By Kelsey on November 17, 2011 22

Financially Planning for a Baby [Part 2]

Adding another person to our family will undoubtedly affect our budget, but we’re determined to not go overboard. A big part of that, and something we’ve just started to work on, is the nursery and other baby gear/supplies. Let the fun begin!


We’re lucky because my sister had twins and then a singleton a few years later, so she had two of a lot of thing. The jury’s still out on if they’re having more kids or not, but she was smart and purchased mostly gender-neutral items the first time around. Even if you don’t have an older sibling who can pass down their gear, there are people in your city (I bet) who are selling their gently used supplies via garage sales or Craigslist.

  • Crib and mattress (I would only get the mattress if you know who you’re buying from)
  • Baby swing
  • Lounger/papasan chair
  • Boppy pillow
  • Bumbo chair
  • High chair
  • Breast pump
  • Diaper bag (ours is the same one my parents used with me!)
  • Pack ‘n Play (we have two that we got when the twins were little, both were gifts but originally from garage sales)
  • Play gym
  • Bouncer/activity center/jumper
  • Baby bathtub
  • Bottles (register for some new nipples)
  • Bottle warmer
  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Toys

A lot of these items you can register for as well to cut down on your out-of-pocket costs. We got a crib, mattress, breast pump, papasan chair, Bumbo and swing for $150 from my sister (her garage-sale prices). This was such a huge help considering we could have easily spend twice that on the crib alone! (She’s got plenty of girl clothing that I can’t wait to go through, too!)


These are the big ticket items that we are planning to get or have already purchased. You can see our full Target registry here. The items that are linked below are ones that we have already purchased (remember our IKEA haul?).

  • A car seat/stroller travel system (can be purchased used, just keep in mind that car seats expire)…we registered for this but I’m assuming we’ll end up buying it ourselves
  • Dresser/changing table (although I did look on Craigslist but didn’t find what I wanted)
  • Bedding (to save money, consider just getting a couple fitted sheets rather than a full bedding set)
  • Rocking chair
  • Storage unit
  • Nursery decoration


  • Vintage outfits and toys (from our parents…can’t wait!)
  • Maternity clothes
  • Carrier sling


I don’t think our little baby will care whether she’s sleeping in a new crib or one that we bought used. More than a decked-out nursery, we think it’s important to not go-crazy-go-nuts with purchases to, first, bring our baby into a financially secure home, and also put more of an emphasis on experiences with our kids rather than material things. We want to take family trips and go to family camp and celebrate hand-me-downs. Not only do these things bring families closer together, but it also teaches kids to not be entitled to get everything they want (believe me, I know from experience and have had to learn the hard way that I can’t get everything I want…). Some of you may also strive to be smart with money at this time so you can stay at home after the baby comes.

Other posts in this series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. this is a great post. many days i wish you had had kids first so i could have saved some money the first time around–try needing 2 of things–that made it even more expensive! ugh! i’m glad you can use a lot of our things. i do think it’s important to know who you are getting things from, who’s used it, and what kind of shape it’s in. we (try to) take very good care of our stuff. i have plenty of clothes for you to go through….let me know when you want them!! what vintage outfits and toys are you getting from the parents?

    • I am not exactly sure yet…mom says she has some boxes of clothes she saved! My baptism gown, sweaters that grandma made, etc. You should get those sweaters for Mylie (I’m assuming there aren’t duplicate sizes for the twins). I think we are getting some books from Diane.

  2. These are so smart – many of these are things I did not even realize until having my second. It really DOESN’T matter with most of the stuff. I particularly love your tip about the sheets instead of a bedding set. Those sets are the biggest waste! With #2 we bought a cute brown polka dotted dust ruffle, red gingham sheets (for his sock monkey themed room) and called it a day.

  3. Great post Kelsey! I’m totally going to be stalking your blog (not that I already don’t) once the hubby and I are ready to bring a bundle of joy into this world:)

  4. We have no kids yet, but my older brothers and all my cousins either have toddlers, new little ones, or ones on the way. They have all figured out this really great rotation for passing around their clothes. It works out with ages, boy vs girl, and different seasons perfectly. We all live all over the country. It’s so fun to open a new box and see what new season clothes the little one will be sporting! Such a great money saver and so much fun seeing the same clothes on everyone’s kids at different spots in their growing!

  5. No one else is grossed out by a used breast pump?

  6. We got by super cheap with our first too. None of our siblings had kids yet, but a friend gave us first dibs on her garage sale items. Most of what we bought used or received as gifts has lasted for all three of our kids; we’ve bought almost nothing new ourselves. We have friends with $700 strollers and every piece of baby gear fathomable, but that doesn’t fit our style (or budget). And yeah, the bedding sets are a waste of money. They’re cute, but the bumpers and quilts are a SIDS risk, so I wouldn’t have used them anyway!

  7. nice work my frugal friends! some things I’ve learned:

    If buying used, make sure you know where you get your pump, bottles, and car seat for sanitary or safety reasons. if a car seat has been in an accident, you are supposed to replace it and wouldn’t know that if it’s a garage sale purchase. And buy new tubes/trumpets for the pump as those are not supposed to be shared from person to person – they aren’t too expensive. Some insurance carriers will actually cover a pump if it’s “prescribed” by the doc – you may be able to get a brand new one for a 10% copay!

    The new guidelines for cribs are no drop sides – although we are not buying a new one for the new baby….brady survived just fine in his crib and it was expensive!

    • Yes to all! Our secondhand crib has a drop side, but we’re using it anyway.

      • i borrowed the pump and was just fine with my own tubes/trumpets – but we are hoping to get a new one through insurance this time since that pump isn’t available to borrow this time :(

        glad we aren’t the only ones who think our baby will be just fine with a drop-side :) and, GASP, i even used bumpers with brady for quite awhile….THE HORROR!!

      • Not to be a total “mother hen” type freak, but it might be a good idea to get a drop side immobilizer kit. Those types of cribs were recalled for a reason and I’d hate for you to become a statistic.

        • that is a good idea, thanks! we were planning to fashion some kind of thing to prevent the side from “dropping” anyway, but the kit is probably a lot better than any shoe-string contraption :)

  8. There are soooo many products out there that people say you “absolutely need” that we hardly used at all that we will get rid of because I now know we totally won’t use it for baby #2. We did some second hand and hand-me-downs and really tried to think “really? do we need this or is this the baby industry playing on our insecurities as new parents to sell us this thing we don’t need?” Doing this allowed us to save enough money that we could splurge on a few key items that we will use for all our babies (and like your folks maybe our grandbabies!)

  9. As a health care professional I would recommend not using a used mattress for your infant as it increased the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
    Also, food for thought on car seats. The rear-facing car seats with a handle generally hold up to 22 pounds. Therefore, your baby will be out of it in about 6 months. So sometimes a used one is a great option! Your daughter will mostly likely grow out of it before it expires! Also, the car seats that go from rear to front facing often start at a low enough weight that you can use them right from birth! So you may consider just buying one of those and using it for the duration of your baby’s carseat days and that is another way to save money (these are less convenient though, as they do not have a handle and are not something you would want to lug around). Always check the weight range on the side of any carseat to be safe.
    I don’t have any children myself this is just my knowledge from working in the hospital on a maternity ward, as well as in the public health sector with new parents.
    best of luck!!

  10. Oh, and I meant to share about the pump–get a good one. I have heard from everyone that you get what you pay for. I needed mine immediately and was glad to have a good one. One way we saved money is by buying the pump through the lactation office at our local hospital. They don’t charge tax if you get a script from your doctor. Plus breast pumps are now on the list of approved medical items that can be purchased through an FSA or HSA so if you use that account to buy the pump you have saved paying both tax on your income for that item and buy it through the hospital without sales tax you can save $50 or so just in those two things alone. It all adds up! Good luck!

  11. Hi you guys!

    Something I used a lot is Freecycle. It’s a nationwide deal, but connected with the city you live in or live close too. Basically, you can go onto this yahoo group (you must have a yahoo account…I just created one) and post what you want or what you are giving away too. Google search is how I found it. Search: Freecycle __________ <—-enter in your city or large one near by

    I have received many free things from this site: standing fan, 7ft quality xmas tree with cover for storage, microwave, bible, TIVO box, headboard footboard…etc

    I have also given away many things for free & people normally just pick things up off the porch. You don't have to worry about interaction to exchange money. It's super easy. So as I clean out my closets I post it on there & have plenty of ppl show interest. They will come by and get it. EASY.

    I see baby stuff posted there CONSTANTLY. Sure, like many others have said, there are things you probably don't want 2nd hand. But clothes, toys etc…harmless. And you can get it for FREE. Quite great for a tight budget.

    We are debt free too & always looking for a way to save $$.

  12. Love the post a great way to Plan My Baby

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