Budget Baby Layettes
By Kirsten Hawkins
Getting what you need for your newborn without going broke
It's been said time and again that babies cost a pretty penny. Although little Brad or Jennifer won't hop out of the birth canal and start demanding servants and expensive electronic gadgets, they do represent some additional expenses that can be wallet-draining when considered all at once. Fortunately the expenses do not have to be incurred all at once - even an unplanned pregnancy allots nine months to plan and gradually deal with the expenses associated with procreation. There are several steps that expectant parents can take to help cut down on some of the major expenses that are expected.
A baby shower is a time honored tradition in which expectant mothers get a bunch of free stuff from their friends and family members. Don't be afraid or ashamed to take advantage of this situation. A decent shower can often cover most of the immediate baby layette needs. Usually someone will offer to hold a shower for the expectant mom, but she shouldn't be afraid to drop hints to close friends and family or even come right out and ask for a shower.
Buy Diapers in Advance
When is the best time to start buying diapers and other such essentials? The moment after conception would be ideal, but since most women don't know that they're expecting until weeks or even months later, you may have to settle for "as soon as you find out." Start adding diapers to your regular shopping list and try to pick up one or two packages each week. Varying between size one and two is a good idea, with perhaps a pack or two of the newborn size. If you have a bigger baby you don't want to be stuck with lots of newborn size diapers that you'll never use. If the baby is "normal size it is easy to buy newborn sizes while you need them and rest easy in the knowledge that you're already stocked up on the next sizes up. A lower cost alternative to this is to use a cloth diaper service if you can find one still in operation in your area.
Get Help & Buy Used Whenever Possible
For large baby needs like cribs, playpens, and strollers, try and get the help of family members with these purchases. Proud grandparents to be are usually more than happy to help with items like these. A lot of money can be saved by purchasing these items second-hand as well. If a used crib, stroller, or playpen is in good condition, there is no reason not to buy it over a new one. The only item you probably don't want to buy used is a car seat. These items must meet safety requirements and there is no way to be sure that a used one measures up to current standards.
A little planning and thinking ahead is all it takes to save serious money on most of your initial and ongoing baby needs. They real key to setting up your baby layette on a budget is to start as soon as possible.
About The Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a baby and parenting expert specializing new mothers and single parent issues.