How to Save Money on Baby Gear

Save Money on Baby GearWhen you’re pregnant, it can be overwhelming just thinking about all the stuff you’ll have to buy and get ready — but thankfully, parents can find plenty of ways to save money on baby gear. Before you run out to start your registry at a baby gear superstore like Babies “R” Us or Buy Buy Baby — or before you click over to Amazon — do your research and think about what you’ll really need. If there’s something that you won’t use right away (i.e., something for an older baby, not a newborn), consider putting off the purchase until you know whether it’s really necessary.

To complement our baby registry series, we thought we’d gather some money-saving tips for new parents and parents-to-be. Please add your own in the comments! What are your favorite ways to save money on baby gear? Did you (or will you) set a budget for pre-baby purchases or just play it by ear?  

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Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe

Budgeting for Your Maternity Wardrobe Behold: a chart of what I spent on my maternity wardrobe during my first pregnancy.

I share my maternity wardrobe budget not because this is the definitive list for maternity clothes (trust me, it’s not), but simply for shock and awe value, at least for newly pregnant moms. You’re going to be amazed at a few things here: a) how cheap everything was — nothing designer, nothing fancy, all bought on sale, b) how many pieces were gifted (usually by my mother sending me something in the mail), and c) how small my collection of maternity clothes was, and d) how I still managed to spend almost $900 on maternity clothes that were only worn for about four months. For most moms-to-be that is not an insignificant amount of money, so budgeting of any kind can be very helpful. (Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to save money on maternity clothes!)

I recorded my thoughts in 2011, during my first pregnancy, as well as during my second pregnancy, in 2014 — note that I was still working as a lawyer during much of my first pregnancy (my final day was in May and my son was born in August), and that for my second pregnancy I barely gained any weight at all. (I did buy a few more tops and warmer bottoms for my second pregnancy — those totaled $138 — but by and large I wore my maternity clothes from my first pregnancy.)

maternity-wardrobe-budget

 

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Your Kids’ Activities, Overscheduling, and Working Parents

overscheduling-kids-activitiesA while back, some readers were discussing the difficulty of scheduling your kids’ extracurricular activities — and homework, and family time — without overscheduling your kids, all while navigating hours/timeslots that may or may not be favorable to working moms. As one woman noted:

Kat, could we do a discussion on overparenting/overscheduling when a working mom? My kids are getting to the age where I want them to experience soccer and piano and whatnot. But they’re in school all day, so my only hope is scheduling their weeknights and weekends. Then we’re running from activity to activity with no downtime for just play or boredom. I feel like I’m trapped as a working mom. If my spouse or I stayed at home, or if I could afford private nannies, I could maybe schedule this better. Or I could schedule some of those summer camps that run only from 9-2 on alternating Tuesdays and Fridays. Or heck I could let them run the neighborhood with the rest of the kids that are home all summer. But as it is, our limited time as a family is dominated by homework and/or extracurriculars. Is this only me? Is it this bad for SAH parents too? What is the solution? No extracurriculars, and telling teachers too bad but we’ll only spend an hour a night on homework until they’re in high school?

This is such an amazing question — and I’m only starting to feel the pain, so I’m curious what other people have to say. First, as some other readers noted:

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