First-time parents can often become overwhelmed when determining what items they need for their infant. Baby products for every conceivable need or want, and big box stores would gladly sell new parents hundreds, even thousands, of dollars of goods. Here are some tips for saving money for first time parents:
1. Borrow from friends and family. Many baby items are only useful for a few months of a child's life. Borrow what you can from your friends and family, and return it when you are done.
2. Purchase used. Baby items can readily be found at garage sales, thrift shops, and websites such as Craigslist. Since babies grow and change so quickly, many items can be found in excellent condition, at a fraction of the new retail price. Exception: Never, ever purchase a used car seat.
3. Avoid buying too many clothes. As a first-time parent, your friends and family will want to give your baby gifts, and many gifts will be clothing. Babies grow fast, and some babies are so big at birth that they may not get any use out of newborn-sized clothing at all.
4. Register for what you really want. Keep your registry lean, and increase the chances that your generous friends and family who consult your registry will pick something that you really want, as opposed to something that you added to your registry without much thought.
5. Whenever possible, borrow an item to see if your baby likes it first. For example, swings are an item that not all babies like. Many parents have used swings with great success. Some babies love to nap and play in them, giving Mom a much needed break to get a cup of coffee! Other babies hate them. Before you give up the money and floor space needed for a swing, find out if the swing will give you a happy infant, or a screaming one.
6. Make your own baby food. When it is time for Junior to eat solids, skip the expensive store-bought jars of food, and make your own baby food!
7. Consider cloth diapering. Some estimate the cost of using disposable diapers on a baby from infancy through potty training to be two to three thousand dollars. On the other hand, a baby can be cloth diapered for that period for as little as five to eight hundred dollars. Consider using cloth diapers, or using a diaper service, to save some cash. Plus, it's a great thing to do for the environment!
These are just a few tips to help first-time parents save money on baby items. Remember, your precious little one is going to grow very quickly and there is no point spending a lot on items that will be used very little.