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Hey, baby mama — be prepared to spend at least 10 grand on your little one in his or her first year alone if you don’t have a savings strategy. From cribs to diapers to baby food and beyond, the costs add up.
Luckily you’ve stumbled across these smart ways to save some serious moolah on most of your baby’s needs. Read on, plan ahead, and start saving now.
1. Register at Target and Amazon for the free gifts.
We’re talking things like Dr. Brown’s bottles, Swaddle Designs muslin swaddles, Pampers diapers and wipes, Phillips AVENT bottles, and more. Plus, you’ll score a bunch of high-value coupons — including a free Starbucks drink!
2. Sign up for the Similac and Enfamil baby formula clubs for free samples and coupons.
Sign up for Similac Rewardsand Enfamil Family Beginnings ASAP — even if you don’t plan on using formula. I received several $5 coupons and formula samples from both brands when I signed up for their free loyalty programs.
And because I wasn’t able to breastfeed as planned, I actually used those samples and personalized coupons. In fact, they continue to send me several $5 coupons monthly! You can always donate your samples if you don’t end up using them.
3. Check the hospital drawers before you leave, and take all the toiletries.
Before you check out of the hospital, make sure you look inside the drawers in your room. At my hospital I found a brand-new baby thermometer, baby tees, bulb syringes, diapers and wipes. When I asked the nurse about them, she said to take everything home or else they’d be thrown away.
Oh, and make sure to request extra pads, witch hazel wipes, and Dermaplast while you’re there. And don’t forget to take that plastic wash basin; it’s perfect for cleaning breast-pump parts.
4. Ask your lactation consultant for samples.
Nurses and lactation specialists are there to support you and give you whatever you need to make easier breastfeeding happen.
Some hospitals will give new moms nipple shields, lanolin nipple creams, hand breast pumps, breast pad samples, and more.
If you need to use a breast pump during your stay, you’ll also get to take all the attachments home. And take them home, you should — even if the attachments aren’t the same brand as your electric breast pump at home (HINT: see tip 5).
5. Reuse hospital breast-pump tubes at home.
You may not have the same hospital-grade electric breast pump at home, but you can use the same tubes.
For instance, the hospital I delivered at gave me all the Medela attachments I used during my stay. But since I already had an Evenflo pump, I had no intention of using the parts until my lactation specialist told me about a little hack: cut off the Medela attachments from the tubes and they’ll fit my Evenflo pump — or any electric pump for that matter. Genius!
6. Get your insurance to pay for your breast pump.
Contact your health insurance company, and ask about breast-pump coverage. Most insurance plans must cover the cost of a breast pump — whether it’s a rental, manual or electric pump. A lot of them also have to cover breastfeeding support and counseling.
7. Buy washable nursing pads.
Unless you’re okay spending about $22 every month on disposable nursing pads, this one’s a no-brainer. Plus, it’s more environmentally friendly.
8. Skip buying breastmilk storage bags, and freeze milk in ice cube trays instead.
Rather than spending money on breastmilk storage bags, freeze pumped milk in ice cube trays, then transfer cubes to freezer bags or glass containers. Each cube is about .5 oz of milk.
9. Purchase pregnancy tests at the dollar store.
Why spend upwards of $20 on a test that will give you the same result? The only difference is, instead of peeing on a plastic stick with a cover, you’ll have to pee in a cup and use a test strip to get results.
10. Get free wipes at Dollar Tree when you use coupons.
Dollar Tree inventory varies, but many locations carry Huggies brand wipes. When there’s a high-value $1 coupon on Huggies and no size restriction, head to Dollar Tree to get those wipes for free (or really cheap)!
Remember, you’re not allowed to use more than two printable coupons per transaction at Dollar Tree, and you can only submit one manufacturer coupon per item.
11. Or, make your own baby wipes.
Cut a premium paper towel roll in half and soak it in a solution of 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon baby shampoo or wash, and 1/2-1 tablespoon baby oil. Remove the inner cardboard roll and store pre-soaked paper-towel wipes in a resealable container.
Or, keep the solution in a spray bottle and use as needed with soft washcloths or flannel for even more savings.
12. Use Ibotta rebates to save on diapers — especially at Costco.
Recently Ibotta released an $8.00 rebate that, when used at Costco, landed you a giant box (174-198 count) of Huggies for just $29.49 or $0.15 per diaper! Now, that’s a great Costco buy!
You can pretty much use Ibotta and Checkout 51 anywhere where diapers are sold. Just make sure you buy the specified product and submit a photo of your receipt for cash back, usually within 24 hours.
13. Store outgrown baby clothes in the diaper boxes.
No need to label the boxes — they’re already marked according to size.
14. Stack multiple store coupons on top of sale prices at Kohl’s.
At Kohl’s and Kohls.com you can stack up to four store coupons on top of already discounted prices to get name-brand baby clothes like Carter’s for super cheap. (When I say super cheap I mean $1.44 per Carter’s bodysuit when you buy a 7-pack that’s regularly priced at $36.)
Use up to four of the following coupons at Kohl’s:
- Up to one sitewide percent-off coupon code (ex: 15% off an entire purchase).
- Up to four department-specific, percent-off, or dollar-off coupon codes (ex: 20% off home bedding, $10 off a $30 children’s apparel purchase).
- Up to four Kohl’s rewards codes (ex: Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You Rewards).
- Up to one free shipping code (ex: free shipping on any order).
Follow KCL Baby Deals and you’ll never miss another big baby sale — at Kohl’s, Carter’s, or anywhere else.
15. Convert a regular backpack into a diaper bag.
These days, you can buy diaper bags that look like backpacks, but the only real difference between them is the number of compartments. As long as you keep it simple (a few diapers, wipes, a bottle, and a burp cloth or blanket), then you won’t even miss the compartments.
Store baby’s stuff in the main compartment and your stuff in the smaller, front zip pocket. Then, once your baby starts school, he or she will already have a backpack!
16. Invest in larger sized shirts instead of buying bibs.
Buy secondhand baby shirts a size or two larger than what your child normally wears, and slip it over his or her clothes during mealtime instead of purchasing bibs. The shirt will get messy, but you can always wash it and use it when your baby gets older.
Don’t worry if it gets stained — your soon-to-be toddler is bound to spill all over it anyway.
Need help getting out those stains? Here are 28 Surprising Hacks to Remove Pretty Much Any Stain.
17. Save 20% on diapers and baby food every time with Amazon Family.
Amazon Prime members get 20% off diapers and baby food when they order through Amazon Family and Subscribe & Save. No coupons needed!
Subscribe & Save is ultra convenient to busy parents who may not have time to run to the store in order to get everyday essentials like toilet paper and diapers. Instead, choose an ideal delivery date every month — or at an interval of your choosing — and get those necessities shipped right to your door.
When you subscribe to at least five baby products through Amazon Family and Subscribe & Save, you’ll automatically receive 20% off.
Learn more in What’s the Schtick with Amazon Subscribe & Save?
18. Make your own baby food.
You don’t need a fancy blender or special recipe to make baby food. All you have to do is boil vegetables or fruit until they’re fully cooked, then puree in a blender until it’s the right consistency. If the consistency is too thick, just add a bit of water.
When making baby food in bulk, pour the pureed food into ice cube trays, then freeze. Once your baby food is frozen, transfer the cubes to a gallon freezer bag and thaw individual servings as needed.
19. Sell barely used baby clothes and items for extra cash.
Don’t cut the tags off your baby’s new clothes just yet!
Because your baby is going to grow so fast, he or she may not even wear them — plus, tagged clothes have higher resale value. Only cut the tags off clothes or open items when you’re absolutely ready to use them.
When your baby has outgrown those clothes, shoes, toys, bouncers, or swings, head to a consignment shop like Once Upon a Child, and get cash on the spot as long as your items are in good condition.
20. Secure a changing pad on top of a dresser instead of buying a changing table.
Save money and have more room in your nursery. Just make sure you attach your changing pad to the wall or dresser to prevent it from sliding off.
21. Buy cribs and nursery furniture at IKEA.
The highly-rated SNIGLAR crib at IKEA is only $79.99 — and it converts to a toddler bed. You can also find inexpensive, but attractive and safe, dressers, crib mattresses, baby storage solutions, baby toys, and more for cheaper than even Walmart prices.
Before you head to IKEA, check out these 24 Earth-Shattering IKEA Savings Hacks.
22. Get 20% off a new car seat when you trade in your old one at Target.
Twice a year, Target holds its Car Seat Trade-In event. Look for this in-store event to happen in April and September.
So how does the Target Car Seat Trade-In program work? You can bring in any car seat, car seat base, or booster seat, even if they are damaged or expired. In return, you will receive a 20% off coupon that you can redeem on a new car seat, car seat base, travel system or stroller, or select baby home gear. You can redeem the discount twice, in-store or online.
23. Price match at Target.
Target will price match their brick-and-mortar and online competitors (including Amazon!). As long as you show them proof of the better price, they’ll honor it up to two weeks.
One of the easiest ways to price match is to use the Amazon Shopping app. It even has a built-in barcode scanner that will pull prices up automatically when used.
24. Stack coupons with sales to save on diapers.
There’s no reason to ever pay full price on diapers — especially if you have the free Krazy Coupon Lady app.
Diaper deals come around often, and when they do, stock up to last you until the next sale!