As we’ve been preparing for our baby, I’ve come to realize that there are a lot more “want” items than NEED items. Babies do not need much, as one of Neil’s co-workers put it they need a place to sleep, clothes, diapers and a boob. Everything else is really just extra, but of course many things are nice to have.
My biggest struggle with a registry is waiting so long to find out if anyone would give us items off our registry for our shower which wasn’t until early June. I am such a planner and it was been torture waiting so long to see if any of our top priority items were gifted to us. Since I am a planner and don’t want to rely on chance that someone will gift us the items we need we decided to buy certain things if we saw them for a good deal.
- Registering for Essentials – While they aren’t always the most fun thing on the baby registry, it’s great to get some of those essentials off the “need list” taken care of at the shower. They can be little things like onesies or possibly bigger things like a car seat that a group of friends could buy together. Don’t be afraid to let friends and family know that those are things you’d love to have (a note on your baby website or invitation)
- Craigslist/Buying Used – This one can be tricky. Be sure to consider the condition of the item, how old it is and its source before buying something online or from a yard sale. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and don’t buy anything sight unseen. Be sure to find out their models and check for recalls on them before purchasing as well. There are also some things you should never buy used(cribs, breast pumps, car seats).
- Borrowing – If you’re not the first of your friends or family to have a baby, you may be lucky enough to have someone you can borrow items from. Things like jumpers, infant pillow seats and co-sleepers are great things to borrow if that is an option.
- Deal/Clearance Websites – There are plenty of good deals to be found on discount and clearance websites like BabySteals and EcoBabyBuys. These sites update often and the good deals and popular products can sell out quickly. Be sure to check often and don’t forget to factor in the shipping and compare the prices to sites like Amazon.
- Not everything needs to be organic
- Re-purpose items you already have – If you have an old dresser or book shelf that you can re-purpose for the nursery, there’s no need to go buy a new one. Take stock of what you have at home or in storage and see if there’s anything you can re-purpose.
In the nursery we kept our eyes peeled for a dresser on Craigslist and finally spotted one that we wanted and for only $50!
We re-purposed our small white shelving unit that was already in the nursery which used to be my office- costing us nothing.
Rather than buying art work to fill the nursery walls we made our own art work totaling around $60 for supplies. It also made for a great arts and crafts night with the Hubz and our friend Laura.
We found our Moby wrap on Craigslist and although it wasn’t the color that I wanted it was in good shape, practically brand new (the couple who we bought it from only used it a few times) and it was only $20.
Also purchased from Craigslist was our baby swing ($60), bouncy chair ($20), bumbo ($10), boppy ($10), and brestfriend ($10); all gently used and at good prices. We don’t love the cover of our boppy and we will be replacing that but otherwise everything just needs a wash and is in good condition. The total retail cost of everything would have been around $300 versus the $110 we spent on everything! Additionally these are all items that will be used only for 3-6 months before they will be retired so no need investing big bucks in items with such a short life.
We bought our Ergo on BabySteals for $80 which was 47% off the retail price.
Take advantage of sale racks and outlets. We have been able to find a number of items from Baby Gap both regular store and the outlet, see that Santa onesie? It was only 59 cents! Also if it’s on sale and you really like it buy it in bigger sizes as well.
Buy gentle used clothes and take advantage of hand-me-downs. We have taken advantage of gentle used clothing deals such as $10 for 10 onesies.
Cloth diapering. Cloth diapering is an investment at first however in the long term you will have a huge savings. A great resource for comparing prices of different types of cloth diapers and that of disposable is this site. If you really want to save money go the prefolds route.
Breastfeeding. Basically free. All you need may need to purchase are a breast pump, milk storage bags and a few bottles.
Make your own. When it comes time to start feeding solids make your own baby food!