Family saving tips when having a baby
Having a baby costs a lot of money, that’s if you and your baby want to have a comfortable life. The fun part about having kids in consecutive order like that is that you have the opportunity to really test out different strategies for saving money while caring for your little one.
Here are some things about saving money without depriving our infants of the wonderful care they deserved.
- Avoid additional charges at the hospital. You will pay out the nose for things like a private room and personal toiletries and even television usage. Check – or have your spouse check – with the nurse about the additional cost of everything at the hospital. Some hospitals don’t charge extra for these things; others do, and some charge a lot of money for them. It never hurts to make sure before you flip on the television or use some of the bathroom toiletries (which you can bring from home).
- Ask for free samples at the hospital and at the pediatrician’s office. Manufacturers are smart enough to know that if they give samples of baby products to the maternity ward for distribution to patients there (and to the pediatrician for those first few infant visits), the manufacturer has their foot in the door in terms of generating more business down the road from those parents. Many hospitals provide a “goodie bag” of freebies for patients, but some hospitals may forget about this and other hospitals may have even more things that they can give you. Just simply state that you want to try out lots of different types of diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and so on and most nurses will load you up with samples.
- Call the nurse or doctor for quick (and free) advice before setting up an appointment. Take advantage of this before going in for medical appointments. Most of the little things that might send a new parent into a panic are easily explained and resolved by a medical professional who has seen these things countless times before.
- If you’re having multiple children, use cloth diapers. The cost benefits of cloth diapering versus disposable diapering isn’t very clear if you have only one child, but once you start looking at multiple children, the cost savings is tremendous – on the order of thousands of dollars per additional child by the time they are potty trained. Cloth diapering can have a hefty startup investment, but over the course of the first child, you repay that cost compared to the cost of continually buying paper diapers. For subsequent children, the startup cost is already covered, so the cost per diaper change is drastically lower with cloth diapers and you wind up saving a ton of money.
If you don’t cloth diaper, buy your disposables in bulk. If you’re pretty confident that you’re only having one child and you choose not to cloth diaper, you can still save a lot of money by buying your paper diapers in bulk bundles. It might be harder to carry home those jumbo packs from the warehouse club, but you’ll save hundreds of dollars along the way.
- Take clothes from your sister or cousin who has had a baby of the same sex before. Here’s the scoop on baby clothes: babies don’t wear them for long enough to wear them out. They don’t actually put any wear and tear into the clothes and they outgrow them within just a few months.
- Don’t bother with a baby bathtub. A baby bathtub can be vaguely useful during the early period of a baby’s life when he or she cannot sit up without assistance, but you can actually give a baby a perfect bath in any tub or well-cleaned sink as long as you carefully support the baby while cleaning. We received a baby bathtub as a gift and used it for our first child, but by the time our second and third babies came along, we didn’t use it at all. It was much easier just to hold the baby and use a normal tub.
- Minimize toy purchasing; allow play with everyday objects instead. You’ve got lots of stuff already in your house that your baby will appreciate as much or more than any toys you may buy for him or her. Rely on the inevitable gifts from family members to cover the toys and focus instead on just using household items for entertaining the baby.
- Don’t bother with baby shoes. Shoes are undoubtedly useful once your baby is up on two feet, but prior to that, shoes serve no purpose whatsoever and are often quite expensive to boot. Outside of photo opportunties – during which no one really noticed the shoes anyway – shoes don’t help your baby in any way until they’re walking. Just skip the expense. (Besides, it’s likely that someone will buy them as a gift anyway.)
- Use a bag you already have as a diaper bag. From my experience with my younger siblings, diaper bags are mostly just normal bags with “baby-themed” artwork and a substantially higher sticker price. The best part about a backpack that doubles as a diaper bag is that you can use it as a normal backpack once your baby outgrows the need for a diaper bag.
Having a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives – but it was also one fraught with expenses. It doesn’t help that there are many companies out there that prey on the anxieties and worries of new parents who just want to take care of their children.
Remember, the best thing you can do for your baby is to show them love and take care of their needs, which are actually really simple. Hold them close, talk to them, and show them love. Make sure they have milk and, later, foods. Keep them clean. Keep them safe. You don’t need a ton of expensive stuff to do that.