How to Save Money When Having A Baby
I am currently pregnant with our 3rd child, yes I said 3rd!! Just thinking about it makes me exhausted. This pregnancy has been the worst of all three. I have been sick almost the entire time and only get small burst of energy here and there. I certainly didn’t get the 2nd trimester off from sickness this time around. Since I have been laying around and resting more lately (thanks to my wonderful hubby), I have had more time to reflect.
I can attest that each child, pregnancy, delivery, recovery, everything is different with each child. If you only have one child, keep that in mind for the future. While I have been thinking about how each pregnancy has been completely different, I have been thinking about how I prepared for each child compared to the others.
When I was preparing for my first child, none of my close friends had any children yet. I also didn’t live close to family, so I was pretty much on my own. I didn’t receive hand-me-downs but I was lucky enough to receive a lot of new items from friends and family. However, with my first child, I bought a lot of unnecessary items. She had so many clothes, she didn’t wear half of them. I even gave a lot away before my 2nd child, who still had too many clothes.
I wanted everything to be perfect before she came and really didn’t understand what would be useful or a good layout and what wouldn’t. I can’t even tell you how much I over spent on my first child. When I say I overspend, I mean I had over 50 bottles and 200 of the 2 ounce bottles for “storage”. It was ridiculous. Now I did use them because I exclusively pumped for several months because of latching issues so it was convenient to have a lot of bottles but it really was unnecessary. That is just one example of me going way overboard.
My second child was a girl just like my first. This saved me a ton of money because I didn’t have to buy hardly anything. I did have to buy a new car seat because the first one wasn’t stored properly and got mildew on it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have need that either. I did also buy a double stroller but I got it used at a consignment store. Now I did get my monies worth out of all the stuff from my first since I reused it with my second.
Now my third is a boy but luckily for me all of my friends are done having children so I have received a LOT of hand-me-downs. This has been such a blessing right now. I also had gotten rid of ALL my baby stuff after kid #2 because we were DONE. Well a year later, we changed our minds and decided to have one more. I also realize at this point that I don’t need all the gizmos and gadgets that I thought I needed with the first. I realize what is more important and worth spending money on and what isn’t.
The biggest way to save money is to buy used. You can save a huge amount just looking at yard sales, consignment stores, Craigslist, and/or Facebook Marketplace and yard sale groups. There really is no reason to buy new for anything except a car seat and to make sure you don’t have a drop down crib. You don’t want an older crib but there are still a lot of safe newer cribs for sale used. You do not want a used car seat because you do not know if it has been in a wreck or not. They also expire after 5 years, so don’t use an old one you might have if it is out of date either.
Don’t be afraid to let your friends know what you still need. I have done this and have been surprised by what people still had lying around. I have been able to get a lot of stuff for free or really cheap. The majority of people are like me and bought a ton of stuff with their first child. By the time they have more and are done, they are ready to just get rid of stuff.
I know cloth diapers aren’t for everyone but we are going to try it this time. I talked to a good friend of mine, Brittany at The Joyful Advocate, and she was able to tell me what I needed and didn’t need in regards to cloth diapering. I was able to get 12 reusable wipes, 24 diapers with 48 inserts for $130. This should be all that I need. Since my other two children took FOREVER to potty train, I will probably use these at least 3 years. That’s only $50 a year for the diapers. That’s a huge savings. I do still have packs of diapers others have given me to use when out and about or they go to grandma’s house. I am not sure how the reusable wipes will work but that is still cheaper than diapers and wipes, even if I decided to use disposable wipes.
There are other ways to save on diapers if you aren’t keen on cloth diapering. One way I saved on diapers and wipes was with an Amazon Prime membership. If you have Prime, you get an extra 15% off, so a total of 20% off, diapers and wipes when you subscribe and save. I found this to be the cheapest way to get diapers and wipes when my other two were in diapers.
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How to Save on Diapers and Wipes
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Creating baby registries not only lets your friends and family know what you need but you also get a coupon code close to your due date. For each child, I created registries on multiple sites. The coupon codes range from 10%-15% for items on your registry. What you can use the code for depends on the company. If you have Amazon Prime you get 15% but if you don’t you only get 10%. Amazon also has a lot of other benefits with the registry if you have Prime versus if you don’t. The one problem I have with Amazon’s registry is that most of the items didn’t qualify for the discount, even baby items. It really surprised me that a lot of the baby items didn’t qualify for the discount.
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I also did a registry for Target. I got a 15% discount code and an additional 5% with my red card. It appears that all the baby items on the registry qualify for the discount. What I did this time around was compare prices from Target versus Amazon and bought the cheaper one with the better discount.
You can also do registries at Baby’s R Us and some local stores. I’m sure there are more that I don’t know about.
I put a LOT of diapers, wipes, and clothes on my registry just for getting the discount. So, if you come across a friends registry and wonder why they put certain things on there, it maybe just for the discount. I put a lot of things on there that I didn’t expect or think people would by me just so I could get the discount.
For each pregnancy, I have had short-term disability, sickness policy, and regular health insurance. What was nice about my second pregnancy was that I got a free breast pump through my insurance. This is a newer mandate through the ACA until they change it anyway. I paid $300 for my pump with my first child. The first pump still worked but it was nice having a back up just in case and I was able to leave one at work and one at home.
Unless the mandate changes, I will be getting a third one also. The pumps are older now and I don’t want to have to buy another one if something happens to them. I don’t remember all the stipulations now, but you do have to order it within a certain time frame and which model you get depends on your insurance company. I recommend checking with your insurance carrier about two months prior to your due date to see what you need to do. Trust me, if you can get it before the baby arrives, get it. Those first two weeks after delivery are rough and even if you are managing to exclusively breastfeed, you will still need a pump at first while your body regulates itself. If you don’t you will suffer.
Of course, breastfeeding will save you a ton of money BUT I know how hard it can be. I had issues with latching on the first and exclusively pumped for about 5 months. That became a job in and of itself and certainly isn’t for everyone. I also know that kids may have food allergies and other issues that may not make it possible or feasible to breastfeed. Don’t beat yourself up about it! If you can and it works for you great, if not, buy formula.
I have been able to pay all my medical bills with my sickness policy and short-term disability policy. If you can get either of these policies, I highly recommend it. It will help pay the medical bills.
What are some other ways you saved on having a baby? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook!
Great tips for saving money! The Amazon registry was great and most of the time their items were cheaper than in store at Target or Buy Buy Baby. One thing I did learn is that Babies R Us does price match, so if someone wanted to purchase in store, they could use Amazon to get lower prices.
Arlene @ From Pennies to Plenty says
Enjoyed reading this post. I don’t have any children yet, but I have lots of friends and family with young ones or some on the way. Some of them say that having children is pretty expensive. You’re smart to use hand-me-downs and save where you can.
Emely Sofia Castro-Vega says
These are some great tips for saving money! I don’t have children yet but I plan on not buying brand name things for them especially not shoes. That trend of buying Timberlands or Nikes for kids that are not even two months old is ridiculous imo
It is so true that there is so much baby junk that you don’t need!! Good for you for trying cloth diapers this baby! Good luck!
Super good tips! We just had our first (he’s two months old and so much fun!) and we got so many hand me downs from friends. It’s awesome. We use cloth diapers through a diaper service and we LOVE it! We live in an apartment building with coin laundry, so it didn’t make much sense to buy them and wash them ourselves.
Brennan @ Our Home on Purpose says
Great tips! Thanks for sharing & I’m definitely saving for our future kiddos 🙂
Ashley, great tips! I did the same with my kids – over the top with “stuff” on the first one, and now the second one is swamped in hand-me-downs! 😉 I ended up having to get c-sections due to complications and our deductible was outrageous. The first c-section we owed about $9,000 (total bill was over 30k!) and it took forever to pay off. For our second daughter, I smartened up and took our out-of-pocket max ($6,000) and divided it by 12. That year, every month I set aside $500 to pay towards medical bills. At the end of the year, we owed nothing – and it was amazing! Planning ahead for the medical costs was well worth it.