Managing Baby Product Expenses

Preparing for the arrival of a newborn is an exciting time as you “nest” in your home and envision your life with a new little one. With all of the adorable and imaginative baby products available, it’s tempting to indulge yourself by buying everything and writing it off as “self care.” But not all baby products are as useful as they seem, and they are definitely expensive once you add them up. So it’s important to either do your research before the baby comes, or wait and see what needs you and your infant have before buying a bunch of products. Here are some tips to manage the expense of baby products: 


Ask friends and family: A great first step to understand what products you need is to ask your friends and family members who’ve had babies what products they used and what companies were the best. Ask them which products they used the most,r which ones they wished they had in those first few months, and which ones were overrated in their minds. Rely on your support system to help you in this journey. 


Make a list and stick to it: When you are in the store, it can be so easy to get tempted by a new product the sales associate introduces you to. Be sure to research online and make a list of the items you think you’ll need before going into the store. Make sure you research the average cost of each product you need, since there are likely to be multiple brands with different price points


Use the 30-day rule: You may have heard of this rule when reading about smart spending. But the idea is to wait 30 days from the first inkling to buy something before actually making a big purchase. The 30-day window gives you time to carefully consider the product’s usefulness and do your research before actually spending the money. Another useful tactic with big purchases is to identify these products ahead of time and see if any family or friends are looking for something significant to give you. Perhaps the baby’s grandparent may want that glider chair with an ottoman for the little one as much as you do. 


No shame in hand-me-downs: Did your sibling or friend just have a baby 2 years ago and still has a changing table or crib she no longer uses? Take it from them! Hand-me-downs or reused baby products can be a great way to save money and build tradition in your family. My own crib was given to my mom’s friend when she had a baby and then made its way back to my house when my mom gave birth to my sister. We now have a connection that will last our whole lives. 


Check with your employer: Recently, a lot of employers started offering financial assistance for new babies over and above just parental leave. Look at your benefits portal and see if there’s something you can use, such as an allowance or a future day care program. 


Check with your insurance: Since the Affordable Care Act was passed, most insurance policies need to cover expenses related to breastfeeding so your insurance will likely cover breast pumps and supplies. Be sure to check with them before buying your own.