Did you know that the baby product industry is valued at over 10 billion dollars? Yes, that’s billion... with a “b”!
The options you have when beginning the possibly daunting task of creating baby registry are truly endless. But then there’s everything to purchase after that. Onesies, baby shoes, diapers, wipes. - the list goes on.
When it comes to baby gear, there’s a product for everything. While it can be a lot, it’s kind of awesome too. Sound machines you can control from your phone, baby monitors that can track a baby’s breathing, play mats that convert as the baby gets older.
But a hormonal mama is also at risk of overspending on useless baby products. You’re imagining your sweet cooing baby enjoying the bouncers and toys and slings.
How could you not get caught up in it all? It’s such a fun time!
But babies are expensive little beings and the whole parenting journey is certainly a marathon, not a sprint. Especially when it comes to being prepared.
The sales associate at Buy Buy Baby won’t tell you this, but here’s a truth bomb: You don’t need everything!
But how can you properly side step overspending when every product seems to take care of a specific problem when caring for an infant?
Moms of generations past will be the first to laugh at all the options. Back in their day they did everything with a fraction of gear. All while still having dinner ready every evening.
These days things are different. There’s no shame in having some fun gadgets to ease the workload. But make sure to follow these tips so you have a plan and don't end up with a nursery full of almost new, unused baby gear.
Have a Checklist
Avoid impulse buys by sticking with a checklist. Not sure where to start? There are tons of premade checklists on Pinterest or even offered through baby registry sites.
Be sure to comb through the checklist before you start though. You’ll need to get a bird’s eye view of what to expect in your shopping experience.
Why? Because not everything will be necessary for you. In fact, you’re totally going to find more than a few baby items not worth buying on those pre made checklists.
Your needs will vary based on a number of things. City moms, suburban moms, working moms, stay at home moms, families with pets and even what type of home you live in — all play a factor in what you’ll really need.
Look For a Bargain
While some items are essential to be brand new and on hand from day one (hello, car seat), other items can be second hand. Don’t rule out this thrifty approach!
Shopping for used pieces is a great way to keep the price tag low. And if you're wondering how to save money with a baby, this is your best bet.
Moms whose children have outgrown their baby gear could offer you huge savings or even free gear. Baby themed consignment shops will also have big markdowns for all kinds of products.
When looking through your list, consider what items you wouldn’t mind not being brand new. The savings will come in handy.
Baby gear changes as your little one starts to hit different milestones. What does this mean for you?
It means there’s no need to rush! That bouncer will get no love until at least 6 months down the road. The high chair will quietly be tucked into a corner until your little one can sit up straight. All those non plush, interactive toys will have to wait a bit longer.
By the time you actually need these items, you could be cashing in on sales, coupons or snagging a secondhand one free.
Moral of the story - don’t feel the need to rush and get everything on the list right away.
Keep the Receipt
In the end, giving yourself an out is the best way to not get stuck paying for unnecessary baby items. Be intentional about storing organized receipts so you can reference back in a pinch. A friend might pop up with a hand me down or you could receive duplicates at your baby shower. Either way, holding onto the receipt is key.
If you happen to misplace a receipt or were gifted something, don’t lose hope. Lots of stores have generous return policies, especially if you registered with them.