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Life with Baby

12 Surprising Ways You Can Save Money on Baby

There's more you can do than just clip coupons—try these smart strategies to save big!

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Having a baby is expensive! From hand-me-down clothes to making your own baby food, here are smart ways to save money on baby.   

1. Buy unisex

Gender neutral is in and a great option if you're planning to go for number two. The hottest color combo right now? Gray and yellow. And keep in mind when someone offers you perfectly good hand-me-downs, there's nothing wrong with girls in blue and boys in pink! 

2. Swap babysitting

Whether you’re looking to have a date night with your partner or have a doctor’s appointment, ask another parent to watch baby while you’re out. In exchange, offer to watch their baby sometime. Not only is it free, but your baby will make a new friend!

3. Start with one or two bottles 

Babies can be picky about their bottle choices, so skip the full set of bottles until you know your baby will cooperate. Buy one at a time and test.

4. Dress 'em in pajamas

Skip pricey outfits and let your baby wear her super-cute jammies in the daytime, too—it's perfect for their all-day napping schedule. Another item you can skip? Shoes! Babies who aren't walking don't need them.

5. Buy the real size

It might be tempting to buy that 2T coat that's on sale now, but your baby's growth can be harder to predict than you might expect. That coat may end up gathering dust when your baby skips right ahead to size 3T...and your window to return it will be already be closed.

6. Choose gear that grows with them

For big savings, go for a crib that becomes a toddler bed (and later turns into the headboard for a big kid bed), toys that grow with your kid, or a highchair that follows them through several stages.

7. Join parenting groups 

Social media or local moms' groups are a straight line to other parents who can offer up everything from gently-used clothes and books to unused diapers, often free or at rock-bottom prices. Plus, you can sell your kiddo's stuff, too!

8. Check your local library

From storytime classes to book sales, there are often a ton of free (or inexpensive) activities at the library. They may even have free or discounted passes to a nearby museum and zoo. 

9. Ask about formula

If you use formula, doctors offices often have free samples and formula companies offer free samples and coupons as well. (Even if you're exclusively breastfeeding, it's good to have formula on hand in event of emergency.) Ask around! 

10. Buy smaller diapers

Typically, the larger the size, the fewer the diapers in each package. While you'll want the big sizes for nighttime, keep babies in those 2's during daytime as long as you can!

11. Stock your car with extras

If your baby has a diaper blowout when you’re far from home, and you’ve already run through your diaper bag (or heaven forbid, forgotten the bag!), you won’t have to make a pricey pit stop. Keep diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes (for both of you!) in the car. 

12. Prep-and-freeze baby food

After you've bought and pureed veggies and fruits into homemade baby food, freeze it in small portions by using an ice cube tray. Then cover tray with parchment paper and plastic wrap to protect the goods.