They Grow Up Fast! Free Baby Stuff for Low Income Families
Did you know that more than a million Millennials are becoming parents each year? If you’re a new parent or about to become one, you likely are experiencing great joy and excitement. For many families, however, this time can also bring concern about how to provide the food, clothing, diapers, and other supplies your new arrival will need in order to thrive.
Luckily, there are many programs out there that offer free baby stuff for low-income families. Read on to learn about different resources that are available both locally and nationally as well as steps you can take to help reduce other major costs.
Contact Your Doctor
If you’re looking for free baby stuff, the first thing to do is contact your doctor. Specifically, talk to your baby’s pediatrician as well as the hospital where your baby was or will be delivered.
Many children’s doctors offer free samples of baby food and formula that they’re happy to give away. Local doctors also work with other low-income families in your area and know all about available programs, so they can point you in the direction of free baby stuff near you.
Contact Companies and Try Free Samples
Most companies that make products for infants have sample programs and will send you a package of samples if you contact them and ask. The packages come with no obligations and are a great way to save some money while trying different products to see which ones work for you and your baby.
Companies that do not offer samples may provide you with coupons for discounted baby products. You can save these coupons and use them to reduce your costs in the future. Just mind the expiration dates!
A lot of these companies also have rewards programs. For example, when you sign up for a program and spend a certain amount on baby food, you can get more free samples and vastly discounted items.
Gerber’s Baby Program
Gerber has one of the best free baby box options for low-income mothers. When you join the program, you don’t just get access to a wide variety of samples and coupons; you also get access to many resources that can assist you in your child’s early years.
These resources include a chatbot called Dorothy that you can access on their website. You can ask Dorothy about free samples of food, diapers, and other baby items.
You can also inquire about growth milestones and ask it any questions about raising a child. The bot is programmed by experts to answer these inquiries and ensure that you get the best possible information.
Parent’s Choice at Walmart
Though Walmart’s program doesn’t offer freebies, it’s very accessible and worth checking out for any parent looking to reduce costs. This isn’t just because there are Walmart stores all across the nation; it’s also because you can access free baby stuff for expecting mothers by mail through the program.
You can go on their website and look at the discounted sample sizes they offer. The nice thing about this is that you get to choose from many different foods, which can help meet the needs of different types of kids. So if you need to accommodate a child with sensory issues, for example, this is a great choice.
Similac is a baby items company that has a rewards program called ‘Strong Moms.’ The company will hook you up with coupons and samples tailored to your baby’s age and specific needs.
This doesn’t just save you a lot of money; it also saves you time and energy trying to figure out the best options for your child because Similac works to figure this out for you before sending samples.
Generation Good grants you access to exclusive discounts, coupons, and sample items. They also have a parent community where you can connect with other parents around the country and share information about finding samples and parenting.
All members of Generation Good are eligible to host ‘Healthy Baby Home’ parties. This means that you get a free kit that includes baby food, wipes, and more.
Consider Government Programs and Other Resources
There are many programs specifically for low-income parents offered both by the government and by various service organizations. Qualifying families can apply to a variety programs to access free food, diapers, cribs, breast pumps, and more.
Qualifications and benefits vary by program, so it’s a good idea to do your research, fill out applications, and make sure you are accepted before counting on any specific resource.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The US Department of Agriculture hosts a program called Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). WIC is one of the most widely-recognized national assistance programs for low-income families looking for baby stuff.
You can find WIC centers in most areas of the US. At these centers, you can get screenings and referrals to other health, social, and welfare programs. Nutrition education is also available at WIC clinics, as is counseling.
WIC also provides direct nutritional support in the form of an EBT card that can be used to purchase specific program-approved foods at participating retailers.
Find out if you are eligible for WIC benefits and apply if you are.
Local Food Banks
If you’re on SNAP benefits and qualify for help at your local food bank, this is another easy way that you can get baby food. Many donors give canned, jarred, and bagged baby food options to the banks that you can choose from, as well as other necessities like pet food.
Baby2Baby is primarily an organization that provides free diapers for low-income families. Unlike other government programs like WIC, they provide diapers and other baby supplies to new moms rather than just food.
National Diaper Bank Network
The National Diaper Bank Network is another option for families looking for free diapers. This organization partners closely with community and advocacy groups to collect diaper donations. They then find in-need families across the US and give them free diapers.
This is essential since 5 million children under 3 live in low-income families. Each child needs 6-12 diapers daily, so the NDBN works to provide mothers with the quantity that they need for their babies to thrive.
The organization is sponsored by Huggies and also hosts various events throughout the year. They aim to bring awareness to the problem of diaper needs and eliminate these problems over time.
Cribs for Kids
Cribs are one of the most expensive one-time purchases that new parents need to make.
Cribs for Kids is an organization that may be able to provide some families with free cribs. Other families may be offered coupons to purchase a crib at a discounted rate.
Even if they cannot provide you with a free crib, CFK will provide you with valuable sleep education. In addition, they will give you tools to ensure that your little one can get a good night’s sleep regardless of your financial situation.
Because you need all of these essentials, consider signing up for multiple programs. That way, you may be able to access to WIC’s food benefits as well as items like diapers that aren’t covered by WIC.
Regardless of your location, there are often resources specific to your area that offer help for low-income parents. Some programs might include those at churches and other religious institutions. You also may be able to find assistance at local donation centers and food banks.
Ask around the community for recommendations of where to go. These community recommendations can come from other parents that you know in person or from online message boards and groups.
You also can Google assistance programs near you. Some results are sure to pop up, at which point you can call the numbers provided or contact the organizations appearing in your search through websites or social media.
Trade With Other Families
Most free baby supplies programs offer some level of community outreach. Social media groups on Facebook and similar platforms also allow you to get in touch with other low-income parents and share tips and tricks on saving while parenting.
In these groups, you can also trade items with mothers in different parenting stages than you. For example, if you need a larger stroller than was provided, you can trade it with another mom who needs a smaller one.
Not only is this a great cost-saving measure, it’s also environmentally sound as items remain in use for longer periods of time instead of heading to landfills.
Find Free Baby Stuff for Low-Income Families
Now that you have some tips on how to find free baby stuff for low-income families, you’re ready to get started. Take a look at these programs and research local ones in your area. Since there are a range of resources out there for low-income families, you have many options to choose from.
Save Money on Your Wireless Phone Service
If you qualify for federal benefits such as SNAP, you also qualify for Lifeline service. Lifeline is a federal benefit program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to receive access to free or heavily discounted communication services. Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.