Mommy Matters on FOX: Tips for preparing for baby on a budget - FOX Carolina 21

Mommy Matters on FOX: Tips for preparing for baby on a budget

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When it comes to preparing for a new addition to the family, Upstate birth doula Julie Byers said she encourages parents to keep a key piece of advice in mind.

"Resist the marketing, resist the urge to buy all the things babies really don't need much. Babies haven't changed much in 2000, 3000, 4000 years. They mostly need food and warmth and shelter and love," said Byers.

One of the services Byers offers to expectant families in the Upstate is a 6- week course called "Baby Blueprint" and one of the many topics she touches on in that course is "parenting on a budget."

"It's easy to go into a big box store and see all of the marketing that says this product will make your baby smarter, this product is guaranteed to make your baby sleep and so if we can resist the urge to buy into that consumerism we'll save a ton of money, just by being smart,"

To start off, Byers suggested expectant parents identify items they don't want to skimp on such as breast pumps, crib mattresses and car seats. For ways to save on some big ticket items, Byers suggested investing in items that grow with little ones.

"A crib that can convert into a full sized bed, my 11 year old sleeps in her crib because it converted to a full sized bed. Those products may cost a little more on the upfront but they're going to last longer. There are high chairs that can convert into desk chairs that can go off to college with your child," said Byers.

Byers also said, especially in the early years, think simple when it comes to play. She said she loves the idea of what she calls "open-ended" products that encourage creative play. 

"One of the things that I loved for my girls was just a simple piece of silk. It seemed silly to me at first to spend $20 dollars on a piece of silk but over the years I've watched my girls, even now at ages 11 and 7, still finding ways to play with these pieces of silk that they've created into slings for their babies or pirate hats," said Byers.

She said one of the main tips she gives parents is to avoid the urge to shop before baby arrives. Byers added that holding off from buying up the store in the beginning can save you big time in the long run.

"I think if we can resist that urge to buy those things in advance, rather ask our family and friends for gift cards and then after our baby is born be smart about those things our babies will actually use. Borrow a swing from a friend first and try it out before going out and making the purchase just to see if your baby will actually sit in the swing," said Byers.

Byers is one on the nearly 100 vendors and one of the sponsors of the Upstate Birth and Baby Expo. The free event is happening on April 1st.

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