Having a baby is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. Two people must make sure they are ready for a baby and that means that they are financially comfortable. Having a baby costs a lot of money and this is no joke, it takes saving and scrimping to make it work. Having a baby shower helps some, but there are everyday costs that can add up.
This doesn’t stop many people from having a baby and they just figure that they will make it work, and they do. They make it work by shopping in the bargain section and hunting for those perfect deals. If they are first-time parents, they often have no idea what to expect when shopping and they can end up over spending on things they don’t really need. Or things that they do need but they would make do with a cheaper version.
However, a baby’s safety and well-being is always the top priority so there are always things that parents should never try and cut corners on when it comes to purchasing. These are items that should be brought brand new from trusted manufacturers.
The problem is, how do we know? Well, we have a list of 10 baby items that can be bought cheap, and 10 that it is never OK to bargain shop for.
20 Cheap Out On: Clothes
So, here is the thing with baby clothes, they are adorable and there is no easier way to spend money than to walk into a clothing store for baby clothes. This means that a lot of mom’s head to those stores and boutiques to try and find the cutest outfits for their little ones. This is not necessary. Sure, go ahead and splurge on a new outfit or two, but don’t fill the closet with new and expensive clothes.
Babies grow fast, they grow so fast that mom will usually end up packing up a lot of clothes that still have the tags on them that the baby never got a chance to wear. They just grew too fast. You are much better to shop at used baby clothing stores or even garage sales. There is nothing a good wash can’t fix.
19 Never Skimp On: Formula
Probably the main need a newborn has is being fed. Whether it is breastmilk or formula it doesn’t really matter as long as they are being fed. This is one area that mom should never skimp out on. What we put in our baby’s body will help them grow healthy and strong. Formula can be tricky as it sometimes takes a while to figure out which one works with your little one.
If mom can she should never go immediately to the cheaper alternative. She should always try a product that is of higher quality. There are ways to save on this pricey food, mom can look online for sample packs and for coupons to help her save a few dollars.
18 Cheap Out On: Diapers (Sometimes)
Here is the thing with diapers, every parent needs them. It is unavoidable that they will have to purchase these items for their little ones. However, they don’t always need to buy the most expensive ‘name brand’ diapers. These diapers are normally very expensive and there is usually not a big difference between them and a more generic brand. You will also go through diapers a lot, it is the item you will be buying the most, so it is a good place to save a few dollars.
There is some fine print when it comes to diapers. Some babies have reactions to certain brand and this is where there will always be an exception. Sometimes, you will have no choice but to buy the more expensive kind and that is OK.
17 Never Skimp On: Crib
If mom plans on having her baby sleep in their own room at some point than a crib is a good investment. Sleep is needed but it can also be the most dangerous time in a baby’s day. They are away from mom for an extended amount of time, so we need to make sure the item they are sleeping in is safe.
Cribs that are bought at retailed stores are normally very safe as they have to undergo safety testing and pass all the standards. However, mom should not try and cut costs by purchasing cribs at garage sales or even from friends and family. These items are a mystery and mom have little to no way or knowing if they are still considered safe or if there was a recall on them.
16 Cheap Out On: Towels And Wash Cloths
This baby sure looks cute and cozy all wrapped up in this bath towel that probably cost the parents a lot more than a normal, generic towel would have. Seems pretty silly when the baby really couldn’t care less what the towel looked like as long as it got them dry and kept them warm. We spend a lot of money on towels and washcloths and it seems silly when you think of how little we use them.
They are only used for bath time, and wash cloths get dirty, musty and unsanitary after a while, so we shouldn’t be splurging on these items.
15 Never Skimp On: Car Seat
You will probably start to notice a trend here and that is that a lot of the items that we are going to tell you not to skimp on all involve the safety of your little one. The safety of our babies is the most important thing, and no one could ever put a price on that. The car seat is something else that you will want to make sure you go the extra mile for.
This is the item that will keep your baby safe while they are in the car, and a car accident could be fatal to anyone, much less a little baby. You want to make sure your car seat comes from a retailer. This will ensure that the car seat is not expired and that it has never been in a car accident. You just don’t know the history when you buy a used car seat.
14 Cheap Out On: Nursing Pillows
For any mom who is planning on breastfeeding they have probably begun their search for the perfect nursing pillow. I am a breastfeeding mother and I have a nursing pillow, two actually, and I can definitely say not to spend too much money on these items. They may be a necessity when it comes to breastfeeding, but we do not need to empty our bank account.
The reason I have two is because these things get dirty. The amount of breastmilk spit up and possible diaper blow out that happens on these things will leave you with a pillow to clean every week. A lot of mom’s also get by just fine using a regular pillow, which she can buy for a fraction of the cost.
13 Never Skimp On: Stroller
A stroller is something else you want to make sure you do your research and maybe spend the extra money on. The good thing is the money you save on the items we instructed you too can be put towards buying something a little bigger. The stroller needs to be safe, but more importantly this is an item that you will be using a lot, unless you plan on carrying your baby around everywhere.
This stroller will become your side kick and you will use it whenever you want to leave the house. That is why it is important to make sure you get one that works for you and the baby and that has many features you want in a stroller. Sometimes this means spending a bit more, but it is worth it.
12 Cheap Out On: Nursing Cover
The obvious way to save money when it comes to a nursing cover is to just not use one, we all know that women do not legally have to cover themselves when nursing, but some moms are just more comfortable that way. If you are one of those moms who wants to cover up when nursing, there are ways to save money here.
Designer nursing covers that you can purchase at your local baby stores can be expensive and there are more alternatives that will work just fine. A large, light blanket like a muslin swaddle cloth will work just fine as well and the baby will not get as hot. You can also use a larger infinity scarf to cover up. Showing that you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for a good deal.
11 Never Skimp On: Baby Carrier
A great alternative to a stroller is to use a baby carrier. Wearing your baby has a lot of benefits for mom and baby and can really the bond develop. It also allows mom to have two free hands when she needs to get stuff done and the baby does not want to be put down. Due to the amount of use this item gets it is important to never skimp on it.
Baby carriers can get pricey, but it is important to invest a little bit into this item. It is an item that is designed to hold your baby for you, so you want to make sure you are getting one of great quality so that the baby will not slip out or the product won’t be faulty.
10 Cheap Out On: Bottles
The next two are going to have a few variables and that is what your baby’s preference is. If you know from the beginning that you are going to bottle feed, whether breastmilk or formula, you know that you are going to want to stock up on bottles. Baby bottles can be quite expensive, and you will need quite a bit of them to get you through.
When you are first shopping for bottles, stick to the cheaper brands. You won’t necessarily need the more expensive ones. The tricky part is that it can take some time to figure out which bottle brand and style your little one likes. If you start off with the cheaper ones, and just buy a few, than you may get lucky when your baby decides they like that brand.
9 Never Skimp On: Breastpump
This one may only apply to the moms out there who are planning on breastfeeding. If you are planning on breastfeeding it is important to invest in a very good pump. Even if you have no intention of pumping and feeding bottled milk there are still many instances in which this could come in handy.
Pumping can help relieve engorgement and help prevent clogs from happening. It can also help mom out fi she realizes that she needs a break and wants someone else to feed the baby once in a while, she can pump her milk and give it in a bottle. A good pump is going to make pumping a lot easier for mom, and anything that can make mom’s job easier is worth investing in.
8 Cheap Out On: Pacifiers
There is a love/hate relationship with pacifiers. Parents are wary of giving their baby a pacifier due to nipple confusion or the trouble it may be to wean them off, but on the other hand a pacifier can buy a tired mom a few minutes to have a snack or shower. Pacifiers are another tricky item because babies can be very particular with which ones they want.
It is good to follow the same rule of thumb we did with the baby bottles. Just by one or two and see how the baby does, and do not immediately buy the most expensive ones. Pacifiers get lost just as much as Tupperware lids and socks in the dryer. They are an item that is constantly being replaced so it is a good place to try and save some money.
7 Never Skimp On: Crib Sheets
We have been telling you to skimp on a lot of the material needs for the baby. We have told you to save on clothes, towels and washcloths, but crib sheets should be of good quality. Sleep is important for everyone, and even though they may not do a lot of it, it is important to the health and well-being of the baby as well.
It is crucial to get crib sheets that are made of a quality material that will be gentle on your little one. If they are in their own room they will spend the majority of their day in their crib sleeping so we want to make sure they are comfortable, and the material is not aggravating their skin. It may also mean they sleep longer and better, it really is a win-win.
6 Cheap Out On: Burp Cloths
Burp cloths are very handy when carrying and burping a baby, but did you ever really think about the whole purpose of a burp cloth? It is to catch baby vomit, that’s it. When we think of it that way, we realize that we should not be spending a lot of money on these items. Burp cloths are cute, they are supposed to be, the manufacturer’s do that on purpose to get mom to buy them.
There are many other alternatives that would work just as good. A receiving blanket works well, and they are usually much cheaper. If you want to buy burp cloths, that’s fine just look for a sale. Don’t spend too much money on these items whose sole purpose is to catch baby spit-up.
5 Never Skimp On: Bassinet
A lot of babies do not come home from the hospital and go right into their crib. If they are not bed sharing, they will usually sleep in a bassinet for the first few months of their life. Since we know that sleep is important, but also dangerous it is important to never skimp on a good, quality bassinet for your little one.
Do not shop the garage sales or Facebook marketplace for a bassinet because it will be impossible to ensure that the item is safe and has not been recalled. You want to make sure that you are placing your baby to sleep in the safest item possible and the only way to ensure that is to spend a bit more money.
4 Cheap Out On: Bottle Sterilizer
When a mom has chosen to bottle feed there is a bit of work involved, and it usually revolves around making sure the bottles are clean and sterilized. Bacteria can grow on bottle that are not taken care of properly and it can make the little one sick, something no mother wants. Due to this worry a lot of parents go out and buy fancy machinery to sterilize their baby’s bottles.
This is not always needed; these items are expensive, and bottles can be sterilized with items you already have in your home. All mom needs are a large pot, water and a stove. Parents have been sterilizing their infant’s bottles using this method for years now and it may take a bit longer, but you will save a lot of money.
3 Never Skimp On: Newborn Photography
When couples are trying to figure out how they can cut costs when it comes to welcoming a baby into the world a lot of them will decide not to do professional photographs of their baby. They think the idea is nice, but it is not a necessity and they could just take pictures themselves.
Well, as good as your cellphone camera is, it will never get the quality images a professional would and it may be the biggest regret of your life. Well, it is probably not that dramatic, but they will regret it. The newborn phase may seem like it lasts forever, but it really doesn’t. Before you know it, your little one is crawling, and walking and you will wish you had these precious memories to look back on.
2 Cheap Out On: Change Table
Furniture for the baby’s room is always going to be one of the most expensive items on a mom’s shopping list, and this is the only item you are going to see on this list that mom may want to cheap out on or not buy at all. Changing tables are great, their intended use is beneficial for any new mom, but it is not always needed.
This item is normally placed in the baby’s nursery, and when you think about how little time you spend in the actual room it may make it seem silly. Mom is not going to want to run to the baby’s room every time she needs to change a diaper, so the item never ends up getting used. It becomes a storage center, a very expensive storage center.
1 Never Skimp On: Glider
Here is another product that may not have anything to do with safety, but it is all about comfort. Mom’s are tired, they are always tired and especially in the beginning when the baby is still waking up at night to eat. It can get very tiring and mom deserves to have a comfortable place to feed her baby during all those middles of the night escapades.
It is always a good idea to splurge on a very nice and comfortable glider chair for the baby’s nursery. Mom will spend a lot of time in that chair feeding or even just cuddling a tiny baby to sleep. It is important that she is comfortable.