Diary of a Fit mommy

How to Have a Baby {Without Breaking the Bank}

You might have heard that babies are soooo expensiveIf you were to tell my husband and I that, we would probably laugh at you. Our baby really did not cost us much at all, especially in the beginning.

Now that our son is almost two, we find ourselves tearing through outfits since he is growing like a weed, but is preparing for a newborn really so expensive as people want to make it out to be?

Believe it or not, newborn babies do not need very much! People often make baby registries that are a mile long (I was one of them with my firstborn) and then after having a baby, I realized he didn’t need half the crap I had!

So do you need much at all? My short answer? No. Not if you can do a few alternative things and go a certain route.


Here are my personal ways that made raising a baby practically free for us:

  1. Choose cloth diapers instead of disposables. I knew even before my son was close to being born that I wanted to cloth diaper. Not only is it better for baby’s health and the environment, it keeps somewhere over $2,000 in your pocket that disposable diapers would have costed you. We use Lil Bums Cloth Diapers and they are so fair priced for such great quality. I understand that not every mommy wants or can do cloth-some day cares simply won’t allow it! But if you can, I recommend starting with at least 30-40 cloth diapers. You will make an initial investment which will cost you a bit (they are not cheap), but if you take care of them, they will last to your next kids! With my second pregnancy, I hardly have to buy one new cloth diaper because I will be using my son’s for my daughter.
  2. Choose breastfeeding over formula. I get it-not every woman can breastfeed, but for those who can, take full advantage of it! If you work, pump a good bit the night before and send them in a small cooler bag. Try pumping on your break to have milk for the next day or so. I remember having this HUGE freezer stash that I honestly never even made it through. Formula is very expensive and breastfeeding can save you hundreds of dollars while your baby is at the stage where she or he cannot eat solids just yet. When they can eat solids, skip the jarred baby food and make your own.
  3. Buy used or second hand clothing. Just because you are buying second hand does NOT mean you are a cheapskate or that it isn’t nice for your baby. We have a local consignment shop that we just adore. I used it a lot in the beginning because when we had my son, we did not have much money and my business didn’t exist so we had to pinch some pennies. Second hand shopping is wonderful! We have found so many cute outfits for a great deal.
  4. Buy used or second hand toys. Same thing goes with toys. Toys do NOT have to be brand spanking new to be meaningful or fun. Kids do not care where toys come from-they just want them. To be honest, you do not need many toys for a newborn. I would skip the toys and get a few things such as a tummy time mat or a jungle gym which can be found at a discount store easily. Most newborns and infants need you-not a toy-to play with them.
  5. Skip the crib & co-sleep. We had a crib given to us prior to my son’s birth and I will admit I have not used it once in the near two years that my son has been born. Why? We co-sleep! Now, many parents are afraid to do this because it’s so terribly talked upon, but we love it! If you aren’t comfortable with co-sleeping, opt for a cheaper and safer option such as a bedside bassinet or a Rock-N-Play (we have one of these and loved it). I have heard of some moms who use laundry baskets! Hey-whatever works.
  6. Search for coupons. Coupons are literally everywhere: you just have to look for them. Tons of diapering sites and stores offer coupons to print on their website and if you sign up for their mailing list, they might even email or mail you some. Just Google “diaper coupons” or “formula coupons.”
  7. Do not buy shoes. This has always been so dumb to me. Newborns do not need shoes! Kids do not need shoes until they can walk (in my opinion) so my son only wore socks for the longest time. We saved a ton of money by doing it this way. Most parents just want cute shoes for looks, but they really do not benefit baby in any way. Socks are efficient enough to keep baby’s feet warm and toasty.
  8. Stay home with baby. This is a case by case basis because not every mom or family can make this bold decision. I decided to stay home when I became pregnant and I eventually created my own blogging business from home so this totally worked out for us in all ways. I was able to raise my son without paying for daycare costs and focusing on being a mom while making some money. Again, this is not something you must do-it is just for those who can do it.
  9. Skip a stroller and babywear (for now). We did not use a stroller for our son until he was almost a year old because at that point he was getting heavier. You do not need a fancy stroller! Instead, get a wrap, sling, or baby carrier and wear your baby. Carriers are so much cheaper than strollers anyway. We did end up getting a jogging stroller second hand (from that wonderful consignment shop) while I was pregnant, though for later use.
  10. Take advantage of new parenting programs. Lots of stores and brands offer new parenting programs. I can think of the Publix Baby Club, Babies R Us, and the Enfamil Club to be exact. Hellooooo coupons!


Your trainer and friend,