When you’re a new parent, you will experience a lot of things for the first time — wonderful things like your baby’s first smile… and stressful things like your first all-nighter (the first of the many). Motherhood has many demands, and it will demand you to manage your time, your energy, and your money.
Yes, a big part of parenting involves money! You will be surrounded by plenty of baby essentials, all of which are tempting to buy. In order to parent successfully — and stay sane while at it — it is highly crucial to learn how to budget and manage your buying. To help you with this, here’s a list of 10 helpful money saving tips for new moms like you.
1. Breastfeed if you can.
If you can breastfeed, do it! Breastfeeding is one of the best ways that you can save money as a new mom, saving you at least $1,400 during the first year. Breast milk also contains all the essential nutrients and antibodies that your newborn baby needs, potentially saving you from hospital expenses, too.
2. Shop in bulk.
During your baby’s first year, you are going to go through countless of diapers, baby wipes, and other disposable baby essentials. Rather than buy these things one by one (transportation and extra expenses do add up over time), buy them in bulk once so you wouldn’t have to go to the store each time your supplies run out.
3. Use cloth diapers instead of disposables.
Here’s another switch that you can make, which will save you a huge amount of money. Using cloth diapers is not only more environment-friendly but also lighter on your pocket. While it does have an upfront cost (for your diaper stash), it’s not recurring like disposables. Also, because cloth diapers are gentler on the skin, you get to save on rash cream, too!
4. Accept hand-me-downs.
You don’t have to buy everything brand new! Sometimes, age-specific gear and essentials, like bassinets, are barely used and can be given to someone else as a hand-me-down. Take advantage of your friends, family, and network and ask for baby stuff that they no longer use but you definitely can.
5. Buy convertible gear.
However, there are some baby gear and baby essentials that are best bought brand new because of safety features that need to be current. These essentials and gear include strollers, car seats, and high chairs. Even if you’re buying these brand new, you still get to save money by making sure your baby is as safe as possible.
6. Choose gender-neutral baby essentials.
While it’s cute to buy pink and blue clothing for your newborn baby, the most practical thing to do is to choose gender-neutral colors, like white and gray, and patterns like clouds and stars. These colors and styles are more likely to outlast trends, and if you have your second child, you can easily reuse your baby essentials.
7. Only buy a few pieces of clothing at a time.
If you are a first-time mom, it is understandable if you’re excited to buy a lot of clothing for your baby. But before you go overboard, consider the alternative, which is buying only a few basics at a time. Babies grow at an amazingly fast rate, and the piece of clothing you just bought last weekend might not fit them anymore next week!
8. Buy high-quality cotton bedding and blankets.
Some of the baby essentials that you will use daily — and for quite a long time — are your baby’s blankets and bedding. You can buy cheap, but these might not last long after being used every day. In order to truly save money, it is wiser to buy blankets and sheets that are made of 100% cotton to guarantee quality and durability.
9. Make your own baby food.
When your baby is about to start eating solid foods, consider making your own baby food. You will save greatly if you buy fresh produce and just mash them at home or let your baby munch on them if you’re practicing baby-led weaning. Aside from saving money, freshly made baby food does not contain preservatives that your baby doesn’t need.
10. Have a baby shower.
And finally, one of the most exciting ways to save money on your new baby is through a baby shower! Chances are one of your friends or relatives will throw you a baby shower, and if you are asked to prepare a gift registry, do so with much though. When requesting for baby gifts, prioritize the essentials that you will actually need.