Who can afford a whole new set of expenses during maternity leave?
You most likely aren’t working during the first few months after birth and will want to save every dime you can.
Extra baby expenses add more stress that, let’s face it, a new mom bonding with her precious new baby don’t need right now.
This post contains affiliate links. All content is my own.
We just welcomed a new baby boy a few short weeks ago. (January 2018)
So, I know how this goes. Especially since my husband and I are on baby #3!
Since I’ve been there more than a few times. A new baby, flat out broke, stressing about how to take care of my family and new little one. I wanted to share my tips for eliminating as many baby expenses as you can for as long as you can.
How to Eliminate Baby Costs for the First 3 Months
Here I am going to talk about a lot of my tips for saving money with a new baby. But, focus more on completely eliminating costs during the newborn stage.
My husband and I were pretty much able to eliminate costs during the newborn stage for our first two babies and have saved a ton on the third using these strategies.
Sticking to the Basics
First I want to talk about sticking to the basics. There will definitely be things you DO NOT need for your newborn.
I’m talking about a fancy diaper bag, bottle/wipe warmer, fancy diaper trash can, bassinet, etc.
Sure, some of these things may be nice to have, but do you really need them?
I want you to start by making a list of what you DO need and what you DON’T need.
If there are items that you think you can do without then do without them.
The goal is eliminating as many baby related expenses as possible. So, focus on only the things you absolutely cannot do without when it comes to baby.
Do you have your must have list? Great! Let’s move on to how we are going to eliminate costs.
Baby Shower Gifts
This section alone has eliminated most of our baby costs in the first 3 months for our first two babies.
If someone is planning a baby shower for you then be strategic about how you are going to register for your baby shower.
Grab your list of what you absolutely need for your baby and register for those items only.
You’ll want to get as much as you can from your shower that you need to take care of your baby expense free for that newborn stage.
Diapers and Wipes alone are a huge expense, so don’t forget to register for those.
Are you sending out a birth announcement to out of town family and friends? Give them a link to your Amazon baby shower registry, where the gift can be shipped to you without them having to travel to the baby shower.
There are lots of baby shower registry options and each come with their own benefits.
I encourage you to research what each of them has to offer and pick a few that will help you save the most and get the most of what you need for your baby.
I’ve listed some of the most popular baby registries below. Some come with awesome welcome gift packages and registry completion discounts which I’ll talk a little bit more about down below.
[su_box title=”Baby Registry Perks” box_color=”#58304d” radius=”5″]Amazon (Best Welcome Box)– Free Shipping with Prime, Free Welcome Box, Completion Discount, Convenient for out of town friends/family
Target– Free Welcome Kit, Generous Completion Discount, Extended Returns
Walmart- Free Welcome Box, App, Price Matching, Free 2 Day Shipping, Free Returns
Baby List- Free Welcome Box, Add Gifts From Any Store, Ask For Help or Favors as Gifts, Create a Cash Gift Fund
Buy Buy Baby- Free Goody Bag and Coupons, Free Announcement Cards, Price Matching, Referral Program, Unique Items
My Registry- Add Gifts From Any Store, Sync registries, Create a Cash Gift Fund, Redeem Perks from Multiple Stores, E-Card Announcements
Pottery Barn- Large Completion Discount, Free Decorating Services, Large Organic Collection, Safety Tested Products, Personalized Gifts
Free Samples (Full Sized Samples Too!)
Don’t underestimate the value of some good samples! I’ve gotten valuable freebies for my babies that have saved me a fortune. Yes, I’m talking hundreds of dollars worth in baby samples.
You can get them too! Starting with your baby shower registry. Most of the baby registries listed above have free welcome packages.
I personally feel that Amazon has one of the most valuable baby shower welcome gift package. It’s valued at over $35, no joke, with full sized samples that will definitely help you get through that newborn stage.
We recently redeemed the Amazon welcome package for our newborn and have been grateful to have the extra diapers, bottle, laundry detergent, swaddling blanket, wipes, and more!
Here are a few more places to get baby samples:
- Free High Quality Breast Pump– Some insurances will cover you to get a free high quality breast pump. Check to see if you qualify.
- Free Baby Sleep Box Full of Samples– Take a short free course on sleep safety for your newborn and get a free baby sleep box full of samples delivered to your door or pick it up at the store!
- Free Formula & Samples– Lot’s of formula brands will send you free full sized samples of their formula to try. Sometimes they even send more samples, like diaper bags, changing pads, coupons, and other goodies. Check out Enfamil, Similac Strong Moms, Nestle Baby (Comes with a welcome kit, coupons, and samples), Gerber Good Start, Parents Choice, and Earth’s Best to redeem your free samples.
- Walmart Baby Box– Walmart will send you a box of samples for the price of shipping
- In-Store Samples– I love looking for samples while I’m shopping day to day. Sometimes they have great baby samples at Walmart or Costco, so keep an eye out while you’re shopping.
- Surveys for Samples– Pinch-Me and Influenster send out great sample boxes that often have baby products. All you have to do are simple surveys and occasionally share on social media.
- Cash Back– Get $30 Free cash back when you use Rakuten for the first time and spend $30 at any store (Including several baby stores). I love using Rakuten to save on baby supplies. Whenever you shop for baby items, click through Rakuten to get a percentage of your purchase in a cash back check a few months later.
As much as you can stock up on baby essentials before your little one arrives.
If you have some time between your baby shower and your baby’s arrival, this is a great time to stock up.
Gift-cards received as baby shower gifts can be used to order anything else you need. Make sure to take advantage of your baby registry completion discount for this!
Join baby saving programs like Amazon Family, where you can get deeper discounts on things like diapers and wipes. The discounts get even deeper here if you subscribe!
If you focus on your list of must need baby supplies you should be all stocked up before baby arrives!
Speak with your bank about setting up a savings account just for your baby.
Put aside money you would spend on food, entertainment, coffee, or things you can do without and put them into your baby savings account.
When baby arrives use this money for unexpected baby expenses. Things like medical expenses could arise and it really helps to have that cushion of savings there just for the baby.
If you don’t end up needing it at the end of the newborn stage you can use it to start a college savings fund or to stock up on the next round of diapers and wipes!
Coupons & Apps
Don’t leave home without your money saving coupons and apps.
With all those baby registry welcome boxes and the free samples I mentioned above, you should have a pretty good stockpile of baby coupons.
Double up your savings with money saving apps like Ibotta and Target Circle.
I never go to Target without using my Target app. Scan products as you shop to unlock Cartwheel deals. When you check out the savings drop off. I usually save $5-10 per store visit with Cartwheel and there are always baby deals.
If you have a Target Redcard you save even more with your automatic 5% discount. There really isn’t any reason not to have the Target Redcard debit. It links right to your bank account and doesn’t cost you anything to have!
When you get home from shopping scan your receipt and redeem your Ibotta deals for cash back!
Hand-Me-Downs and Thrift Shops
I used to feel uncomfortable shopping for my kids at thrift stores. But, since then I’ve found some really good ones that only take clothes and baby items that look practically brand new.
It’s such a great way to shop because you are getting 70-90% off the original price of the items.
My recommendation is to visit some different thrift stores around town to see which ones carry quality items. I’ve found some of my favorite dresses and outfits for my daughter this way and can’t wait to go thrift shopping for my new baby!
Make sure to check with close family and friends to see if they might have any gently used hand me downs they are ready to part with.
My sister’s toddler had just grown out of his baby things before we had baby #3, so we were able to save a lot from things she let us have for our baby.
Whenever I talk about baby savings, I have to bring up family support.
It really does take a village to raise a child and if you have a really supportive family and/or friends take advantage of that.
We are fortunate to have a lot of family that are more than happy to watch our kids for free. This saves us a ton of money on child care!
How are you planning on eliminating most or all of your baby expenses for the newborn stage? I would love to hear your plan, tips, and ideas in the comments below!
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We each put $50 per pay check into a savings account. Starting from when we found out we were pregnant. If you can’t afford that, even $5 a pay can add up.
I’ve also done sprints of time where I use a trigger, like buying a coffee or hot chocolate, and put the same dollar amount as that item into a savings account. It’s only $2-3 each time but it adds up quick.