16 Ways to Get Free Baby Stuff
Baby gear can be incredibly expensive. Here are 16 ways you can get tons of free baby stuff to save your budget.Your baby is completely adorable, but she's also expensive. Luckily, free baby stuff is out there for the taking -- you just need to know the best ways to find what's being offered. "As a new mom there are lots of freebies you can snag, from formula samples, diapers, coupons to save money on your baby's needs and so much more," says Lauren Happel, who maintains a list of freebies for babies and moms on her website.
Here are 16 ideas to help you nab those great deals:
- Ask for Samples
Doctors and hospitals receive tons of product samples for patients. Check displays in the waiting room or simply ask what's available. "When you are at the hospital, make sure you ask for any coupons for free samples for new moms," Happel suggests.
- New Parent Packets
Happel also recommends calling companies directly and requesting new parent packets. Many brands will gladly send free items out to new parents, along with coupons for their products, in the hopes that they'll become dedicated customers.
- Newsletter Sign-Ups
"Companies offer free samples, free credits, huge discounts and high-value coupons regularly," says Shari Medini, a blogger at Free Mania. But many items are limited in number, so she recommends using newsletters to learn about deals as soon as they start and improve your chance of nabbing great stuff.
- Coupons and Sales
Collect and combine paper, email and website coupons for a special baby item you simply can't live without. Keep an eye on sales and use a coupon-sale combination if applicable.
- Rewards Programs
Many companies, including diaper manufacturers, run rewards programs for frequent shoppers. Stick to one brand and register points for free diapers or other baby items.
- Blog for It
"Once you have a blog set up, then you can actually reach out to brands directly and ask for samples in trade for reviews," advises Amanda Vega, the founder of 3 Peas Baby Marketing. She works with clients looking to spread the word about new baby food, bottles and other gear via blogs.
- Attend Conventions and Shows
Baby expos showcase the latest inventions for parents looking for hip new gear. Most major cities host at least one baby and toddler expo each year, so keep an eye out for dates.
- Survey Participation
Marketing surveys are another way to find free baby stuff. You may not have time for lengthy participation, but even a two-minute survey can yield a free product.
- Assist With Market Research
Many market research firms will give you free baby items or even cash for taking part in various trials. The first step is to find a reputable company and add your information to its database.
Send used baby gear to companies like Baby Earth for recycling and receive gift certificates to be redeemed at their online store.
- Contests and Sweepstakes
Practically every baby-related website runs contests or sweepstakes with hot giveaways for new moms. It takes time to enter, but you can win cool free stuff.
Trade baby items your little one has rarely or never used. You could be able to form a relationship with other local moms who are looking to swap toys and other baby gear regularly.
- Magazine Subscriptions
Magazine subscriptions are often accompanied by gifts like tote bags, coupons or even other magazines.
Use your social circle to your advantage. Infants grow quickly in the first year and something may have only been worn once or twice -- or not at all -- before it's offered to you in like-new condition.
- Mom Groups
Local groups often sponsor fun activities for you and your baby. Take advantage of the opportunity to get out of the house, make new friends and find free items.
- Travel and Entertainment Freebies
Many airlines allow infants under 2 to travel on your lap for free. Vacation resorts and cruise lines also run "kids go free" promotions. Plus, amusement parks like Disney World offer free admission to guests under 3 years of age, so try to plan a trip right before your child's birthday.
Finding free baby stuff may require time and effort on your part, but offers are out there. Timing makes a huge difference in what you'll pay for an item from one day to the next, so check your favorite sources of free stuff often.
Jennifer A. DiGiovanni is a freelance writer, small business owner, avid coupon collector and mom of three.