Preparing for a new baby is an incredibly exciting time: the new baby smell!

The new baby toys, accessories, clothes, tiny little shoes!

At the same time, it’s easy to feel pressure to be “the best” and have all the newest, greatest things for your child.

This can feel overwhelming and stressful, and no one needs extra stress when planning for a new addition to the family.

But let's be honest: you don’t need to spend a lot of money to prepare for a new baby!

The great thing about babies is they don’t notice and rarely care about what they’re wearing, so you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) worry about having beautiful matching sets or flouncy little dresses with lots of bows.

Let’s be practical: your baby is just as likely to have a nappy blow out in a fancy little dress as they are in a practical, hand-me-down onesie.

There are a lot of tips out there for budgeting for a new baby, but new parents are busy and don’t have a lot of time to read or click through tons of repetitive tips.

Check out these top five tips on how you can budget and prepare for a new baby, and then relax and sleep while you still have time!) Host Sre You Buy Anything

  1. Host a Baby Shower before you Buy Anything

Tradition and etiquette say you shouldn’t host your own baby shower, so the timing of your baby shower is really up to who is throwing it.

However, many hosts usually end up throwing baby showers long before the baby is due, so you should have plenty of time to receive gifts (or money) and then know what to buy after.

As you build your baby registry, consult with other new parents-and I mean new!

If this is your first child, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by all the bottle and nipple choices, breast pumps, and even aromatherapy/lotions for mum and baby.

This is not only to give people a wide arrange of options, but making a big list also helps you understand what you need to budget for to prepare for a new baby.

As you check off gifts from the registry, you’ll have a good list of things you still need all in one place, making easy for you to know exactly what you have and what you still need. Up With Other Parents

  1. Link up with other Parents

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s really true.

Once you announce your pregnancy, you’ll be surprised and grateful by how many people want to support you.

One of the best ways you can budget for your new baby is to link up with other new(ish) parents for hand-me-down clothes, toys, or other things their children have outgrown but you can use.

If you don’t know of any new parents to connect with, reach out to family and friends on Facebook and consider reaching out to neighbours in your community.

Many people will simply want to give you their kids’ old clothes and toys, especially if they’re not planning on having more children, while others will sell you their children's’ clothes at a great discount.

Even if you have to pay $15 for a box of one- to three-year-old clothes and toys, it’s so much cheaper than buying new at Babies R Us!

Don’t forget you can also get hand-me-down maternity clothes from family, friends and neighbours as well! Or shop at Maternity Angel, who have a great range of very affordable maternity clothes.

A lot of soon-to-be mums overlook maternity clothes until they open their closet and realize nothing quite fits anymore.

Depending on the person, expecting mums may not be able to fit into their clothes by month four, or they might make it to month eight.

Inevitably, it’s frustrating to buy new what you’ll only wear for a few months, so asking around to other mums may get you some wonderful, barely used clothes.

Clothes, toys and books are some of the best things to get as hand-me-downs, but there are a few things you should buy new, like car seats and strollers.

Car seat requirements are constantly being updated and changed to be safer for children, so err on the side of caution and spend a little more on a reputable car seat.) Start a Baby Fund!

  1. Start a Baby Fund

If you haven’t already started a baby fund in anticipation of one day having a child, you now have roughly nine to ten months to prepare your budget for a new baby!

Even if you’re able to save $50 a month before your baby comes, in 10 months you’ll have $500 saved up for your baby fund.

Your baby fund can go to anything from medical expenses to nursery items and more. While it’s ideal to start your baby fund in anticipation of having a child, you can quickly save up in a short amount of time if you need to.

Also, consider asking people to donate to your baby fund at your baby shower.

For those friends and family who live far or aren’t into buying traditional gifts, they may feel more comfortable giving you money for your baby fund.

You may be surprised by the number of people who are too clueless (or maybe lazy) to buy you a gift from your registry, but that’s why a baby fund is a great, low stress option for them to celebrate with you!4) Estimate for Insurance Expenses

  1. Estimate Insurance Expenses

Insurance is a huge cost many people find it difficult to anticipate.

You could have the simplest, easiest pregnancy and still walk out of the hospital with a huge bill, or higher depending on your insurance.

You can get a rough estimate of what it may cost you to have a child at the hospital here.

While you should talk to your hospital, doctor and insurance company ahead of time about birthing costs, don’t forget the additional, year-round expenses while you’re pregnant and after your child is born.

Ask your doctor ahead of time how many appointments will be needed throughout and after your pregnancy, then multiply those visits by your copay amount.

That will give you a rough estimate of how much the pregnancy itself may cost, not including the cost of giving birth.

At the same time, discuss with your paediatrician how many visits can be expected in your baby’s first year, too.

Many people focus on the cost of the pregnancy and birth and forget that lots of things can happen once your baby is here.

Specifically, plan for the routine check-ups and vaccinations in your baby’s first year so you’ll know what to expect in co-pays as well.!

  1. Don’t buy everything at once – Or in Bulk!

 

Some people like to plan ahead for their baby by buying newborn nappies in bulk, but this can definitely backfire!

Some babies are much larger than newborn nappies and, if they fit in them at all, quickly outgrow them.

It’s best to buy several different sizes of nappies, in smaller amounts, first, until your child gets here and you figure out which size nappy is appropriate.

While you’ll definitely need a car seat right away for your baby, don’t worry about other things like the crib, high chair, or even a pack and play.

Nor do you need to really worry about a lot of stimulating toys once your baby first comes home.

Remember that newborns are pretty helpless and aren’t crawling around at all, let alone lifting their heads, so they don’t need much beyond a place to sleep, something to eat, and loving parents to hold and rock them.

Continue adding to your baby fund while your baby is still a newborn, which will give you more time to save up for any items you weren’t able to check off your baby registry.

As you learn what you still need, go back to friends, family and neighbours and see if you can swap with other parents.

By buying as your child grows, you’ll never have too much or regret buying a size your child completely grows past. Wrapping Up

It’s a common misconception that babies are expensive.

While insurance during pregnancy, at the hospital, and after your child is born can be very expensive, actually raising your new baby is pretty cheap.

By following these five tips, you’ll be able to prepare for a new baby while sticking to a budget, and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how many people will help you out for free or a big discount.

Written by Melissa B for MaternityGlow.com