First Time Parents
The Do's and Don'ts
Guide For First Time Parents
to Save Money And Time
Anyone that has a child has been there. Anyone currently pregnant is more than likely falling into the trap. I like to refer to it as FTPS: First Time Parent Syndrome.
So what is FTPS and how do you avoid it? FTPS is a condition where parents-to-be see cool gadgets and products they simply must have for their baby on the way. Stores with baby registries further promote the syndrome. They tell parents what they need for their sweet baby boy or girl. In all actuality, the “cutsie” stuff is not practical. So here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts to help you with preparing for the arrival of your first child, while saving a ton of money in the process.
LOOK FOR USED FURNITURE AND TOYS
A new bedroom suit can cost over $1000. Used, good condition in a yard sale, consignment shop or Craigslist will save you at around 50% or more. We bought our son a Bright Stars activity bouncer for $25.00 from Craigslist. It doesn’t even look used! Brand new it retails for 79.99. That allowed us to buy things we really need-like diapers!
USE CHEAPER BRAND DIAPERS
Let’s face it-popular name brands are RARELY better than non-name brand products. The same is true for diapers. I have friends that will one use a certain brand and have never tried anything else. We have personally used Huggies, Pampers, Luvs, Kroger store brand, Target store-brand among others. We have yet to tell a difference. Why spend the extra money for a popular brand?
BUY THE NECESSITIES
All babies will need towels, wash clothes, blankets, sheets, lotions, etc. Register for these things, but don’t go overboard! My son is now 9 months old and just last week I threw away the first empty bottle of lotion. I only have enough left to last the next 5 years! What were we thinking?
BUY NEUTRAL TOYS
Don’t know if you want more children or not? Well, take the risk that you WILL want more children and it maybe the opposite sex of what you are having the first time. Save yourself some money in the future: buy neutral toys either sex could play with them.
BUY A TON OF BOTTLES AND PACIFIERS
We thought we were doing good buying bottles and pacifiers as we found them on sale while my wife was pregnant. She did lots of research and found out that Playtex Drops-Ins were the most highly recommended bottle for breast fed babies, so we bought probably 8-10 bottles plus the MAM brand pacifiers because they were “cute.” Guess what? Our son HATED the Playtex bottles and refused to take a pacifier of any sort, so we wasted money and had to spend extra money buying new bottles.
GO OVERBOARD BUYING CLOTHES
Yes, I would recommend buying clothes as you find them on clearance, but don’t go overboard. Our son is 9 months but wearing 18 months (I guess he's taking after his daddy). So much for all those 12 month shorts and short-sleeve shirts I bought for him to wear this summer! It doesn’t matter how cheap they are if they are the wrong size and go to Goodwill with tags on them.
GET CAUGHT UP IN FANCY GADGETS
Wipe warmer? Sound machine? High tech monitors? These products are all nice, but aren’t necessary and shouldn’t be mandatory. Wipe warmers weren’t around when I was a baby and guess what-I don’t even remember my butt feeling cold as I was being cleaned up! CD players with a “repeat” button work just as well as (we actually like it better than) baby sound machines. If you can hear the baby from another room and know he or she is okay, why spend double or triple the amount for extra features?
I hope that this guide for first time parents: the do's and don'ts has pushed you to learn from the mistakes we made with our first child. If you have been down this road, please comment below to help others reading this article to find even more ways to save.