Today’s guest post comes from Katelynn Hegedus from Hampers and Hiccups. She is a stay-at-home-mama to 2 precious miracles – Sweet Girl (2 years) + Pip (7 months), as well as a fur baby – a Blue Heeler x Great Pyrenese, Silver.
We’ve all heard it before – babies are so expensive. The first thing you hear after all the congratulations is “kiss your social life goodbye and start buying lottery tickets.” Everyone tells you having a baby is a huge money-sucker. You might even be holding off on your dream of having a family because you don’t think you can afford it. But here’s the truth. It doesn’t have to be expensive! Here’s the 7 best ways to cut costs on baby items.
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Use Cloth Diapers and Training Pants
Before you get all “she’s a crazy person” on me, just hear me out. There are a ton of benefits to this. We’ve done it near-exclusively since our first was born. My entire stash cost right around $600 and I have way more than I need. Even with 2 kids in diapers! Go ahead and do the math on it, then we’ll see who the crazy one is.
Oh, and I’ll be able to re-sell the entire lot for close to what I paid. Yes, laundry costs money, but it still doesn’t compare.
There’s also plenty of ways to do cloth on the cheap. I’m talking flour sack towels, safety pins you probably already have, and homemade (or bought) covers.
A lot of people are pretty squeamish about this, but that’s up to them. Save yourself SO much money and cut costs on baby items by buying second hand toys, apparatuses and clothing.
If you’re still a bit leery about it, just talk to your friends and family to see what they can lend you. That way you know it’s coming from a good home. You could even consider doing an official swap with a group of friends.
However, there are things I don’t recommend buying second hand (unless you really trust the person)
- Teething toys
- Car seats
Buying second-hand isn’t just a way to cut costs on baby items; it’s a great way to reuse, recycle and help the environment. A lot of shops selling used items donate the proceeds to charities. Win/win.
Cut the Fancy Stuff
It’s SO easy to get caught up in all the fancy and cute baby items! I was a victim of this with our first baby. I felt like I needed TWO of everything. One for upstairs and one for down. Now that we’re through the infant stage with our second, I can’t wait to get rid of all the “junk”.
You know what I’m talking about. The stuff that takes up so much space.
- Jolly jumper
- Bouncy Chairs
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?!
Here’s the thing: you don’t need it all! We did get rid of the jumperoo before Pip was born, but all the rest we have at our house, including 2 Bumbos and 2 bouncy chairs! It’s ridiculous! The truth is, you can make do with absolutely nothing if you need to. Think of how the pioneers did it!
My tip for getting by on less: invest in a good infant carrier/sling/wrap and train your child to sleep in his/her own bed from the start.
You’ll have a much happier baby and a happier family.
Get creative and use things around the house to entertain your child. Pots + pans, Tupperware, plastic cups + bottles, ribbons, scrap fabric, etc. Just make sure it’s safe. Consider a Montessori-like approach to life.
Reuse + Recycle
- Teach yourself to sew and you’ll save thousands in your lifetime. It will also come in handy when that favourite t-shirt gets too small. Up-cycle it into a baby shirt or put a few together to create a blanket.
- Invest in re-usable items like food squeezy pouches, sippy cups, bottles (don’t buy the ones with the plastic liner inserts), etc.
- Buy gender-neutral staple pieces that will last for all your kids. Shoes + outerwear is a biggie.
Buy the Minimum
Try out the minimalist lifestyle in some ways. See what you can get away without having. Sell some of your excess and invest the money in those items that are true necessities (like diapers!).
Instead of buying as many bottles as there are feeds in the week, go ahead and save yourself some money by just purchasing 3 or so. They’re really not that hard to wash, and you’ll want to do so quickly after a feed anyway.
Only keep 5-7 sleepers for your newborn. 7 onesies, 7 pairs of pants, etc. You’ll be surprised at how efficient and eco-friendly this makes you.
We had a basinet gifted to us by my parents. While we did use it, it was for such a short time that it was hardly worth it (5 weeks with Sweet Girl, 7 weeks with Pip). If you really want to cut costs on baby items, go ahead and skip the crib! Some families exclusively co-sleep or use a mattress on the floor.
Bonus, this also saves space in your home.
I know this isn’t an option for everyone, but I do believe everyone should try. It’s extremely beneficial for both the mama and the growing baby. Plus, obviously, it’s the best way to cut costs on baby items!
If you can’t breastfeed, consider investing in a good breast pump to cut down on the cost of formula. Talk to your doctor or pediatrician about which formula is best for your child. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive!
Make Your Own Baby Food
I honestly don’t even know why baby food is a thing. It’s so nasty and it isn’t always real food! I go by the rule “if I won’t eat it why would I feed it to my kid.”
Making your own baby food is so simple. All you need is a blender, hand mixer or immersion blender. Cook up some fruits, veggies, meat + grains and puree them. If the consistency is super thick, add some water, yogurt, pure fruit/veggie juice or breast milk. Freeze it in ice cube trays then transfer to a reusable freezer container for easy portioning. 1 cube = 1 ounce.
But here’s an even better idea – don’t use baby food. Period. With both our children, we practiced baby-led weaning. The basic idea behind it is that you teach your child to eat regular food from the very beginning. They suck the nutrients out of what they can while still relying on breastmilk (or formula) until they can really eat.
Our Pip is 7 months old and he is now able to pick up small pieces and eat them. Everyone who sees him eat is floored. To me, it just seems like the most natural method.
Oh ya, and it fosters fabulous eating habits. Both our kids will try absolutely anything and eat until they’re full with zero coaxing.
Summary on Saving Cost on Baby Items
So there you have it! The seven best ways to cut costs on baby items. It is possible to have a child with minimal investment into stuff. Save the difference and put it towards his/her education savings plan, or a fund for future activities. That’s when the real expenses come.