Last week I participated in a webinar with Katie Dunsworth-Reaich and Sandra Hanna of the Smart Cookies fame, moderated by our very own Yummy Mummy Erica Ehm. You can listen to the webinar here, or browse my top tips from each main discussion.
How-to Avoid “Registry Regret” – Learn how to get the most value from the must-have items you’ll use and actually LOVE.
- Even if you don't think you should create a registry, do it anyways. People want to buy you gifts. And better you get things you'll actually use love and get value from! I had a themed baby shower (books and bottoms) and didn’t create a registry. However, many people bought me gifts who didn’t attend the shower, or guests who attended wanted to buy more than a book and a package of diapers, so I ended up with a lot of things to take back to the store. A registry would have helped!
- The Smart Cookies highly recommend Myregistry.com. You can register from a bunch of different stores and pick the best store or online site with the best price. It’s available to Americans and Canadians.
Learn how-to avoid spending WAY too much on your nursery.
- Keep in mind that this sweet baby nursery might need to be redone in 20 months when your toddler demands a Dora or Diego room. Look for items that are not baby-specific. Our black recliner has been used in every room of the house at some point. Repurpose things from other rooms, and check out alternatives to expensive baby-specific pieces (skip pricey artwork and frame family photos or pages from a children’s storybook).
Find Baby Luxe for Less – Become a master swapper and deal finder on the BEST items for you and your baby.
- Buy your crib and crib mattress new, but everything else can be sourced from friends, family, consignment store or online classifieds. Research bigger items before you buy to ensure they’re not recalled, and inspect them to be sure they’re in great condition. Your baby will use this equipment, play with those toys, and fit into that clothing for sure a tiny amount of time, it’s silly to spend more than absolutely necessary. Saving money now means that when it’s time to go back to work when your maternity leave is up, you may have the financial freedom to make a different choice.
Hidden costs no one tells you about
- At the hospital, you may want to pony up for a private room or labour support through a doula. Need help at night? A night nurse costs a pretty penny, but might save your sanity for the first week. Your household bills will increase – you can expect your water and electrical bill to increase 10%. Don’t have a will or life insurance? It’s time to get both.
- Breastfeeding can be free, or expensive, depending on whether you buy an expensive pump or none at all, plenty of pricey nursing tanks, shirts and bras or just a few. Formula feeding is expensive, so register with the formula companies to receive coupons and freebies, or consider the store brand (it’s nutritionally complete).
- Cloth diapers are not as intimidating as you might think. They’re easy to use, and you can launder them yourself to save hundreds a year. When buying disposables, compare the per diaper price to ensure you’re not buying “on sale” and really getting hosed.
- Avoid the trap of the mall, and spending money because you’re bored. Connect with local moms and plan play dates in each other’s homes.