These days it seems like you can’t turn on a TV or pick up a newspaper without hearing or reading about the economy. Though this isn’t necessarily an optimistic time for our wallets, you can always be optimistic about your growing family.
Of course, a new baby means new expenses but they don’t all have to break the bank.
We’ve compiled a list of smart and stylish—yet cost-efficient—solutions to keep your spirits up even when the economy is down.
The Three “B’s”: Buying in Bulk, Borrowing, and Sticking to the Basics
Buying in Bulk: Buy in large quantities when it comes to diapers, wipes, ointments, and any other baby items you know you’re going to need for a while (like formula, if you are formula feeding). As we know from our national obsession with stores like Costco, buying in bulk will usually mean you’re purchasing at a discount. If you’d prefer to have these larger quantities delivered to your door, check out a site like Diapers  or Amazon. They both offer a wide variety of brands and products and both offer free shipping when you spend a certain amount.
Borrowing: If any of your friends or family members have recently welcomed babies, it’s likely that their children have already outgrown much of their newborn clothes and gear. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can borrow some items; you’ll be surprised at how many people would love to get some of those boxes out of their garage!
Sticking to the Basics: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Literally—the small stuff. Your newborn is going to grow out of those newborn clothes so quickly, plus they’re mostly going to be lounging around at home in a onesie or swaddling blanket, so you don’t need to buy too many clothes for the first few months.
And some of the items that your friends call “necessities” are not necessarily … um, necessary. A bottle warmer might seem like a handy piece of equipment, but you might find that it’s easier to warm the bottle in a mug of hot water. Sometimes, you need to learn your own routine to see which “must have” items are the ones you really can’t live without.
Decorating the Nursery
Preparing the nursery for your baby’s arrival can be incredibly exciting and expensive. Luckily, over the past few years, the baby product market has exploded with new companies and new product lines. There has never been a better time to shop for baby. Not only has the selection increased exponentially, but with the introduction of high-end lines also came the introduction of more affordable lines. Some of our favorite affordable furniture lines are:
If you’ve been drooling over the latest vintage-glam celebrity twin nurseries (of Vivienne and Knox Jolie-Pitt and Max and Emme Lopez-Anthony), you don’t have to rake in a twenty million/picture salary to recreate their updated elegance. See our affordable options below.
The Jolie-Pitt twins will reportedly dream sweet French dreams in the Bonne Nuit Cherubini Crib in Versailles Pink  ($3,150.00) Reports also say that they bought chandeliers similar to this one: Elise Pink Six Light Chandelier  ($660)
Here are some affordable alternatives:
As for decorating, those walls, a great alternative to investing in art, or hiring someone to paint a mural, are colorful and creative wall decals.
The options available today are plenty from modern to whimsical. There’s something for every style. Also, since they just peel and stick, you can move them around the room as you please (an activity in itself for your growing child).
Our favorites include:
Announcing Your New Arrival
Send e-card announcements. Forgo the stamps and paper (not to mention time and energy) and announce your baby’s birth with an e-card. Not only are you saving on time, energy, and money, you’re saving paper and therefore saving a tree. Very eco-conscious!
The Cradle offers birth announcement e-cards , or you can find e-card announcements. You can also find multimedia options at Smilebox .
Dressing Your Little One
Think ahead and buy clothes at the end of each season when clothes go on sale. Buy one to three years in advance and store away until your child grows into each size. You can find some really cute designer clothing for a fraction of the price. January and July are big sale months.
If you’re enamored with the wardrobes of celebrity kids, but don’t even want to think about the price tags on those fancy frocks, we can help you snag their looks for a fraction of the price. Check out The Cradle’s column Fashion Styles of the Little & Famous:
Fashion Styles of the Little & Famous: Suri 
Fashion Styles of the Little & Famous: Kingston 
Fashion Styles of the Little & Famous: Shiloh 
Plus, we’re always amazed at the great fashions—and deals—at Old Navy, babyGap, Janie & Jack (Gymboree’s sibling), and … Loehmann’s! There’s always a slew of clothing on sale, and the offerings are perfect for both wardrobe staples and trendy pieces (that you can justify at those discounted prices)!
Thinking Outside the (Wrapped) Box
When registering for gifts, consider options  that will last much longer than clothing or toys. Companies like Cord Blood Registry  and Freshman Fund  allow your friends and family to donate to your child’s health and education. What a valuable gift!