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Shopping for a Newborn II – Summary and Tips

As you might have read from a previous post on Shopping for a Newborn – The List, buying everything brand new can be quite expensive.  However, there are some ways to reduce your costs, which is what I’m all about.

  • Make sure to shop around.  Walmart and Toys R Us had the same brand names, but Toys R Us prices were about 10-15% higher.
  • Note that if you are on a budget, then look at your local classifieds for used items (kijiji and craigslist come to mind).  You can sometimes find baby items in good shape and for a fraction of the cost.  At our local classifieds, we found a lady selling baby clothes, the baby bjorn carrier, and some other toys for about 30% the retail cost.  We even found a high end used baby crib for a great price, but the baby’s grandparents insists on buying new (they’re paying).
  • Wait for the sales. A trick that I’ve found is that Walmart seems to sell their baby stuff at clearance prices at the end of the year or earlier into the new year.  They must be trying to get rid of the old stock to bring in the new stock for the year.  That’s how we got the travel system and playpen for such a great price.

Summarizing yesterdays itemized post, this is my cost estimation for the newborn.  Note that some of this stuff will be paid for by friends and family and other stuff may be purchased used.

This is more of a guideline of the costs if you were to purchase everything brand new:

  • Travel System Stroller + Car Seat: $120 (Walmart boxing week sale reg: $200 )
  • 2 in 1 Convertible Car Seat: $150 (can wait until baby is 22lbs)
  • Crib: $280 (convertible)
  • Conversion kit: $150
  • Mattress: $120
  • Crib Blankets etc: $75
  • Change Table/Dresser: $240
  • Change Mat: $25
  • Rocking Chair: $250
  • Jumper/Swing: $150
  • Playpen: $80 (Walmart clearance, reg: $150)
  • Infant Tub: $20
  • Baby Monitor: $150
  • Total so far: $1,810

Special thanks to the lady at Toys R Us who patiently helped us decipher the mystery of newborn baby equipment.

For those of you interested in this topic, make sure to check out yesterdays post and especially the comments thread.  My wife and I read over the comments last night and we’re very appreciative of all the information that was provided.

Are there any other big tickets items that I’m missing for the new baby?

Additional references:

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Four Pillars January 17, 2008, 9:42 am

    Thanks a lot for the link.

    Wow, the items add up pretty fast if you buy everything new. Between hand-me-downs and grandparents, I don’t think we’ve spent more than a couple hundred bucks on my son so far.


  • Avatar Cross the River January 17, 2008, 9:42 am

    Depending on the disposition of your house, the monitor can be optionnal. If baby cries, you’ll know. As for the change table/dresser, we consider it a gadget as any counter will do.

    Garage sales remain one of the best source of items as you are mainly buying from parents who did the same before. In most cases, I found that the seller (parent) was quite honest in the pros and cons of the items as he to understands the costs of a newborn.

    Have fun.


  • Avatar Coupon Fetcher January 17, 2008, 1:07 pm

    From your list of the price of things if bought new, that must be for ‘top of the line’ stuff. For example, we bought a new baby monitor by Graco that works great for $25.

  • Avatar Kat January 17, 2008, 1:07 pm

    What about baby bottles? Even if your wife is breastfeeding she may want a break from feeds, especially during the night. A small manual Avent pump is the cheapest option I found in Canada (I know as I have a hungry 3 month old!). Else there is formula to add to the budget. I’d be interested to know if you have to factor in extra food money. I know I have had to increase my food budget because I am extra hungry from producing milk.

    Also keep in mind that some babies don’t like swings. Mine hates them (glad I didn’t buy one) but she loves her bouncy vibrating chair ($70-100 Can).

    I have a number a baby carriers bought from craigslist for a fraction of the price and also homemade – for the wrap style it is MUCH cheaper to make your own.

    Oh and diaper bags are a waste of time, but a small portable changing mat is good idea IMO.

  • Avatar cannon_fodder January 17, 2008, 2:43 pm

    A BIG but worthy expense is RESP contributions. I can’t remember how long it took to get our daughter’s SIN (because she was a little Angel) but the sooner you can put money away for education the longer it has to compound.

  • Avatar Michelle January 17, 2008, 3:10 pm

    I don’t know… with my first, I bought EVERYTHING at garage sales, I went out one day with $100 and came back with just about everything I needed, except a car seat which was a baby shower gift. I went with cloth diapers, and bought those off a friend whose son was just potty trained for $150. I breastfed so no formula cost. And I have reused everything with my second baby. So, you CAN spend a lot of money on babies, but most of it is optional. I have 2 girls, age 2 1/2 and 10 months and on BOTH of them including food, I estimate I’ve spent about $5000 since the first one was born. And that’s with no government help at all.

  • Avatar thrifty momma January 17, 2008, 5:15 pm

    God love anyone who has to the where with all to go with cloth diapers. Sorry to say I was not quite up to that challenge.. but I will say the president choice diapers are the best value among regular diapers. We tried most of them…

    We were very lucky to have family members and friends buy or hand down almost everything to us, and I’ve been passing it down the line again. Remember how people on the islands in Newfoundland would survive us a thousand dollars a year… it can be done. I’m quite sure you’ve already there to make your RESP payments…

    You are doing just fine.

    I was afraid of second hand books because if was one of the few things I couldn’t wash, but once my first born was old enough and loved books so much, I soon got over that. You can come away with armloads of books at garage sales, and even those little golden books that used to be so cheap cost a fortune new now.

  • Avatar marie January 17, 2008, 6:45 pm

    Check the expiry date on your car seat before you buy (including on the stroller/carseat travel set)! They only last about 6 years. Mine was bought a year after it was manufactured (it was a gift) so I’m missing out on a year.

    A nursing pillow is great (and can be used during those last few months to help with sleep).

    A sling/carrier is great, you can wear it around the house if the baby’s fussy and wear it out when you don’t want to use the stroller. The site thebabywearer.com has lots of information on carriers.

  • Avatar Peter @ Plan Your Escape January 17, 2008, 7:36 pm

    Never underestimate the power of baby showers and generous family and friends. We got most of our baby equipment as hand-me-downs and/or gifts. The only thing we still need to get is a stroller – and piano lessons, an education fund, etc! Having a list helps immensely so you can let people know what you actually need/want.

    So I guess my advice is to hold off buying everything at once. Wait to see what you still need after the dust settles from the showers etc.

    Good luck with your preparations!


  • Avatar Jeff January 27, 2008, 3:31 pm

    In Calgary, we’ve been finding lots of good clothes and baby equipment on Freecycle. We even found a great change table for free via the Freecycle site.

    Freecycle is a Yahoo group that lets people give away things they no longer need. Not everything is in great shape, but we’ve found enough things that we can use to make it more then worthwhile. I don’t think we’ve bought more than 25% of the baby’s clothes.


  • Avatar komodo dragon June 14, 2008, 4:59 pm

    its important to shop wisely for your newborn. Don’t become to extravagant :P although it might be difficult.

  • Avatar paulette June 15, 2008, 2:23 am

    Having newborn is quite exciting but we shouldn’t be too much excited in buying things for the little one. They are fast to grow up so just buy what is important:)

  • Avatar lindsay November 9, 2009, 11:37 am

    We found many items on craigslist and yes, great way to save. We found newborn clothes easy to come by online or as gifts – people can’t resist buying the tiny little outfits. Then suddenly, around a year in, “poof!” no more clothing gifts. Try to resist buying too many little outfits and save your money for later.

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