When you are pregnant with your first child, there is tons of excitement around the entire process of “getting ready”.
Mainly the buying stuff part.
After all you get to decorate, pick out new clothes and so much more.
It is not cheap!
What I really wish is that someone would have told me what is fine to buy used and what to splurge on.
So here is my list on where to spend and where to save.
- Photography – hands down one of the most valuable things you will spend money on. You quickly forget how tiny they were and having moments where you are not the one behind the camera capturing not only the baby but the entire family is worth the price.
- Car Seat – for me this is one where I want to buy new. You just don’t know what the real story is behind a used car seat. I would rather spend a bit more to get new than to not know a seat was in an accident.
- Books – reading to your kids has been shown to help them in many ways. The problem with not buying new with books is that babies tend to chew them (at least mine did), and there is not really a good way to sanitize books.
- Play yard – this is a portable crib and baby play area that you can use for many different things. In fact, even though my son is ten we still have ours because they are easy to store and then we have a crib for company! So get a good one that you like and is easy to set up.
Save the Money
- Clothes – with the exception of some cute outfits for photos and holidays, buy used! Not only do they grow crazy fast, but as they become mobile the clothes don’t last long. So just don’t waste your money on expensive brand new clothes.
- Crib – as much as you want a completely customized and all yours nursery this is another item that they quickly grow out of. So unless you plan on having many, many, many kids buying used is great.
- Plastic toys – I never knew my house could have that many plastic toys! Even if you hate garage sales, this is a good one item to buy at garage sales. You can save hundreds of dollars by looking for plastic toys that are used. Plus since these are plastic you can easily sanitize them!
- Bottle Warmer – I never used mine. Either my son would take a cold bottle or a quick run under hot tap water was enough. Plus when you are waking up at 2 AM are you really going to take the time to use a fancy warmer or are you going to just stumble to the sink and turn it on?
There is one item that you will hear advice that you should save on and at the same time others say spend on – the stroller. I for one think it is a personal choice because it really depends on how much you will be using it.
For a mom who loves to jog I would absolutely splurge on a jogging stroller you like. If you don’t walk around much because of where you live then a used good condition stroller would be just fine.
It is more important to get one that is easy to use, has not been recalled and fits your lifestyle. For some this means spending more money.
Ultimately remember that the baby stuff is just a phase, and then you move to the next phase. Each phase requires its own gear – so spend wisely as most of these items won’t be around for too many years before they wear out or are outgrown!