjoying time with your precious baby.