I have a 12 week old and have spent very little through these ways.
- Maternity clothes – your wife shouldn’t need too much, it will depend how big she gets and how fast. I only spent $42 on maternity clothes by getting cheap stuff at H&M (I bought some long-sleeved shirts for $1-3 each, two pairs of jeans, one dress and one pair of shorts for when we went on vacation). I was able to wear most of my clothes and work dresses throughout my pregnancy.
- Don’t pay full price for baby clothes. Goodwill has a lot of stuff for cheap and honestly within an hour your baby will make the clothes messy and they will be thrown in the wash 2-3 times a week.
- Facebook marketplace is amazing. We got our pack and play, toys, crib, etc etc on Facebook marketplace for next to nothing. People have tons of stuff they want to get rid of. Be polite but try to ask for a lower price and often they have more baby stuff they are willing to give you that they haven’t even bothered to put up yet.
- Don’t be cheap when it comes to safety, I recommend at least buying a new car seat. When getting a used crib, make sure it was made since rules changed (I think within past ten years). If you are worried about affording these things maybe ask family who are looking for what to give you or have people split the cost as part of a baby shower present.
- Buy items that will be useful for a bit longer term. A stroller that lets you click in the car seat when the baby is small and then works for a larger child later will save you money. Clothing can be a bit too big and they will grow into it. At the start you don’t need a special swaddle blanket, a regular receiving blanket works. Babies don’t all need white noise machines or nanny cams (especially if your place is small). Wait and see what you need versus buying everything ahead of time.
- Make use of your insurance. Thanks to Obamacare every woman gets a free breast pump. Breast milk is free which saves lots right there and pumping allows you to help feed (and your wife to get some sleep)
- Make sure you understand what leave you and your wife are eligible for from work. For example, you aren’t eligible to take FMLA if you’ve been there less than a year
- Plan ahead. Running out to buy diapers from CVS is going to cost significantly more than getting them delivered from Amazon.