I had my first baby when I was 22 and single. Let me tell you, money was tight. I had to find ways to cut out unnecessary expenses just to make it work. Now twelve years, a husband and two more kids later, I am here to share my tips with you to help you maximize your baby-rearing funds and save some money!
The Obvious “Big Two”: Breastfeeding and Cloth Diapers
Because I was completely broke, formula was a terrifying cost potential for me. Those free samples only go so far. I was determined to make breastfeeding work purely to relieve my financial burden. It was later that I found the added benefits of nursing: it was convenient and it turned out that I enjoyed feeding my baby with my body, and all the health benefits that came with it. Please note: This article has no opinions of breastfeeding versus formula feeding, as that’s not the point here. I assume those reading want to save money, and so for the purpose of this article, I will be focusing on breastmilk.
As for diapering, it’s an absolute no-brainer that Cloth Diapers save money. With the estimated cost diapering a baby in a disposables being $2500 for only 2 years, spending a few hundred dollars on a Cloth Diaper stash will unequivocally cost you less. Plus, it costs the environment less too.
Buying New Vs. Used
It seems like an easy solution to save money is to just pickup everything at your local thrift shop or online buy-and-sell groups, but are there some things you are better off investing in new? The answer is yes.
Here’s a handy (and short) list of what you can buy new, what you can get away with buying second hand (spoiler: nearly everything), and what you can resell later to recoup funds (unless you are planning on using these for another baby).
Keep in mind whenever you purchase a used item for your baby, you should check for recalls. This Health Canada website makes this easy.
- Convertible Carseat suitable from birth to booster
- Crib Mattress
- Nursing Bras (2 or more): high quality and comfortable
- A quality breastpump: Double Pump for working moms, or a Single pump for less volume needed
- Cloth Diapers – Find these in your local buy and sell groups! All you need is to Strip & Bleach used diapers. – Tip: if you plan to have more babies sooner than later, buying new could be worth the investment.
- Baby clothes
- Bedding and Blankets, Receiving Blankets
- Baby Toys
- A Baby carrier or Wrap in great condition – Tip: join your local babywearing facebook group and find a meeting to try different options and find the style of carrier that fits you best
- A stroller (optional) – babywearing can be cheaper and easier depending on your circumstances
- Nursing pillow
- Bottles and bottle accessories – Tip: exclusive breastfeeding with no bottles for your first 6 postpartum weeks will help establish your latch and milk supply, making your breastfeeding and pumping journey easier.
- All of the above! When you are done, you can easily sell these things on local buy and sell groups on Facebook .
- Baby bath tub – Tip: lay a towel for cushioning in your tub and fill with just enough water.
- Baby shoes and slippers – spoiler alert, your baby isn’t walking any time soon. Stick to cozy socks and then buy some sturdy walking shoes when it’s time
- Swings and Bouncers – you can use your nursing pillow to prop baby when you need to put them down. or use your carrier and babywear!
- Carseat liners, pillows and covers. unless they came with your carseat, they can void your warranty and compromise safety.
Shopping Sales and Giveaways
With Little I was lucky enough to find out I was pregnant in November. That meabt some massive Black Friday savings! The Cloth Diaper and Babywearing world is primarily Online and the retailers almost all take advantage of Black Friday oppertunities.
Blogs like this one also help you find out about sales and giveaways throughout the year. Be sure to follow lots of natural parenting blogs on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to hear about these sales and contests!
Speaking of Contests, have you entered all our current giveaways?
Another potential to save money is by not buying jarred baby food or boxed cereal. Did you know it’s recommended to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months? This is great for their developing gut and by that time your baby can actually go straight to table food!
Baby led weaning is typically started at 6 months, when baby can sit on their own and reach and grab food into their own mouth. Read our article about whether your baby is ready for solids!
We skipped jarred food and cereal entirely with our kids. EJ’s first food was a piece of avocado. He loved holding it himself and gumming it into oblivion.
He ate soft, easy to grab pieces of food from our own plates. This method even helps with teething and with fine motor skills!
Babyled weaning is a hot trend right now which is great because there are tons of recipes and tips available online.
That’s it for now! I will update this post as I find more cost saving tips for affordable baby raising.