How to Prepare For a New Baby on a Small Budget

So, the blessed day has arrived, that second pink line has finally appeared, and you are pregnant! Maybe it’s your first baby, maybe it’s your 6th. Either way, knowing you are about to bring a baby into the world can be very exciting and overwhelming all rolled into one. Is it possible to follow a budget for a new baby?  

How do you prepare for a new baby on a small budget?

Money, unfortunately, is a part of having a baby (A BIG ANNOYING part). Finances have been tight most of our marriage, so because of this I’ve learned how to prepare a budget for a new baby . Hopefully what I have learned will help ease your stress a little. so you can focus on loving that sweet baby!

Where do you start when you need a budget for a new baby? Great tips to guide you on budgeting and saving money for your new baby!

Tip#1 – First things first  – Create an Amazon Baby Registry.

Amazon has something called a “universal” registry. This universal registry is so helpful because you can register from any website and your guests only need to shop from ONE list. Plus, they give you a coupons to go towards all of this stuff, so register now even if you aren’t planning on having a shower.


Another great place to register for is Buy Buy Baby. This website has is all from invitations, advice, baby books plus all the other regular baby items. Here are a few of the perks to register through Buy Buy Baby:

  • Complimentary announcement cards to mail out to friends and family.
  • Referral program: Refer other friends to register at buybuy BABY, the retailer will send you a Referral Award valid for $25 off any purchase of $100 or more. Great for picking up the more expensive baby gear!
  • Enjoy 10% off any items remaining on your registry after your baby’s expected arrival date.
  • Registry checklist and expert buying guides will help you make informed decisions before making major purchases.
  • Free goody bag upon registering (pick up in stores, limited areas).

Tip #2 – Make a needs vs.wants LIST

Begin by making a list of things you feel like you want for this baby. On this list include everything from binkies, and breast pumps to diapers and blankets! Go through that list and put a check mark by those items that you know are absolute needs.

This will help you see what the bare minimum is that you can get by with. If it’s your first, you may be surprised how many items you could actually get by without. Every person is different, but I will just name a few of the things I realized I didn’t actually need.

Here is a list of things I believe you DON’T REALLY NEED

  • Changing table – If you’re really tight, don’t worry about this one. You really don’t need it. You can just change your baby on your bed on top of a towel. If you would still rather have a designated place in your baby’s room for diaper changes you can do what I did for 2 of mine. I bought one of these changing pads and placed it on top of a dresser. Worked great! That leads to the next thing…
  • Changing pad covers– I have never bought specially made covers for my pads because I always felt like they were overpriced. Instead I have done 3 different things over the years to cover mine. When times were really tough, I used towels. When I wanted something that would stay on better, I bought cheap king sized pillow cases. They fit perfectly! With my last baby (#4) I waited till flannel went on sale for $1 a yard, then bought some cute prints that matched my baby’s room and made my own pillow cases to slip over. Easy!
  • Fancy Bottles- There is an endless sea of bottles: glass, plastic, curved, straight, print or solid colored, fancy valves for colic, you name it! Seriously, just make sure it’s BPA free and it doesn’t leak. Don’t feel like you have to break the bank on this one. I’ve used these and these and BOTH worked great! You don’t need a ton of bottles. Just wash them out after using and they’re ready to go for the next feeding.
  • Crib bumper- Cute, but not necessary. I had one with my first baby, and it kept me up at night because I always worried my baby would get their face smooshed into it and suffocate. Save yourself the lost sleep and moola.

Here is a list of things that I felt were definite NEEDS to prepare for a new baby: (your needs may be different. )

  • Breast padsYou may be one of those blessed women who don’t leak all the time but I was not! After I had my first child, I seriously spent more money on disposable breast pads than diapers. I am NOT kidding! After that, I got smart and bought washable breast pads like these to save us a bundle of money. If you are expecting your first, maybe buy some disposable ones or just a couple of pairs of the washables until you know for sure how your body will be. 
  • Breast Pump– I started out with a cheap hand pump like this and it worked great…til I got a massive breast infection and found myself having to pump a lot. After seeing this crazy turmoil of hand pumping everyday, my husband, went on Ebay and bought me an electric one like this. We payed half the price buying it used. We just bought new tubing, shields, and accessories to make sure it was hygienic. If you know someone who is not currently using their pump you could even borrow one. (even better!)
  • Burp Cloths– You just CANNOT have enough of these. I found that cloth diapers like these work the best for being cheap, durable, and absorbent. If you want to make them cute, there are PLENTY of tutorials on Pinterest on how to do that!
  • Swaddling Blanket – Unfortunately I didn’t learn how valuable it was to swaddle my baby until my 3rd. Oh, the joy when I learned how to swaddle and my babies finally slept longer than an hour. I was ONE, HAPPY MAMA!  There are lots of different swaddling blankets out there, but after a lot of trial and error I have found that these blankets are the best to swaddle in. These blankets are big and light weight! Or you could also invested in one of these. CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE for How To Swaddle Your Baby and WHY You Should.
  •  Bassinet- Ok, let me start by saying that I USED to not think this was a necessary item. When we had our first baby, someone gave us a BEAUTIFUL bassinet and I was so excited to use it! I was very disappointed when my baby would NOT sleep in it. (This was before I learned about swaddling my babies) So I gave the bassinet away and decided that it worked better to keep my babies close in bed with me. They always slept better that way, but in the end I was the one lacking sleep. Soon after, I was introduced to another bassinet called the Rock N’ Play Sleeper. I caved and bought one and I have NEVER regretted it. I only wish I had it for ALL of  my babies! The combination of swaddling and using this rocker was like magic! This has an incline which is great for acid reflux!). It folds in about 5 seconds for traveling, and fits just about anywhere (loved having it next to my bed). Bottom line: Bassinet’s are NOT absolutely essential, but if you can afford one like this, GET IT! It will pay you back in many more hours of peaceful sleep (for YOU and the BABY!)
  • The 4-in-1 Nursing Cover – This cover is AMAZING! Not only does it double as a scarf and car seat cover, but it’s also breathable and lightweight, and provides full coverage. It’s one of my all-time favorite products.


Tip #3 – Baby Clothes

If this is your first baby, chances are, you will get a lot of baby clothes at your baby shower (make sure someone throws one for you!!). You will still need to fill in the gaps with what you don’t get, not to mention all the years to come as your baby grows. Let me give you some valuable advice on this: BUY USED! Kids go through clothes SO fast and there is an endless sea of mothers out there who have boxes of baby clothes sitting in their basements.

Better yet, before you buy, ask around to see if someone just wants to get rid of their clothes. Better you than good will, right? 90% of my kids clothes have come from hand downs. I usually have MORE than what they need! There are times I do buy a new outfit, but it is a rarity!

Tips #4 – Diapers

Let’s face it, diapers can be a huge expense until your child is potty trained! I have done both cloth diapers and disposable and have to say that you can do either on a small budget. There are so many new cute cloth diapers out there and smart tools to make them less of a hassle and less….gross. I cloth diapered my second child and really never felt like it was a huge hassle and it saved us a bundle of money.

I did disposables with my 3rd and 4th and I started stocking up when I was pregnant. Take advantage of sales when they come, when you see a great deal on diapers, stock up! Generic diapers usually go on sale at a good price. Name brand diapers can be bought with coupons. I love Amazon mom for this because I can get name brand diapers for almost as cheap as generics. Free 2 day shipping is also included with amazon mom and I take advantage of that to do all of my other shopping! Right now you can sign up for a 30 day free trial and also get a $10 credit towards your first purchase. Click here to find out more.

Tip #5 – Nursing vs. Formula

No question here, breast milk is best and also FREE! I will always say that breastfeeding is the way to go, especially on a small budget. Having said that, the first 4-6 weeks of breastfeeding can be painful and…frustrating! If you can get past those rough weeks though, it is so worth it! I loved being able to nurse my babies in bed or on the go without the hassle of making bottles or buying formula.

There may be times that situations in your life that will decrease or even stop your milk production. I lost my father in-law when my baby was 2 months old and my milk dried up over night. I tired different supplements and I never had my supply come back like it was.

IF you decide NOT to breastfeed, PLEASE don’t feel bad about it. I spent so much time stressing and crying when I was having to feed my baby formula, but he was just fine! Do your best, but don’t beat your mommy self up if you have to do something different that what you had planned.

Tip # 6 – Hospital Bills

If you don’t have insurance, there are still ways to cut your bill dramatically. A friend of mine who was struggling financially, was stressing because she knew they would have to pay their entire bill. She was smart and went directly to the hospital and talked to someone on the labor and delivery staff. They gave her a list of everything that is charged to a someone who has a baby. She was surprised at all the things she could say no to and not have to pay for. Also, they told her that if she had no complications and wanted to, she could go home a day earlier and pay half as much!

Tip #7 – Take advantage of online discounts and cash back opportunities

Always take advantage of cash back for any online purchases you make. I love EBATES for this because it’s as simple as signing up for an account and then just going through their site to your favorite shopping sites. Whatever items you buy, they give you cash back. Plus, they give you a cash bonus when you first sign up. Done!

You’d be surprised at how fast it builds up! Also, after you sign up, make sure you install the Ebates bookmark button to your search bar so that you get reminders every time you are on a site that is eligible for cash back. Before I did this, I would always forgot and miss out on my cash back. I also love Zulily for great discounts on mom and baby/kid products.

Tip #8 – Organize your efforts

It can be overwhelming to think of everything that needs to be done to prepare for a new baby. Instead of letting you’re ever growing list stress you out, organize your efforts and do what is most important first. Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself and enjoy those things that you won’t be able to enjoy right after having a baby. Here is an article, 10 Things To Do BEFORE You Have Your Baby, that will help you get organized before baby arrives!  

Tip # 9 – Ask for Help!

Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help! This last pregnancy, we needed a new crib. I mentioned it to a few friends and got a phone call one day from one of them saying that she was done having kids and “Would I like to have their crib?.”

A few weeks later, another friend called to inform me that someone in her family was moving and “Would I like their changing table?” People are so awesome. Spread the word and use Facebook! There are so many resources out there to share. Then, when you find yourself , in the future, not needing your baby clothes or stuff anymore, pay it forward and give to someone in need!

Tip #10 – Remember, you are being watched over

I have always been surprised and humbled at how I have been taken care of during all my pregnancies. I believe all my babies come from a Heavenly Father who is always watching over them and me. If babies come from heaven, don’t you think our Father in Heaven will help you take care of them? Have faith, ask and pray for help and then put the rest in the Lord’s hands. You will surprised at the blessings that can come! Do your part, and then let Him do the rest. Never let money discourage you from bringing a baby into this world. Follow your heart! Budget Baby Clothes

I wish you the best of joy in your pregnancy and in your new life with your new baby!

Here’s a funny and uplifting music video that I know you will just love. If this is your first pregnancy, this will give you a glimpse of what you have to look forward to, if it’s not your first, it’ll give you a good laugh because you already know and can relate! 

Taylor Swift Shake It Off Parody Mommy Style


Where do you start when you need a budget for a new baby? Great tips to guide you on budgeting and saving money for your new baby!

How to prepare for a new baby without breaking the BANK!

43 thoughts on “How to Prepare For a New Baby on a Small Budget”

  1. Hey, there is this ad that pops up on your page on mobile, and there is no way to make it go away. I am not sure if there is anything you can do about it. (Just did it twice while I was trying to write this I keep having to refresh the page and try again.) I ended up screen shotting all oft he info so I can read it. It all looks like good info just hard toget thru with the ads.

  2. So sorry Elizabeth! Thank you for telling us! Other people have been complaining of the same thing today, and we are working to try and fix the problem.

  3. Great article and tips!

    One quick comment on breast pumps. The Affordable Care Act mandated they be covered for women as preventative care, so check with your insurance to see what is covered. The Medela pump I want was to my surprise fully covered by my insurance!

  4. Yes definitely check with your insurance or WIC in your state, Most Medicaid insurance and WIC will provide a breast pump or loan you one if necessary, WIC especially is a huge advocate for breastfeeding ever since they had cut backs and no WIC program provides enough formula for a full month. I was so worried about paying for one until I attended a breast feeding class and they told me that if for some reason my Medicaid wouldn’t cover it that WIC would and they are the really nice Medela ones, WIC also has different size cups(sorry forgot the actual name) to put on your breasts because the standard ones are usually so small for the average woman.

  5. Hello! I just wanted to thank you so much for this article! I never subscribe to blogs I usually just flip around and find articles through Pinterest, but I subscribed to yours just so that I could tell you that I took your advice and first and foremost gave my financial stresses to God in prayer and called the hospital back to ask about pricing and assistance. I had called twice before and had been quoted about $4,000 for a vaginal delivery and two day stay, and when I called back again to speak with the financial person I was quoted half that price! I wouldn’t have even attempted to call back had your article not inspired me to do so! I was so wrapped up in my worry that I forgot that God always cares for his children especially when he is blessing you with one of your own. Thank you very much!

  6. Jaime, I read your comment tonight after a long day. It made me cry! Thank you so much for sharing! I am SO glad you received some good news and most importantly, some peace. Heavenly Father loves each of us SO VERY much, and especially the mothers who sacrifice to bring sweet spirits into this world. I feel that love when I look into my own children’s eyes and I have NEVER regretted have any of them…EVER! Life is tough, but it makes us who we are. Thank goodness I was entrusted with my children because they have taught me SO much in life! Keep me posted on your baby and thank you for taking the time to share today!

  7. The bottles from walmart that are Granimals, I think, and only $1, are good ones. I loved them because my kids could hold them sooner than others. And only $1!

  8. I skipped previous comments, but if you contact your insurance company, they may pay for your breast pump! That’s a big money saver right there…

    This is a good list. Thank you for posting it.

  9. Oh my goodness! I love this article, but as soon as I read the paragraph about bedsharing, all the trust I had for the author unfortunately went out the window.

    As a family member of a family who lost an infant to SIDS, and a pediatric ICU provider, I beg readers – PLEASE do NOT sleep with your infants in bed with you! In the past decade, research has PROVEN that bedsharing directly contributes to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I can not stress enough how DANGEROUS bed-sharing with an infant is. There are several infant beds that can be placed right next to mom’s side to that you are right near your baby but not at risk of suffocating them by accident.

    To the author – please do some reading and research on a topic, before making the deadly suggestion to your readers to do something so dangerous.

  10. I’m sorry you feel that way about what I wrote. I assure you I am not trying to make deadly suggestions to our readers. I was only sharing my story and solution. I got the bassinet to solve a problem. The problem was that my babies slept better when they were close to me, but I DID NOT sleep because I was too afraid of being too close to them in bed. I know many parents have this same issue. Babies are used to being close to their mothers and the transition after birth is a tough one, especially when a mom is sleep deprived. Hence the reason i suggested the bassinet which would give baby a sense of security and help them sleep and also help mom sleep too! I am not going to tell ANYONE how to parent their babies or try to instill fear into their hearts of all the bad things that can happen. Raising kids is hard enough without also stressing about all the horrible things that can happen. My heart goes out to those who have lost a child to SIDS. That is every mother’s worst nightmare. On the same note, I try not to live my life always wondering “what if.” I believe mother’s do the best they can to take care of their babies and I also do likewise with mine. Thanks for stopping by and sharing how you feel

  11. Hi Katie,
    Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I have been married almost a year and really want children, but we are a little worried about money. This past week, we finally had peace about it and are placing it in God’s hands. I stopped taking my birth control this week and once it’s out of my system, we will try for a baby. Thank you for your helpful information!

  12. If we all waited till we could “afford” children, most children would never be born. Children are a treasure. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to have a child when money is tight but I believe that choice is eternally more important than how much money is in the bank account. Somehow, it all just works out 🙂

  13. I assure you, Lynne, that you have never paid for any of my “choices.” I wrote this post only with the intent to give helpful tips for those who want to have children and save themselves some money in the process, or for those who may be struggling financially but still want to have a family. It was never meant to become a debate about goverment aid. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post.

  14. All of your thoughts were wonderful, thank you. I completely agree with everything you said and want to say also that it is possible to have children on a small budget. You make sacrifices and sure you may not be able to give your child everything, but you give them what they need the most. I’m a stay at home wife and mother, with a husband going to school full time and working part time. We don’t have medicaid and we aren’t on Wic, we don’t have the best insurance. We trusted that Heavenly Father would help us out because we were following a commandment. Everything has worked out, and we were somehow able to pay all hospital bills and still be able to provide for ourselves and most importantly our little bundle of joy.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing your experience Juliann. It’s comforting to hear. There are countless families in the same situation, and it’s wonderful to hear positive outcomes that come from not so easy circumstances.

  16. Question about the basinnet. I’ve seen those as I’m looking around for one, but thought it looked more like a bouncer than a bassinet. Is it weird or even annoying to have the baby strapped in all night? Seems like its be annoying if you need to do a quick nighttime feeding. Have you found it bothersome? Also, how do you swaddled and strap the baby in? It doesn’t look like that’s possible with the strap going between the baby’s legs.

    P.s. Loved the rest of your tips, thanks! 🙂

  17. I have never used the buckle…ever. The basinnett is deep enough I never felt the need and my baby had long outgrown it before they could roll over or sit up.

  18. Hey thank you so much. My husband and I are still in the talking about stage for #2 and this eased a lot. Because we are on a one income family and worried about affording a precious blessing. But this really eased my mind and reminded me of great ideas. I’m trying to find a high risk OBGYN right now and thank you so much for reminding me of my heavenly father I seem to forget about him and how he loves children and just wants to help me. I’m excited to tell my husband some great low cost ideas to ease our stress . 🙂

  19. McKenna, thank YOU for stopping by and also taking the time to comment! I wrote that post about a year ago and I’m kind of in the same boat as you. Except, it’s not the money I’m worried about! I’m just worried this old body of mine won’t make it through a #5! Guess it takes a leap of faith, either way! Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Uhhh yikes Rebecca, actually co-sleeping has not been proven to increase the risk for SIDS. It’s an American myth only and is founded on unrelated factors, factors that prove nothing not even a correlation. The fact is that many other countries both developed and undeveloped, promote co-sleeping and have lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. Can it cause SIDs? Unlikely. Can it cause infant death? Possibly. The truth is, there is a ton of evidence showing “actual” correlation that co-sleeping is beneficial for babies emotional and mental health and it’s been shown that babies can actually be reminded to breathe by feeling/hearing a mother’s heartbeat, possibly reducing SIDS. Essentially, the risk you take in co-sleeping with your child is extremely low and unlikely to cause SID’s and the benefits greatly outweigh those risks. Maybe you should do more research before YOU go about telling others how to parent, or at least realize people are allowed to make their own decisions.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this info! I desperately want to have another child, but since we already have 3, money is holding us back. I truly believe that God will provide, but thanks to you, I’m not so worried, in case he doesn’t.

  22. Thanks for sharing Tanaira. We are also in the process of preparing for our final child right now. I know what a leap of faith it is. This time around, it is a leap of faith because I am older (38) and have several health issues. That being said, I feel very strongly that we have 1 more that needs to join our family and so I am putting my trust in my Father in Heaven. Having a home full of children is the hardest thing I’ve done, but it is also the closest I have felt to heaven.Best wishes to you and your family!

  23. Current medical research shows that about 50% of SIDS deaths aren’t true SIDS at all, but accidental suffocation during bed-sharing.

    –Medical research assistant (specializing in pediatric health) and former NICU nurse.

  24. I found this post today while snooping around on Pinterest. I’m a full time nanny, and my hubby is a full time shop coordinator for a group of barber shops in our city. We live comfortably right now and have zero debt, but we are both still on our parents’ insurance, and I would most likely need to quit my job or find another family who would be willing to work with someone who has their own baby. Those factors, coupled with the thought of taking on the expenses of a tiny human is so scary! I long for a child so, so badly that it nearly physically hurts me. This post – I can’t even tell you how comforting it was to read, even though we probably won’t get pregnant any time soon. I know the Lord will take care of us, though, and my heart is resting in that fact! Thank you for giving me a little bit more peace in this situation!

  25. Oh Lynne, I think you should realize where your tax payer dollars are really going by percentages. Are you equally mad at paying politicians’ over inflated salaries and having them sponsor corporate welfare? So many other issues that contribute to the need of a welfare system… and you’re mad that the system exists not what contributes to its necessity. Sigh.

  26. Loved the article Katie. It was a good reminder while preparing for #4. I’ve found myself without insurance this year so it was nice to hear it can request an itemized list of delivery costs so I can make arrangements and decline the unnecessary costs. Faith is the best tool we have in our pocket. Where there is a will, there’s a way.

  27. “Faith is the best tool we have in our pocket.” I LOVE that! You ‘nailed’ that one right on the head! 😉 Best of luck preparing for #4. I felt like #4 for us was way easier that 3!

  28. This is a great post! I am currently preparing for a baby on a tight budget and its so easy to get caught up in all the things I WANT instead of just the things I NEED!! This was really helpful in figuring out what I actually need for the baby =)

  29. Thanks Leigh! I completely understand. I am currently pregnant again with #5 and having to remind myself constantly not to buy things I don’t need!

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