Somehow, I’m already almost seven months pregnant. What started off as a far-off eventuality has become an almost-present reality. Back in March, our early November due date seemed so far away. It wasn’t even summer yet…we had plenty of time.
Now we’re getting down to business with preparations. I’ve heard from friends who’ve paved the parenthood road before us that we should not leave everything to the last month or two, tempting as that may be. Energy levels drop even more, and then, of course, there’s always the possibility of an early arrival. Yikes!
Anyway, once you start thinking about all the things you need, you start realizing just how much this is all going to cost to get set up. Having a baby is not cheap. Nonetheless, I have been looking for ways to save, whether it’s finding deals on the gear we want or going another tried and true route: borrowing stuff.
- Clothing. Babies grow out of things quickly. So, having friends or relatives with older kids who are done expanding their families comes in handy. Most people are dying to get all those old onesies in various sizes out of their house where they’re taking up precious storage space. In this case, it’s not even borrowing—it’s straight up donation. Take it. From what I’ve heard, kids go through clothes faster than you think. They grow quickly, and they tend to be messy. Sure, buy some nice things too, but there’s nothing wrong with having a few second-hand items to bulk up your baby wardrobe.
- Gear. With the exception of a car seat (which is recommended that you always buy new, to ensure safety standards), you can borrow baby gear from friends who are in-between kiddos. Strollers, carriers, pack n’ plays, bassinets, are all things that people use for a limited amount of time before the kid grows out of them. Again, a lot of our current parent friends have these things in their basements or garages just gathering dust until No. 2 comes along. They’re happy to lend them out in the meantime.
- Breast pump. If you’re breastfeeding, and going back to work at some point, you’ll probably need one of these. They are pricey, however. While I went ahead and bought mine, I have coworkers who have rented breast pumps from their hospitals or other sources while they needed them and saved quite a bit of money. (Check out this site for a nonhospital option.)
The fact of the matter is, babies don’t care whether their stuff is new or gently used and borrowed. If you’re looking to save, especially on some of the bigger ticket items (breast pump, stroller, crib), definitely consider borrowing. This applies to maternity items for you too. Plenty of girlfriends were more than happy to lend me tops, dresses, and pants to get me through my pregnancy. Once I’m done, they’ll be returned (clean) good as new.