The birth of your first child is a great joy, but it also requires financial planning for new parents. Depending on the spending habits of parents, experts believe that a family of the US spends around $7,000 to $14,600 annually in the next couple of years just behind baby item purchases! So, along with all their adorableness, babies also bring about a lot of extra entries into your family budget. Right from their clothing, diapers, bottles, nursery items, and the list just goes on… There are of course essential expenses such as visits to the paediatrician and drugstore expenses that you cannot ward off. As a result, the parents are sent into a shock mode when they receive their credit card or bank statements at the end of the month!
No matter how prepared a parent is with their child planning, they often seem lost while managing all the expenses for their little one and yet keeping the family mill rolling! This is where a bit of help is often sought. Since that is what we do the best, here are some clever ideas that will help all new parents across the world save some money on their baby expenses!
Tip #1: Choose Gender Neutral Clothes
While your daughter might look a darling in a pink skirt, it is not the wisest purchase decision. By choosing gender neutral clothes you pave way for their reuse. Such clothes can be reused again for any future child you may be planning. And that will save you plenty of bucks. You may have applied the same logic for other high-value purchases such as car seats, strollers, and high chairs. So, why not apply it to your baby clothes shopping too? There are plenty of adorable gender neutral baby clothes available in green, yellow or black. Opt for them.
Tip #2: Opt for Convertible Gears
Your high-value purchases should not have a low life. They should ideally grow with your child and serve the needs of the future years too. So, choose cribs that can be converted into toddler beds, or newborn strollers that can be stretched out to accommodate the toddlers. Other items such as high chairs and bouncy seats should come with replacement parts that make it easy to repair or clean. With these considerations, you will reduce the total number of items purchased while raising your baby, and thereby save a lot of money!
Tip #3: Omit Nursing Clothes from the List
Breastfeeding is the healthiest food option for your baby (and it falls light on your pockets too!). This means that the mother has to stay ready to feed her baby. Many households help the mother with such feeding sessions by spending extravagantly on nursing clothes purchases. But you can do well without spending money here. Yes, shirts with buttons, zip-up hoodies or tank tops can do the same job that a nursing dress is meant to! If you want to cover up during the baby’s feeding time, just use a scarf.
Tip #4: Share your items with the baby
While enthusiastic parents want to have a separate set of things for their baby, it is often a complete waste of money. The basic for baby products is that they should be gentle on the skin. And there are many body washes, detergents and hairbrush for the adults that serve this purpose aptly. So, you can choose such products after a bit of research and share them with the baby. Do not fall for the marketing gimmicks of the baby brands for as long as your products are gentle the baby will feel no irritation!
Tip #5: Go Cheap on High Chairs
High chairs can be very expensive and parents inevitably choose the best for their babies. But most of you might not know that there are many low costing alternatives that work equally well. If you can cut the costs, and yet provide relative comfort to the baby then it should be the best decision. So, while shopping for high chairs start with the ones with the lowest cost and then move up the cost ladder depending on your needs.
Tip #6: Grab the Sale opportunities
Websites dealing with baby items offer flash Sales at specific times of the year. You should make the most of such opportunities. Babies outlive their shoes within 2-3 months. So, you should stock a range of baby shoes in nearby sizes when there are big discounts on offer. This will reduce your purchase costs significantly, without hampering the comfort levels of the baby.
Tip #7: Give Baby Clothes Room to Grow
You may have heard this: babies grow very quickly. So, conventionally you have to buy new clothes after every few months. Do not fall into this practice. Rather buy clothes that are a size larger than the present fit. This will allow clothes to serve for a longer period of time. Also, if some of the clothes have become shorter, be smart in using them otherwise. The outgrown pants for your baby may now be used as capri while the outgrown dresses can be turned into skirts and tunics.
Tip #8: Exchange Clothes with Friends
If your friends have kids with different sizes then you may seriously think about bringing home some of their used stuff. Plan for a get together where you can check out the sizes of your friend’s kids used clothes. There are some websites which also deal with used clothes from other families and these costs much less than the market prices. You may think about such arrangements to save money.
Tip #9: Find Alternatives to Baby Food
Pre-packaged baby food comes with a high price tag. The situation gets worse when you consider that a hungry baby or toddler can finish 3-4 of them at one go. The best alternative in this regards is to have a homemade baby food recipe. Just mash up the essential nutrients and prepare your own version of the baby food. It would also be a good idea to share your dinner with the curious little one. Finger food such as vegetables, fruits works well with the toddlers. So do give it a try.
Tip #10: Skip the Diaper Bag Purchase
Many brands are successfully marketing diaper bags as a must-have for new moms. Do not fall prey to their marketing tactics. There is no need for such a bag if you already have one large bag that can accommodate all the essential baby items thus serve all your baby’s needs ideally. The main purpose of a diaper bag is to hold the spare diapers, wipes and extra outfits. Any other large bag can serve that purpose.
Smart parents should always find a way to efficiently manage their finances without compromising on the comforts of their baby. As you would find in the above given list, we have done that balancing job for you.