Waiting for the arrival of a newborn can be fun, but it can also be an expensive time. When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I wanted to make sure everything was in place and ready to go before she was born. With that thinking came forking out a lot of cash on items I had no idea about.
Being a first time mom is an overwhelming experience. For me, everything to do with having a baby was new. From diapers, wipes, clothing, even what kind of bottles to buy; I had no idea. But then there’s also so much unsolicited advice we get as new moms - advice from other mothers, relatives, and colleagues at work. It can be hard to cut through all the noise and get to what you really need to buy and prepare for.
This is how I got ready for my first baby (and saved money doing it!):
Shop for the basics first. It’s sounds obvious, but hands up if you started looking at cute outfits before you even went down the aisle of receiving blankets and baby bottles! My recommendation is to start writing down all the things you think you’ll need for only the first three months of baby’s life. It's hard to predict how fast your baby will grow, so shopping too far ahead can waste money and time.
Ask a few trusted friends and new moms to send you a list of what they used during those first 90 days and take inspiration from those lists. Once you start shopping, don’t remove the sales tags and keep all your receipts. This also applies to gifts from your baby shower. If for some reason you don’t use the items, you can easily exchange or return them for something you need. I knew my daughter wouldn’t be wearing many dresses when she was an infant. I saved a couple of them and exchanged the rest for the biggest size possible. She is wearing some of those outfits now, saving me money even three years later.
It's a good idea to stock up on these two things, because no matter what, you know you'll need them. With diapers, buy large packs and keep the receipts—just in case. My daughter was a preemie and I found the Huggies Little Snugglers, preemie size diapers very useful. They fit my daughter’s tiny body well. Since she was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), I really appreciated the wetness indicator. She was hooked up to a lot of monitors and it was an easy way to check if she needed a change without actually having to disturb her. When she grew out of the preemie size and needed the Huggies Little Snugglers newborn size I was easily able to exchange the small diapers that were in a sealed box with a receipt for a bigger size.
Extra Savings Tip: By using coupons and shopping on days when diapers and wipes are on sale you can save a lot!
I’m now pregnant with my second child. This time it’s a boy, so that comes with a whole new set of challenges. I have started going through my daughter's infant stuff to see what can be used for my newborn. To be perfectly honest he may be wearing quite a few pink onesies when he’s at home. I’m lucky enough to have a few moms of sons in my social circle. They have been kind enough to give me all the clothes their sons have grown out of. As a new mom, or in my case a mom of my first son, take advantage of as many hand me downs and freebies as you can. This is the single best way to save money.
As I mentioned, my daughter was a preemie. Born at 35 weeks, she weighed just 3 and half pounds and spent almost two months in the NICU. One thing I could not financially prepare for was her early arrival. In the NICU, cuddling was a huge part of my day. When she was well enough to come out of the isolate and be in a regular infant bed I spent as much time as I could holding her. Leaving her alone each night was the hardest part. One of my biggest concerns was if her emotional needs were being met when she woke up in the night crying.
A free program like Huggies No Baby Unhugged would have eased a lot of my anxiety. I would have felt much more comfortable leaving her knowing my baby was getting a hug and cuddle at night when she cried or felt lonely. NICU's that offer this program may have a No Baby Unhugged sign displayed. If you don't see a sign, ask if the program is being offered and if so, take part if you think it would help your family!
As I learned, the first few months of a baby’s life can be very unpredictable. By preparing early you can save money, time, and stress.
The power of touch goes far beyond making babies feel good. Hugging and cuddling are a vital part of healthy development and doctors are placing more importance on hugging than ever before. Thanks to the Huggies® #NoBabyUnhugged program that helps set up baby hugging programs in hospitals, more babies will get the hugs they need.