How to Have a Baby on a Military Budget
Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.
This is a sponsored post is written by me on behalf of 1 Natural Way, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions are entirely my own.
Having a baby is a BIG life decision. But for many military families, having a baby is limited to times when your spouse isn’t on deployment, TDY, or training and a limited budget due to their military pay.
My husband joined the military officially one month after we got engaged; we were married six months later. We were only 21 and I thought for sure we would wait several years down the road before trying for a baby. But the baby bug bit me and within 5-6 months I was begging my husband to try for a baby!
Only three months before our one year anniversary, I found out I was pregnant. We were very excited, but it wasn’t until then that we realized what a tight budget we were on, and how much babies really cost.
My husband was a low enlisted member of the Air Force, I knew that to get ready for this baby, I was going to have to use my resources and get creative with our baby budget.
See Also: How to Turn a Small Room Into a Nursery
Here are a few of the things we did and what YOU can do to stay within a low baby budget!
Baby Budget Tips for Military Spouses:
1. Make Three Lists.
Make a list of all the things that are absolutely necessary for baby – the bare minimum. These are the things you know you have to have for baby in order to bring baby home. Things like a crib, baby clothes, a car seat, etc.
Also, think about your due date. What time of year is it? In what type of climate will the baby be born into? These are things to think about when planning on clothes, bedding, and more.
Next, make a list of the things you probably should have, and then a list of things you really want to have for you and baby when the time comes. Start with your necessary list first.
It may be hard not to go and buy “all the baby things,” but having a limit of what you have to have versus what you want to have will help you stay within your budget.
Once you have everything you need for baby on your “must-have” list, then you can see where you are in your budget and work on your next list.
2. Find the Best Deals.
You don’t have to spend a lot to get what you need. Sometimes the best things are from thrift shops, yard sales, or friends. Try some of the ideas in the list below and see where you can get the best prices for what you need.
You can try:
- Thrift Stores
- Yard Sales
- Yard Sale Facebook Groups or Facebook Marketplace
- Church Groups
- Mom groups such as MOPs
- Discount stores such as Ross or TJ Maxx
Some military branches have a base thrift shop or Airman’s Attic, where military families donate their items and where low enlisted families can go and “shop” and pick out items for free.
There are also base resources such as the New Parent Support Program and Bundles for Babies that include tips and items for military families having a baby for the first time.
You can also try and make your own baby clothes or look for DIY articles on Pinterest on things you can make yourself to save money on your baby budget.
You can ask friends to be on the lookout for good deals for you too. When I was pregnant with my son, my Mother-in-Law found an Eddie Bauer Stroller in mint condition at a thrift shop for only $25.00. She also found an amazing bassinet I used for both my kids at the thrift shop.
Several friends gave me a changing table, baby swing, and baby bouncer all for free. And a lot of my son’s clothes came from yard sales – some were only a quarter per onesie!
Check out my Son’s Nursery and What it Looked Like on a Limited Military Budget!
Many military families might be surprised at what their insurance may cover. One of the most important things a new mom may need is a breast pump.
Breast pumps can vary in price but are expensive, but did you know that Tricare will cover a breast pump and accessories at no cost to you? It’s true!
1 Natural Way is the premier resource for high-quality breast pumps from brands such as Medela, Spectra, and Kiinde. 1 Natural Way is in-network, works with ALL Tricare plans, and will ship you the items you need each month while you are breastfeeding or pumping.
1 Natural Way also offers breast pump accessories such as compression socks and postpartum care supplies.
Getting a Tricare Breast Pump through 1 Natural Way is easy! They handle the entire process for you for a stress-less experience. From contacting Tricare to calling your doctor, they have one of the easiest processes backed by thousands of reviews and testimonials.
If you are interested in getting an insurance breast pump at little to no cost, let 1 Natural Way make it an enjoyable experience for you with these five simple steps!
- Step 1 – Fill out the insurance information form found here.
- Step 2 – Select your breast pump model (Tricare covers all the models they offer).
- Step 3 – Enroll in their monthly breastfeeding accessories program (called Resupply).
- Step 4 – Provide a prescription or your doctor’s information, and they will obtain one for you.
- Step 5 – Get your pump and supplies shipped right to your front door via UPS or USPS.
I found out the hard way that maternity clothes are expensive! I also found out the secret that many pregnant mamas borrow their maternity clothes from their friends.
You can ask moms who may be done having kids if they have any maternity clothes they would like to get rid of. I received two boxes of clothes from a mama who was just looking to give her maternity clothes away since she was done having kids.
You can also borrow your maternity clothes. You and friends may have babies at different times. One of my friends let me borrow a bunch of her maternity clothes while I was pregnant.
Soon after I had my baby, she got pregnant again and I gave the clothes back. Most moms won’t need those maternity clothes in-between kids and are happy to share what they have. All you have to do is ask!
What about YOU? Do you or did you have a low baby budget? What are some things you did to have a baby on a low baby budget?
Awesome! They outgrow these things so quickly they do not wear them out. You are wise to get them second hand.
I love 2nd hand stuff!
Everything is soo cute. Aren't hand me downs so fun?! I wish you the best of luck with getting ready for baby. 🙂
You are definitely, very blessed. That's just awesome that you were able to get a lot of the big ticket items for little to no cost!
We were also very blessed to have hand-me-downs and hand-me-arounds for both our girls! You got some great finds and you have some great friends! 🙂
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Looks like you found some great deals! That's so cool!
Awesome! Best wishes to you and your family. So glad we found your blog. <3
We have the same swing and love it, and bought it for $25.00 from a friend!! I just bought an AWESOME German stroller at a flea market type thing this weekend for 30 euro's (about $50.00…considering new and all it came with it's about a $300.00 stroller couldn't have asked for a better deal!).