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Preparing for a new baby requires a lot of time and effort. There are books to read, nurseries to decorate and supplies to stock up on. Unfortunately, all of that can take a lot of money, too.
On the bright side, there are strategies you can use to cut costs — or better yet, eliminate them. Here’s how to get free baby stuff, including diapers, wipes and clothing.
1. Build a registry
Even if you don’t plan on having a baby shower, making a registry can be a simple way to score freebies. This usually involves creating an account, entering your due date and adding the products you want.
The more gifts friends and family purchase, the less you’ll have to buy yourself. As a bonus, many retailers and baby registry websites offer gifts or samples to those who register with them.
At Buybuy Baby stores, you can pick up a complimentary goody bag, which contains samples and a Buybuy Baby coupon, after creating a registry online. Target’s free welcome kit contains over $80 worth of samples and coupons and can be picked up from Guest Services.
2. Use community marketplaces
Connecting with your neighbors can help you save money on baby gear. You can often find new or secondhand strollers, onesies and other items for free through online networks such as Nextdoor, Craigslist and Facebook groups.
For safety and sanitary reasons, avoid certain used items, like car seats, crib mattresses and pacifiers. And before you take a product, do a quick Google search to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.
A word of caution: Never arrange a meetup with strangers in a private or secluded place. For your protection, meet at a safe trade station, such as a local police station, instead. This can reduce your chances of becoming a victim of theft — or worse.
3. Register for rewards programs and free trials
Visit manufacturers’ websites to request free samples of diapers, wipes, formula and other supplies. You can often get these items sent to you simply for joining loyalty programs and email lists.
For example, members of the Huggies Rewards program can earn points on Huggies purchases, redeemable for gift cards, merchandise and other freebies.
“You can get diapers, wipes, formula and other supplies by joining loyalty programs and email lists.”
Sign up for a free trial of The Honest Company’s subscription service to get a diapers and wipes kit. Note that you will have to pay the $5.95 shipping fee, however, and you’ll be auto-enrolled into a subscription after the trial period.
4. Scout out yard sales
Look for yard and garage sales in your area. You may occasionally find boxes filled with gently used baby clothes and products for cheap, or sometimes free for the taking. If you stop by a sale toward the end of the day, ask the host for any leftover items they’re willing to give away.
5. Contact your insurance provider
Your health insurance benefits may include more than prenatal appointments and labor and delivery. Under the Affordable Care Act, most plans are required to cover the cost of a breast pump. But there may be restrictions on the type of pump and where you get it from, so make sure to call your provider for details.
Some hospitals also send mothers home with items such as nasal aspirators, blankets and bottles after delivery. Before you head out, ask what you can take.
6. Reach out to religious groups and nonprofits
Many religious organizations and other nonprofit organizations provide resources for families in need. Don’t know where to start? You can call 2-1-1, which is supported by United Way, or visit the website to locate food, child care and other services in your community.
7. Ask friends and family for hand-me-downs
See if any parents you know will set you up with strollers, bouncers, cribs, clothes or other items that their children have outgrown. Some parents will be more than happy to help out and get rid of the baby stuff they no longer need at the same time.