Have a new baby can get so expensive! But luckily, there are many ways to actually save money with a new baby, and I am sharing them all with you below.
While these might not work for everyone, you are bound to find at least a few money-saving tips for new moms on this list!
Join “Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook
Many towns and cities these days have “buy nothing” groups on Facebook, where people give things away for free, and where you can request things you need.
These groups are GREAT for getting baby stuff for free because people are ALWAYS getting rid of baby stuff, since babies grow out of things so fast.
You might be hesitant about getting used mattresses or couches (bed bugs, bodily fluids, etc), but items like plastic or wooden furniture like usually pretty safe, as well as clothes or small stuffed animals that can be washed in the laundry on “hot” to get rid of any stranger cooties.
These groups are sometimes called “Free” groups, “Pass it on” groups, or “Buy nothing new” groups, so do a few different searches on Facebook if you can’t find something right away.
Hint: join nearby towns’ groups if you can’t find a good group in your town!
Trade toys and books with friends
Find some friends with babies of similar ages, and trade toys and baby books every few months! Your baby will always have new stuff to play with, and you won’t have to spend any money on it!
Hint: you can trade clothes too!
Join mom groups on Facebook
In addition to the Buy Nothing groups, join a local mom group! Not only is it great to meet people and see that you’re not alone in this postpartum stage, but seeing questions and tips from hundreds of moms is so helpful!!
I’ve saved hundreds of dollars because of one group I am in: I’ve asked for recommendations and honest opinions on stuff, gotten awesome coupons for store sales that people didn’t need, and skipped expensive pediatrician visits by getting tips on things like a rash or a stomach bug or whatever else that comes up. Please note, I do not recommend listening to the internet instead of calling your pediatrician…. but sometimes if you’re on the fence, it helps to hear opinions of other moms who’ve been through it!
Related: Questions to Ask at a Pediatrician Meet and Greet
Breastfeed or pump
This is an obvious one – if you are able to and you want to, breastfeeding saves thousands of dollars compared to formula. And many insurance companies provide breast pumps for free, so even if you don’t want nurse, trying to pump might be a good option for many moms.
Bonus tips: This breastfeeding course and this pumping course are SUCH a great resource and much cheaper than a lactation consultant.
Stockpile formula and coupons from the hospital
If you are not able to breastfeed, then stockpile on formula samples from the hospital (as well as postpartum pads, peri bottles, mesh underwear, etc).
Also ask for formula coupons in the Facebook mom groups I mentioned above. Someone always has extras!
Look for garage sales
Make it part of your weekend plans before and after you have a baby – browse a garage sale to get some exercise and fresh air, and then go out to lunch (or pack a picnic lunch to save money). So much inexpensive baby gear to be found!!
And the best part is that you can later sell those same items at your own garage sale, for the same price! So you’re practically getting the stuff for free.
Related: How to Introduce Your Kids to Investing
Shop for stuff as you need it
I know how exciting it is to see the most adorable baby booties at the store when you’re pregnant and nesting. Resist buying things you don’t need at the moment and only buy things as your baby needs them.
Things like baby shoes, or next season’s winter clothes can wait. A high chair can also wait until your baby is actually able to sit. Your baby won’t need those 6-9 month-sized clothes until about 6-9 months after you bring him or her home.
Your baby actually needs very few things the first few weeks of life. It’s OK if they don’t have a perfectly organized dresser or changing table. If you plan to have your baby sleep in a bassinet or in a bedside sleeper the first few months, then he or she doesn’t need a crib yet!
We live in a world where most of us can have anything delivered within 2 days from Amazon Prime (or as quickly as 2 hours from Target using Shipt), so there is no need to stockpile stuff before you actually need it.
The less you buy upfront, the less you will waste. For example, you won’t know if your baby will be in size 6 month clothes during the winter or size 12 month clothes, so don’t buy ahead!
Of course, go ahead and put those things on the registry if you want to. But if there is stuff on the registry that you didn’t get as gifts at your baby shower, don’t go on a shopping spree. Wait a little. By the time you need those things, you might be able to either find them in a Buy Nothing group, or you might find a friend who is looking to sell their stuff for cheap or give it away!
Related: What Items To Keep For The Next Baby
DIY newborn toys and sensory activities
The great news is that babies don’t need real toys for a long time!! For the first few months, things like different texture cloths and different colored shapes provide enough stimulation… as well as your love and your touch, of course.
Make a DIY mobile for above the crib. Let your child play with felt shapes from the dollar store. Print fun black and white shapes on paper and tape them to the floor face-up with masking tape, and let your child look at the patterns while they’re in tummy time.
When your baby gets older, use tupperware to practice stacking. Play the drums with metal bowls. Make music by playing the spoons. Make DIY taste-safe finger paint with inexpensive cornstarch.
All babies want at this age is YOU! So while it’s nice to have Pinterest-perfect toy bins in the nursery, it’s definitely not necessary for your baby’s growth and development.
See ideas for how to play with a baby 0-3 months, and how to play with a 3-6 month old.
Find a toy library
See if there is a toy library near you! It’s a fairly new concept, but for a small membership fee you can take out toys to borrow, and this often ends up being a lot cheaper than buying toys as your child grows.
Find free “Mommy and Me” classes or organize your own
Many towns have meetups for Mommy and Me yoga, dance, music classes, and many of these are free, or free once a month. Check your local library or the town’s website to see if they have anything like this, or organize your own!
All you need is a few moms who are willing to take turns hosting some kind of activity, such as finger painting, sensory play, story time, craft time, or a singing or dancing activity. Sooo much cheaper than paying $25 a class!
Invest in a camera
Buying a camera might seem like the opposite of saving money with a newborn baby, but if you have any experience with photography or an inkling to learn and be creative, then buying a decent camera and lens can save you THOUSANDS of dollars over several years.
I’ve gotten quotes for newborn pictures, and they were anywhere from $400-1000!! Want to get professional pictures for your family Christmas card?? That’s another $300. First birthday party? $500.
A $600 camera, a few youtube videos for how to setup photoshoots at home and edit photos, and inexpensive props from Amazon will save you money in the long run.
Besides, if you end up enjoying it and have a few props, you can turn it into a side hustle. (Hint: you might be able to advertise your photography side hustle on that Facebook mom group!)
Prepare for baby by filling your freezer with freezer meals perfect for new parents. It will be so hard to meal plan and shop during the first few weeks or months, so having a freezer stacked with thaw-and-bake meals will save you hundreds of dollars in takeout.
Besides, if you start planning early enough you can shop the weekly specials at the grocery store to get ingredients extra cheap!
Keep in mind that when friends and family say “let me know how I can help you,” you are totally allowed to request that they make a meal for you and drop it off!
RELATED: 35 Healthy Snacks for Breastfeeding Moms
If you have the mental capacity to meal plan once your baby is born, it can save you money. If you order grocery pickup or delivery, it can also help you not shop for snacks at the grocery store and to stick to your grocery list.
Tip: Try meal planning for a few weeks or months before baby arrives to practice and see what works best for you.
Cloth diapers are an investment upfront, but they save money in the long run.
It’s a commitment though!! Make sure you are the type of person who will follow throw with it, and make sure that if you are considering a daycare, they will use cloth diapers – it would be counterproductive to spend money on cloth diapers and then have to buy disposable diapers because you just can’t handle dealing with the poop, or if your daycare won’t accept your baby with cloth diapers.
Tell people what you need
When people ask what to get your baby for their birthday or Christmas, TELL THEM! Don’t be shy – it’s for your baby, not you!
Tell friends and family exactly what your baby needs, whether it’s winter baby gear, new books, or Montessori toys. You don’t want to end up with tons of junk plastic toys, when you could have asked for something you actually need.
Skip the extras
I know how easy it is to get carried away buying adorable baby girl bows, or super cute baby boy pants with suspenders!
It’s so tempting to buy a walker and a jumper and every possible baby bouncer and a potty to have in every room and, and, and…
Go minimalist and get practical. Think about what you actually need, and stick to your plan.
Find businesses that give free birthday gifts
Many local businesses offer a free gift for your child’s birthday. Local bookstores sometimes give a free baby book, baby gyms have free admissions for the birthday boy or girl, local music or dance studios with baby activities have free trials or free birthday classes, etc.
You might have to wait a year to take advantage of this, but hey, free stuff!
Just don’t forget to support those businesses when it’s time for you to shop for gifts for others by getting gift certificates from those businesses instead of shopping at huge retailers.
Offer to babysit
If you have friends with babies or toddlers, offer to babysit for them so they get a night out. They will offer the same to you at some point! Voila, free babysitting!!
Find free activities
Look for free outdoor concerts, dance performances, drummer circle meetups, or anything else that would be fun for babies to watch.
Parents pay hundreds of dollars to get their kids to a music class, but why not go out and enjoy a nice summer day and listen to a free summer concert with your baby! Just set up a blanket somewhere a little out of the way so the music is not too loud, have a picnic, and dance and play with your child.
If you live in a city like NYC, stopping to watch a drummer circle or a giant bubble meetup in Central Park, watching the guy play on the grand piano in Washington Square Park, or finding a band busking is such a great activity to do with a little one!
Even outdoor art shows or street festivals typically have music and other fun things going on, so look for free local activities!
Use your influence
This might not be a good fit for everyone, but if you have a somewhat large Instagram following (even starting at only about 1000+), many companies will reach out to you to review their items in exchange for getting free stuff!
All it takes is a few minutes of your time, and you can either post an unboxing video or reel, a photo of the item, a video review of the item, or a picture of your child using the item (that’s where that camera comes in handy again: well-lit professional-looking photos definitely help attract brands!)
To get started, make sure your profile is set to “public,” tag brands that you already love and use in your day to day life, make sure that many photos in your Instagram feed are “brand-friendly” (well-lit and show that you would be a GREAT choice for sharing a picture of their product), and find the right hashtags to use to attract brands who might be looking for micro-influencers!
Just don’t fall for those messages that say “How cute! We are looking for brand ambassadors! DM so-and-so and let them know Ashley sent you!” because all they will offer you is a discount on expensive boutique clothes, not free products for review.
Which of these money-saving tips for babies are you willing to try? Which ones are a definite NO for you?? I would love to hear about it in a comment below!
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