If your family is struggling financially, it won’t be a good idea for you to buy new baby items. Regardless of whether your salary is low or you’d like to save some of the money you have in the bank, there are several free baby items available out there.
I was very excited when I discovered that I was pregnant but the excitement faded as soon as I started asking myself how much this condition was going to cost me. That is when I began to panic. My partner and I had always set some major savings goals over the years. I didn’t want everything we had worked hard for to be derailed by our bundle of joy.
That is how I decided to try looking for as many free baby items that I could get. With a lot of driving and some creativity, I was able to get free diapers, baby clothes, blankets, toys and a crib. The items I didn’t get for free, I was able to get at affordable prices.
Whether you’d like to save the money in your bank account or have a low income, there are ways of finding free baby items in different places. All you need to know is where they can be found.
Free Baby Items for Low-Income Families
If your family is struggling financially, then it’s not a good idea to purchase new baby items. Fortunately, there are different sources that will help you save some money when you’re expecting a new baby.
1. Feeding America
Feeding America has a network of 200 meal programs and food banks in different parts of the U.S. that provides over 4.3 billion meals per year. Mobile markets and pantries are provided by local food banks so that they can help apply for WIC as well as other programs that offer aid to people.
There are food banks that have full-service restaurants for free that provide healthy meals to their customers.
2. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
If you can’t afford to buy groceries, SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can assist you. You’ll get money for food depending on your household assets and income without any size or price restrictions.
3. Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
WIC is another Special Supplement Nutrition Program meant for children, infants and women that caters for low-income families by giving them different baby items and groceries. If you qualify for Medicaid or SNAP, you definitely qualify for WIC. This means that mothers and children can get baby cereal, infant formula, organic and regular fruit puree, meat and vegetables.
4. National Diaper Bank Network
The National Diaper Bank Network helps communities to generate and sustain diaper banks in various localities.
5. Help a Mother Out
Help a Mother Out is an organization that provides low-income families with diapers in California via family resource centers, voluntary home visiting programs, public health departments and facilitated parent support groups.
6. Cribs for Kids
Cribs for kids provides safe and safe-sleep education, portable cribs to families that cannot afford one because of their financial situations. If you’re looking for a crib as well as other sleep products for infants, you can get the from any of the 1,450 Cribs for Kids partners in the U.S.
7. United Way Worldwide
The United Way organization assists caregivers, parents and grandparents to prepare their kids for school via their Born Learning campaign. Families are given educational products and materials which they can use to promote early childhood development.
Low-income families can easily get free baby items at a local church. There are churches which own community closets, while others advertise through Facebook mom groups or they can mobilize a quick donation run.
Also find out if the church hosts any baby clubs or local mom groups. Meeting with other mothers with babies that are older than yours is a great way to get free toys and clothes because children grow out of clothes very quickly.
Other Methods of Getting Free Baby Items
If you’re pregnant and are not financially stable, you might want to save the cash to cater for your medical bills. One way to ensure that you’re not spending money is to look find free baby products that might be useful to you in future.
9. Look for Free Baby Samples
Most companies in the market offer free baby items to expectant mothers through mail with the intention of making them loyal customers. This can be the best opportunity for you to find free baby samples for diapers, formula and other products both at the pediatrician’s office and online.
Another way to get free baby samples is by signing up for registries, baby clubs and visiting different stores. For example, Target normally offers a welcome kit worth $80 comprising of coupons and several baby samples from brands such as Enfamil and Gerber. You can also find a free goody bag from BuybuyBABY with samples and coupons.
10. Host a Local Baby Item Trade
Children out of their clothes and toys very quickly. So, instead of keeping those old items in your attic or taking them to a thrift store, you can host a local swap meeting with other mothers so that you can trade baby items with them.
Create a group on Facebook where you’ll invite other mothers to bring some of the baby and kid’s items, they no longer need and swap them out with different ones from other mothers. You can organize these events on a quarterly or monthly basis so that parents will be able to get the clothes and toys they need on time. This is a great way of finding useful baby items that you didn’t even realize that you needed.
11. Ask Your Family or Friends to Host a Sprinkle or Baby Shower
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’re having your fifth child, you’re always going to new items for your baby. Family members and friends are always ready to hold a “sprinkle” or baby shower for their loved ones.
Create a list of the items you’d like to include in your registry. You can include diapers, gift cards and baby starter foods. You can also suggest that they contribute some money for an item with a high price like a stroller or a car seat.
12. Become a Member of a Local Buy Nothing Facebook Group
A Buy Nothing Project is a network found globally where different hyper-local groups share consumer services and goods in order to limit our environmental and economic footprint. You’ll be able to find free baby clothes, breastfeeding supplies, toys, furniture and other items from there.
If you’re looking for free baby items, the best way to find them is by joining Buy Nothing Groups because you’ll not be required to participate in email newsletters or online surveys. Look for such groups on Facebook or go to BuyNothingProject.org so that you can find a group near you.
13. Check the Free Section of Selling Apps
People often advertise free baby items on apps such as Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, Craigslist, Nextdoor and letgo. You’ll also be able to negotiate to get free items if they have been listed on the app for a long time.
14. Check Your Insurance Benefits
Most health insurance companies take care of the cost of a preventative testing or offer free breast pumps to expectant women. Depending on what you need, you can even be rewarded with free maternity compression garments and prescription formula.
Contact your insurance provider and check for the services they cover and the benefits they provide for expectant women.
15. Nonprofits for Members of the Military
There are many nonprofit organizations out there that provide active-duty and veteran military with free baby products. The Carry on Project provides military families in the U.S. baby carries, while Operation Shower organizes baby showers for pregnant military mothers all over the country.
The Military Birth Resource Network can help you find an affordable or free doula who can take you through the entire journey.
16. Join Product Testing USA
Product Testing USA allows you to choose products that you’re interested in reviewing. If you qualify the product will be sent to you at not charge but you’ll be required to give a written and video review in return. The baby items that you can review include strollers, video monitors, car seats and many more items.
17. Become a Member of Your Local Library
You can start reading to your baby at any time, and you’ll be able to find free children books from your local library. Apart from physical books, libraries normally have subscriptions for digital children’s books from various organizations. Visit your local library’s website and check what they offer.
Tips for Finding Affordable Baby Items
Once you become a member of a baby club and had a baby shower, you’ll still be able to find other baby items that you need at an affordable price.
18. Start Couponing
Saving money through couponing doesn’t require someone to be an extreme couponer. You can visit some of the best coupon sites and link what is available with store sales as well as other deals in order save money on buying your favorite products. You can also contact some of the companies you like so that they can send you coupons of their merchandise.
Coupon codes can be used during shopping so that you can save money on different baby products, but you don’t need to look for them on your own. You can use free browser extensions like Honey which feature free coupon codes from more than 40,000 online stores.
19. Receive Cashback on Purchases
Before you buy anything for your baby, search different for any available cashback opportunities. Getting a few dollars back may be as simple as buying the same products from another website or switching from one brand to another.
There are more than 2,500 cashback offers from Rakuten for both in-store and online shopping. Ibotta also provides cashback opportunities to more than 300 retailers so you can easily save some money on the diaper brand you like since you’re going to buy them in the long run.
20. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
You’ll be able to save up to 30% by using discounted gift cards for shopping in your regular stores. Over 4,000 stores offer discounted physical and e-gift cards for sites such as Raise and can be used together with cashback sites and coupons.
21. Purchase Out-of-Seasoned Baby Clothes, Toys and Shoes
Shopping for clothes, shoes and toys that are out of season can be a great way to save a lot of money. Figure out how big your child will be next year during the same season and buy some brand-new stuff for them at discounted price.
22. Buy Off-Brand
Babies don’t really care about wearing Gap or J. Crew clothes and shoes. Shop for baby items that don’t have any brand name recognition as well. Since babies grow out of their clothes very quickly, and they might get stained by food or explosive poops, you don’t need to be worried about brands.
23. Shop at Amazon Prime
If you have an Amazon Prime account you can register for the Amazon Subscribe and Save drive. You’ll be offered with automatic deliveries on some of your favorite baby products and end up saving at least 15% on selected products. You also won’t need to do that awkward towel wrap every time your baby’s diapers are finished.
You can also create an Amazon baby registry. All members of Amazon Prime who receive or spend more than $10 on products from their registry will be rewarded with different products like baby blankets, diapers, baby bottles, pacifiers, wipes and more.
24. Shop Second hand First
Thrift stores and yard sales are some of the best places to affordable baby clothes and toys. Thrift stores usually feature half-off sales on particular days or colored tags which can help you save more money. You can also visit no-profit thrift stores and look for free baby items if you’re struggling financially or for low-income families.
If you aren’t able to shop in-store, you can opt to purchase secondhand baby clothes and shoes online at thredUP. The other site where you can get very good baby items at an affordable place is eBay.
You can also purchase barely used baby items at affordable prices from pop-up events and consignment stores. You can find stores such as Once Upon a Child and events such as Rhea Lana’s all over the country.
Related: How to Find Free Government Aid
Being Proactive Can Ease the Burden of Raising a Newborn
CBS News reported that raising children costs more than $233,000 or at least $14,000 per year. Babies are very expensive, and the situation doesn’t get easier with time. However, you don’t need to spend all the money in your bank account to be able to take care of your baby.
Babies don’t care about clothes brands or where the diapers they’re wearing are bought from. Raising an infant can be very stressful and difficult task, but all this can be eased by some extra effort and knowledge.