Got The Baby Budget Blues? Don’t Worry, You Have Options.

crabIf you are wondering how you will ever get everything that you need for your baby on your budget, I would like to let you in on a little secret. The secret is this: babies really don’t need all that many things, and the things that they need the most are the things that can not be bought. We all know that babies need love, and plenty of it. Some of their other needs do involve equipment and or supplies, but there are various options that parents can choose from.

For example, a baby needs a safe place to sleep. There are many ways to accomplish this, and varying price tags associated with the multiple options. If you are convinced that co – sleeping is safe and is right for your family (it works for us), your bed can be that safe place (be sure to educate yourself about safe co –sleeping) at little or no additional cost. Other options include Moses baskets, bassinets, cribs, and pack and plays to name a few.

You have options for feeding, too. Mom’s milk costs nothing (although if you go back to work you’ll need bottles and a good pump) yet it is just what your baby needs to grow and thrive. Formulas vary in price, but cost does not always indicate quality or whether your baby will tolerate a specific brand well. The same goes for bottles and other feeding supplies – start with just a handful of a few kinds and then see what works best for you. When baby starts to eat solids, you can choose to buy baby foods, make special foods for baby, or feed baby right off your plate (we did).

Clothing is another area where there are many options for every budget. Babies aren’t too tough on clothes (except for certain stains which may render an outfit unusable, but I digress) so buying used is a great option. Often, friends and family are happy to hand items down at no cost. Whatever you do buy, don’t go overboard as tempting as that may be. Your baby could be born too big for some of the newborn items, and babies grow out of each size fairly fast. By the way, babies don’t need shoes until they learn to walk, so save your money for buying a good pair of “first walker” shoes when that time comes.

Sleep, food, and clothing are three basic needs for which parents have many options. What other frugal baby shopping tips do you have?