When I had a conversation with my Aunt last summer, I mentioned that I wanted to have another child. She asked me if I was sure because it’s so expensive. My response- “it’s as expensive as you choose to make it.” I’m not saying having a baby is free, but there are plenty of things you can do to save money.

1. Wait a little while before you go shopping. Don’t rush out to the store the minute the pregnancy test comes back positive.  Wait and see what you get at your baby shower if you’re having one.  If you’re not having a shower, inventory hand-me downs from previous children, cousins, friends’ kids, nieces and nephews, etc.  It’s important to know what you really need BEFORE you venture out to the store to buy it.

2. Buy it used.  With few exceptions like car seats and cribs, most baby gear can be found a lot cheaper used. Check your local children’s consignment shops, Craigslist, Ebay, and Freecycle.  You can always check with manufactures to stay up-to-date on recalled items.  Here’s the kicker about babies, you could spend big bucks on an item your baby will absolutely HATE. They are very fickle little people when they are first adjusting to life outside the womb.  If you have friends or family members with babies, ask if you can try out their baby gear to see if you’re little one likes it.

kid's consignment photo

3. Accept hand-me-downs with grace and gratitude. Babies often grow out of clothing or stop needing gear long before it gets worn out so put it out to friends and family that you are willing to gratefully accept any and all hand-me-downs that come your way. Sure some of it may not be your style or what you were looking for, but in my experience it’s best to accept it all. If you start pawing through these gifts and saying I’ll take this but not that, then people will become frustrated with you and not want to give you anything anymore.

Instead, take it all, say thank you and go through it at home alone. Don’t forget to thank those that bless you with hand-me-downs. You could be spending big bucks for these items, which you are getting for free. You can always give away, sell or trade items you can’t use (provided the giver doesn’t expect these items to be returned when you’re done with them).

4. Buy big ticket items in neutral colors.  If you aren’t finding out the sex of your baby before it’s born or if you’re planning to have another child someday, this tip is key.  Sure that pink stroller was super cute when you bought it for your daughter, but if your next child is a boy you’ll find yourself shelling out a bunch of money for a new one just because you don’t want to keep correcting everyone when they say, “Aww, what a cute little girl.”  Stick to neutral patterns and colors for playpens, cribs, highchairs, strollers, swings, etc. If you can pass the gear down to the next child, you’ll save yourself a bunch of money.

Stay tuned for more tips, and feel free to share your money saving tips here.