3 Things to Survive Without When Baby Comes Along

Scott McEachern |

I remember when Babies R Us passed us the scanner for our baby shower registry. “Scan everything you want” they said. We walked up and down every aisle, looking at so many items, which to me felt like an eternity. I’m pretty sure I could have watched an entire Toronto Raptors game before we finished. One of the reasons it took so long was that we double guessed every scan. “Do we really need this? Even if someone else is buying it for us??” and other thoughts like “Will this item actually have use, or will it just clutter our house?” The store had a promotion on that if you scanned 100 items, you’d get your name in a draw. We didn’t fall for that marketing ploy. At the end of the day, below are the three biggest ticket items we intentionally left off our list and did not purchase ourselves along with our reasoning.

A Change Table

Instead of buying a change table, we planned for the long term and we bought a dresser that was waist height. All we needed to add was a padded spot to change Elliott and we use the rest of the surface for supplies. The dresser is filled with clothing, cloth diapers, extra wipes, and other supplies. So, technically, we did spend the money, but we saved ourselves future spending by not having to buy a dresser for Elliott later. Keep in mind, essentially any flat surface will do, though. With newborns, you’ll be constantly exhausted, and if your change table or dresser is on the second floor in your house, the last thing you’ll want to do is climb stairs to change a dirty bum.

Savings: $149.99

Expensive Newborn Clothing

Cute baby clothing is everywhere and the new parent in you thinks your baby deserves only the best! But the fact is, babies grow and they grow really fast. They also ooze bodily fluids, the 3 P’s (I’ll let you figure that out) and they’ll stain the clothing pretty quickly. We bought a lot of our clothing used and even borrowed/traded a lot with friends. MomSwap pages on Facebook are great for this!

Savings: $16.99 per piece! (and more!)

High Chair

Typically high chairs can’t be used in the first 3-4 months of new baby life and then shortly after there’s a good chance you’ll want a portable booster seat to take to family and friend’s houses. Instead of purchasing a high chair and a portable booster seat, we just went with the booster seat and it works like a charm!

Savings: $199.99


Total Savings: Close to $400.00

Babies are expensive, but if you think critically about what you’ll need and what you can acquire used, you can really save yourself hundreds of dollars you’d otherwise spend. One of my wife’s favourite advice to new moms on a budget is “Don’t buy it until you need it”. While this obviously cannot apply to everything, in the vast majority of situations, if you can survive without it once, you can do it twice and probably don’t need to buy that item.