by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
If you have a baby on the way, you likely already know just how expensive some of those essentials can be. But did you know you can get most or all of them for free? Dealing with a huge financial setback, due to a high risk pregnancy has taught me how to prepare for the baby with very little to spend. Here’s how myself and my partner got most of our baby’s items for free.
Listia is a free auction-style site that doesn’t actually require real money. You use credits to bid on items that people list. When you sign up for free using my Listia link, you get 1000 bonus credits for free to start with. We actually won a ton of baby items for free using Listia. In fact, a large portion of what we got for the baby came from here. To earn more credits after you run out, you can do a variety of things, such as doing simple tasks, taking surveys, or listing your own items for auction. Items can be new or used and you choose what you bid on. You can also buy credits. But I would only recommend doing so for items that are worth it and would cost less that way than it would to buy them the usual way.
Just to give an idea, some of the things we won for free include a Tommee Tippee electric bottle & food warmer, hand knitted baby socks and gloves, newborn onesies and pajamas, crocheted booties, lots of various infant clothing, a sock monkey, baby books, parenting books, breastmilk storage/feeding bottles, brand name baby bottles, baby prewalker shoes, cloth diapers, breastfeeding cover, car seat strap covers, baby car magnet, car seat/carrier toy bar, and more.
Just a small dose of the many free baby items we've won on Listia
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the gallery)
Contact Product Companies
Sometimes people don’t think of this one. But did you know that if you simply ask companies for a sample, many will give you one? I’ve found it even more successful if you have a baby on the way. Companies like to get new parents to try out their items because if they like them, that’s repeat business. Simply contact them on social media or via their website, explaining that you’re a new parent (if you’re a writer or blogger and/or have a large social following, that helps even more) and would like to try out their product.
Some will say no, but many will say yes and get you something in the mail. We’ve gotten response from cloth diapering companies, baby bottle companies, leg warmer companies, car seat cover companies, and many more. Some might ask for a simple review on Amazon or your blog. Some might ask you to post a picture via social media. Some may not ask for anything at all. Just remember, if you do a review, it’s the law to disclose that you got the item for free.
Government & Other Assistance Programs
If you qualify for WIC, medicaid, or other government assistance, ask about the free car seat program. Many states will provide one to each baby born to a qualifying family. Some will distribute the car seat at the hospital when the baby is born. Others have specific distribution locations. Be sure to get all the details before your little one arrives. There are also often local food banks and other charitable organizations that give out free baby items, such as car seats, clothing, strollers, nursery furniture, and more. Some divisions of Catholic Charities have been known to help in some of these areas.
Craigslist Free Section
Did you know that the for sale section in Craigslist also has a free section? People often post completely free items there. We check all the time to see if there’s anything available that we need. One really awesome item we got on there is a normally pricey 3-in-1 swing, infant seat, and rocker. We got it completely free. All we had to do is drive to the person’s house and pick it up off their porch. Yup, that’s it. We sanitized and cleaned it, then replaced the batteries, and it works just like new.
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the image)
Free Baby Sample Sites, Promo Codes, and Clubs
Don’t forget to join clubs for all of the companies you may use if they have them. Enfamil, Similac, and Pampers are three of the more popular ones. Also, there are many sites that offer free baby items if you pay shipping.
If you enter promo code “babyleggings6” at the following sites, you’ll get the items for free. You just pay S&H.
Free Car Seat Canopy ($50 value)
Free Udder Covers Nursing Cover ($35 Value)
Free Nursing Pillow ($40 Value)
Free Seven brand baby carrier/sling ($40 Value)
10 pairs of free Breast Pads ($35 Value)
2 Belly Button Maternity Bands OR 1 Belly Button Body for free ($40 Value)
5 Baby Board Books ($40 Value)
You can also do a search for “free baby samples” to find a bunch of sites. Just be careful when you enter your information that these are legitimate sites. There are many scams out there that are only trying to harvest your info.
(more ways to get free baby stuff under the image)
Amazon Baby Registry
This one is kind of a given. Most people with a baby on the way have a registry. Amazon is the easiest way to make one, as the Amazon Baby Registry is designed so that you can add items from any online page, not just Amazon. It’s also completely FREE and they give you a welcome box of FREE surprises for the baby and parent/s. This alone is worth using the registry. Our welcome box had things like baby wipes, an Avent bottle, breast pads, bath items, pacifiers, and more.
Your friends and family likely want to help anyhow. If you’re having a hard time, this is a simple way to let them know what’s needed. We actually created ours as a way for us to organize and we greatly underestimated the generosity that would ensue because of it.
We never expected anyone to help, but the generosity of family and friends has been overwhelming (in a good way). I wouldn’t consider this “free”in the usual sense, as most people create these for the same organizational purpose we did. However, because others may be purchasing some of the items, it should be on this list.
Quick tip for the registry: When you purchase items elsewhere, add them to the registry and then mark them as purchased. That way, you and other people always know what you need and what you don’t. This makes it so much easier to plan for the baby.
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, this awesomely crazy family conquers the world, managing Intent-sive Nature while going on Upstream Parenting adventures & lessons, sometimes in an RV. They strive to cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they settle for rescue dogs and cats.
By supporting us, you support a single parent, healer, and minority small business that donates to and/or stands for several causes, including homeless pets, homeless people, trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from our all-inclusive store, Intent-sive Nature goes toward worthy causes.
For guidance in the world of freelance writing or for advice on her specialty topics, Ask Lyn.