New Baby on a Budget: What Baby Really Needs

August 22, 2016 / Budgeting
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Having a baby unexpectedly, lost a job recently or just want to stay home with your baby? There are many reasons to minimize spending when it comes to a new baby.

When I found myself without a job and pregnant, I had to figure out what babies REALLY need to be happy and healthy. I was about to have a new baby on a budget, and that budget was tight.

What I figured out was this: at the end of the day, all a baby needs is a place to sleep, food to eat, a place to poop, a way to travel safely, to be clean and clothes to do that all in.

Once all of that is in place, then you can decide where to splurge and what else you have room for in your budget- if you want.

Related: 13 Nice to Have Items for Baby

So let’s talk about the absolute necessities for having a new baby on a budget.

New Baby On A Budget


  • Crib, Bassinet, Co-sleeper, Pack & Play, or whatever you decide to have baby sleep in.
  • At least 2 sheets, one to use while one is washing.
  • Receiving or muslin blankets for swaddling.

Graco Pack 'n Play Playard, AsperyGraco Pack ‘n Play $50 Delta Children Sweet Beginnings Bassinet, Falling LeavesBassinet $50 Muslin Swaddle Blankets 2 Pack - 47 inch x 47 inch Large Softest Muslin Swaddles - Half Price for Promotion - Tree Bird and Owl - Unisex for Boys or Girls - Lifetime GuaranteeMuslin Blankets $12



  • Diapers (if you cloth diaper, I would have a stash of at least 25)
  • Wipes (if you do cloth wipes, I would have a stash of at least 30)
  • Diaper bag. This doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just somewhere you can put diapers, wipes, and other necessities when you are on the go. You can even turn a book bag or tote that you already own in to your diaper bag.

Alva Baby 6pcs Pack Pocket Washable Adjustable Cloth Diaper with 2 Inserts Each 6DM086 Cloth Diapers for $38
OsoCozy Flannel Baby Wipes - Reusable And Washable - Use With Cloth Diapers And Other Cleanups - Soft And Absorbent - 15 Pack (Unbleached)15 Cloth Wipes for $10
Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, Size 1, Giant Pack, 148 CountGiant Pack of Pampers $32
Amazon Elements Baby Wipes, Sensitive, Flip-Top, 480 Count480 Wipes for $10
SoHo Collection, Times Square 8 pieces Diaper Tote Bag set (Classic Black)8 Piece Diaper Bag Set $33



  • 5oz and 8oz bottles if you are not breastfeeding
  • Formula if you are not breastfeeding
  • Breast pump if you are a breastfeeding, working mom. (You should be able to get this for free through your insurance)
  • A few burp cloths (cheap pre-fold diapers work extremely well for this)

9 bottles for $6.699 5oz Bottles for $6.694 Bottles for $174 8oz Bottles for $171 Month of Formula for $1081 Month of Formula $1085 Burp Cloths for $125 Burp Cloths for $12



  • At least two towels. You can use regular, full sized towels and do not need to purchase special baby towels. I actually like using full sized towels better because they cover the baby better.
  • Baby soap/shampoo

6 Piece Towel Set for $186 Piece Towel Set for $1828oz for $528oz for $5



  • Car seat. Remember, these expire and you do not want to buy a used car seat.
  • Stroller or carrier

Car Seat AND Stroller for $140Car Seat AND Stroller for $140



  • Hand me downs!! That is all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are other things that are nice to have but they are not necessities. Nursing covers? Awesome. But, you can use one of your receiving blankets instead. Boppy Pillows? Great. But, you can use a regular pillow instead.

RelatedHere is a list of 13 items that are nice to have for a new baby.



Want to make sure your baby has everything he/she needs but don't want to spend a ton of money? Here is how you have a new baby on a budget! Frugal, yet high rated, versions of the items you will need are included. You can start preparing during pregnancy and be ready by the time baby comes.
1  Comment
  • Karleen says:
    August 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    This is a great list of baby items for a new mother on a budget! It’s great to have it all in one place so plans can be made ahead of time!

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