I have three children and I must admit when I was pregnant with my first we picked out Pottery Barn bedding, a high-priced swing, crib, bassinet and more! I had no clue what a baby actually needed so anything in the baby section went on the registry. Well, three children later I realized that I made some mistakes. When baby #3 arrived all I really wanted was a few gift cards and diapers.
So what do you really need?
Of course you need the necessities: diapers, wipes, bottles, or if you or the mom-to-be is breast feeding, a breast pump. My suggestion when it comes to feeding is to let the mom decide after the baby is born. If she is breast feeding she will be able to determine the right pump. If formula feeding, don't buy formula before baby is born, because babies can have a sensitivity to formula. Buying in bulk before birth won’t be cost-saving. A Visa gift card is the best bet if you are buying for mom and want to help out with the baby's nutritional needs.
When it comes to helpful non-essentials, my recommendation is the Boppy. The Boppy made feeding more comfortable for my children and for myself. I refused to leave home without it.
The second item that I would recommend is a baby swing. With my first the baby, a swing was an essential because he loved it. But when baby #2 and #3 came around it was a life saver while taking care of all three, especially since you can move the swings from room to room.
What’s a waste of money?
The first thing that comes to mind is the Diaper Genie. On average the Diaper Genie costs $24.99 and refills are $5.99. If you change out the refill every two weeks you would spend $181.15 a year to dispose of diapers. I also found that the Diaper Genie, although easily accessible, did not keep odor out of the room.
The second item was passed on to us by moms on Facebook. In a survey 80 percent said that you should not buy a wipes warmer. Many moms report that it was never used, it was a distraction, too time consuming, or caused their child to ‘need’ the wipes warmed.
How do you save?
Register on the sites that you will be using to purchase clothes, diapers and formula. That way you receive coupons by mail and through e-mail that will help you save on purchases.
Online I used Amazon, eBay and Craigslist most frequently for making big baby purchases.
For more ways to save on baby don’t forget to read Money-Saving Tips for Expectant Moms.
By Kim Julian, money-saving blogger for SmartParenting
The Saint Louis Chess Club is offering free group chess instruction to kids and teens at various branches of the St. Louis County Library.
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