When The Unexpected Happens Buy What Matters
When the unexpected pregnancy happens, the financial burden that occurs can be enormous for those already on a tight budget. Asking for or planning a baby shower can be fun and exciting! Yet in a time when people are becoming thriftier in nature and budgets are tight, it may be necessary to be choosy about what to ask for, what to buy or what is really needed. Here are 10 most needed baby shower gifts to consider:
· Hold a raffle where each bag of diapers represents payment for a ticket. Raffle off something donated by friends or family, businesses, or buy a gift card. The size of diapers matters. Make a game based on the size of diaper that the guest brings. Let them know ahead of time so they can choose. For example, Size one gets a chance at a $25 Target gift card, Size 2 gets a chance at a $25 Olive Garden gift card, etc.
· Hold a dinner party during or following the baby shower. Dinner will cost a bag of diapers and alcohol costs a box of wipes!
· Allow guests to make a wish by rubbing mommy’s tummy. It will cost them one bag of diapers (or a box of wipes)!
- Diapers are the most needed for any new mom. Do not ask for infant diapers. Buy one pack to take the hospital or wait until you are sure of the baby’s expected weight. Encourage guests to bring a bag of diapers each by making a game out of it. (Keep in mind, you want them to bring other gifts too, so make it worth their money.)
- Don’t go overboard with lotions, shampoos, powders, and baby washes. A new mom really only needs a maximum of three of each of these to get through the first year.
- Baby medicines, creams, and “tools” are great gifts. Babies unfortunately get sick and go through several little ailments the first year. Create a get well themed basket with over the counter items that a new mom may need such as thermometer, nail clippers, Desitin, Infant Tylenol, Infant Benedryl, Teething tablets and gels, Infant Ice pack, Infant chest rub, etc. This is most helpful to have on hand when the mother needs them rather than the panic of having to go out to get them, or having the money at this time of need.
- If the mother is breastfeeding, breast pads are essential! If bottle feeding a minimum of six bottles in each size are needed. Sizes include 2-2.5 ounces, 4-5 ounces, and 6-8 ounces.
- Be selective with clothes. It is so tempting to buy cute outfits but what a mother really needs is sleepers, onsies, socks, and hand mitts. Include tags and return receipts for the mother incase she needs them. If the new mother will take hand me downs, you can find great clothes at yard sales. On certain days, your local resale or consignment shop may offer an additional ½ off for extra savings. Babies grow so fast for the first year, it is unnecessary to buy brand new for everyday wear. These clothes are like new and won’t break your budget.
- The fun stuff. Babies will learn from toys and other stimulants. Skip the bow on your package and use a toy instead! Rattles, blocks, books, DVD’s, and other toys are great gifts to encourage new skills.
- Blankets, burping pads, and receiving blankets make great much needed gifts too. Cloth diapers make excellent burping pads, and they are more absorbent and cost effective.
- Bathing your baby does not have to be costly. It is not necessary to have an infant tub, but if wanted there are inexpensive ones out there. A maximum of 6-8 towels and 8-10 wash clothes is all she’ll need. Although not necessary, there’s probably not a baby out there that does not have a rubber duckie!
- It’s not too early to think about baby-proofing. Corner pads, socket covers, and cabinet clips are just a few items that any new mom will need.
- Big items that are “must have’s” include an infant and toddler car seat, a stroller, a swing, a pack n play (with the infant attachment), a highchair, a walker and a crib.
Although baby registries are in abundance, don’t go overboard with them. Pick one or two places your guests will most likely shop. List items that best meets your needs, rather than desires. This will lead to more desired results. Remember, your baby shower guests are probably on a budget too.
Tips for new thrifty moms:
- Start saving up items early. With each paycheck, put aside money for the maternity leave and buy one single item (i.e. one bag of diapers, one box of wipes, one article of clothing, etc)
- Sign up for on line groups for extra savings. There are plenty out there. Some include Publix Baby Club, Pampers gifts to grow, Huggies Enjoy the Ride, etc)
- Coupon for bigger savings and watch for great diaper deals. New mom sites like familyplanning.com will actually send you full size samples of baby formula and checks for future purchases.
- Apply for WIC to see if you qualify. This program continues to help mothers and children through educating and encouraging nutrition as well as offering assistance if needed.