Preparing for baby on a small budget can come across like an impossible task to begin with.
We all secretly want to have the glamorous nursery that everyone can’t help but “coo” over.
We all want our nurseries to be fully kitted out with all the latest that technology has to offer. We sometimes feel like this will make us perfect parents.
Thankfully, there are many baby essentials that you can buy on a budget without breaking the bank.
If you have a baby on the way and no real budget, you can find some great tips here on things to purchase that will not send you into financial destitution.
***Please note that this site uses affiliate links if you would like to read the legal stuff you can find it here
Speaking as a mother of 4, I have put together a simple checklist of items that are necessary for you to purchase right from the very beginning.
Preparing for baby coming home on a small budget
1. Baby sleepsuit or bodysuit
These items work wonderfully because they are simple to use. Your baby does not need an “outfit” for each day.
Also as a bonus tip for those early postpartum days, having a set of white bodysuits makes your washing pile that much easier to handle.
You can simply dump all of your baby’s clothes into the machine at the same time and avoid having to separate and wash the clothes in batches.
For obvious reasons, you will need diapers. They can be disposable or they can be cloth.
I have never used cloth diapers before because when I think about all the washing I will probably have to do it just turns my stomach.
It’s just not practical for me. Although in theory I really like the idea of cloth diapers.
If cloth diapers take your fancy feel free to give it a go.
I have heard some people say that in the end cloth diapers work out to be cheaper (you do have to pay for the initial outlay which can be a little expensive) but in the long term cloth diapers are more cost-effective than disposable diapers.
Helpful tip: Because being mom can be expensive especially if you are no longer working, you might want to consider work from home jobs. You can take a look at some reasons why working from home might just be perfect for you here.
Wipes are easy to throw away and make cleaning up your baby that much easier. Some people are not fans of this and that’s ok.
My mom thinks it’s better to use cotton wool and warm water (ain’t nobody got time for that!).
Every generation is different, you just have to see what works best for you.
Technically you can use an ordinary bag but the thing that I like about baby changing bags is that they are equip for holding all the baby essentials, bottles, clothes, diapers, you name it!
Sometimes these baby changing bags also come with a fold awaychanging mat included making changing diapers on the go much easier.
If you can get a bag that has enough pockets then I would advise you to use that instead of having to purchase a typical changing bag.
You will absolutely need a car seat if you will be doing any type of car journey with your baby.
This can actually be a much more cost effective way to get a car seat rather than purchasing one separately.
6. Breast pads
If you are planning on breastfeeding, breast pads will come in handy.
Not everyone leaks milk when they feed (I didn’t) but some people do. So being prepared with breast pads to hand is a good idea.
Breast pads are very affordable and much less embarrassing than having dry milk marks on your top.
7. Burp cloths or Muslin cloths
These are an absolute must have item. You put them over your shoulder when you are going to burp or carry your baby.
If the baby spits up milk, the idea is that it will land on the cloth and not on your clothes.
You can also use these cloths to clean up any baby spit up or dribble.
Baby’s have a way of rolling over even when you don’t expect them to be able to do it yet.
For safety reasons, I would personally get a cot early on.
It’s a good idea to invest in a cotbed if you can.
They are slightly larger than an ordinary cot but once your baby is old enough you can easily change the cot into a mini bed without having to purchase a new bed altogether.
Non-essential baby items
You really really don’t need these. Although these are very nice on the surface, these fancy clothes are really not practical for your baby at all.
Baby’s grow so fast that before you can even put an outfit on your child they grow out of it.
I’ve had countless outfits that have been given to me for my children and sometimes they have only been worn once before they grow out of it. It’s such a waste of money.
Baby booties are completely non essential. They are really cute to look at but completely unnecessary.
Your baby’s body is growing at a rapid rate right now. Anything you buy for a newborn can only be worn for a few weeks at best.
If you want to cover your baby’s feet let them wear socks that they can grow into over time.
When I had my first child I thought that I needed a breastfeeding pillow. A friend of mine had also recently given birth and had one so I wanted one too.
I really wanted one but didn’t have the money at the time. Instead, I decided to use a pillow.
It was so uncomfortable that I tossed it to one side. I’m not saying that it would have felt like the breastfeeding pillow but what I realized is that it was just another thing that I actually didn’t need.
I was doing just fine breastfeeding without one.
Even though a breastfeeding pillow is on my non-essential list you can pick up a FREE one from here using the code BROWNSKINMAMA40
Newborn toys are cute in every way but the truth of the matter is that when your baby is very young they are pointless.
Baby’s have no real interest in toys until they are a little older.
It would be best for you to hold on to the money for now and buy something more suitable that your baby will actually need.
Nappy trash cans make a nursery seem fit for purpose but in reality, you don’t need them.
The idea behind them is that they stop the smell of the nappy coming through until the trash is full up.
The reality is that you can achieve the exact same outcome with disposable nappy sacks which are very cheap to purchase and do the same job.
Essentially a topper is just the top part of the changing table that the baby lies down on.
This can easily be fixed to the top of any dresser unit that you already own.
As I have said before there really is no need to purchase one but if you feel that you need one then these are a great alternative.
When I had my first child I was so insistent that I needed a bassinet as well as a cot for my baby. (I’m really not sure how I won that argument with my husband).
We ended up purchasing one and I can probably count on 1 hand the amount of times that my son slept in it.
Most of the time we co-slept because I was breastfeeding on demand or he would just fall asleep on me and I never put him down.
TOTAL – WASTE – OF – MONEY!
Final thoughts on preparing for baby on a small budget
Whilst buying all these baby items might seem like they are necessities to you right now, the more children you have you will quickly realize that you don’t need the majority of them.
While your baby doesn’t need much take advantage and save the money for better things in the future.
Concentrate on things that your child will care about and that they will actually need.
Eventually, they will need going out clothes, shoes and their own fully kitted out room.
For now, keep your costs down as much as possible and use the money in a better way.
Not having these items doesn’t make your child less smart or less able in any way, they are just material things and non-consequential in every aspect.
If you have any more great ways to save before your baby arrives let me know in the comments section below!
- 9 Ways to make a decent income as a stay at home mom
- Over $800 of FREE stuff for mom and baby
- Everything you need to know about baby showers