Preparing for a baby is a wondrous time, and the impact your little one will have on your life is immeasurable. At the same time, it’s important to keep a practical, grounded perspective on finances. Statistics indicate the first year is particularly expensive, but watching your budget can help make the most of every moment.

Basic necessities

Our bodies go through some obvious changes during pregnancy and postpartum, but meeting some of our personal needs can be much less obvious. Thankfully, there are articles of clothing which help ensure your body is comfortable and supported, during pregnancy and beyond.

One of the most crucial wardrobe additions you can make comes in the form of well-chosen undergarments. For instance, you will want different underwear during pregnancy, postpartum, or for a C-section to ensure you have ample support. There are mesh versions, compression versions, disposable versions, and numerous styles to suit your personal preferences. When it comes to stretching your budget, purchasing soft, durable options in low-cut styles can accommodate the most body changes.

Bras can also make a big difference, and there are great choices for every stage of pregnancy. You may gain weight in pregnancy in more than just your belly, and your breasts may be the first to show. As Nubry notes, your breasts will be very different postpartum, so you are unlikely to be comfortable in the same bras during pregnancy as after. Great nursing bras are worth their weight in gold, though. If you plan to breastfeed, consider investing in a hands-free pumping bra like one from Kindred Bravely; or Lilu . Throughout all the changes, make sure you measure carefully so you find your correct size for the support you need.

Throughout pregnancy, another key to supporting your body comes in the form of a belly band. As Healthline explains, a belly band offers important benefits. For example, belly bands help with lifting and supporting your tummy and back, helping to reduce pain, encouraging good posture, and providing gentle compression. Spand-Ice takes comfort to the next level by adding heat therapy for soreness or cold therapy for back pain inflammation, allowing you to customize and adjust to your preferences and needs.

Thrift shop fun

After choosing the right undergarments, shopping for cute second-hand goods can help you make the most of every penny. Check into traditional thrift shops, consignment stores, and yard sales, and look for styles that are both accommodating and flattering through pregnancy, such as A-line tops and dresses, and drop-waist designs. Don’t overlook the internet, as there are several websites with gently-used maternity wear. While you’re shopping, keep your eyes peeled for nursery items and baby gear as well. Certain baby items lend themselves particularly well to second-hand purchasing, such as high chairs, clothing, and bouncers. The money you save can be invested in supplies you’re better off buying new, like car seats, a crib mattress, and a breast pump.

Long-lived nursery selections

Choosing decor and furniture pieces that your little one won’t quickly outgrow is another smart strategy. It’s a long-term time, energy, and money-saver. For instance, cribs that convert into beds last longer, and alternative furniture can replace a traditional changing table. Avoiding cutesy, overt themes, such as storybook characters or cartoons can stretch your decor as well. A color scheme your little one will enjoy for years to come is another way to ensure you aren’t making changes right away. Think in terms of hues and styles that will work for several years down the road.

Having a baby is an expensive undertaking, but it doesn’t need to break your budget. Some thrifty strategies will have you well-prepared and relaxed so you can focus on more important things. With a little planning and preparation, you’ll be able to make the most of every miraculous moment once your baby arrives.