Baby Items on a Budget

Children are expensive! It is currently estimated to cost $300,000 in various countries to raise a child to 18 years old.  That is a lot of money! Luckily the cost is spread out, but it all adds up, so today I'm going to talk about how I prepared for a baby on a budget.  We moved internationally about a year before baby was born, and we were still working on building our community, so we did not count on having a registry or hand-me-downs at all.  We did get some, but we prepared to purchase everything ourselves.  Buying used items was probably the number one thing that we decided to do to save money.  

But is it safe? Yes, for the most part, I felt very safe buying all of our baby items used.  One of the first steps in deciding to buy used is deciding what items you are comfortable buying used, and what items you want to purchase new. For us, the car seat and the cot mattress were the most important items we wanted to buy new.  We also decided to buy a new cot, because most of the ones we saw used were either more expensive than buying a cheap new one or had been assembled and disassembled multiple times and I decided that was a safety risk, especially since drop sided cots are legal in Australia.  Everyone will have their own comfort level with used items.   I suggest you look at how easy it is to clean items, new vs used price, quality, and safety when deciding what to buy used or new.  

How to buy used? 

Look at the local options where people sell used items. In Australia, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are the big sites, in America, it is Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.  Other places to check are yard sales and thrift shops.  Because the Covid-19 pandemic is occurring during the second half of my pregnancy, I stuck with Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.  I started early looking for items that we needed.  I spent a lot of time looking at cots, which is how I decided that I did not like the used cot options.  After 2 or 3 months of looking, we decided to go with a new cot and used Ikea click and collect to get a new cot that fit our budget.  

Items to Spend time looking for


Cloth nappies/ Diapers if you are going this route

Changing table/ dresser

Baby Bouncer


Car Seat

Items that can be found easily

Clothing Bundles

Cot/Crib sheets

Cot/Crib mattress protectors


Baby bath 


Nappy Bag/ Diaper Bag

We also prioritized certain items over others to save on costs. We decided to go straight to a cot, and not a bassinet to start with to save money.  We also did not have space for both in our place. This means that the space in our bedroom is very tight, and we cannot fit a changing table, but we decided it was worth it.  If we do get a changing table, it will be a dresser so it can serve double duty.  In line with skipping the bassinet, we decided to prioritize items that had longer use spans and multiple uses.  So we did not get an infant capsule car seat.  We went straight to a convertible car seat.  It will last us until our child is at least 4, and we will not have to buy a second car seat in less than a year.  We bought a used baby carrier, that can be used in multiple ways to last from the newborn stage to toddler.  Our pram has 3 large wheels so it can be used for my grocery shopping, but also can go on bushwalks and to the beach with us.  We have also bought very few books and toys at this stage.  We have a few and do plan to read to the baby daily, but plan to acquire those as needed and as baby grows. Those are commonly handed down as you interact with others I have found.  

Having a baby cheaply does not have to be difficult when you do not have friends and families who are able to give you a bunch of handy down items.  It is possible to do it on a budget, you just need to take your time comparing items and making sure to buy only what you need.  Let me know any tips you have for preparing for a baby frugally.  


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