We have previously shared some pre-natal and post-natal strategies to employ in order to shop smart before baby arrives. As a follow-up, we’ll discuss some of the specific spending pitfalls to avoid when it comes to your little
expensive precious bundle.
• Stocking Up on Newborn Size Diapers: “But my baby is sooooo tiny,” you say? Not for long. You will be amazed at how quickly after your arrival home from the hospital your newborn will be pooping his way through his Newborns into Size 1 Diapers. Some babies will never even wear NBs depending on their birth weight. Our tip: Send a well-meaning relative to get a pack of diapers while you’re at the hospital, and don’t forget to take those freebie hospital diapers with you on your way out. Pampers and Huggies give hospitals free or deeply discounted diapers for newborns in order to create brand loyalists from birth (literally). Those diaper giants are going to be making a lot of money off of you in the coming years, might as well stock up!
• Buying A Swing or Bouncer in Advance: When you are pregnant, every parent-friend can’t wait to tell you which swings and bouncy seats that you simply cannot live without. The fact is, every baby is different, and while the side-to-side cozy swing might have worked great for your friend’s baby, your babe may end up being more of a back-n-forth type of gal. Our tip: Avoid buying one of these items for the first month so that you can take your baby to a store to test drive the various swings and bouncers. These items can be a lifesaver – but only if your baby likes them. Let your baby’s opinion rule on this one!
• Purchasing Incorrect Seasonal Baby Clothes: We previously discussed how imperative it is to avoid over-shopping for baby clothes. You will receive many clothing item gifts when baby arrives that are typically for little (0-6 months) babies – ironically the clothes they grow out of the fastest, and poop/spit up on the most. However, another common mistake is to purchase seasonal clothes in the wrong size. Our tip: Resist the urge to overbuy, but also to buy anything too seasonal too far in advance. Summer clothes in size 6-9 months will be no help come summertime when your 8-month-old is already wearing a size 12 months.
• Overspending on the Wrong Items: We want the best for our babies, so we often don’t use our heads when thinking about what to buy. If you live in the city and will spend most of your time strolling your babe, you may not require the most expensive infant car seat (which generally doesn’t get used after the baby is a year old). Our tip: Get a safe car seat of course, but spend proportionately to how often it will actually be used. And use the money saved to buy the perfect stroller for your lifestyle. Conversely, if you live in the ‘burbs and will spend most of your time in your car, you may not need the fanciest stroller system on the block, but rather one that folds easily and fits comfortably in your trunk. A Snap-N-Go, or something like it, could be the perfect answer until your baby has transitioned into an umbrella stroller.
• Buying Large Gender Specific Items: That awesome pink Bugaboo stroller is just the ticket for your little princess when she’s born. When her brother is born 2 years later and you are constantly hearing how pretty “she” is, you may not feel the same. Our tip: Try to avoid going all out on anything that is too gender specific, especially with large ticket items. Make them worth the purchase, and stick to neutral colors that will last through all of your children, no matter what the sex.
• Overspending on a Tricked Out Nursery: You want to make your baby’s nursery the cutest room in the house. You won’t believe how quickly your baby will be out of the crib and demanding that you lose the lamb and ducky wallpaper in favor of his favorite superheroes. You can easily save money by buying the right furniture. Yes, you need a crib, but do you really need the matching bookshelf, changing table, and bureau? Our tip: Get creative with the furniture that you already own. That old dresser sitting in your parents’ attic can be repurposed as a changing table just by purchasing a changing pad topper. Think smart when it comes to nursery items – you can have a cute nursery while still making sure that everything in it is not rendered useless in 2 years!