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3 Ways to Deal with Unexpected Baby Gear Purchases
Updated on
September 11, 2023

3 Ways to Deal with Unexpected Baby Gear Purchases

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3 Ways to Deal with Unexpected Baby Gear Purchases.
3 Ways to Deal with Unexpected Baby Gear Purchases

Once you’ve gotten all the gifts off your baby registry, that’s the end of gear purchases for a while, right? Not always. Even with all the planning and researching that goes into creating your registry, unexpected post-baby gear needs do happen. We’ve teamed up with one of our payment partners, Klarna, to share a few ways you can prepare for those moments (and save money in the process).

With Klarna, any time you buy something from the Babylist Shop, you can opt to split your purchases into smaller chunks so that a $200 high chair (gulp) becomes four payments of $50 instead. (There’s no interest or credit checks, so long as you pay on time; it’s really just a nice way to spread out the impact of big purchases.)* Here are some other tips and tools that can help.

Expect the Unexpected

There are typically three different kinds of gear purchases that can pop up in your baby’s first year:

  • The growth spurt purchase. Your baby is in the 90th percentile for height, weight and head circumference, and as a result, you have a lot less time with your infant car seat than you thought.
  • The didn’t-think-we-needed-it-but-decided-we-do purchase. Turns out you actually do want a baby swing! Who knew?!
  • The lifestyle change purchase. You may not have needed a baby carrier in the ‘burbs, but after you move to a city, it becomes a must-have.

Chances are you’ll encounter at least one of these scenarios. So make the unexpected…an expectation. If your family uses a budget, create a line item for surprise gear and start adding to it now so that when the moment arrives, you have some savings stashed away (and if you don’t have a budget yet, you can learn about how to create one here).

Pace Your Payments

Sometimes you need things now, not later. On sites like Babylist, you split the cost of baby gear into smaller payments and pace it out over the course of a few weeks or even a few months. There are two ways Klarna lets you do that: pay-in-four and financing.

With pay-in-four, payments are spread out bi-weekly over the course of six weeks, and as long as you pay on time, you won’t accrue any interest (pay-in-four also won’t impact your credit in any way). Just look for the Klarna option at checkout, then enter your debit or credit card information and Klarna will automatically bill you when the next payment is due. It’s designed to help with pricier purchases, but you can use pay-in-four on anything from bottles to bathtubs and more.

For bigger orders—$245 to $10,000—you can finance your purchase with a fixed-interest payment plan and pay it off over a longer period of time, anywhere from six months to three years, making big ticket gear expenses a little more manageable (note: unlike pay-in-four, Klarna financing may impact your credit).*

A payment plan like Klarna is best if you’re confident you can make the payments on time (there can be late fees if you don’t).

Know Your Options

Not every gear purchase needs to be sparkling new. Parents are often looking to offload baby gear they no longer need, either for free or at a steep discount (Facebook Marketplace and online parent groups are your friends). You can find a complete guide to pre-owned gear here, but in general, any of the following essentials can be purchased gently used without any worry:

  • Strollers (as long as it was made after 2015 and hasn’t been involved in a recall).
  • Baby carriers
  • Playards (as long as it was manufactured after 2013 and works properly, with a snug-fitting mattress and no holes in the sides).
  • Swings
  • Bouncers
  • Activity centers
  • Infant seats
  • Bathtubs
  • Bedding
  • Clothing
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Nursery decor

Due to safety concerns, we don’t recommend buying the following gear second-hand (though check out our guide for some exceptions).

  • Car seats
  • Cribs
  • Crib mattresses
  • High chairs

As a general rule, you want to make sure that any gear you buy second-hand is in proper working order and hasn’t been involved in a recall (and then wash any soft goods like clothing or bedding before you use them).

Surprise gear needs often creep up on you when you least expect them—sometimes to the tune of a few hundred dollars. But knowing what to expect, planning ahead and being aware of your options can make the impact on your wallet a lot more manageable.

This article is sponsored by Klarna. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.

*Monthly financing through Klarna issued by WebBank, member FDIC. Other CA resident loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license.

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