June 13, 2016
What A Baby Needs – And How To Save On All Of It
Babies are expensive. Even when you filter through the dozens of lists dictating all the items you’ll need and reduce that list down to the absolute necessities, the costs can be difficult to manage. That’s why you need to plan carefully in order to stay within your budget. Luckily, there are strategies you can use to save.
One caution as you approach the purchasing process: be aware and do your research when purchasing used items. While many items are fine to buy second hand, items like car seats and cribs should only be purchased second hand when you can verify the quality and safety of the item, both from former owners and by cross-checking the items that have been recalled. Similarly, don’t waste money on cute but dangerous items like crib pillows. When it comes to your child, safety is of the utmost importance.
Identify The Essential
As your prepare for baby’s arrival, identify the things you’ll need such as clothing, furniture, bottles, and bedding. Some of these items are easy to purchase. For example, you can choose simple, neutral bedding and items like a mattress protector that will come in handy when diapers inevitably leak.
In fact, when it comes to items like this, you’d do better to scrimp on other items such as the quickly outgrown bassinet, and buy two mattress protectors. Doubling the bedding makes it easier to strip during those sleepless nights – you’ll be glad for the small bit of extra rest this affords you.
Focus On Quality
Certain items from your child’s early years can easily remain in use for a decade or more, such as their dresser – but only if you purchase quality items. Buying cheap items just results in having to buy replacements over and over again. This is a money trap you can’t afford when budgeting for baby.
Account For Change
Babies grow quickly. This is something that too many people don’t take into account when they’re buying things for babies. While infants go through a lot of clothing, you’ll likely be doing plenty of wash in those early days anyway, so don’t overbuy. Otherwise you’ll quickly find that you have piles of unworn clothes that no longer fit your baby.
Two ways to reduce costs on baby clothes are to either buy most of the clothes used or, if you’re planning to have more children, to invest primarily in gender neutral items so that you know they can be reused. If your little one needs something fancy for pictures or a special event, second hand it is – you can be sure that the last child also only wore that item once or twice, also. You can find plenty of options online; your neighborhood likely even has a yard sale site on Facebook where you can pick up used items.
Finally, don’t buy shoes for the earliest months of your child’s life. They aren’t walking, they kick them off, and they won’t fit anymore in a matter of days. Babies don’t need shoes until they begin cruising or walking between ten and fourteen months, so you have plenty of time before you’ll need them.
Babies may need a lot of things, but at the end of the day they need far fewer than most of us think. Your baby isn’t judging the second hand onesies and bigger children are as likely to enjoy banging on your tupperware as playing with fancy baby toys. Too often we impress upon them what we think they need, rather than being honest about what things matter to our little ones.