Babies cost money. That’s a fact of life. From the moment you spend money on an overpriced pregnancy test that shows you a positive – by the way, you can get perfectly fine pregnancy tests at dollar stores- you’re in for a couple decades of buying stuff.
You don’t have to buy all the stuff, though! And the stuff you do have to buy doesn’t have to be expensive … or it can be a smart investment. With 4 babies worth of experience, here are 5 (of many) things I think you can save money on when it comes to baby stuff. This post is written in partnership with Allstate.
- Crib– When considering a crib for your first baby, here are a couple things to think about:
A. Will you have more babies? If yes, then I think it’s definitely worth investing in a sturdy crib that’s not too trendy. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on it, but I’d steer clear of the super cheap ones if you want it to make it through 2 or 3 babies. We had a really high-quality crib for our first, and it only made it through 3 kids. It’s not a bargain if you have to keep buying it over and over.
We bought this crib for our 4th baby after our first one bit the dust. It’s simple and sturdy.
B. I know you may think those cribs that convert to full-size beds are the way to go, but, in my opinion, it’s a waste. They are typically much more expensive than cribs that don’t convert to adult size beds. They are much bigger, so not always the best fit for baby #2+ if you need kids to share a room at any point. Also? Babies are savage animals to the wooden crates we put them in. Mine have DESTROYED their crib. They chew on it and kick the rails. They are constantly climbing. God knows what kind of bodily fluids wind up on there. By the time they are done with the crib, I’d rather start a bonfire with it than envision them sleeping in some other version of it for 15 more years.
- Changing Table/Dresser- There is no need for a special dresser. You can turn any dresser into a changing table by putting a changing pad on top of it. I recommend putting some non-skid shelf liner between the pad and the dresser to keep it from sliding around. Honestly, there’s no need for a dresser or changing table at all. Baby clothes are tiny. You can easily store them in plastic, stackable drawers in a closet. You can always make a changing supplies tote or basket, and keep it in the room. Change baby on a small blanket on the floor.
We already had this Ikea dresser, so we just put a changing pad on top. We actually have a nursery nook in our master bedroom. You can see more of it here.
- Bedding– If you do get a crib, you don’t need the whole bedding setup. Skip the bumpers and the quilt. (Baby blankets find their way to you, I promise.) Minimal crib bedding is not only safe, but the look is really on trend, too. Find a few adorable, custom-made sheets (here are a couple places to look), and maybe get a solid color crib skirt if you want one (but you could definitely do without one of these, too).
- Clothes– I know, I know. Clothes are the MOST FUN thing to buy for babies! And this is an area it’s fun to “splurge” in because you can get the cutest, designer things for babies for not *that* much, relatively speaking. Just remember that babies grow SO fast, and that, in reality, they spend most of their time in jammies because they sleep all day. I’ve seen parents stock a not-even-born-yet baby’s closet so full it looks like a department store. And that’s fine! I’m not here to judge anyone’s financial choices. I’m just saying there’s no flipping way their baby wore 1/4 of that for a significant amount of time to any place important. This also applies to shoes, especially. Baby shoes are a joke.
*And those clothes and shoes usually end up at consignment shops with the tags still on for 1/10th the price, so definitely shop consignment.
Gotta love a sweet hand-me-down. These jams have been worn by all 4 babies!
- Feeding supplies– The fewer sippy cups, plates, and spoons you have, the fewer dishes you’ll have to wash. Instead of getting tons of cutesy baby plates, look into getting something like a silicone mat with built in plate. Silicone is so versatile and easy to clean that it also makes a great option for a bib. Don’t spend a ton of money on cloth bibs that will need to be washed in the laundry. Silicone bibs are super adorable, and you really only need one.
There are so many more ways to save your money and spend wisely when it comes to raising a little human. I’d love to hear some of your money saving tips for life with a baby! Also, tell me what you think was totally worth the money.
This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.
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Share! Find friends who have babies too and share the bigger or expensive items that you have or want to try before buying. Or don’t buy them and just share! I’m talking about things like bouncy chairs, exercisers, play mats, walkers, swings, baby carriers…all that stuff that you won’t be sure your baby will even like until you can try them. Our first loved the bouncy chair and hated the swing. Our second was totally opposite. We tried out things before buying them and it saved us-money and space (tiny humans are small but their stuff can quickly take over your house!). Like you said earlier-babies cost a lot and the more you can save the better! Ps: I love reading your blog-sometimes it is what gets me through the day. ?