Preparing for Baby: You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune

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Preparing for baby

Preparing for baby, especially the first, can be intimidating.  There’s so much to buy, so many little and big things that you think will be incredibly important.  You want your child to have the best of everything, but sometimes the budget just won’t cooperate.  Here are 5 things we found we really didn’t need.

1.  Changing Table

I’m sure this piece of furniture is nice to have, but purchasing one can cost hundreds.  We found that simply purchasing the changing pad that usually goes on top was enough for us.  We set it on the floor and changed baby’s bottom there.  It also helped us ease any fears of the little one falling and injuring themselves.  If we needed to do something or grab something, it was also nice to have somewhere to set baby without having to  carry them to their bedroom and use the crib.  (Note:  The only safe place for baby to sleep is in their crib.)

2.  Space/Nursery

This one goes along with that changing table; sometimes it seems like you just aren’t going to have enough room for everything!  Moving for us meant a huge increase in rent and going through the stressful process while pregnant.  It just wasn’t worth it.  If you don’t have room for an entire nursery, see about sharing rooms either with yourself or an older sibling.  While it’s nice to have your privacy, baby will be waking you up every couple of hours anyways at first, so having them in the same room can be a convenience rather than a bother up to a certain age.

3.  Diaper Genie

Diaper genies aren’t too big of a budget buster, until you consider those special bags you have to buy everytime the thing fills up.  Instead of buying a special garbage can with special bags, we reused plastic grocery bags we had saved from shopping and tied them up real tight before throwing them in our normal trashcan.  The smell was sealed away and the bags didn’t cost us a cent.

4.  Brand name, brand new clothes

Especially with the first, you want your baby to have the best.  Baby Air Jordans sound like a great idea until you realize how silly it can be to buy any shoes, regardless of price, for someone who can’t even walk yet.  Brand name, brand new clothes can also seem like a must until you realize that your baby will probably poop, puke, or otherwise deface that $25 onesie at some point.  Accepting hand-me-downs and shopping at consignment stores can save you a ton.  If you get hand-me-downs that you just don’t think are that cute, pass them on to someone else who may need them.

5.  Rocking Chair

I thought we were going to die when the rocking chair I ordered came in and looked so cheap that I had to return it.  We weren’t going to be able to get another one before baby arrived.  We ended up not getting another one at all. Once baby was here we realized our computer chair, that swivels side-to-side, did the exact same job.  The movement put baby to sleep, regardless of the direction we were swaying.  (This has also  helped us stay sane with our space “issue.”)

Are there any baby “essentials” that you’ve found to be superfluous to your situation?

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15 thoughts on “Preparing for Baby: You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune

  1. nicoleandmaggie

    Pretty much everything! The thing I remember most is the baby bath… slippery babies little are much easier to wash in a sink or with you in the tub/shower holding them. After a couple near mishaps with the damn baby tub we got rid of it.

    1. femmefrugality

      Confession: we do have the baby bath. We must have lucked out big time with ours as we haven’t had any slippage problems. It was a gift so I can’t claim I did any in depth research and found the holy grail of baby tubs. But we definitely used the holding them in the shower thing any time we were travelling or visiting friends/family. Those things are a PITA to transport!

  2. frugalscholar

    I’ve always said that my children’s college funds were started with the savings from breastfeeding and cloth diapers. When I see the cost of formula and disposables I faint!

  3. Abi @BunnyonaBudget

    As a mum of two boys I can safely say that a changing station and rocking chair are not essential items, there is definitely money to be saved when you really consider what you and baby actually need, and not what everybody expects you to have. Great post!

  4. Rachyl

    I completely agree with the changing table and the diaper genie! We ended up being given a free changing table, but it’s just another piece of furniture that takes up room. We registered for a diaper genie and after some research, I ended up taking it back. I’m so glad I did! Not only do you have to continually buy refills, but it usually still smells. We bought a small little trashcan with a footpedal. Wet diapers go in there, and dirty diapers go straight to the garbage can outside!


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