The moment that you see that line on the pregnancy test and realize that you’re carrying new life within you, that is a moment you’ll remember forever. For a while, you feel like you’re floating on a cloud, and you’re so happy you want to cry! But after the initial euphoria settles down, it’s time to get down to practicalities! And one of the biggest ones is the part about money, because let’s face it – babies are expensive! But this isn’t the time you should be stressing about finances, so we’ve put together 15 simple and doable ways to save money with a new baby – none of which include surviving on soup!
15 Simple Ways to Save Money with a New Baby
1. Plan Ahead
It’s a good idea to get baby’s things ready in advance. Otherwise, you have to buy everything in a hurry, at the nearest store, which may prove heavy on the pocket. In India, many new Moms are discouraged to buy baby stuff in advance, so even if that’s the case in your family, you can still look around and make a list of what to buy, how many and the name of the store. Just hand this list to your husband and relax!
2. Multitask with Maternity Clothes
It’s tempting to get all those cute and stylish looking maternity clothes, but remember that those designer labels come with a price. Clothes that fit at 5-6 months of pregnancy will do for right after your delivery, so it’s best to have them made. As for bras, buy just two or so since your breasts will change sizes throughout pregnancy and after delivery.
3. Breastfeed for as long as possible
Breastfeeding is the best option for your baby, and not just with regards to health! A pack of infant formula that weighs less than 1/2 kg can cost more than Rs. 500.00 and you’ll need several such packs a month. Do the math for baby’s first year and you’ll be staggered at the total amount! Plus the extra cost of bottles, teats and the whole sterilizing apparatus.
4. Get Diapers Online
Diapers are something you just can’t avoid, and even if you’ve decided to go for cloth diapers, you’ll still need some disposable ones too. Don’t buy them at the supermarket where you’ll have to pay full price; shop online. You can save at least 15% per pack, and considering the number of packs you’ll need, you’ll end up saving quite a large amount! Also, buy in bulk, as the larger packs of diapers have larger savings.
5. Go Easy on the Baby Clothes
Baby clothes are so deliciously cute, and it’s very hard to resist them, especially if you’re a first time Mom! But these are probably the biggest money guzzlers, since babies grow surprisingly fast and that adorable suit-style onesie won’t get worn more than once! Besides, you’re likely to get clothes as gifts, so buy only the ones you need.
6. Make your own Nursing Outfits
Nursing outfits follow the same philosophy as maternity outfits. While there are many styles out there, the fact is that every Mom and every baby is different and you’ll need some time with your newborn to find out exactly what kind of outfit will work best for both of you. If you find a branded nursing outfit that’s perfect, you could buy one piece and try to get some more made just like it, provided you have a reliable dressmaker!
7. Stick to Basics with Baby Gear
Baby gear includes cribs, bouncers, infant seats and the like, and can cost huge amounts of money. Think carefully about your family’s particular needs before deciding on the absolute baby essentials that you can’t do without. For instance, many Moms don’t think a changing table is necessary. Go for multitasking gear, like bouncers that convert into toddler chairs. For baby gear, go for quality, as cheaper brands may not be strong, which can be dangerous for your baby.
8. Look around for Hand-me-Downs
If your sister or cousin has just had a baby recently, you may be able to get a lot of stuff from them. This is especially true of baby gear like cribs and bouncers, which will work perfectly well with some basic cleaning and maintenance. You can also have an arrangement with a friend who is due much before you, to have her baby’s clothes that aren’t used much. Outgrown toys are also good, just be sure that everything is safe, without peeling paint or broken parts.
9. Go DIY
If you are creatively inclined, you can save a lot of money by making many things by yourself! Make your own bibs, burp cloths, nursing pads and even baby bedding! Not only is this cost effective, it’s also good for the environment. Trusted home remedies are also a great way to save money, as well as reducing your chemical footprint.
10. Keep a well stocked Diaper Bag
There’ll certainly be occasions where you’ll have to go out with your baby, and it’s best to be well prepared during such situations. Or else you’ll end up buying essentials for full price at whatever location you’re at, while all the stuff you sourced at low prices sits at home! Check out our list if diaper bag essentials to make sure you’re always set for outings with your little one.
11. Make your own Baby Food
Once your baby crosses six months, it’s time to start solids. Several foreign brands of baby food are now available in India, but they come at a price. Not to mention that they may not suit your baby and contain many preservatives and chemicals. Making your own baby food hardly costs anything, and is completely healthy. If you can’t spare the time, opt for homemade organic baby food brands that are 100% natural.
12. Skip the Expensive Toys
All the major toy brands make it appear like your baby’s cognitive skills won’t develop unless you buy their most expensive, colorful toy! This is far from the truth, and babies actually develop better with the most basic toys like bowls and spoons. Babies soon tire of such toys, and they’ll soon be lying forgotten. Besides, the cost of replacing the batteries can drive you up the wall!
13. Keep an Eye on Sales
Most stores in India have major End of Season Sales at least twice a year, and this is a great time to pick up clothes, nightwear, winter wear and baby gear. Besides these, online stores frequently have festive offers and other sales, especially on their apps. Subscribe to online kid stores so that you’re aware of all their latest deals, particularly on basics like diapers and toiletries.
14. Consider Future Siblings
When buying things for your new baby, it may seem a little far off to consider future siblings, but it actually makes monetary sense. If you get clothes and accessories that aren’t gender-specific, you can reuse them regardless of whether your next child is a boy or girl. Even things like bibs and baby shoes can be reused, and you can avoid buying everything all over again.
15. Stay Healthy
These days, with medical costs hitting the roof, it makes more sense to prevent illnesses in the first place. Both you and your baby need to stay healthy, with proper food, rest and exercise (for you). Keep germs at bay with a sanitizer and avoid crowded places and any contact with sick people. It may seem like just a cold, but you never know if it could be a more serious viral infection.
Finally, if you’re in doubt about whether you should buy something or not, it’s best to wait a while. You may find that your baby no longer needs it, or that you’ve found a DIY substitute. Babies don’t really need too much stuff, just loads of hugs, cuddles and kisses – so don’t be stingy with those!