Going in, you probably knew that pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a kid were all going to be expensive propositions. But knowing this in your head doesn’t help when you face the sticker shock on medical supplies and baby supplies that you might need. Whether you need liners or some kind of home safety aid, diapers or a place to score free breast pumps for moms: don’t panic. Here are some ways to minimize your baby expenses.

  1. Be specific about your baby shower needs. If you leave it to your friends and family to get you whatever they think you need, you’re liable to end up with 600,000 identical onesies and a bunch of teddy bears that your baby won’t even like. To keep this from happening, make a list of things that you know you really need. If some of the items are pretty big ticket, let people know that you are happy if they go in on a present together. This can be a great way to get help with some of the more expensive pieces of baby kit and pregnancy items that you will need.
  2. Find our where you can get stuff like free breast pumps for moms. It might seem like a pipe dream, but there really are places where you can get free breast pumps for moms and other pregnancy and baby-related gear. It just takes a bit of creativity, planning, and the guts to ask. For example, since 2012 insurance companies have been obligated by law to provide free breast pumps for moms as well as lactation services. Older insurance plans may not technically cover free breast pumps for moms, but they might be willing to do so if you call and haggle with them. This is especially possible if there are medical issues with the child. If not, it’s worth asking at the hospital, because some hospitals or even their medical supplier will have free items they are happy to give away to new moms in need. If you qualify for WIC, you may be able to get some of their free breast pumps for moms or rent the pump as well as score nutritious food for yourself and your baby. Finally, it never hurts to check Facebook, Craigslist, and local classifieds for someone looking to sell expensive items at a heavy discount or even give them away.
  3. Sign up for repeat deliveries. If a company knows that you’re going to be buying regularly, they may be willing to give you a discount if you set up regular deliveries in advance. This is especially helpful when buying things like diapers or cloths. Of course, you do have to remember to go in and change sizes on things like diapers or put an end to the delivery when you no longer need it, but it’s still a great way to save some money.
  4. Think about how quickly things will become useless. When it comes to buying a car seat, it’s really important that you get one that can keep your baby safe. When it comes to clothes that your baby is going to throw up on and grow out of in two weeks, there’s no need to spend much, if anything! Resist the urge to buy expensive items if they’re going to be useless and just a short while. Get the cheap stuff, check out Goodwill, or borrow from someone else. Save your money for getting quality items when it really matters.
  5. Borrow and borrow and borrow. Almost every prospective parent has someone in their life who has an older child. Have you asked around to borrow a bassinet? Do you really need to buy a new stroller, or do you have a friend who no longer needs theirs? What about clothes? From pregnancy clothes for mom to clothes for your toddler, it’s a great idea to check around with friends and family to see if you can get connected to someone who’s willing to either give you or let you borrow some items.

Having a baby is expensive, but the rewards are worth it. You can minimize your expenses, though, so follow these tips to make sure you’re not spending more than you need.