So, you’re expecting a new bundle of joy, or recently had a new addition to your family. Those first weeks and months with a newborn can feel overwhelming, and the added expense of baby supplies, food, diapers, and clothing doesn’t make it any easier!
While you may have some “sticker shock” from the expenses associated with your new baby, there are lots of ways to get free baby stuff.
Free Samples & Gift Boxes
You might be surprised by how easy it is to get free samples and gift boxes of things like diapers, formula, baby food, and other baby supplies. For many of these offers, you do need to make an account on the company’s website, create a baby gift registry, or join a mailing list.
Pro tip: create a new Gmail email address to sign up so your inbox isn’t overwhelmed with offers and newsletters.
Here are a few companies that offer free baby stuff for new parents and caregivers.
Walmart offers free baby gift boxes containing free samples from brands like Huggies, Enfamil, and Johnson’s. To receive a free box, create a baby registry (no one needs to actually purchase anything from it), and use the link from your registry to request your free baby box.
Target also offers a gift bag filled with free baby stuff when you sign up for a baby registry. Valued at $150, this one is definitely worth the few steps it takes to sign up. Instructions on how to pick up your gift bag are available on Target’s website.
If you are an Amazon Prime member and create a baby registry through Amazon, you can claim a free baby gift box valued at $35. Be sure to read the fine print on this one. You or someone else will actually need to make a purchase from the registry in order for you to receive the gift.
Noobie Box will send you a box filled with free samples of things like diaper rash cream, baby wash and shampoo, and prenatal vitamins. Just sign up and pay $9.95 for shipping.
Cuties offers free sample packs of diapers in the size of your choice. Start by entering your email address here and fill out a form to receive your samples.
By signing up with Similac, you will receive free samples of formulas, coupons, and even a free Shutterfly Photo book. Please note that this offer is only available to expecting parents.
Non-Profit and Faith-Based Organizations
National Diaper Network
The National Diaper Network can help you find free diapers in your area. Just call 211 and a specialist will help you identify local resources. You can also check the National Diaper Network directory to see which organizations in your area are part of their network.
United Way is a great resource for getting free baby stuff, often sponsoring “community baby showers” for parents-to-be. To find out whether your local branch of the United Way is currently offering free baby stuff, visit their website and reach out to the United Way near you.
Care Net operates over 1,000 crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. Care Net is a faith-based organization that sometimes offers free baby stuff to pregnant mothers and those with children up to the age of one. You can locate and contact a chapter near you by visiting their website.
Cribs for Kids
Cribs for Kids is an organization that helps distribute safe cribs for babies. Though based in PA, their website allows you to search for Cribs for Kids distributors in your area. If there is not a distributor in your area, you can use the organization’s product discount to purchase a lower cost cribette for your baby.
Food Pantries & Mutual Aid Networks
Many food pantries distribute diapers and formula as part of their offerings. Visit foodfinder.us to locate a food pantry near you. Be sure to contact a representative from the food pantry before visiting to ask if they carry the supplies you are looking for.
Mutual Aid networks are also a great resource for folks looking for free baby stuff. In a mutual aid network, community members work together and help one another to meet everyone’s needs. Each community’s mutual aid network operates a bit differently, but it is likely that you can contact a volunteer or fill out a form with a request (i.e. “I am pregnant and need a car seat for my new baby”, or “I need $40 to buy medication for my new baby”), and you will be connected with someone in the community who can help. You can find a mutual aid network near you by searching mutualaidhub.org.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, otherwise known as WIC, is a government program that helps women, infants, and children meet their nutritional needs. Eligibility is based on income and the nutritional risk of the child. WIC covers the cost of formula and some foods. Unfortunately, WIC does not cover the cost of diapers, but the WIC office near you will likely know where to direct you for help acquiring diapers and other free baby stuff. Find out how to apply for WIC in your state by visiting this website.
Before you leave the hospital with your new baby, ask if they have any free samples of formula, diapers, wipes, or other supplies. You should also ask if they give away free car seats if you don’t already have one. Just be sure to confirm that these items are free to avoid seeing a surprise charge on your hospital bill.
Join a “Buy-Nothing” Group
Buy-Nothing groups on sites like Facebook or Nextdoor can be great resources for getting free baby stuff, especially things like furniture and clothing. You might also consider joining Facebook groups formed by local parents who often post about hand-me-downs for other community members.
Safe Convertible Car Seats
Safeconvertiblecarseats.com has a comprehensive listing of where to get a free car seat in all 50 states. Check it out!
The cost of supporting a growing family can be difficult to manage, but knowing that there are resources out there is a great feeling. Have other ideas on how to get free baby stuff? Share them in the comments section!