Don’t Drop a Bundle on Baby Products

by Guest Contributor · 2 comments

While many young couples put off having children due to the high costs, once the baby arrives, they are willing to put themselves into debt to provide all the things baby “needs.”

Baby products aren’t cheap, if you purchase new and focus upon the top of the line accessories, but you can find great quality for much less if you work at it.

Used isn’t Icky

Until the latest economic crisis, most people wouldn’t even consider used clothes or furniture; that’s unfortunate. The used market is a great source for inexpensive but high quality goods. A fancy new crib can cost upwards of $1,000, but getting the same unit used will set you back about $200, or less. If you plan to have several kids, you want quality, but there is no reason to pay retail prices for it.

David’s Note: Every time used baby products are mentioned, many people pile on to say that many used baby products are unsafe. This can be true to a certain degree, but sometimes, a safety issue is caused by a tiny defect that can easily be fixed. For example, my baby stroller was recently recalled due to a dangerous strap that hangs lose. While I can always try to get the stroller sent back, the other option was to just cut what everyone is agreeing to be a useless strap that is just dangling for no reason. In this case, any used stroller of the model I purchase would have been fine. The moral of the story is to know what you are buying, and with the ease of obtaining information through the internet, you now have no excuse.

Barring a special outfit for pictures or holidays, baby clothes should be comfortable, warm and cheap. Most babies go through several outfits a day. The local thrift shop or garage sales are great places to pick up really cute clothes for a fraction of the original price. You can even find new clothes, with the tags still on them, because babies grow so fast they don’t always get to wear every outfit they received.

Nursing Versus Formula

If you plan to nurse your baby, not only will you provide optimal nutrition, you will save money. If you choose to use formula, the expenses are much greater.

Nursing moms need about three good nursing bras and possibly a pump and a few bottles; done. Mom will eat a bit more while nursing to make up for the calories she is feeding baby.

Mothers who use formula need bottles and an endless supply of fairly expensive formula. Once you pick your formula, contact the company and ask to be put on their mailing list. You will get coupons, a free can of formula and perhaps even some of the nifty single serving containers. Check to see if the brand is available at your local warehouse, it is bound to be cheaper.

Disposable Versus Cloth

This is just as difficult a decision as the feeding one. Disposable diapers are extremely convenient but the expense is continuous until your child has toilet trained. If you have more than one child, each one requires the same long-term financial drain.

Cloth diapers require a larger initial investment but can be used for several children and then torn up into rags for cleaning and dusting. Good wraps are essential to prevent leaks, and they can be expensive.

I combined the two. At home or on day trips, I used cloth diapers and washed them at home. On longer trips, I used disposable diapers. The cloth diapers I bought for my eldest 16 years ago, I got used for two more children. My total investment was about $500 and I used them for a total of 7 years. Today, I use the diapers around the house for a variety of cleaning chores.

As hard as it is to believe, a baby needs very little. A place to sleep, some food in its tummy and dry clothes is all that your little one requires. Spending huge sums of money on baby products now rather than putting it aside for college just makes no sense.

This is another piece about saving money for your baby and it’s coming straight out of the How to Save Money on Everything ebook. Get yours today free by signing up for the free frugal newsletter.

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  • Brad Jobs says:

    Some families who are expecting a baby borrow or offer to but the used baby gadgets they had used for their baby. This way, they are sure that the gadget is in good condition. Having a baby is really expensive and an added expense but that is the challenge of bringing another life into this world.

  • KM says:

    Again, I will try to spread the information on elimination communication – a natural way to listen to your baby’s signs and allow him or her to relieve themselves over a sink, toilet, or baby toilet. Not only will this foster a closer bond with the baby, but it will save money on diapers. Back when we started (my son was 3 months), we went through 1 disposable diaper per night and several cloth ones during the day. Since his diapers contained only urine, they were easy to wash by hand and air dry. Now we outgrew his cloth ones, so it’s maybe 3 disposables every 24 hours and we poop over the sink – soon we will upgrade to the baby toilet since he is getting better at sitting. If I can find an absorbent cloth diaper that has a larger size range, I will switch to that.

    And yes, I agree – babies are relatively cheap if you don’t actively make them expensive. If you also avoid taking your child to public places and daycare, at least in the first year, they will also likely be healthier and you will spend less (or nothing) on medicine and doctors.

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