Having a baby can be quite an expensive adventure. According to a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture in 2008, it is estimated that having a baby will cost a middle class family $291,570 through the age of 17. During your baby's first two years of life, the majority of these expenses will be for baby formula, clothing, health care, diapers, wipes, and other supplies.
There are ways for you to reduce your costs during the first few years of your baby's life. Baby companies, especially formula and diaper companies, are highly competitive. They want you to buy their products and to keep buying them. To them, the best way to get you to be their loyal customer, is to offer you free stuff like samples, coupons, and free parenting information and advice. Here are a few ways to get free baby stuff:
Ask Your Doctor
Baby companies will send doctors and hospitals samples of their products to give away to their patients. Ask your obstetrician or pediatrician if they have any samples they can give you. Sometimes the items are packaged up nicely into a cute diaper bag, or some other container you can use. These items sometimes include free diapers samples, baby wipes, formula samples, free parenting magazines, and more. If you need samples of over-the-counter baby health products, they most likely have those too!
Contact Baby Product Companies Directly
You can also get free baby samples by contacting the company directly and simply asking them. Tell them that you would like to try and see if their product is better than the product you are currently using. Many times, these companies will offer promotions, printable coupons on their website. Search for the company by name, and visit their website to see what promotions they are currently running. If they offer a printable coupon, you can usually download as many as you like.
Sign Up at Free Baby Stuff Websites
Several parenting websites offer free baby stuff when you sign up to become a member. The good thing about these websites is you can signup for offers from multiple companies at the same time. The baby freebies you can get include diaper samples, sweepstakes to win prizes, coupons, and free baby magazine subscriptions. These offers are sent to you directly from the manufacture either by snail mail or by email. Usually, the offers require you sign up for the company's newsletter, or become a member of their website, but it is worth it! If you begin receiving too much junk email, you can unsubscribe at any time, but you will still receive coupons and samples in your mailbox, which will save you money!
Free Birthday Cake for Baby
Your baby's first birthday cake is most likely going to be free as well. A lot of grocery store chains offer a free birthday cake for your baby's first birthday. All you have to do is go to the bakery section and ask.
For Toddlers - "Kids Eat Free" Days
Restaurants sometimes have "kids eat free" days, which will give your family an opportunity to get out of the house, and enjoy a nice meal without breaking the bank. Call the restaurants in your area to kind out which ones offer this promotion and which days. Many times, the free day is a weekday, so don't forget to clear your busy schedule to make time for family time!
Wait & Shop the Baby Sales
Baby specialty and department stores usually have special times during the year when thex have baby sales. Sales typically occur at the end of each season so that they can clear out their old inventory to make room for the new inventory. If you are pregnant, and need nursery furniture, this is the best time to your shopping because your savings will be quite significant. To get updates about the sales, go to the websites of the stores you shop at the most and sign up for their email newsletters. You will be notified in advance of every sale so you can plan accordingly.
If you're facing the challenge of finding baby freebies for the first time, you will do well to know what you can (and cannot) get for free. Since most freebies take about 6-8 weeks from the time you order them to the time they actually arrive in the mail, you might want to plan ahead which freebies you want to order when.
Baby diapers - Diapers are one of the biggest expenditures new parent have. For that reason, baby diapers are also very popular freebies. You can get discount coupons for diapers, offers for $500 worth of diapers, and samples of free diapers from leading brands.
Formula - Formula samples are probably the most sought after samples. Many sites offer free samples of formula, so these are the easiest samples to find.
Baby food products - From milk-like formula, to toddlers food - Mashed apples, chicken and whatever else Gerber's baby food has in store.
Baby bottles - Baby bottles, especially ones that are BPA free and safe, are rare freebies. You should definitely keep posted and look for new bottle giveaways via kids forums and free stuff forums, to actually get these goods.
Baby lotion - Pampering your baby is a time of special bonding both for the parent and newborn. Lotion is a must in every pampering kit, and brands like Johnson & Johnson are known for giving samples, and more often discount coupons, so you can save on baby lotions.
Rash cream - Unfortunately, baby rash cream is a required freebie, since all parents will have to deal with baby rash at one point or another in their newborn's life.
Toys and DVDS of music for infants - These are very hard to come by, and you are more likely to win these if you enter your baby in a baby contest than if you simply search the net for free samples of toys or DVDs.
For parents - Baby magazines - New parents can enjoy reading dedicated magazines with tips and tricks (and get coupons and money saving advice as well, with a wide range of magazines.