Having a baby is a wonderful endeavor, but there’s no doubt that it will be costly. Between baby supplies and visits to the doctor, you could be spending more than you anticipated. Hopefully you’ve estimated your costs and saved proportionately, but you’ll still want to find ways to cut down your spending during the first few years of your child’s life. Here are eight tips on saving money with a baby.
1. Say ‘no’ to hospital add-ons.
Hospital fees can vary widely. It’s important you understand what you’re being charged before agreeing to anything. Private rooms can cost thirty to one hundred dollars per day. TV access in your room may cost $10 per day. Many baby items in your room are billed to you (or your insurance) regardless if you use them. Be sure to ask what you can take from the room (like swaddling cloths, alcohol swabs, disposable nipples, etc).
Aside from the myriad health benefits for you and your baby, nursing will save you a lot of money. Formula can cost more than a hundred dollars each month. With consistency and good practice, your breast can provide plenty of sustenance for your baby. Even if you have to speak with a lactation consultant, it’s cheaper than long-term formula use. Your local hospital likely has free resources.
3. Think big.
When it comes to buying nonperishable products like diapers and wipes, buy as much as you can at one time to take advantage of the savings. Typically these products will cost less per unit if you buy a larger quantity.
4. Keep a baby-care bag with you.
Keep a bag of essential items with you all the time, especially in your car. Pack a few diapers, a tube of ointment, extra clothes, a travel pack of wipes, and some nonperishable food. These will serve as a backup for when you inevitably forget your diaper bag (and you will) and save you from having to purchase emergency supplies.
5. Call you pediatrician before setting an appointment.
Many experienced doctors can diagnose a condition over the phone without seeing your child. This can save you several costly co-pays, or hundreds of dollars if your lack insurance.
6. Make your own baby food.
There’s no special recipe to baby food. Mash well or puree some fresh, natural ingredients you find in the produce section, like sweet potatoes, zucchini, bananas, or squash. Make a large serving at a time and store it in the refrigerator. Not only is this far cheaper than buying baby food, but you don’t mess with the preservatives and sweeteners.
7. Use secondhand baby clothes.
Babies grow very quickly. They double their size in the first few months. Don’t buy new baby clothes that will just be too small soon after. It’s likely there is someone in your family with bags full of baby clothes just waiting for someone to give them to. If you have to buy clothes, buy gently used items from a secondhand store.
8. Share maternity clothes.
You will be pregnant for less than a year and you’ll only need special clothes for part of that time. Ask friends to borrow some maternity clothes or buy them second hand. There’s no need to replace your entire wardrobe for such a short time.
Written by Karen Barski, BSN, RN, Mother of five, Certified Infant Care Specialist & Instructor, & Inventor of the Woombie Baby Swaddle
Karen has been an RN for 18 years, and has worked in many different nursing roles. As a Certified Infant Care Specialist, Karen counsels thousands of families yearly on a multitude of issues relating to pregnancy and infancy. Also, as a mother of five, she has invaluable experience and tips to share.
Since 2007, Karen’s company, KB Designs, has invented a line of signature baby swaddle products that have helped parents easily transition their new babies from womb to home. There are multiple designs and sizes so that babies can enjoy the comfort and security of the Woombie up until the time they begin to roll.
Each product has been created and designed by Karen because of a need she identified in her life with her five children. With convenience, safety, and fashion in mind, KB Designs has helped over a half million babies and counting!
For more information, visit www.woombie.com.
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