5 Things to Consider Before Making that Big Baby Purchase

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Image adapted via Flickr/ ota_photos

Babies are expensive, and when you factor in all the products we tend to buy for them, our budgets can be blown quickly. But it doesn't have to be that way!

If you're beginning to plan for those baby items you need in the first few months of your newborn's life, with some careful planning, research, and consideration, you don't have to spend all of your money. Talk to your friends that have had children and ask them which products they found useful and deem “can't live without” worthy.

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Before you go out and spend, check out these 5 things you should consider first, which may end up saving your bank account.

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Image via Flickr/ 4Neus

Can you pick it up secondhand?

Many baby items are only used for a short time, and because of that, you can often find barely used products secondhand. Some things, like car seats, shouldn't be used if you don't know the history of the product (like if it's been in an accident). But so many others, like cribs, swings, strollers, and nursery decorations, can be bought cheaper than if you'd picked them up new at the store.

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Image via Flickr/ @joefoodie

Is it going to last a while?

Most baby products, including bassinettes, strollers, and fancy chairs, have a weight limit to them. I was surprised after the birth of my first child just how fast he outgrew most of the bigger items I bought for him in just a few months. He wasn't an overly large baby, but babies grow faster than we may realize.

If you're looking to get the most for your money, consider products that have a higher weight limit to them like swings, strollers, and car seats. Or choose products that can be converted for later use like cribs that can be turned into toddler beds or vibrating chairs that transform into a chair for your older child.

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Image via Flickr/ Stephen Cummings

Is there a cheaper alternative?

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There are so many baby item options when it comes to choosing a product and brand. There are different price tags, too. If you're on the search for a big ticket baby item, research to see if there's a cheaper alternative without sacrificing safety or usefulness.

Some pack'n'plays come with changing tables and lullabies as an option and always cost a little more than the more plain functioning products. Before spending the extra money, ask if you'll use the top bassinette or the changing table before buying.

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Image via Flickr/ trec_lit

Will the baby actually use this?

There are some cute things for babies, and it can be hard to resist all the products designed to make our lives easier. If you're planning on bigger purchases like strollers, swings, or cribs, be sure to really look at what's making the price a little higher for added perks. Then, ask yourself if you can actually see it being useful.

If you're looking at picking up the matching changing table to finish the nursery decor, ask other parents if they used the table or if they always ended up changing the baby on the floor. Some products are good in theory, but you or your child may not end up using them.

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Image via Flickr/ squant

Can you wait to purchase?

We all seem to have the idea that unless we have all.the.things before the baby is born and our houses are perfect, then we've failed. The truth is, newborns don't do a whole lot, and there are many things you can wait to purchase until it's clear the product is needed.

If you're unsure about a stroller? You can wait! If you don't know if your baby will use a swing, wait and see if you'd like a space to lay baby for a nap.

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What are some tips you have when it comes to buying baby products? Share in the comments!

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5 Things to Consider Before Making that Big Baby Purchase

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. CM says:

    Some of my tips for buying baby products and saving money:
    1. My trick is buying diapers in bulk online from Target.com when you can get a promotional gift card with it after spending a certain amount on diapers. Since you have to buy diapers anyway why not get rewarded a little for it right? With the promotional gift cards I received (any where from $10-$30 and you can combine them too!) I have used them towards buying a stroller, the space saver highchair, a playpen, a pack and play, etc. and only had to pay the difference. For instance I bought enough diapers and got a $30 e-card and with that gift card I put it towards a $60 stroller and only paid $30 for the stroller out of pocket!
    2. A $40 pack and play will do just as well as a $300+ crib and will last just as long! You can get great deals on those at Walmart or Target. They’re great if you have a small place too because they don’t take up much room.
    3. If you have any family members or friends that can give you something their child has outgrown go for it! My sister gave me a great carseat after her child outgrew it.
    4. Don’t overdo it with baby clothes because most babies will outgrow those newborn clothes in less than 3 months. If you get a lot of newborn clothing gifts exchange some of them for larger sizes if you can before ripping off the tags. Also there is no need to buy baby shoes because most babies can’t walk before one year anyway. Buy shoes that are at least 12-18 months size.
    5. If you need a breast pump check if your insurance covers you for a free pump. Most plans do these days.
    6. A space saver high chair is a great money saving alternative to a traditional high chair.
    7.You don’t need to buy a changing table if you have a changing pad you can do it on the floor.
    8. If you can’t find what you need secondhand buy it at Ross, Walmart or Target. Sometimes they have unbeatable deals.
    Good luck!

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