Someone once asked me why I wanted more kids, they cost so much! Rather than take offense I explained to her that I don’t think that babies are expensive, rather babies Can be expensive.
Of course it’s an added expense, but that expense doesn’t have to be huge or life shattering. As with all things, raising a baby is what you make of it. Planning, budgeting, and finding good deals definitely can lower those costs that come with bringing another child into the world.
Now don’t get me wrong. Baby expenses can easily add up.
Raising a baby can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars the first year alone. One study found that many families spend more than $10,000 on the labor and delivery of their newborn alone. In all honesty I’m one of those moms who received a $10,000+ hospital bill on my delivery and hospital stay for one of my babies.
But, truthfully I was able to find ways to save.
In fact, you can find THOUSANDS of dollars in savings on baby related expenses. Sorry for the all caps, I just get excited about these savings because I know the struggle these extra expenses can cause.
I’ve found so many ways to save on baby related costs. Now, three kids in, I feel like I save more with each one. You learn as you go!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
What is the average monthly cost for baby?
Raising a baby can be costly, especially if you don’t have the tools and resources to save money.
The USDA recently released a study that showed that most middle-income families will spend an average of $12,980 per child per year.
Now, add in the additional expenses that may come with a newborn. Including labor and deliver, hospital stays, postpartum recovery, well baby visits, a constant influx of clothes for your growing bean, formula, breastfeeding gear, and gear for all the major transitions (infant car seat, toddler car seat, crib, toddler bed).
Babies are a little more high maintenance than the average kid. Plus since they are only babies once it’s only natural that we spend a little more during this precious time.
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON BABY?
Like I said, babies don’t have to be expensive. Your new baby can fit right into your budget, big or small! Here are some of the ways we have saved on the typically most expensive baby items.
If you think of anything else please leave it in the comments below. I’ve made several updates to this post based on readers recommendations and I hope that pulling all our resources together we can turn this into one of the best money saving resources for new moms.
GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BABY SHOWER
If you are having a baby shower try to make the most of it by registering for things you need. Often times I think we get caught up in registering for the perfect nursery items and luxury baby items we wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s easy to forget to register for simpler things like diapers, wipes, and feeding supplies?
Be sure to register for items that will grow with your baby. Different sizes of diapers and clothes will be appreciated later down the road.
Check out different baby registries to see if there are any incentives. Some stores will give you a large money saving coupon after your baby shower. Some even send a FREE sample kit when you register. Amazon for example gives you an extra 10% off baby items after your shower and they send you a welcome package. I love their registry because it allows for long distance family and friends to send shower gifts with free shipping if they are Prime members!
UPDATE!!! – YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS THE AMAZON BABY WELCOME PACKAGE!
I had to update you all on the Amazon baby welcome package and how amazing it is.
To get the welcome package all you have to do is:
- Sign up for a registry on Amazon,
- Register in each category.
- Either spend $10 on your own registry or wait until $10 worth of items have been purchased through your registry.
I went ahead and registered my baby, but ordered things from my registry we already were planning on stocking up on, like diapers and wipes.
When my welcome package came I was shocked at the value!
I mean, check out all of those samples. Including a full size swaddle blanket, bottle, and small package of diapers. Each of these things were things we needed and have used for our new baby this past few weeks.
If there are baby items you need to stock up on I highly recommend registering and redeeming your baby freebies by ordering things from your registry you already were planning on buying.
>Don’t miss these tips: What NOT to buy for your newborn
A FREE AND SAFE PLACE FOR YOUR BABY TO SLEEP
The Baby Sleep Company provides free baby boxes to parents who need a safe place for their baby to sleep.
All you have to do is take a quick e-course on baby sleep safety to get a free baby sleep box full of samples for mom and baby delivered to your door!
SAVE BIG ON BREASTFEEDING SUPPLIES (GET A FREE BREAST PUMP!)
What if I told you that you could not only save massively on buying a breast pump, but you could get one at a discounted price or even for FREE!
Well, not only can you get a discounted or free breast pump, you can get free breast pump accessories and supplies for FREE delivered to your house every 6 months.
Oh, how I wish I’d known about this before I gave birth to my daughter, so I could have it all ready!
How is this possible you ask? There is a law right now in the U.S. that requires all health insurance companies to provide pregnant and nursing mothers with low cost or free breast pumps and supplies. All you have to do is call your insurance company and ask.
I wasn’t made aware of this knowledge until my daughter was admitted to the hospital for jaundice at 1 week old. A nurse told me and after I applied my pump came in about 2 weeks.
These aren’t cheap pumps either! You can choose from the top brands, even choosing the style you want.
I found a company that helped me get a
free breast pump! Follow the link for the exact site I used, I’m sure a quick Google search could lead you to others. Going through the site made it hassle free because they talk to the insurance company for you.
Check out this pregnancy and postpartum support gear you can also get for free!
FORMULA AND BABY FOOD SAVINGS
Our second baby had to supplement breastfeeding with formula for the first few months. She also loved her baby food! Formula and baby food can really put a dent in the budget. Especially formula, which can get expensive if your baby is sensitive to certain brands or types.
Don’t miss these easy ways to save:
- Sign up for these free baby samples!
- Check the brand’s website, doctor’s office, and hospital for formula samples. *Since we were supplementing for only a short time samples were able to get us by.
- Sign up for email lists of your baby’s favorite brand of formula and/or baby food to get money saving coupons.
- Use coupon apps like Ibotta and Cartwheel to save on formula and baby food at the store.
- Learn how to make homemade baby food with low cost ingredients
- Can’t find a coupon? Email the brand to see if they could send you one. *We emailed Beech Nut to ask if they had any coupons available and they mailed us an envelope full!
PAYING HOSPITAL BILLS
Okay I’m adding this in here because pregnancy medical costs are just rising in the US and our newest baby cost us $10,000 in doctor and hospital fees.
I know. Jaw dropping!
The key here is not to panic.
Here are some things to do regarding medical expenses.
- Apply for any state or government assistance you might be eligible for. It never hurts to try.
- Look into costs of different hospitals and doctors offices in your area. Some doctors and hospitals may charge more than others.
- Talk with your insurance company about your costs and make sure you aren’t being overcharged. With one of my baby’s they overcharged us hundreds of dollars and we were able to get a refund.
- Set up a savings account as soon as you find out you’re pregnant and save as much as you can for baby costs.
- Some doctors and hospitals offer payment plans or low income assistance. Look into the services your medical providers offer.
FANTASTIC WAYS TO SAVE ON DIAPERS
Diapers are so expensive, am I right!? I can remember how relieved I was the day we potty trained our son and our diaper budget could go towards bills, groceries, and other household expenses!
The best way we’ve saved on diapers is to buy the biggest box of the most absorbent diaper.
I believe it saves you more money to actually spend the little bit extra on premium diapers like Pampers or Huggies. Since they are more absorbent and comfortable they can stretch a bit longer than the others.
Absorbent diapers have helped tremendously in getting our babies to stay asleep throughout the night. Less diaper changes means more money in our pocket! The larger boxes of diapers also come at a bigger savings per diaper, so you are saving more in the long run.
When it comes to baby clothes we are fortunate to have many ways to save. As one reader mentioned thrift stores and yard sales are a great place to find savings on baby and kids clothes.
If you are having trouble finding nice clothes in your area try searching a different part of town. I love visiting thrift stores when we travel and have found some of the cutest dresses for my daughter at thrift stores when we visit the beach.
When you are shopping retail make sure to look out for sales. Sometimes they have bigger sales online than in-store or vice versa. Carter’s and OshKosh are two of my favorite stores for baby clothes sales. I am signed up to receive there monthly coupons. Their clothes are already sold at a low price, so the coupons help even more.
I’ve also found great deals at the outlet mall. If you shop the outlets during sales you can find some of the lowest prices on baby clothes that are usually sold in packs of more than one outfit.
FREE & LOW COST DAYCARE
Let’s talk about daycare savings! I hadn’t initially included it in this article, but a reader reminded me that this is a huge part of baby expenses. She was right!
One of the reasons I didn’t accept the teaching job I was offered after graduating college was daycare costs. Add together daycare costs for two kids and the pay as a new teacher commuting 50 minutes each way to work wasn’t worth it at all.
For that reason and my strong desire to become a stay at home mom I started this blog. I’ve since turned it into a business and solved the daycare issue myself. Which brings me to my first tip on curbing daycare costs.
- Becoming a Stay at Home Mom: Being a stay at home mom is a totally achievable goal at any income. There are so many opportunities to make money as a stay at home mom including blogging.
I make an almost full time income blogging, probably about as much as I would teaching and paying for daycare. Blogging is a fulfilling job that allows me to stay home with my kids, have a creative outlet, help moms like me every day, and earn an income for my family!
I’ve written a simplified article about starting a blog on WordPress, with more posts coming soon about how to easily make money at home blogging.
- Family & Friends: Don’t be afraid to ask close family or friends who have extra time if they would be willing to watch your kids. I guarantee the rate will be 100x cheaper than daycare.
If your child’s grandparents are anything like ours they would happily watch the kids for free. A huge benefit is that you are leaving your child in a familiar space. Since this is a person familiar with them they will know how to deal with any situation while you are away at work.
When I was student teaching I heavily relied on family and friends as daycare. My sister and grandparents were there for me and my kids day in and day out. They didn’t charge me, so I could put my savings into bills and activities they could do while I was away.
- Community Outreach: Are you apart of a community? This could be a church or mom group. Ask around to see if anyone runs an at home daycare or knows someone who does.
When my kids were in daycare we had a church friend who ran an at home daycare. Her rates were already low, but she offered us half off because she knew our family. Take advantage of any connections you have.
- Discount Programs: Is your family low income? Many state and local governments offer discount programs to families struggling to pay for daycare.
If you live in California check here for a list of low income preschool resources, if not a quick Google search for low income programs should steer you in the right direction.
- Flexible Jobs: Many jobs are becoming more flexible to the needs of women who have children. Some workplaces offer daycare services, while others have flexible hours and time off.
I love Flex Jobs, a site that shares flexible jobs for parents daily.
Remember, babies don’t have to be expensive, you just need to know where to look for the right savings. Utilizing apps, deals, and planning ahead can really go a long way to saving you a ton of money while raising your baby. I hope this list gave you some more ideas of ways to save on your new additions!
Do you have any baby savings tips to share? How do you save on diapers, formula, baby clothes, and daycare? I would love to hear them in the comments below!
Being an expecting and postpartum mom comes with extra costs too. Save your money with these awesome free pregnancy samples just for mom!
Before you work out your baby budget make sure you are applying for all the free baby samples you can. Check out our mega list of free baby stuff and how to get free baby clothes, so you can really maximize your savings on your newborn.