Discount Baby Stuff

Written by Serena Berger
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If you're one of the millions of parents who doesn't have millions of dollars, you probably understand the importance of finding discount baby stuff. If you're having your first child, you're certain to be hit with unexpected expenses that make you feel scared and overwhelmed. For example, many moms actually don't think to budget for maternity clothes--they're so focused on what the baby needs that they're surprised when their pants don't fit one day or they can't button their jacket on a winter day. Other first-time moms don't have an exact sense of how often they'll have to do laundry if they're using cloth diapers, and realize at the last minute that they're going to have to buy some disposables (which cost a lot of money over time) because they don't have the time to use nothing but cloth.

Second-time parents sometimes make the mistake of underestimating their expenses because they think they have everything from the first time around. This isn't always realistic. There are a variety of free tools you can use online to calculate what it's likely to cost you to raise a child. They will take into account your current income, where you live, the year your child will be born, your educational aspirations for your child, and other factors that might increase or diminish the average cost of living. Some of them will also link you to sites that can help you with the financial planning you're going to have to do.

That being said, when you know you need something for your baby, it's a quick step to realize that you should be able to look for a discount on it. Furniture, clothing, toys, educational materials, and various accessories can all be found at discount prices. You may want to try outlets--especially outlet malls. You can also look online at auctions or look for consignment possibilities online or in your town.

Consignment Shopping for Baby Supplies

Consignment is rapidly increasing in popularity as a method of acquiring top quality baby stuff at the best possible prices. Many consignment websites can guarantee a higher level of quality than online auctions because they set standards for what they're willing to offer on their site. While the seller is responsible for accurately representing the material, the site will keep track of buyer feedback on each seller so you can ascertain whether a particular seller has been forthright and accurate in the past. Sellers will be asked to indicate whether items are new (still in the box with tags), nearly new (used but you really can't tell), "gently used," or more seriously worn. You as the seller can determine whether that's okay with you.

Discount clothing is one of the most frequently sought bargains. Children grow so fast that it seems silly to buy them designer clothing that they will only be able to wear for a few months before getting too big for the item. Add to that the fact that it's impossible to ensure that children's clothing will stay clean or in wearable condition, and it seems all the more prudent to save money here so that you can spend it on other baby things that will last a little bit longer or have higher resale value.

Brand Names for Less

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't outfit your baby in style occasionally. Whether you're looking for pretty little dresses complete with frills and embroidery, a sailor suit that will only be worn once for a professional baby picture, a suit for your young son to wear to a wedding, or an adorable ensemble just because you feel like it, you should check out consignment possibilities. You can find brand names for a fraction of the price that you'd find new, and chances are the outfit will only have been worn once or twice and come to you clean and in good condition.

You can also save money on all the important furniture and accessories you'll need for your baby. From playpens to playmats, baby gates to monitors, you don't have to pay the highest retail prices on these items. Consignment stores also offer bargains on baby carriers, bouncy seats, swings, and supplies that moms may need, as well.

When it comes to toys, books, and educational and fun DVDs and videos for your baby, most parents feel as though more is better, and they are delighted to be able to offer their children variety. Given how costly that can get, it's sensible to look to outlets, overstock suppliers, and consignment for the best bargains. You can invest in your child's development and in your bond with him by sharing these things, and you can also make contact with other parents who can give you recommendations about what's really the best.

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