At Baby Moccs, we know getting ready for parenthood and all of its stages is a ton of work. There are registry lists to sort through, nurseries to decorate, diapers to change… the list of needs seems to change each month. Things can get expensive very quickly, so you want to make the most of your budget with every single purchase. These tips are helpful for all new and expectant parents, but especially busy professionals, because they simplify the whole process and help you save money at the same time.
Save on Big Expenses
Those big-ticket items are the ones that hit your budget the hardest. They’re also the ones that many parents will research and agonize over before making a decision. This is entirely understandable because you want to get your money’s worth when you make big purchases.
Start by researching the types of gadgets and electronics you’ll need, such as today’s high-tech baby monitors and sound soothers. We also recommend researching the different types of car seats, strollers, breast pumps, and baby carriers, and then decide on what suits your lifestyle best. Once you make some decisions, the next step is to research the best prices. When you spend a little time looking online, you can typically find promo codes or coupons to save money on just about any big purchase, including electronic gadgets.
Save on Everyday Basics
While those big-ticket items hit your budget hard once, everyday basics that you go through consistently add up over time. It helps to have a plan for how you’ll save on these things.
Diapers: Cloth diapering has been on the rise for a while, and it’s no wonder why. Modern cloth diapers are easy to use, they’re good for the environment, and they’re less expensive than disposables. You can often save money on top diaper brands by buying your stash in bulk, and then your primary ongoing expenses are detergent and electricity for washing. Even if you prefer disposable diapers, Parents.com has great tips for saving money on them, including using coupons and buying in bulk.
Feeding: If you choose to breastfeed, the first thing you should do is check with your insurance company because they are now required to cover breast pumps free through the Affordable Care Act. Many moms find that it helps to have a breastfeeding pillow, and you should also stock up on accessories, such as nursing pads and storage bags. If you plan on bottle-feeding or pumping, many parents recommend buying only a few bottles ahead of time. This is because you (and your baby) will likely have a preference, and it would be a waste of money to have a stockpile of bottles you can’t use.
When the time comes for baby to try solid food, one of the best things you can do is skip the finger foods and purees that are made just for tots. Regular Cheerios are just as good, at a fraction of the cost, and it’s easy to make your own baby food. Some parents choose to forgo baby food altogether and instead follow baby-led weaning.
Plan Ahead to Save During the First Year
You will eventually get into a routine with baby, work, and your new life, but those first few weeks and months can feel like a whirlwind. Along with having all the necessities for baby ready to go, plan ahead to make sure you and your partner get some TLC too. Scary Mommy recommends stocking up now on these postpartum necessities so you don’t have to run out to the drug store or neighborhood supermarket in a pinch. It’s also smart to make meals that you freeze or create a meal registry so friends can sign up to help (or both!). Taking these steps ahead of time ensures you have nutritious meals ready to go — and you avoid resorting to expensive takeout when you’re too exhausted to cook!
As your little love begins to crawl, you will also need to plan for their new maneuverability. This might mean adding bumper pads to the fireplace or tables or installing a wall-mounted gate at the stairs.
Another thing to consider the first year is clothing and shoes. It seems at times that kids go to bed a tiny baby one night and grow into a full-blown toddler by morning. You can save on clothes by setting up a swap with friends and family, shopping at thrift stores, or hitting up the spring and summer garage sales. When it comes to shoes, especially for toddlers, newer is better. Look to retailers like Baby Moccs to find a variety of styles that fit every occasion.
Finally, Don’t Forget Yourself
As you move toward the end of your pregnancy, it’s important to make time for yourself and to look for ways to relax before baby arrives. Take the opportunity to enjoy a prenatal massage, splurge on flirty and functional nightgowns or comfy postpartum clothing, having your hair cut or even time spent napping or reading. The next year is going to be a whirlwind, so devote some time for self-care now.
All this research and planning may take a little extra time now, but the cost savings will be worth it in the long run. What’s more, it will allow you to spend time with your growing family!
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