The first year of your baby’s life is not just the most precious, but is also the most expensive. An average American family shells out anywhere from $8,000 – $15,000 on medical bills and supplies for babies below 12 months of age, which means that your little bundle of joy can probably eat up a significant chunk of your entire family’s income.
While you may want to give your child everything, there are still a number of ways you can effectively tone down expenses without compromising your baby’s comfort and safety. Here are just a few money saving tips to get you started.
1. Understand your Needs
As a mother, you want nothing but the best for your baby, but money isn’t exactly in abundance these days so you have to learn to let go of a few luxuries that your little one won’t really need or remember. At this stage in your life, it is important that you learn to differentiate between your needs and wants. Why pay for a fancy crib when you can find one that costs only a third of its price and is just as sturdy and useful? Every time you go out to buy something for your baby, make sure to first ask yourself if it falls under the category of a need or a want.
2. Know Where to Shop
In a span of 12 months, your baby will have outgrown all their clothes and shoes several times, leaving you with a closet full of barely used things that you will have no more use for. During your infant’s first year, it is better to go clothes hunting at consignment shops that sell the same brands of clothes at half the price. Also keep an eye out for discounts and coupons that can substantially add to your savings.
3. Welcome Hand-Me-Downs
There is nothing wrong with accepting hand-me-downs from your relatives and friends if you don’t have money to burn. Instead of spending for your baby’s furnishing and clothes, why not try to scour your family’s attic for items that can still be used or go to eBay or Craigslist to find secondhand cribs and cabinets. You will be surprised how much you can save by simply opting to score a few hand-me-downs from people that you trust.
4. Scrimp on Disposable Diapers
Given our current fascination for all things disposable, asking a new mother to settle for cloth diapers is often met with skepticism.
Disposable nappies cost anywhere from $8 – $15 a pack, and as your baby grows, you will need to use more and more diapers to keep them dry. Compare that to reusable cloth diapers that only cost about $20 a bundle, but can be used and re-used as long as your baby has the need for them.
Yes, it’s work, but it also means real savings.
5. Breastfeed your Baby
The best and most efficient way to save on your expenses is to breastfeed your baby. Apart from the fact that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby, opting to breastfeed your child will save you from having to pay for expensive formula. That can mean the difference of several hundred dollars over the span of a year.
Brenda is a writer for DueDateCalculator.org, which offers a Pregnancy Ovulation Calendar for those trying to get pregnant. You’ll also find detailed information on pregnancy symptoms and the different stages of development at DueDateCalculator.org.