Monday, November 30, 2015

Saving Money on Your Child’s First Child’s First Christmas

I hope my readers enjoyed their Thanksgiving. I have asked a few guest bloggers to write a post during the holidays. Today I am sharing what Cassie has written about saving money for your first child's first Christmas. I think this is something that will be very helpful for parents especially since shopping for Christmas is in full swing. Hope you enjoy what she has shared!

We have all been there, it’s your baby’s first Christmas, another first in a year full of firsts. It’s an exciting time and you want nothing more but to celebrate.

You find the perfect outfit for Christmas Eve, the perfect pajamas for that night, and the perfect dress for Christmas Day, you may even find a back up outfit or two. Not to mention all the presents you just have to get because it’s exciting. Before you know it, you have spent hundreds of dollars, just on one child.

This may not be a big issue if you only have one child, but at the same time, there is no need to spend that much money on a day that your child will not remember, not to mention the fact that you will open most of the gifts. Even at a year old kids have short attention spans, so even if your child is a year old, she won’t be that interested in opening too many gifts at once.

How do you save money on your Baby’s first Christmas then?

There are many ways you can save on your baby’s first Christmas. It can be easier than you think, and you don’t even have to forgo all the great things that comes with a first Christmas.

Set a budget and stick to it. It is too easy to go to a toy store and see all the fun gifts for your little one and buy them all. You don’t know what your child will like and you don’t want to deprive her of any learning opportunity. I get it, I was there with my daughter just last year. The best thing you can do is set a budget for toys and stick to that.

Only buy a couple of toys. Remember when I said you will open most of the gifts? Children under a year, and even those up to two years old, have a very short attention span. This comes two-fold when it comes to opening gifts. First off, they get bored opening gifts after just a couple of minutes, which is only a couple of gifts at the pace they open them. Second, they get interested in the new toys they have. For kids there is nothing better than novelty, and they want nothing more than to try out that new toys.

They will like the boxes better anyway. Not only do they get tired of opening the gifts, they will play with the boxes more than the toys. I kid you not, my daughter played with the boxes and wrapping paper after everyone was done opening gifts more than her new toys.

Remember you are not the only one buying gifts. If you are fortunate enough to have family around, they will want to buy gifts for your baby as well. You want your baby to open the gifts in front of them if possible, so you don’t want them to be too bored. Also, if you buy every toy in the toys store, this will limit the gifts that your family can buy without it being a duplicate.

You can reuse clothes. I know many parents (myself included) who want to save the first Christmas outfit for a hope chest or for the child to use when he or she has children. I get it, but you know how you couldn’t resist that cute little red dress in the store? Your child will go through the same thing with her child. Also, by the time your children have children, the fashions will change. Go ahead and use the outfit for the second child if you can. Then you can compare them and see how much your kids look alike.

Buy second hand. Clothes and toys. Clothes can be washed, so if it is in good condition, buy it second hand instead of spending $20-$30 on one outfit. I wouldn’t suggest buying all toys second hand, but those that are easily cleaned, go for it. If the toy is made mostly out of plastic you can easily wipe it off with a cloth and some cleaner. I would purchase things such as stuffed animals new, but if they toy can be easily cleaned and it is in good condition, go for it.

Keep in mind that your baby won’t remember it’s first Christmas. Other than the pictures you take, she won’t remember if you bought one or twenty gifts.

You can start teaching early on that Christmas isn’t about gifts. You can make it a habit to spend less at Christmas not just this year, but every year. This will help you teach your child what Christmas is really about and emphasize that it is not about receiving gifts.

Do you plan on trying to save money on your baby’s first Christmas, or will you do what I did last year and buy everything in site?

Cassie is a work-at-home wife and mother to a beautiful little girl. She is a pediatric, women’s health, and labor and delivery nurse as well. She loves sharing her nursing knowledge and parenting tips and experiences on Mommy, RN.

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