As my belly gets bigger, my bank account gets smaller. There are tons of things a new mom has to buy — cribs, clothes, diapers, health supplies, car seats, bouncers, bathtubs and many more essentials. 

Watching all my money disappear is tough, but my next lesson on motherhood has helped me save money and still prepare for my baby. Baby bargaining has become my new best friend.

Studies show parents average $20,000 to $50,000 for the child’s first year of life, according to an article from New York Life..

When it comes to clothes, supplies and even some furniture for the baby, I suggest retail stores that still give good quality products at low prices. TJMaxx, Marshalls, Burlington and Ross sell name-brand products that are sometimes knocked down to 75% off the normal price. Secondhand shops and thrift stores provide great clothes and furniture. Just give them a good wash or wipe down and they are good as new. 

One of the most expensive items a new mother has to buy is a breast pump. In retail stores, prices range from $150 to $300. However, there are alternatives. Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, a program for women with children, will rent out a breast pump for free. The only requirement is to meet with a local office and fill out some paperwork. Some insurance companies will also provide a brand new pump for little to no cost. 

WIC is also an amazing program that provides women with grocery items from pregnancy and for children from infancy to 5 years old. It also provides free formula for infants. Applications can be found at
texaswic.org.

The dreaded diapers will steal your money for years. However, I recommend a Pamper party or diaper raffle. Baby showers are a great way to bring in tons of diapers for free. If you forgo a shower, there are programs online and in the community that provide coupons or samples of diapers.

Having a baby doesn’t mean you have to dry out your wallet. Lesson No. 2 is don’t break the bank. Smart and savvy shopping will save you money and still provide your little one with everything they need. Babies are expensive, but the love you give a child will always be free.

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