By Carrie Pink
Babies may bring joy and happiness, but you know what else they bring? Dollar signs! From diapers to formula, the cost of adding a new baby to the family is one pretty penny. Just how much will you shell out in the first year, you ask? Well according to Parenting.com, approximately $2,500 just for diapers, formula and baby food alone; not to mention other newborn essentials like baby furniture, clothes and the dreaded childcare. All things considered, you could easily be looking at a number double that $2,500 if not more, but there are ways to offset the costs of new born essentials and a few of the extra nice-to-haves too!
Up to $200 in Savings
Newborn outfits are the cutest things, but your little ones will grow so fast you may only get 1-2 wears per onesie! Consider buying baby clothes 1-2 sizes bigger so you will have a longer spread between shopping trips. The smallest baby size is NB, then 0-3 months, instead start shopping at 3-6 months, then 6-9 months and roll up the sleeves or legs. It will also be super fun watching them fill out their clothes and you will save a few hundred to boot.
Bonus! Any friends whose babies are growing out of their clothes like weeds? See if they are ready to pass their clothes along. They will be like new and you may even score some with the tags still attached.
Up to $500 in Savings
Haven't had your baby shower yet? Consider a diaper theme or simply adding a note on your invite asking guests to bring a box of diapers to add to your stash. With our second child we did that and received enough diapers to last about 8 months. You're going to use over 2,000 disposable diapers in your baby's first year anyway, so this can be an easy way to save up to $500.
Bonus! If your shower has already passed, you can still save on diapers too. Consider purchasing store brands instead of big brand names, they are typically 20-30% cheaper and many are just as durable.
Up to $750 in Savings
A new stroller or travel system can cost $600-$1,500. With such a big ticket newborn essential, if you can save on it, why not? You can find new in the box and used strollers both for sale online. We purchased ours from a family who downsized their car without realizing the stroller wouldn't fit in the smaller trunk. Saved us 50% off the retail price and they only used it for 4 months!
Up to $1,000 in Savings
For whatever reason, baby furniture is extremely expensive. A new baby nursery that includes a glider plus ottoman, crib, dresser and changing table can easily run you $1,500. Cut that cost in half by shopping open box at your favorite baby store. You may not be able to get a full set but you will surely be able to score a few large pieces for less. Want to save even more? Try Ikea! They have a full line of baby furniture and will only cost pennies in comparison to other retailers. Note: If you plan to have multiple children and want to use the same furniture then ikea may not be your best bet as their furniture isn't really made to be taken apart and reassembled.
Up to $1,500 in Savings
Another costly expense for newborns is baby formula. At $15 - $18 a container to feed your baby who will need to eat 8 to 12 times a day this can add up super quick. The best way to offset this expense is to give your baby nature's most natural baby formula, your breastmilk. Of course it isn't possible for every new mom, but if you can, DO IT for as long as possible. It will save you another $1500 if you commit for the entire year, and over $2000 if you commit for 2 years. Breastfeeding might also help your body return to its pre-pregnancy weight faster and keeps your diet super healthy, DOUBLE WIN!
Bonus! If you have to buy formula, purchase it from a wholesale shopping club which is always cheaper per serving than the local supermarket or pharmacy. You can also use a manufacturer's coupon to see additional savings per purchase.
Which newborn expense are you most worried about? If we missed one on your list please let us know in the comments below.
This piece was originally published by Carrie Pink on Well Rounded NY. Carrie Pink is a personal finance blogger from Brooklyn and mom of five, who writes about ways you can blur the line between frugal and fabulous on her blog www.carriepink.com.
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