Preparing for a baby can seem daunting, especially on a budget.
Babies need a lot of stuff, from somewhere to sleep to something to wear, to somewhere you can put them down so you’re not literally holding your baby 24/7 (although at first, it may seem like you’re doing that anyway).
There are so many things out there that are marketed towards parents, especially new parents who don’t necessarily know any better (I was, and still am, totally one of them).
We are told we need this and that, and it has to be this good or it’s not good enough.
This makes it seem hard to have a baby on a small budget.
But, that’s just not true. Babies don’t know any better, and you can give them the best you can give them, whatever that looks like, without breaking the bank. Preparing for a baby on a budget is possible!
Here are 8 awesome ways I managed to save tons of money buying all the gear for our newborn, without going broke!
(This post contains affiliate links. Find our full disclosure policy here.)
This is the biggest way to save money.
Especially with marketplace on Facebook, and Kijiji, it is super easy to get awesome, barely used gear for super cheap. Most of the time people either didn’t use it or kept it in good shape with the intention of selling it.
People are always selling baby clothes in giant bundles and let me tell you, although it is super fun to go shopping for baby clothes (I did buy some brand-new stuff, no regrets), it can get expensive very fast.
So, buying these bundles is a great way to save huge chunks of money.
I also bought some of my baby’s clothes from secondhand stores for absolute steals. You’re doing the environment a service too!
Buying a car seat second hand is not necessarily a good idea though. If you do, I would make sure it hasn’t been in any accidents and you still have a good few years left before it expires. Yes, car seats expire.
BUY THINGS AS YOU NEED THEM
If you intend to have your baby sleep in a bassinet in your room first thing, you don’t necessarily need a crib right away. You definitely don’t need any baby feeding supplies right away, or any bouncing gear, etc.
Really all you need to come home from the hospital (or wherever you ended up having your baby), is a place for them to sleep, a safe car seat, some diapers and wipes, blankets, and a few onesies.
I might even recommend you have a baby carrier so you can strap baby to you while you get work done because chances are your baby isn’t going to want to be put down for a little while.
This is especially helpful if you have more than one child and still have a toddler or two to run after.
SKIP THE CHANGE TABLE
Odds are you’re going to have some kind of dresser in your nursery and buying a changing pad to go on top of it is way more cost efficient and space saving.
Even if you don’t, you’ll probably end up changing your baby on your couch or if you have a pack and play, on the changing pad that comes with most of them.
Which brings me to the next point.
START OUT WITH A PACK N PLAY
For my next baby, this is definitely my plan. We had our son in a bassinet by our bed for the first couple months, which was great, but he outgrew it pretty fast.
I plan on buying a pack and play with a changing table and bassinet attachment, so I can move him out of the bassinet attachment when he outgrows it.
They are also wonderful for travel, and if your baby is already used to sleeping in one then it makes traveling that much easier.
You’re going to want everything in one, easy package as much as possible. Trust me.
HAVE A BABY SHOWER
Especially for your first baby, baby showers are wonderful. People often throw in a pack of diapers and/or wipes along with their other gifts or give gift cards or cash so you can get exactly what you need.
This is also where you get the nice, new baby clothing that you don’t have to spend a dime on! Have a big baby shower and celebrate your new bundle of joy with your friends and family.
Plus, everyone loves shopping for babies. Really, you’re doing them a favor.
DON’T BUY FANCY CRIB BEDDING
It’s recommended that you don’t have any crib padding or any of that fancy stuff in there anyway, for safety reasons.
All you need is a fitted crib sheet for your baby to sleep on. Probably a few for any middle of the night blow outs that end up resulting in a sheet change.
If you’re worried about making sure your baby is warm enough, layer baby in a onesie, a sleeper, and a warm swaddle.
Swaddles often come with recommendations for how to dress your baby under them, depending on the temperature of the room.
BREASTFEED IF POSSIBLE
Formula can cost a fortune when you add it up. Breastfeeding is free! This is just one of the awesome perks of breastfeeding, and a huge baby budget saver.
There are so many awesome benefits to breastfeeding.
However, breastfeeding is hard. If you can’t breastfeed or just don’t want to, absolutely use formula. Your baby is best fed, whatever that looks like. There are plenty of other ways to save money!
SIGN UP FOR FREE SAMPLES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
There are so many free baby samples you can sign up for. Lots of places give you free samples for signing up for their emails as well (and you can always unsubscribe later). Here are just a few that I signed up for!
Thyme Maternity: Here you can sign up for their email subscription and get a free package of baby goodies.
Similac: Here you can sign up for their email subscriptions and get a free sample, as well as some other baby stuff.
Newborn baby items: All you have to do is put in some information here and you will receive a bunch of free baby items.
Babies R Us: They give you a free welcome package if you make a registry with them. Apply here.
Amazon: Amazon also gives you a free welcome package if you sign up for a registry with them. You can apply for their registry here.
Enfamil: Put in some information here and receive a free sample.
Baby Box: I love baby box because not only do you get a free sample and a box that is certified safe for baby to sleep in, it’s also educational!
These are just a few but all you really have to do is make a google search for free baby samples and there are a ton.
These are all the things I did to make having a baby easier on the budget.
Having a child is generally expensive, it is a whole other human after all. But the nice thing is, if you’re smart about it, you really don’t have to spend thousands!
I hope this helped take some of the stress off having a new little one in your home.
Having a baby should be anything but stressful! Enjoy the wonderful time you have with your little one, while they are still little. Babies don’t keep!
Speaking of budget, here are some easy and affordable babymoon ideas to help your pocket as well!