Preparing for your bun in the oven sounds very expensive and daunting. It gets even more expensive when friends and family tell you that they swear by this really random, not so cost effective item. What if there was a way you could put together your entire nursery for $500 or less?
When we found out that we were pregnant for the second time (and this time it had stuck), we were thrilled beyond measure! and then stressed into infinity. How were we going to pay for this? What about hospital bills? Would I keep working? What about daycare? And DIAPERS!? So many diapers!
That’s probably every pregnant lady’s thought stream after that first ultrasound. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the money to spend on our pending addition. It was the fact that we knew just how expensive it could be to outfit and rig up a nursery to today’s consumer standards and we were not about to spend our hard earned dollars on arbitrary purchases.
Yes, yes. I wanted the best for my Little Guy and he certainly got it. But we sure as heck didn’t pay much for it. How did we spend less than $500 in a world that tells you to spend thousands?
Here’s what we bought:
- A recliner that is like sitting on a cloud. It was brand new from our local furniture store complete with an added swivel and Scotch Guard. Cost: $400. This definitely was not needed, but it has been well worth the investment. This recliner will be used for the better part of two decades. My parents had their Lazy Boy recliner for at least 15-20 years. After it left their house, it moved on to my cousin’s new place. If cared for properly, this piece of furniture will follow Little Guy to college and beyond. Could we have bought a rocking chair secondhand for $20? We definitely could have! But this purchase has been very well worth it. (See my dad modeling the recliner. 🙂 )
- Various diapers, wipes, bottles, and cloth diapers. Cost: ~$100 or less. I spent a lot of time couponing before our son was born. I was able to get diapers, wipes, and even bottles for next to nothing. You better believed that we stocked up. We also purchased cloth diapers after realizing the cost of each diaper change. We had some Amazon gift cards from our baby shower that we put towards the cost of the cloth diapers. Later on, more were given to us as a gift.
What we didn’t buy.
We bought nothing else to set up and begin living in our well put together nursery!
You’re probably asking yourself where he sleeps, where I change diapers, what I read to him or if I just make up stories in my head, what he wears day to day, etc… Let me tell you how powerful the action of asking is.
We asked our friends, coworkers, and family if they had any used baby gear that they would be willing to part with or that they could sell us. My husband would come home with bags of baby clothes that were no longer needed and friends would pop over to say congratulations and hand over boxes of half opened packages of diapers, clothes, mirrors for the car, etc.
My favorite thing that was given to us for free? Our crib. It is in basically new condition. My mother and father-in-law bought it when their first grandchild was born eight years ago. They no longer had need for it and we didn’t want to buy one so they handed it over. It was just collecting dust in their garage anyways!
My second favorite thing that is secondhand would be the Fischer-Price rocker that my mom bought from a young mom she knows from her school. That was a lifesaver in the early days. Little Guy took naps in it and it was a safe place for me to put him when I need to eat lunch or run to the bathroom.
Putting together a well thought out baby registry is just a different way of telling your friends and family what you need and want.
Completing your baby registry is an art form.
I spent hours putting together exactly what we wanted and what we thought that we needed. I scrolled through BuzzFeed and Baby Center articles trying to find the best of everything out there. Luckily, Amazon has a checklist for you to follow. You can use my affiliate link to create your registry HERE.
Amazon offers a check list and suggests the top selling product in each category. It was very helpful to start adding items to our registry and we were able to build off of it by searching related items.
Amazon also offers 20% off diaper subscriptions and a 30 day free trial (which is amazing for new parents!) when you go through my link HERE.
To get the most out of the registry, ask for practical and well made items.
We registered for these items and received them at our multiple baby showers. These are the top items that we have.
- The Shusher – not even joking… it’s a thing. And Lord bless the person that invented it. It literally does the “shhhhh” sound over and over again for 15 minutes at a time before it turns off. In the early days of what seems like constant crying while trying to lull your sweet babe to sleep, this helped. The rhythmic shushing puts Little Guy to sleep like a charm.
- Philips Avent Bottles – This was more last minute for us as I thought three bottles would be enough. HA! We had three 4oz bottles. I’m so very glad that we received these. They are 8oz and have a lid/ring that will fit other nipple sizes. These have lasted many cycles through the dish washer.
- So many crib sheets – babies pee a lot. Baby boys pee even more it seems like. We have five sheets. I was very inexperienced with tiny boys and how much/far they pee. These sheets are a soft jersey knit and are very gender neutral. They will transition well for the next baby.
- Alva Baby Cloth Diapers – I did not think that I would ever like cloth diapering Little Guy, but it is very cost effective. These Alva Baby pocket cloth diapers are easy to wash, wear, and maintain use after use.
- Pajamas – Footie PJs are super cute on babies. Oh, and they are also warm and comforting. Little Guy basically lived in PJs those first few weeks because he was so tiny, nothing else fit.
- Car Seat – We received the Chicco KeyFit It has been a great car seat so far! It is one of the top safety rated seats and was recommend by Consumer Reports and most baby sites.
It wasn’t bought off the registry and we didn’t get it from a friend… so we shopped secondhand!
Garage sales and Facebook Market are simply amazing. People sell baby things in abundance and for cheap. Why pay $50 or more for a brand name high chair when you can get one secondhand for $10?
Shopping secondhand made such difference in our budget once we brought little guy home. We realized that the things we didn’t receive as gifts or from friends would cost us a fortune if we bought new. So we made a list of all the baby gear we would need in the first year and whenever we saw it at a garage sale or for a killer deal on Facebook Market, we would snatch it up for a steal. Most everything baby is washable, so as long as it isn’t really stained or broken but in good condition I feel comfortable buying it secondhand.
My favorite secondhand purchases (other than clothes): baby carrier ($5), Finding Nemo Bouncer ($40), high chair ($10).
I hope that this helps you in our journey for preparing for your own little one or helping someone else. If you would like to know what other specific baby product I highly recommend, let me know in the comments! I’m always happy to answer questions.