Money is a big concern for many families, especially if baby is a surprise. If you are finding that having a baby has you worried about your finances, take these money-saving tips under advisement. Keep in mind that many times you will be changing convenience for money, so beware that many of these tips will cost more in time.
First, you should breastfeed if possible. Breastfeeding obviously costs less in the long run, but you will need a good pump before you get started. Breastfeeding is probably the second best source of saving money on your baby.
The best way to save money for your baby is by using cloth diapers. If you are going cloth, you will need to invest in quality diapers as well as diaper pins, plastic underpants, and other accessories. Be assured that your investment in these items now will save you a ton of money over the course of time. If you are queasy about using cloth diapers in public, then you do not have to. You can use them only at home although you should beware that it can be a little difficult on some sensitive bottoms. Still the more you use cloth diapers, the more money you will save.
Watch for sales now. Beware of buying full outfits early. You have no idea how quickly baby will grow. Some items, however, such as onesies, you can purchase in bulk when you find a good deal. You can use them anytime of the year, so you will not need to be afraid that you will waste money by purchasing them in the wrong sizes. Also be sure that you shop at yard sales and consignment shops. Many people get rid of all of their baby clothes, and you will find them for pennies on the dollar compared to what the original parents paid. Because babies grow so quickly, you will find that many of the outfits may never have been worn.
Sign up for coupons. I normally do not suggest that people sign up for coupons. The general rule for adult products is that coupons are available only on processed foods, which are not good for you anyway. On baby products, however, it is worth it if you will ever buy formula. You may even be able to get full-size samples if you go to the formula, diaper, wipe, and baby food websites and sign up for coupons. Also ask at your doctor's office. Many of them receive more samples than they can use on newborns, so you can get some great samples there.
I make these next two suggestions with caution. I do not endorse either of them because they go far beyond what I consider valuable money-saving advice. Still, many people, including my own mother-in-law, believe that these are money-saving tips that you should take into account.
One option is to make your own baby food. Okay, I am not opposed to making my own baby food. Once my son reached older babyhood, we began grinding up his food so that he could get a taste of what Mom and Dad were having. That part works for me. Some really handy moms will try to grind up the food to last for days. For example, if you are having sweet potatoes, you can make two or three for the baby. Mash them and put them in ice cube trays. When they freeze, you can pop them out and store them in sandwich bags or simply build up a stock of ice trays to use.
The second idea is to forego baby wipes. You can either wipe baby's little bottom with paper towels (which is really impossible to do well) or make your own baby wipes. You will make the solution and store it so that you can wipe a paper towel in it for a home-made wipe. To make the solution, mix two cups of water with 1/2 cup each of baby oil and baby shampoo.
These money-saving tips are the "biggies" when it comes to raising baby. There are other ways to save money that are simpler. Some of them take little work on the part of Mom and Dad. If you are really going to save, though, you should put some or all of these tips into action.
By Julia Mercer