How to save money on baby items
According to a survey commissioned by Redbook and Visa, 76 percent of soon-to-be parents say they feel confident that they’re financially ready for a baby. Yet any experienced parent knows one can never be fully prepared for the expenses of parenthood. That’s why understanding how to save on baby items is important.
Budgeting for baby: Don’t buy early
While things like onesie outfits, bibs, blankets, diapers, wipes, waterproof bedding and an infant-rated car seat do need to ready for duty before baby leaves the hospital, the rest of the shopping can wait until after baby is born. By waiting, the temptation to funnel money into unnecessary baby gadgets is lessened because the sleep-deprived have less energy to splurge shop.
Unnecessary items include audio-visual brain builders that claim to make your child a genius over night. Tune the radio to a classical music channel rather than buying every Baby Mozart-Bach-Beethoven-Einstein item you can find. The stimulus you provide by interacting with your baby via talk, play and colorful home-made mobiles works better than what corporate America claims you must have.
Research before buying
While baby superstores appear convenient for time-starved parents, don’t go unprepared. Many websites like Consumer Reports and Baby Cheapskate offer reviews of baby items and tips on how to save on baby stuff. By doing a little research, you can find high-quality merchandise that won’t bust your budget.
Second-hand stores that focus on mothers and children are a great option for deals. Save 20 percent or more off retail, even on essentials like car seats and strollers. Stock up whenever possible. For clothing and blankets, watch for “quarter sale” days.
The real story about diapers, wipes and cream
Baby will burn through diapers and wipes like there’s no tomorrow. If you can afford cloth diapers and are prepared to wash regularly, they’re great for the environment and can even save money if you’re efficient and industrious about washing. However, if you do go with disposable diapers, buy the store brand, provided online reviews don’t mention anything about them being rash- or bladder infection-inducing. There is no reason to buy a brand name of disposable diaper.
Regarding wipes, don’t buy them! Make them yourself from cheap paper towels and the gentlest cleansers and baby lotion you can find. It’s much cheaper to make them yourself and store them in cheap plastic food containers that seal. You will need some form of diaper cream. Unfortunately, going cheap on this isn’t worth the trouble. Try Boudreaux’s Butt Paste or something comparable, and monitor how baby’s skin reacts.