The answer to this question is, of course, subjective. There are basics that you will need, but every parent-to-be is going to spend a different amount, depending on their income, location, and personal preferences.
Since my personal preference is to be as frugal as possible without compromising quality (or style), second-hand items in good condition are the way to go. Which is great since so many people have wanted to GIFT us baby items! We were told this would happen, but my wife and I were taken aback (and still are) by everyone’s generosity. And not just friends and family — even practical strangers, friends of friends! It’s been a wonderful blessing and we have gratefully accepted nearly everything offered to us.
Early on, before I got pregnant, we made a budget (because that’s the kind of couple we are). We estimated how much we could save in the next 10 months to a year, to be ready for my loss of income and the increased expenses. Well, since I got pregnant right away, we lost a bit of that time to save, and of course unexpected things came up (like me having to pay back the government my GST credit, since my marital status changed. ouch!) so we haven’t quite reached our goal — but we’ve come pretty darn close!
Here’s a breakdown of what we’ve already spent:
$200 on maternity clothes (more than I wanted or budgeted to spend, but a life-saver!)
$100 on nursery items and decor
$200 on a stroller (from Craigslist)
$125 on our Doula deposit (we’ll owe another $125 after the birth)
$250 on the birthing tub rental (a necessary luxury for a home birth)
$55 on our prenatal classes (thanks goodness for sliding scale!)
$60 on a glider and ottoman (from Craigslist)
For a total of $990! Amazing since we budgeted to spend $1000 to get ready for baby.
Since we pretty much have everything that we need to get started, we won’t be buying anything else until after our baby showers. Fingers crossed that people get us gifts from our registry — the items we really need (no more onesies or receiving blankets! Lol!). Btw, I set up our registry through babyli.st and it’s awesome.
Another way we’ve saved money is by using our PC points to shop at Superstore. We use our PC Financial Mastercard to buy groceries every month, and once or twice a year we get to go shopping for free with the points!
For now we’ve saved enough to live on despite my loss of income and the meager maternity benefits I’ll be getting. I’m so thankful to live in Canada where we have federal maternity benefits! I know that having a child will just get more and more expensive as they grow older, eat more, take lessons and play sports, etc, but at least we can enjoy our baby’s arrival without stressing over money. Thanks Mom, for teaching me to be thrifty!