It might be tempting to spring for every new baby toy on the market, but keep in mind that for the first few months of your baby's life, he won't even know how to play with them. That means you can probably hold back on buying up the store--at least for a little while.
Inevitably, however, there will come a time when your baby will start to discover the world around him and you will want to provide him with fun, stimulating toys that help him develop and grow and reach those baby milestones. Buying every amazing toy option will cost you a fortune, so use some of these tips and tricks to rein in your budget.
Make them yourself. You don't need to be the craftiest mom on the block to make some easy toys for your child. Make a homemade drum from an empty cardboard box and wooden spoons; glue construction paper in different shapes to Popsicle sticks and play peekaboo. You could even hand your baby a set of plastic measuring spoons to shake around--trust us, she'll love it.
Borrow, swap, or buy secondhand. Ask a friend whose child has grown out of his baby toys if you could borrow some. If that's not an option, consider searching for secondhand options from places like Swap Baby Goods, Swapmamas, Toys to Trade, and Toy Swap. Check your town's message boards and Facebook pages for local sale sites.
Be on the lookout for toy libraries. Some communities have local toy libraries available to residents where they can "check out" baby toys for a certain amount of time. (Membership often includes a small fee or volunteer hours.) Check out the USA Toy Library Association for toy library locations and information.
Use coupons. As with all other baby products, it always pays to check for coupons before making any purchases. Use Coupon Sherpa and Coupon Cabin to search for deals online, and sign up for newsletters and e-mail alerts from your favorite baby stores for first dibs at sales and discounts. Follow the stores on Twitter for potential coupon codes as well.
Keep it simple. It doesn't take much to keep babies entertained. Often, the cheapest toys can be the ones that hold their attention for the longest. Bubbles, for example, are always a huge hit, as are socks that magically turn into puppets and balls that can be rolled back and forth for as long as your baby likes.
Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.