Preparing For Baby: A Savings Guide For New Parents

Preparing For Baby


So you are having a baby…Congrats!

In this blog post you will not only learn about some of the great baby freebies you should sign up for while you are waiting for your special delivery, but what to keep in mind as you stock your home while preparing for baby!


1) Hospital Freebies:
A lot of new parents, friends and family will tell you that the hospital is a gold mine for getting started on some pretty awesome freebies. Hospitals not only supply you with FREE diapers while you are there, but they also give you formula, diaper rash creams, Johnson and Johnson baby body wash, cozy warm blankets to borrow, and so much more goodies and you just have to ask. Some hospitals even have soothers, free loans of breast pumps and baby wipes.You are welcome to take home a few special gifts from the hospital, just make sure you ask the nurses, but that is what those samples and freebies are there for, so enjoy!

2) Company Baby Sample Freebies:
My favourites include Similac, Nestle, Good Start, Enfamil, and the list goes on! Check out this complete listing of baby samples and freebies for all the details!

3) Registering at Babies R Us and Sears
Your family, friends, and colleagues will want to buy you gifts and perhaps spoil you with a baby shower, so head on over to Babies R Us and Sears and have fun scanning all your special wish list items! When you leave Babies R Us, make sure you get your FREE welcome baby gift pack ~ full of coupons, samples and awesome freebies like baby bottles, soothers and infant Tylenol. At Sears, make sure you hear more about their “guess your baby’s birthday and win Sears vouchers” game.
Well not really a game, but if you register with Sears and your friends and family purchase from your Sears registry, and your baby is born on the SAME day you indicated on your Sears form when registering (by natural delivery only, not C Section), you will WIN FREE vouchers from Sears (some restrictions apply as to the departments you can use the vouchers in) for the dollar amount your family/friends spent on gifts for you! So if your family bought you $300 worth of baby gear from Sears, your baby is born on the day you put on your Sears form, Sears will give you $300 worth of Sears vouchers to be claimed in store any way you wish! Amazing!

Preparing for baby

My top 12 items I could not live without that I put on my baby registry included:

1. A bouncy chair, sling chair or swing (that is NOT battery powered, but plugs into a wall)

2. A bunch of receiving blankets for spit up, swaddling, etc.

3. Zippered sleepers, I found I got easily frustrated with the snaps, and a zipper was so much quicker for a screaming baby

4. Infant tub (consider looking on Kijiji or other mom to mom sales online for this item)

5. Bath products ~ Johnson and Johnson mails coupons, so take a look at this product if you want to save money

6. Diaper Bag

7. Clothing for baby appropriate for season ~ don’t go overboard with clothing before baby, you will be surprised how quickly they grow out of things

8. Crib and mattress

9. Car seat

10. Monitor ~ consider looking on Kijij or other mom to mom sales online.

11. Bottles ~ you may have a fussy baby, so keep in mind you may try a few bottles and nipples before you have success

12. Stroller ~ again, not mandatory to get new so keep in mind you can get second hand as this item will get pretty dirty, tossed around and dragged a lot across the back of your car ;)

Stocking Up For Baby

preparing for baby

Once you get home, what should you have in your house to prepare for a baby?


In my opinion, whether you are deciding to use disposable diapers or cloth, the first few weeks of a baby’s life is full of really yucky diaper changes and it is always a lot easier to use disposable diapers until the baby works things out of his/her system. Most babies will be in size 1 diapers for about a month. So you will not need too many boxes or bags of size 1 diapers. I suggest you buy a maximum of 2 boxes (approx. 200-240 diapers = 8 to 10 diaper changes a day x 7 days a week x 4 weeks in a month) of size 1 as most companies will have diaper sales running constantly and if you need 1 more box you know you or partner can run out and grab another on sale with a coupon.
I would also stock up on 2 or 3 boxes of size 2 diapers (if you are deciding to stick with disposable). If you find a really great diaper deal, you can also buy a box of size 3 and 4, but I wouldn’t fork out too much money as typically you will find great deals on diapers as time goes on.
If you are deciding to stick with disposable diapers, look for disposable diaper prices at a MAXIMUM of 17 cents a diaper (training diapers/larger sizes are a bit more pricey), anything more is not saving you much. If you find deals around 13 – 15 cents or less, you have a bargain!


Another item to have lots of on hand and ready for when baby comes home! There are some really great frugal ways to make your own wipes, but if you are deciding to purchase them, look for around a penny a wipe or less. Huggies/Pampers and Kirkland Costco wipes are 3 very popular diaper wipes. Huggies has some coupons out from time to time, Pampers rarely has coupons and Costco’s Kirkland brand will drop to $15.64 for 900 count which is the cheapest you will find. Wipes don’t expire BUT they will dry out if they are left in a hot and humid spot.
Keep in mind, wipes are wet and environment and storage are very important so that they don’t grow bacteria. So stock up with the space you have in a nice cool spot. I would typically have about 500 wipes on hand per month. You will go through a lot more in the first few months of birth as you get used to wiping and feel that you need 7 wipes to get the job done, but you will soon realize that you really only need 2 or 3 max for those dirty jobs!


Consider buying a few bottles of fragrance-free detergent to wash baby clothing, sheets, towels, etc. You don’t have to use this detergent with your items, so you won’t go through it very quickly. Baby’s have very sensitive skin and are often times effected by strong odours, so keep this in mind when your baby is fussy around women/men with very strong perfumes/colognes!


Similar to above, babies are very sensitive to smells! Try and find a fragrance-free brand, and remember you do not need much to clean a baby. Most doctors/care professionals recommend only bathing your baby 3 x a week max. So you will not need much stocking up on this item. Johnson and Johnson (when requested) sends you a coupon for a FREE travel pack, you could try this product line and see if it works for you and these samples will last you a month.


Medicine? I wouldn’t personally stock up on any medicine prior to a baby’s arrival ~ why? Well expiries as well as typically you will be seeing your doctor a lot for the first year of your child’s life and they have samples too. I got 1 bottle of Advil and 1 bottle of Tylenol prior to my daughters arrival and ended up not using either for the first 6 months and it all expired:(

Baby Food? Your baby won’t be eating anything from a jar/dish until at least 4 months. Don’t worry until then and by then you will find out from other mommies that making your own food is not only cheaper but better for them

Formula? Every baby will be different, with all the samples I suggested you sign up for above, you will luck out to try a bunch of them with your little one! If breast feeding works, then stocking up on formula was a waste of money as it is one of the most expensive items!

Preparing For Baby

Having a baby is so exciting and preparing for their arrival should be blissful and fun, not stressful. Reminder that stores and aisles dedicated to babies are full of temptation to make the transition to being a parent “smooth” (and often times expensive!) from cradles that mimic the womb movements to specially designed ergonomic high chairs. Remember … as long as your child is fed, warm, dry and above all loved ~ you are doing amazing!

Congratulations on your new bundle!

This post was written by CouponChristine exclusively for!

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  1. diane king says

    when I got home with my newborn, the sleepers I have bought were too big and had to buy really smaller ones since he was born premature.

  2. Jen Boja says

    what was i not prepared for when i got home?
    anything and everything!! lol
    you are not always going to be 100% ready…. but guaranteed every bit of shopping you do before hand, saves you trips to the store with a newborn…. it’s also a huge tip that you should go through baby clothing before baby comes home, leave some piles and sizes separate so you can easily transition…

  3. Judy C (Cowan) says

    I was not prepared with enough receiving, spit up blankets – doing laundry everyday was not fun so I quickly made a trip to stock up on more.

  4. Jessica H. says

    Loved this article. Avoiding temptation when I had my son was a struggle… those little booties are just so cute!!!

  5. Melanie Moody says

    I was not prepared for my pumping schedule. It was difficult to pump when she was sleeping for a future feeding when all I wanted to do was sleep too….Hopefully this time I will be more prepped on the whole thing so I know now what to expect :)

  6. Cait says

    Thanks Christine! Any advice you have on cloth diapers would be great – we are leaning towards going this way!

  7. Crystal says

    I am a proud mommy of a 7wk old beautiful girl, I am sooo very glad that I had stocked up on food in my house. I never thought that I wouldnt want to go anywhere after she was born. I think it was a good two weeks before I stepped foot in the grocery store, which before she was born i used to go at least twice a week, and it wasn’t until she was 6 weeks before i braved an outing out on my own with just the baby and i. If it wasnt for getting into couponing months before i had her I wouldnt have had nearly enough stuff in the house as i did! My best advise STOCK UP!!!

  8. arianna says

    i was not prepared for the constant fear of him not breathing. i probably went into his room 100 times a day and stood there to see his chest moved up and down. lol

  9. Kaitlyn says

    I definitely agree about not going overboard on clothes. If you go to a place where they sell “used” baby clothes, most of them have never been warn!

  10. Mel says

    The thing that I wasn’t prepared for when I brought my second daughter home, was how much pain I was going to be in. Baby girl was breached and was difficult to get her to more out. I had a loving boyfriend and great older daughter, I dealt with things like a trooper :D

  11. Pamela Seguin says

    Great article! Having our second in October and learned some new tricks to save some money this time around! Thanks!!

  12. Megan says

    Flu season… when my son was 1wk my daughter came down with the flu! needless to say my husband, myself, and even our infant baby at 2.5 wks came down with a bad case of influenza A.. he was hospitalized for 3 days… WORST time of my life! reminder to all new parents; babies are NOT born with immune systems, and are just as susceptible to catching viruses. :(

  13. Emily says

    I cannot say I am unprepared. I went a step further to save extra money and went with a diaper service that offered a discount if you paid 6 months worth in advance. Typical cost is (19.99/week X 4 weeks)= $ 79.96 X 6 months = $ 479.76 – 10% discount for prepaid service = $431.78 + HST = $487.92. If you find a good service they supply cloth wipes free of charge too which just lowers your cost even more.

  14. Renee de Vos says

    With my first, I wasn’t ready for much as I was a single mom at the time. With my second, I was anticipating huge jealousy fits by my 18montb old but was wonderfully surprised with how loving and helpful with his baby brother he was and still is now.

  15. Allison says

    Very good guest post Coupon Christine! These are all really great tips on saving money before baby comes. I have another little hint for first time parents, don’t go out and buy a bunch of teeny tiny outfits. Yes they are totally adorable, but honestly you will be lucky if they are worn once. Plenty of sleepers and onesies, THAT IS what you need! They are comfy for baby, easy to deal with for you (especially if they are zippered and not snaps like Coupon Christine mentioned) and really for the first few months are all you need (unless it is christmas or something like that, lol)

  16. Tara Harms says

    what i wasnt prepared for was when my little girl was born at 31 weeks so her room wasnt ready and i dont have a bag packed… my water broke at home and she was born the same day via emergency csection

  17. Emily says

    I wasn’t prepared for how emotional I would get about everything… and how long the days seemed until my husband would get home from work.

  18. Sarah Black says

    When I came home with my little one, one thing that I wasn’t overly prepared for the first time was my own postpartum comfort. I still haven’t perfected what feminine products to get, but the second time around, I invested in a bottle of Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Spray (mainly witch hazel and aloe) and it made ALL the difference in the world! And it doubles as so many other things- can be used on baby’s bum, cuts and scrapes, and I’ve found it’s FANTASTIC for taking the itch from bug bites!! It’s one product I’ve started recommending to everyone- love it :)

  19. Tan says

    I wish I had read this post before my first baby!! Would have saved me a lot of money!! :P
    The thing I was not prepared for bringing him home was how really tiny he was… Even though he was a healthy 8lbs 5oz.. he needed newborn clothing and fit into some preemie clothing too! Everyone told me to get 0-3 months!! :P
    That being said, I can’t believe he will be two TOMORROW!!! And wearing 2T!! 2T looked soo huge 2 years ago when I was shopping for preemie clothing! :D
    He would love to get a special present at Toys R Us!! :D
    Great post Christine!!

  20. Angela Wills says

    When I brought my little guy home I was not prepared to be as tired as I was and also for the recovery from giving birth. It was hard but so worth it!

  21. Christine Barta says

    The biggest thing I was not prepared for was the urgency of everything, babies don’t like to wait for things so everything was always go go go and while being sleep deprived at that!

  22. Amanda Faith says

    I found that I ended up buying more zippered sleepers, as you mentioned. When you are sleep deprived and trying do snaps on sleepers at 4am… you can get pretty frustrated. ;)

  23. Lesley says

    This won’t apply to too many people, but preemie clothing is what I wasn’t prepared with! My baby didn’t fit into anything. Otherwise, I needed more changes of things like sheets. Great article. Thank you

  24. Jen says

    I like that you have the expected price per diaper, it’s hard to decide if a sale on a box is actually a good deal.

  25. says

    The biggest surprise with the homecoming of my first babe had nothing to do with him, bit with me. The astronomical amount of hair I lost was obscene! I swear I lost enough to knit a king sized blanket! That, and the insane hunger!!!

  26. Jen P says

    I was not prepared for having a baby 7 weeks early and having to leave the hospital without my baby. It’s absolutely heart breaking. I got him home from the NICU after a month. I was pretty prepared when I got home after having taken care of him in the hospital. I agree with a lot of your points. I hated button sleepers. He needed them in the NICU so that he could be clothed with his wires still being able to come out but when I got him home it was nothing but zippers! He’s 2 1/2 and I still buy zippered ones! lol.

  27. Julia Marie says

    I wasn’t prepared for the changes in my body, and how everything felt for me.
    I was expecting the lack of sleep ~ but I don’t think that anything can really prepare you for that!!

  28. Kam says

    Having our first one in October 2013…trying to prepare as much as we can, but it’s something you can’t really prepare for, is it??

    • says

      There will always be things you weren’t prepared for, but getting as prepared as you can for the things you ARE expecting will take the pressure off when those litle surprises pop up:)

  29. Lorna says

    Ohhh I soooo needed this reminder! Its been 10 years since my twins were born and now my oldest daughter is expecting her first child in December, so needless to say I am once again a little overwhelmed with what are needs and wants! This list is a perfect reference…and very practical!

    The one thing I would add to the list would be a slow cooker…although its not for the baby, it will be a life saver to the mom when you have to cook dinner for others and you’re so tired!

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