I am sure we have all heard from a relative or two, how expensive babies are. When compiling a list of what all I wanted to have for baby, I realized just how expensive they really are! But, babies don't have to be! I am a firm believer in if somethings for sale, there is always a cheaper way. Large companies dote on expecting mothers with wide eyes and have an array of expensive, sometimes unneeded products.
While I am all for splurging, and will probably buy a thing or two that I don't need being a new mom and wanting to spoil her; I wanted to put together a list we could all benefit and save a few bucks from! Soon I will be also sharing some freebies that us moms can take advantage of, so be on the look out! This post does contain affiliate links to provide a better and visual shopping experience.
There are a few different money saving tips when it comes to diapers. Every month that passes in this pregnancy, we have bought one box of diapers. I have particularly gone to Target because they consistently have $2 off Pampers or Huggies diapers. Since she's our first, we don't know what diapers she will like so I have been buying a variety. Target will allow you to exchange diapers out for different ones, even without a receipt, so this will be a great way to test out which brand works for your little one. Also, if you have the cartwheel app and scan it after every purchase (even if you didn't apply the coupons), it'll rack up your spending into points and you can turn it around and it will cover one of their rewards. Usually on the list: a free pack of diapers or wipes.
If you are totally not into brands, investing in memberships at Costco or Sam's Club cards would be worth your while and you can buy their brand of diapers in bulk and usually for a little cheaper than on brand. If you don't know what sizes to buy, I discovered this helpful chart that will be posted below on how much of each you should stock up on!
If you are having a baby shower, your friends and family are probably going to help you big time with this one. A great tip is to scour online selling pages, like Facebook marketplace to find huge amounts of baby clothes for a really low cost.
I know the struggle of wanting to buy every single custom onesie on Etsy, or buying that must need outfit at the baby boutique, but honestly I am being realistic and know that my baby will probably go through so many outfits in a day, and I'd rather not have my money crapped on: literally. I recently went to a baby consignment store and got a lot of clothes for a very little cost. The benefit is, when she grows out of them (and they aren't destroyed) I can take them back and make a few bucks off of them.
If you read one of my most recent posts, I purchased the Playtex drop in liner bottles. I am excited to use them because even though I plan to breastfeed, it'll be handy to store them and drop them in the bottles for feedings. I didn't realize just how expensive bottles can be, and it is honestly intimidating with all the different brands and styles on the market! If you go back to my post, Cartwheel app is doing a 15% off all Playtex bottles, which would be a perfect time to stock up!
Another great option is to go to Amazon and find what deals they have. They have a pretty good return and exchange policy, so I would check that before purchasing. You can also read real customer reviews which could help make your decision a little easier! Some things to take in account would be the bottle size and style. You can always fill up the bigger bottles with smaller amounts, and add more as the baby grows and needs more milk. Smaller bottles are nice, but you'll get more use out of the larger quantities. Also, bottles like the drop ins, ones with vents or an angle to them, and any designed to reduce air bubbles would be a great type to start off with. These reduce stomach issues and gas which would save you in the end if your baby did have these problems.
Obviously it is dependent on your parenting style and preference, but deciding on how and where your baby will be sleeping now will save you some bucks in the end. If you plan on co sleeping, maybe investing in a co sleeper for the bed or a connecting bed would be wise, and to just skip the bassinet or free standing beds. If you are choosing to have your baby start off in a crib, you won't have to worry about having alternatives.
It may be tempting to buy a co sleeper, pack n play, and a crib but chances are you'll only use one or two. Cribs themselves can be pricey, so finding one second hand could be a great money saver. If you do buy it from a previous mom, check the recalls and make sure it is a safe version. Take into account what is most practical and fitting for your space.
Kind of a hard thing to avoid purchasing, but man can these things be expensive! I know a lot of moms will have different opinions on what carseat is the must have, so take in account what is a need for you and your family. A lot will say infant car seats are a waste of money because they are used for a smaller amount of time, and others will swear by them because they are lightweight and can easily be carried inside and back to car. The number one tip is to find what fits your needs as a mom and find the best version you can.
All car seats have to pass the same safety test, but some will have additional padding and safety settings. Find a car seat that will fit easily in your car, be light enough if you do plan on carrying baby in it, and won't break the bank too much. It could be tempting to buy a car seat secondhand, and while it's acceptable, make sure you research that model and ensure there aren't any recalls on it. Also, if a car seat has been in an accident, or is over 5 years old, the safety expires and it is not recommended. Finding a car seat with padded head and sides, because this will be vital in impact.
Toys are another tricky thing, because you'll never know what your baby might like and favor. Toys can also be super expensive, so finding tricks to save a few bucks will make you a happy mama! A great way to save is to make your own toys. Make a baby rattle or noise maker by adding some beans or rice to a water bottle, tie together some socks of different fabrics, or even sew up your own toy for your little one. If you are looking to just buy toys on the market already, find some that have a multi-purpose. Toys that have fabric, plastic, and a mirror are great for babies senses.
Investing in a good teether, a few soft animals, and maybe a noisy toy or two will be great starter toys for your baby and give them the most stimulation until you find what they prefer.
I plan on spoiling her, but I feel so good knowing I will be saving in different areas, especially on the must haves! I will be featuring a post soon of different freebies you can get as a mom, because I know there are a ton of other money saving mamas out here too!
Have you found a great deal on a baby essential?
I would love to hear it! I have just finished adding things to my baby nursery, but I am all for saving in areas I can! Thank you for reading.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FirstsMadeEasy #ForBetterBeginnings #MomsFirsts #CollectiveBias
I am a stage one over planner and that didn't change when I got pregnant! One thing I was really excited to plan for, was our diaper bag! J picked out the most fitting diaper bag for us to use (military family, come on we had to get this one) and I was so excited to start packing the essentials I knew I would need. I wanted to share with y'all how I packed our diaper bag and what essentials I have included. It has really eased my mind to have the diaper bag prepped, because being a first time mom, I feel a little in over my head!
Being first time parents, we are always thinking safety first. We want to take all precautions to ensure peace of mind! Having a thermometer, lotion to keep baby Stratton's skin hydrated, and a nasal aspirator were all essentials for baby. I will later be adding a pacifier, and a mini first aid kit.
Having a few burp cloths, an extra onesie just in case, and a cute turtle toy were all basic baby needs I knew I wouldn't want to leave the house without! Also, I tested out our diaper bag bottle pouch and it perfectly holds our bottle of choice, the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners. We chose this after doing some research and found with the shape the bottle can conform in, it will reduce colic and the liners allow for a stress-free feeding because the liner collapses as it's emptied. This prevents air from getting into the milk and upsetting baby's stomach! I may be buying the Playtex Baby™ VentAire because it offers complete tummy support, if I see this being a concern with Baby Stratton.
Additionally, the nipple is designed to allow baby to easily and naturally latch, which is reassuring for when we will rely on these bottles during travels! The concept of the liners is really intriguing to me, because not only are they recyclable but it will make transporting formula or breastmilk a breeze. Click below to shop the Playtex Baby Nurser and take advantage of the Cartwheel savings at Target!
I have needs too! I am a huge snacker, so having food on hand for me is an essential. I also packed my chapstick and some hand sanitizer, because all moms know, I'm sure, you can never have enough sanitizer!
Last but not least, when duty calls: I am prepared! I have newborn diapers packed (we've already started stocking up, thanks Cartwheel app!), diaper wipes, and our diaper changing pad! Our bag also came with a dirty diaper pouch that is located in front of the diaper storage which is so handy. Also, can we just talk about that changing pad? My husband got a kick out of that and it's the perfect ounce of military humor this baby will soon be introduced too!
If you are a momma in the market for a new bottle, you can find these in the breastfeeding and bottle aisle of Target! I am so excited for our little one to make it's debut in August and I feel so reassured and prepared knowing I have quality and safe products!
If you are a mom, what are your must haves for your diaper bag?
Happy Friday!!! So excited to be ending this week on a positive note and I look forward to this weekend! J will be working on his new old truck with a friend and I plan on getting some much needed house work done! Ever since I started working full time and getting pregnant, I just have no energy and cleaning has been put on the back burner!
It is finally warming up here in Colorado and has been in the high sixties/ seventies all week and it's amazing. I hope it continues to stay warm because I look forward to spending more time outdoors and enjoying the sunshine!
As you know from my last post, I've had a great time buying maternity clothes! I didn't think I would score so many great finds and they have been my primary wardrobe lately. The bump seems to have grown overnight and my pipe dream of wearing my regular clothes until the third trimester have quickly vanished! haha I put together this fun maternity clothing haul and filmed it a few weeks ago, and thought it would be helpful to demonstrate the pieces on too! I hope you really enjoy this video and have a great weekend!
Thank you to Shop Pink Blush Maternity for sending me these pieces for review!
As an avid lover of clothes, I was so excited to start my maternity wardrobe. However, I love sticking to a budget and not splurging too much on clothes; especially because they are typically worn for 9 months. I started looking into different clothing pieces and found three exquisite dresses that not only can I wear throughout this pregnancy in different ways, but also after!
All of these dresses I would deem "must haves" for every first time mom to have in her wardrobe! I have found so many different looks and occasions these are oh so perfect for that I just had to share with all of you. I am so in love with all of these cute maternity dresses and I hope they help give you ideas on what you could pair them up with! Also for size reference, I ordered a small in everything.
I am first going to share this must have, even though it's not one of my three dresses. My husband chose this adorable white and black floral robe and not only do I love wearing it every morning, but it also will be my delivery robe. I love the silky fabric and the wider sleeves, I feel so comfy in it and I love how breathable it is for the summertime!
With our baby being due in August, I knew I would be spending the bulk of this pregnancy in the heat and I kind of got worried to be honest! I was unsure about finding modest clothing pieces that would not only accommodate a growing bump, but also keep me as cool as possible. I also plan to use this robe postpartum and nurse in it while at home.
Casual to Church
With it warming up, it is very tricky to still stay cute but still have modest clothing options! I have been wearing this dress at a minimum of once a week and it is my absolute favorite! I love wearing it out shopping or to run errands because of how stretchy and soft the fabric is.
This is an absolute staple in every expecting mama's closet, because you can literally pair it with anything! On this day I paired it with some ankle peep toe booties, a jean jacket, and a fun felt hat.
You can wear it with sandals, add a cardigan, fun necklace, anything really! I love how stretchy the midsection is because I really wanted pieces I could wear comfortably the entire pregnancy.
To transition this cute maternity dress for church, I paired it with a white denim vest and lace up flats. I like to be comfortable for church and this outfit is perfect by adding that extra layer without being bulky.
Dress: Shop Pink Blush | Booties: Burlington Coat Factory | Hat & Black Flats Target | Denim Jacket: & Vest Walmart
Work to Date Night
While I am lucky enough to work from home, we frequently have work meetings and business conferences. This dress was the perfect fit for those video conferences because it looks professional and put together.
I love the wrap detailing and honestly I'm still blown away at how gorgeous this color is! The online photos don't do it justice at all, it is a gorgeous raspberry pink/red color and is perfect for the summer months.
I paired this darling dress with a lace blazer and blush pink flats. This is perfect for those mamas that are also working and need an easy yet comfortable look that is still office appropriate!
I will be wearing this a lot this spring and summer because the fabric is so soft and even with the three quarter sleeves it is very breathable. Also a HUGE bonus about this dress is its nursing friendly!
This is a textbook example of the perfect day to night transitional piece! It is not only work appropriate, but also perfect for date nights or nights on the town! I enjoyed a yummy dinner with my husband and didn't have to worry about feeling bloated (or looking it!) because of how forgiving this dress is.
I can't wait to wear this even after this pregnancy because of how flattering it is. For this look I just paired it with some heels, but you can definitely stick with your flats for comfort.
Dress: Shop Pink Blush | Flats: H&M | Blazer: Target
Maternity Photos to Baby Shower
When I saw this dress online I immediately had a vision and plan for it! My mind went straight to bohemian and I was inspired by the flowy, lace detailing and I knew it would look gorgeous for photos.
My husband captured maternity photos in this beauty and I paired it with a flower crown and some bracelets. While my bump is still growing, I plan on taking some more photos later on! While this dress isn't as stretchy as the other two, you definitely have a lot of room to grow in it.
This dress is such amazing quality and I love the slightly longer train for the hem. The lace collar was such a sweet, delicate touch and I love this dress that much more because of these details!
I will say though, it is a bit long. I am 5'3 and wore heels, so if you are short like me you may want to look into getting it hemmed and taken up a tad. I plan on wearing this for my baby shower in June and thought it would be oh so perfect because it just feels so elegant and made me feel beautiful (which is most important in my opinion)!
Dress: Shop Pink Blush | Accessories: gifts | Flower Crown: Claire's
I hope this post helped give y'all ideas and inspiration! I know it can be so overwhelming buying a whole new wardrobe for your new body, but having these staple items in your wardrobe can really simplify things and get you the most bang for your buck. I would love to know what your most coveted pregnancy essential has been, whether you are a first time mom or seasoned, I love hearing what was a huge life saver for you! Thank you for reading and have a great week!
I am sure some of you might be growing tiresome of me talking about this little one, but honestly when you have waited for something for so long, it's so hard not to talk about it! Our life lately has been pretty monotonous, with us both working full time I have been struggling with still putting my heart and soul into this blog! I love blogging more than anything and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon, I just need to figure out how to balance my time better!
J is still enjoying his job and has been flying a lot after work. I work from home for an online college so that takes up the majority of my day, and I am also working to finish my Pharmacy Technician program! We are staying pretty busy and cherish every moment we get together.
I am so so excited to begin the nursery process! We probably won't get a crib for awhile because I plan on having a co sleeper in our room. But, I'm excited to start the closet, set up the changing table and dresser, and add in the cute little details that will make the room more of the baby's. I have always had the theme picked out if it was a boy, and J came up with the cutest idea for a girl, so I am just ready to know what we are doing and get to it!
While we do know the gender, we are waiting until this next appointment to announce because I have a fear of it changing on us! There have been a lot of mom's reporting that it changes or they got it wrong, and I don't want that to happen so we are waiting to have it confirmed by the doctor.
I am now 15 weeks (16 weeks tomorrow!) and have filmed a pregnancy update. I also have a maternity clothing haul filmed, but I'm debating on if I want my lookbook to go up first or not.
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!