50 Ways To Save Money When You Have A Baby

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They’re small and cuddly but babies can cost a fortune! It seems like there are so many things to get for pregnancy, birth and beyond. A pram, baby clothes, car seat, diapers, baby wipes, toys, the list is endless. Here are our best tips on how to save money when you expecting a baby especially if you’re trying to manage on one income.

Saving money before baby comes

  • Be smart in planning your maternity wardrobe. Check what’s in your closet first. Maxidresses, oversized t-shirts and sweatshirts are ideal for a growing tummy. If you need maternity clothes, invest in a couple of pairs of pants and jeans and some tops. Borrow larger clothes from your partner. Men’s shirts work well with pregnant bellies
  • Use a belly band to extend the wearing of your pre-pregnancy clothes.
  • Buy a bra extender to extend the wearing of your pre-baby bras.
  • Instead of splurging on expensive stretch mark creams, try olive oil to keep your skin feeling soft.
  • For a prenatal workout, instead of signing up for exercise classes, go for a walk or a swim.
  • Borrow items from friends that you’ll only need for a while like a bassinet, baby capsule or a baby bouncer.
  • Wait until the sales to purchase big-ticket items like a cot and car seat.
  • Buy a cot that converts into a toddler bed. It will last a couple of years.
  • Skip spending lots of money on bedding for your cot. Safe sleeping tips to minimise SIDS recommend that you should use a bottom sheet, a top sheet and a safe baby sleeping bag and a light blanket during colder weather. Avoid cot bumpers, pillows, doonas or comforters, and sheepskin or lamb’s wool
  • Ask for what you need at your baby shower. Do a registry and let your friends and family know what you want.
  • Instead of buying a changing table, buy a changing mat instead and change baby wherever convenient.
  • Don’t buy too many newborn clothes. You don’t know what size they will be when they’re born plus they grow out of clothes really quickly.
  • If are buying clothes, buy unisex colours so you can use them for additional children no matter if they are a boy or a girl.
  • Accept hand me downs from friends or family or buy things from people who have finished having kids on Ebay, Gumtree and local Facebook groups as well as garage sales and consignment sales. My Kids Market NSW is a great place to get tons of gently used baby and kids toys, clothes and goods. They are in Newcastle a few times a year.
  • If you plan to formula feed, get samples of formula from your doctor’s office and from manufacturer’s websites. 
  • Don’t spend a lot of money on a diaper bag. You can use a large carry-all bag or a backpack.
  • Don’t splurge on decorating your nursery. A few prints and a couple of decorations are enough.
  • Take advantage of free prenatal and breastfeeding courses at your local public hospital. Even if you’re having your baby at a private hospital, you can sometimes still access courses at your local public hospital.

Saving money with a newborn baby

  • Check your entitlements at your local government office.
  • If you’re working, check maternity leave entitlements with your employer.
  • Make your own baby food by pureeing fruits and veggies. Do big batches and freeze them in ice cube containers before transferring to storage bags.
  • Breastfeed as much as you can to save money on formula. Otherwise, purchase formula when it’s on sale.
  • Save money on nursing clothes. Use nursing bras but combine them with tops that provide easy access like singlets, cardigans, wrap fronts and off the shoulder tops.
  • Don’t splurge on an expensive nursing pillow. You can easily make one. Check out Pinterest for patterns.
  • Buy or make washable nursing pads so you can reuse them.
  • Instead of buying parenting magazines or books, borrow physical books or ebooks from the library.
  • Stock up on nappies when they’re on sale. Just tape the receipt to unopened boxes in case your baby grows out of a certain size and you need to exchange the box.
  • Make your own baby wipes. (When my baby started to get nappy rash, the nurse at the Baby and Health Centre suggested cutting up Chux into small squares and using them with water or a sorbolene-water mix. These could be washed and reused if not too soiled).
  • Instead of buying lots of baby washcloths, cut up towels into smaller pieces and hem them.
  • Save money and don’t buy baby shoes. Until they’re walking, there’s not much point. Instead, buy socks to keep baby’s feet warm in winter.
  • Join a local playgroup or mum’s group. This gets you out of the house and enables socialising for both you and your child. For information on local playgroups, check out our local Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter Playgroup guide.

Saving money with an older baby

  • Stock up when things are on sale especially end of season sales. Buy sizes one or two sizes larger to fit kids next season. Visit the DFO (Direct Factory Outlets) in your local area for more bargains.
  • Limit the amount of fancy toys that you buy. You can purchase toys on special, pick them second-hand or borrow toys from a toy library.
  • Start a clothing exchange with friends or neighbours so that when your kids grow out of their clothes, you can swap them around.
  • Join a local playgroup or mum’s group. This gets you out of the house and enables socialising for both you and your child. For information on local playgroups, check out the local Playgroup guide.
  • Visit local parks and playgrounds for exercise and a change of scenery for you and your baby.
  • Attend free family events – just check your local family fun website like Newy with Kids.
  • For free baby activities, check out your local library for baby literacy sessions. These are librarian-led sessions which introduce books, reading and rhymes to bubs. You can also borrow baby book packs.
  • Check with your local council for free classes for new mums. Sometimes local councils have classes for parents including baby play, tummy time, speech and language classes.
  • Make your own DIY sensory bags with Ziploc bags and items from around your house.
  • Barter babysitting time. Instead of paying for a babysitter, see if you can trade babysitting time with other parents.

Want more tips on saving money? Check out our article How to Easily Save Money – 101 Tips to Save on Family Expenses.

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