As a father of three children, I know how expensive it can be to provide food, clothes, and diapers for your newborn. That's not to mention the never-ending list of other required things such as baby furniture, books, car seats, strollers, and on and on.
Through my experience, I have paid way too much for things but I have also found some awesome ways to get free baby stuff! If you are expecting a new addition to your family, learn from my mistakes and take advantage of some of these great free baby hacks I have learned.
My First Baby [Expensive Mistakes]
As a young expecting father, I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew my wife and I needed to buy a crib and some baby clothes but I didn't really know how much and where exactly I should buy this stuff. I also heard that the diapers were expensive. Other than that, I was clueless.
Because of my ignorance, I stopped at a store that we had driven by several times. “Babies ‘R Us” screamed, “if you don't know what you're doing, shop here!”
Truth be told, Babies ‘R Us should have changed their name to “shop here if you never want to go out to eat again or have any money and need three extra jobs just to buy your baby's furniture.”
Now that I think about it, they probably wouldn't get much business if they told the truth.
My Baby Deserves Only The Best!
Regardless, I made the new dad mistake and bought everything new and name brand for my firstborn. Second-hand items were not an option – my baby deserved only the best!
Boy was I dumb.
Looking back now, I quickly realized there was no way our single income could support buying all new baby stuff for each kid. Even with our great budget, it just wasn't going to work. Living paycheck to paycheck was not something I wanted to do – even for my first baby.
At the end of it all, my first born probably had about 90% new stuff and 10% second hand. The second child had about 30% new, 70% used. And for my third child, I don't think he had anything new – but he was by far the cheapest baby!
It only took me three tries to finally figure out this whole baby thing – had I figured out the financial side of it earlier, my retirement would be better off!
How To Get Free Baby Items
It has been six years since my third child was born and I have a good handle on how to find the best deals and even get a ton of freebies! For a quick list, check the table of contents for your specific needs. Otherwise, without further adieu – here are my top tips!
Diapers are one of the most expensive items you will continually need to purchase. Even if you decide to go with a cloth diaper service, it will still cost you a pretty penny. If you choose to use disposable diapers, these are the best ways to get free samples and save money on your purchases.
Cuties is a diaper company who is trying to break into the scene. They want your business so they are willing to send you a free sample of Cuties Complete Care baby diapers. Head over to the Cuties website to request your free samples.
When you register for an account here, they will start sending you free samples and coupons for a bunch of products. There are tons of companies that will send you free samples in hopes you will start buying their product.
The Honest Co.
The Honest Company offers a free trial package that includes diapers and wipes. To sign up for their free trial, sign up at their website.
They charge $5.99 for shipping.
The company Noobie Box provides a free pregnancy edition gift box for moms that is filled with samples. Each year you can request a new box depending on how quickly you are having babies! The box comes with baby ointment, Baume, pacifier, diapers, breastfeeding sets, drink mixes, and baby wipes! Get your Noobie Box by following their website link.
You do need to pay the shipping which is $6.95 but it is well worth all the freebies that are included.
Free diapers are a great start but they will only last you so long. For the long term strategy, you need to get into a rewards program so you can get discounted diapers. The list below offers rewards programs to provide your diapers at a steep discount and even free if you get enough points.
Huggies has a solid rewards program for you to take advantage of. Each time you purchase diapers, you can scan the box and the credits are automatically awarded to your account. When you reach a certain threshold, you can redeem the points for different products, including diapers!
Did you know that Target brand (Up&Up) generic diapers are Huggies in disguise?! It's true, they are made by Huggies but marketed for Target. I figured this out by my second kid and started buying Target brand diapers. They are way cheaper than the Huggies name brand and I didn't need to mess with a rewards program.
Pampers also has a rewards program similar to Huggies. With our first kid, my wife liked the Papers diapers the best and we used this rewards program often.
Free Products When You Create A Registry
Take full advantage of your baby shower! People just love babies and they like shopping for baby items. In order to ensure you don't get 100 packs of the same size diapers that you'll never get through, or a terrible sweater from Aunt Midge, make sure you get on a registry!
Tell people what you need and give them a list. If ‘ol Aunt Midge still wants to get your baby that sweater, she can, but hopefully she will get something else on the list also.
Amazon Baby Registry
That's right, Amazon has everything from A to Z, including a baby registry. If you sign up with Amazon, you will also get a sweet Welcome Box. The Welcome Box contains surprise items for both parents and the baby. Previous box recipients have received $35 worth of baby items and a parenting book. The Amazon Baby Registry can be found here.
Target Baby Registry
My wife and I have a love-hate relationship with Target. We love Target, but we hate how much stuff we buy when we are in there. With that being said, they have a great baby registry. We signed up for the Target registry for each of our babies since we love Target so much.
When you sign up, Target hooks you up with a congratulations box that contains about $50 worth of free samples and coupons.
Walmart Baby Registry
Walmart offers an awesome Baby Registry Welcome Box if you decide to sign up for all your baby shopping at this store. According to the Walmart website, the box contains:
- Pampers Baby Wipes
- Enfamil Baby Formula
- Palmer's Cocoa Butter
- Nanobebe Baby Pacifier
- Babyganics Moisturizing Lotion
- Dr. Brown Baby Bottle
- Carter's Short Sleeve White Body Suit
- Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
- Aquaphor Healing Ointment
- Desitin Diaper Rash Cream
- Aveeno Moisture Lotion
Baby Box Co.
While not a registry, the Baby Box Co. is a community that strives to provide the best advice and tips to new parents. They designed several videos and learning modules to teach you the basics of parents (for free) and will send you freebies when you complete a course.
Some of the free items they will send you include Baby Boxes, safety care products, and even product vouchers. Learn more about the Baby Box Co. here.
Free Baby Clothes
Putting clothes on your baby can quickly get expensive because kids grow up so fast! Before they have time to ruin an outfit, they need a new bigger size. It seemed like every week I needed a bigger size for my baby.
3 Of My Favorite Words: “Hand-Me-Downs”
By far my absolute favorite way to get free clothes is to get hand-me-downs. Most of us have friends or relatives who had kiddos before we did, so don't be afraid to reach out to them!
Most parents have bags of clothes their kids have outgrown and if you're nice enough, they may even give them to you for free. We were extremely lucky to have close friends with older daughters so we benefited from receiving all the old clothes their girls outgrew.
There is nothing wrong with dressing your kid in used clothes, because like I said, most of the time the clothes still look brand new before they outgrow them!
Also, be sure to return the favor and keep all your kid's old clothes so you can hand them over to any new parents in your lives.
Want $50 dollars worth of baby clothes for free? No, I'm not kidding – head over to Custom Snappies and enter the promo code PENNY1. You will get a $50.00 discount – just like that!
You will still need to pay the shipping.
How about $60.00 worth of baby shoes for free? Similar to Custom Snappies, Little Wanderers will give you a $60 dollar credit if you use the promo code PENNY1.
Shipping will need to be paid by you.
Your baby needs leggings, seriously. Nothing says you're an awesome parent by putting stretchy pants on your kid. Feel free to use my parenting hack and claim it as your own. Forget the buttons and zippers – you need to pick up $50.00 worth of baby leggings with the promo code PENNY1.
Go get your free stuff over at the Baby Legging's website!
Just pay the shipping.
Did you know Craigslist has a “free” section? Just search “free baby clothes” and you may be surprised to see what comes up. Often, people have old baby clothes that they can't get anyone to buy. Instead of giving it away to Goodwill for others to make a profit, many people will give away their stuff to a good home.
Free Baby Food And Formula
If you don't know, now you know. Baby formula is right up there with diapers in regards to expense. If breastfeeding is difficult or not an option, baby formula can quickly take a big chunk of your budget.
Get a free 10 oz. sample of Enfamil's Enfagrow by signing up for free. Fill out your information and your free sample will be in the mail along with dozens of other coupons and information for you and your new baby.
You can also Join the Enfamil Family Beginnings program to get additional Enfamil baby formula coupons, baby formula samples, special offers and other savings.
Similac Strong Moms Rewards
If you create a profile for the Similac Strong Moms Rewards program, they will send you nutrition guidance for you and your baby, a free Shutterfly photo book, and free formula samples!
Do you live in Canada? If so, register for free to Nestle Baby. When you do, they will send you a free welcome kit as well as $130.00 in coupons and samples. In addition to the free samples, you have access to expert advice from pregnancy to toddlerhood and practical tools and videos for you and your baby.
Get Free Books For Your Baby
Every parent knows that reading to your child is extremely important for their mental development. As your child grows, there are various levels of books that you will need to read to them and books they will begin to read on their own.
Below are several great places to get free books for you and your baby.
Freecycle.org is a networking site that connects people together. It's a nonprofit movement of people who are giving away items for free. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
Membership for Freecycle is, you guessed it, free!
Check out their website to find a neighborhood group near you.
Babies First Books
Babiesfirstbooks.com has a promotional offer where you can get up to $40 dollars worth of books for free. To get this sweet deal, head over to their website and use the promotional code “OFFERS” to get your free books.
Babsy Books also offer a promotion where you can get five free books by entering the promo code “GET5FREEBOOKS” at checkout.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton is famous for many different things, but did you know she also founded a program that sends free age-appropriate books every month to children up to the age of five? It's true, you can sign up for the program for free if it is offered in your area.
Check the Imagination Library to see if you are in one of the serviced areas.
If you are a fan of digital books, Bookyards is a free library to the world that allows you to browse and read through their 23,511 books! All you need to do is sign up through this link to start browsing the books from the publishing community.
I Can Read!
My children learned to read with the I Can Read! series and I highly endorse them. Right now, if you sign up to browse their books, they will send you two free books for only $1 dollar!
Free Kids Books
The name says it all. Free Kids Books has a ton of free books for download that you can read to your little one to help them learn to love reading! Check out the Free Kids Books website for more information.
Wrapping It All Up
As an experienced parent, I want to remind you that you don't need to buy all new things for your baby. Using hand-me-downs or buying gently used items is perfectly acceptable. Learn from my mistakes of buying everything new for my first born before I realized I was throwing my money away.
No one will know or care your child is wearing a onesie that was previously worn – believe me. And if they do – they have their own problems to deal with.
Set you and your baby up for success from the beginning by taking advantage of these freebies and spend your money wisely – you and your baby deserve it! And you'll be glad when you can use some of that saved money to invest your hard earned money for the future.