1. Buy used. When you no longer need them, well-maintained items can be resold the same price you paid for them. So take care of these items if you want your money back.
2. Subtly steer well-meaning relatives and friends from getting you outfits that will fit and or look new for 5 minutes. Encourage age practical gifts. Ask for things like jammies, onsies, and things like that , they will be used more.
3. Borrow. Most people dont sell their stuff right away. Borrow a crib, or portable crib. Why buy one for that one trip your going to take to a relatives house.
4. Graciously accept all the second hand things people give you. Keep what you can, and pass on what you dont need. This ensures a steady flow of used things. Plus you will help others as well.
5. Put off necessary purchases until you can find the item cheap. Watch for sales. Look for free shipping. Baby items change all the time so wait for them to be clearanced out. Or try to find that particular item on craigs list.
Substitute substitute substitute. Can I say it anymore? Yes I can. Try these idea's out.
Baby Shampoo-Use regular shampoo but be careful to keep out of eyes.
Baby Tub-Wash infant in the sink(my mother did this) and take lots of pictures. Or use your bathtub and only use 2 inches of water. I put a towel down inside the water and was very careful.
Baby Wipes. Use old washclothes or cut up old fabric diapers. Just wet them with warm water right before use and wash them that day.
Bottles-Babies can be nursed until a year old or longer. Then can be tought to use a cup. No bottle needed.
Car Seat-There is NO substitute for this. Only thing I can think of is if a friend gives you one that their child just outgrew. Make sure there are no recalls on this. And make sure you put it in your car correctly.
Changing Table-I never owned a changing table. You dont need one. Soft carpet is just as nice if not better.
Cloth Diapers-These can be bought used. Find them in thrift stores while your pregnate and stock up. Buy from friends and family.
Clothes-You will get bags upon bags of free stuff from friends and family. Just know its coming. I still get stuff for my girls. Appreciate everything and use everything. They more you get, the less you spend. Otherwise 2nd hand is the way to go.
Crib-Borrow one from a friend. Once you know your pregnate, let everyone know you are on the hunt to borrow one.
Crib Bumper-Sew one made from 2nd hand quilts. Or make a towel roll.
Diaper bag-Any sturdy bag will work. I used a beach bag. Those cheap diaper bags just fall apart. I also used backpacks.
Diaper Bucket-Use a 5 gallon bucket (usually around $5) and make sure you keep the lid on.
Diaper stuff-Shortening substitutes for petroleum jelly and cornstarch substitutes for baby powder( I did this, daughter was alergic). Use samples from hospitals or websites. Let your baby be in their birthday suits for a bit. Just keep them on a towel just in case. lol. Let the skin breathe.
Eating Utensils-Adult dishes and silverware will work fine.
High Chair-Use a walker, stroller or hold them. Or find one second hand that attaches to the table or a chair. Much cheaper. Or better yet, borrow one.
Mobile-no need for one. Just use a toy that has music. They enjoy this better.
Shoes-Do not use until the child actually begins to walk. Use socks and booties. They are cheaper and can be found in 2nd hand stores. Or friends and family will give you all theirs.
Store Bought Baby Food-Make your own. Just cook, smoosh, and freeze into ice trays. Thaw and use when needed. Sweet potatoes, pea's, green beans, etc. You can find a hand cranked devise in baby stores for less than $10 and well worth the money. Then introduce meats ground into it later.
Toys-friends and family will give you plenty. Or just let them play with bowls, measuring spoons, or lids. They like those more I think.
Walker-not reccomended. Maybe a baby saucer. Borrow one or buy it 2nd hand. Or just skip it all together.
Wind Up Swing-We only used this for maybe a month. They liked us rocking them more. Save your money.