Having a baby can be a pricey venture, but it doesn’t have to break the bank! As a first-time mom, you may have the urge to buy everything under the sun, but you have to fight it! You really don’t need a ton of things to raise your baby. You CAN have a baby on a budget! Check out this list of things you shouldn’t waste your money on.
Having a Baby? Don’t Waste Money On These 15 Things!
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What You DON’T Need for Baby:
1. Baby Bather
Baby bathers are nice for the five times you’ll actually end up using it. But while the baby is really little, it’s basically sponge baths, and then you start sink baths, and then eventually do baths in the bathtub. It’s not worth the money for the dinky little mesh things that you’ll only use for a month or two.
What to Buy Instead:
An actual baby bathtub is a better alternative, as they can be used from infancy until toddler-aged. It can be used in the sink or in the bathtub, so it’s much more versatile. If you really want the convenience of a baby bather, go for the bathtub. You can find one on Amazon for a good deal!
2. High Chair
A highchair is one of those things you assume you need because everyone has one, but they are not needed. They take up a lot of space, and they can get pretty pricey. But, there is an awesome alternative!
What to buy instead:
You can buy a booster seat that has an attachable tray, so it can be used as a high chair, but also as a booster when the baby becomes a toddler and isn’t quite tall enough to sit at the table. It simply attaches to any dining chair, and is small and portable so you can take it on the go. This one has been great for me!
Bassinets are so temporary that they aren’t even worth purchasing. They’re temporary for a few reasons. Either you will end up transferring your baby to a crib shortly after they’re born, or the other possible scenario (the more likely one) is that you will end up co-sleeping. Most people who say they aren’t going to co-sleep usually end up doing it anyway. It’s just so much more convenient. So don’t buy a bassinet.
What to buy instead:
You can get simple co-sleepers that go right in your bed to make co-sleeping safer. If you’re going to be breastfeeding, co-sleeping is that much more convenient! This co-sleeper is great, it’s affordable, portable, and waterproof!
4. Bottle Warmer
Is a bottle warmer convenient? Yes. But is it really necessary? Nope. It is not recommended to heat a bottle in the microwave because it can cause uneven heating, and can burn the baby’s mouth. But there are other ways to warm a bottle. You can boil water on the stove and place the bottle in it, as well as run it under hot water. If you’re using formula, you can use warm water to mix in with the formula. There’s actually no reason for babies to drink warm milk, other than preference. Young babies tend to prefer it warm, but as they get older they tend to care less. So you might not even end up using your bottle warmer for long anyway.
5. Wipe Warmer
A wipe warmer is probably one of the biggest wastes of money out there when it comes to baby products. First of all, you don’t need it. If you really want your wipes a little less cold, just hold it in your hand for a few seconds.
Secondly, it’s not convenient. It has to be plugged in, and unless you have a good place next to your changing table, then you have nowhere to put it. And that’s if you use your changing table often, which a lot of times you won’t. Especially if the baby is sleeping in your room for any amount of time.
6. Changing Table
There’s a chance you won’t even use your changing table very often. Unless you are going to have your baby sleeping in their own room from day 1. And most mom’s who say they won’t co-sleep, or they’re going to have the baby in their own room from the start, usually change their mind. Because when you’re beyond exhausted, the last thing you’re going to want to do is to walk to the other room to change your baby 10+ times a day. So if you’re looking to save some money, skip buying the changing table.
Parenting Hack – Buy a pack and play that comes with the bassinet and changing table features. This will allow you to save a ton of money, by not needing to buy the changing table or bassinet. We LOVED this one!
7. Car Seat Canopy
A blanket will work just about as well as a car seat cover will, and you will get SO many blankets that you won’t even know what to do with. So just use a blanket if you don’t want to fork out the money for a car seat cover.
8. Diaper Genie
While diaper genies are super nice to have, there are much cheaper alternatives. A trash can with the pedal that lifts the lid, for instance. While the trash can costs $15-20 more than the diaper genie, it’s a lot more durable and the trash bags are SO much cheaper than the diaper genie liners that it totally makes it worth it to spend the extra for the trash can. You can get this set on Amazon that comes with a bigger one and a smaller one, for the same price as just getting the bigger one!
9. New Baby Clothes
Baby clothes can be pricey. So there’s no point in buying new ones when all your baby is going to do in those clothes is spit up, drool, and poop all over them. So don’t waste your money. You can buy them used for much cheaper at second-hand stores or yard sales, or even get hand me downs from friends and family.
10. Baby Shoes
Even if you want to be that parent who always puts their baby in cute little shoes, it’s not going to happen. First of all, there’s no point for shoes before your baby is walking. You’re better off buying knee pads. And secondly, even if you try to keep them on, your baby will kick them right off.
11. Special Laundry Detergent
Special laundry detergent is great for babies who have skin sensitivities to regular detergents. But for most babies, it’s not necessary. And it’s a hassle to have to sort baby’s laundry from everyone else. AND it’s expensive to use special laundry detergent.
A mobile is actually a great thing to have if you are thinking you want your baby to sleep in their own room. But, the best part about a mobile is the sound it puts off. Most of the time it’s on a non-customizable timer setting and shuts off too. A great alternative is a sound machine unless you really want the mobile for the visual aspect.
13. Diaper Bag
Diaper bags can be pricey. So you can go with a backpack or a purse that you already have as a cheaper alternative. If you really want a diaper bag, check out this name brand knock off on Amazon that’s WAY cheaper and still awesome quality! (It’s lasted me two years and it’s still going strong!)
14. Crib Bedding
Honestly, I don’t even know why they sell crib bedding anymore considering it’s such a big NO-NO when it comes to SIDS prevention. There have been a lot of cases of babies suffocating because of crib bedding, so experts say to keep everything out of the crib expect a fitted sheet on the crib mattress.
15. Baby Towels/Washcloths
Baby towels aren’t any different than adult towels, so don’t waste your money. I mean, some of them have hoods, but it’s not necessary by any means. If anything baby towels are better for when they’re toddlers, and you have to bribe them to take a bath by telling them they can use their trolls towel when they get out.
Okay, so we’ve covered the things that you really don’t need for your baby when you’re trying to have a baby on a budget. But there are a few things that are completely worth the money, that you won’t regret buying!
Here are A Few Things NEED For Baby:
1. Swaddle Blanket
There are a lot of different types of swaddlers out there. Personally, I love the muslin swaddle blankets. They might be a tad pricey, but I’m telling you… once you use one you’ll never want to use another blanket. They’re great for swaddling, or using as a nursing cover, or car seat cover, or anything! The super-soft material and the size are just perfect. Swaddling is really some sort of crazy magic that no one understands. But there’s been a lot of times you can take your baby from screaming bloody murder, swaddle him up, and rock him for a minute and he’s out like a light. MAGIC I tell you!
2. NoseFrida Aspirator
This is the grossest, most wonderful thing ever. It’s a nose aspirator in which you suck through a straw to pull the snot out of your baby’s nose. Don’t worry, there’s a filter.
You never get snot in your mouth. But it works so much better than any other aspirator. And when your sweet baby is sick and can’t sleep all night because they’re so stuffed, you WILL suck the boogers right out of their nose so you both can get some sleep.
3. Baby Monitor with Camera
New mom anxiety is a thing. So to save yourself from doing a bedroom check every five minutes, get a good monitor. Not just for bedtime, for nap time too! You’re able to go outside and do yard work, or go downstairs to do the laundry, or whatever else you need to do while still being able to hear and see your baby. Best thing ever.
4. Boppy Pillow
The Boppy Pillow is so nice to have. It’s great for nursing or bottle feeding baby. It’s also great for propping baby up and helping when your baby is learning to sit. They’re great for all stages. And they’re not expensive! Totally worth the money.
Tips for Saving Even MORE Money:
1. Buy Used:
There are so many stores out there that sell second-hand baby products for a great deal. You can also shop yard sales, and accept hand me downs. While there are a few things that you should buy new for safety reasons, such as a car seat, you can get most baby products used and they work just as well!
2. Look for Coupons/Price Match:
Make sure you check for coupons online before purchasing anything. Also, check Amazon for better pricing than other websites, they’re usually cheaper.
3. Use Subscribe & Save:
A lot of moms use Amazon Primes Subscribe and Save feature for things like diapers and wipes. By subscribing you get a good discount, making baby products more affordable! Amazon offers this feature for tons of products, including household products like paper towels, toilet paper, etc. Plus, it gets delivered right to your door. If you aren’t an Amazon Prime member yet, you can get a 30-Day FREE Trial using this link!
For even more advice on cutting the cost of having a baby, check out these financial considerations when preparing for a baby!
I hope that this list helps you to know what you do and don’t want to buy, so you can save money, and be able to have your baby on a budget! What else have you done to save money? Let us know in the comments!