Splurge on that prenatal massage or $700 stroller. Bradford says she and her husband decided to spend $450 on a professional photographer when her daughter was 7 months old. For them, she says, the cost was worth it, and they budgeted for it. Other parents might prefer to spend the money on a high-end stroller, baby nurse, or first-year birthday party, she adds.
Ask yourself: Did this exist a few years ago? With all of the new products being marketed to parents, from prenatal learning devices to food designed for toddlers, it can be tempting to spend hundreds of dollars on unnecessary products. Sandberg cites Swarovski crystal pacifiers and $450 leather diaper bags as among the over-the-top splurges. She advises, "Don't even go into those baby boutiques, because the moment you get in there, you'll be sucked into it." Instead, she says, visit garage sales, and borrow as much as possible from friends. "Nobody needs cashmere sheets for their baby," she says.
In her book, she points out that one way to judge an item's use is to ask whether it existed a few years ago or when you were a baby. Gliders, video baby monitors, and prenatal learning systems are among the newer inventions that many parents can do without.
[See also: 8 Smart Ways to Afford a Baby.]