By Sue Hannah
By the time you find out you're pregnant (pregnancy test $15) to the time junior blows out the candles on his first birthday cake (cake $20), parents can expect to spend upwards of $18,000. And that's on baby's first year alone.
By the time junior reaches 18, the average middle-income family will spend $160,140, according to recent government calculations. That doesn't even touch college tuition. Ouch!
Children are priceless, but raising them is probably the most expensive thing a parent will ever do.
But there's good news. One of the few times companies are eager to hand out free things is when someone is having a baby!
When author, Sue Hannah found out that she was expecting twins, she couldn't wait for their arrival. But feeling the financial strain that goes along with being a new parent (times two), she was definitely a little nervous.
Desperate to find extra help for her expanding family, she contacted almost every company that manufactured baby items. She scoured through parenting magazines, searched the Internet and made phone calls until her husband thought she was suffering a pregnancy-induced craze.
He claimed she couldn't get something for nothing. Boy, was he wrong.
She was surprised to find out that many companies offered free stuff to new and expecting parents--and with no obligation to buy anything!
She received hundreds of dollars worth of fabulous freebies for herself and her babies, including free diapers, baby wipes, baby food, baby bibs, bottles, free gift packs, parenting starter kits, free parenting videos and software, coupons, parenting books and magazines, and tons of free samples in the mail, all from well-known companies like Huggies, Gerber, Heinz, Nestlé Carnation, Johnson & Johnson, and many more.
"It was really exciting to receive free stuff in the mail", says Hannah. "These companies were eager to respond to my requests for free samples and promotional items and within a couple of weeks of contacting them, my mailbox was flooded with valuable free stuff--and with no obligation to buy anything! I could hardly wait to see what my mailman brought me in the mail each day! I filled up three large storage bins with free stuff for my twins, and saved a ton of money!"
Impressed with the generosity of these companies, she compiled her contacts and listings into a book for all parents to access. Free Stuff for Baby! offers toll-free numbers, addresses and Web sites of reputable companies where parents can request free stuff for themselves and their baby.
For those "new or expecting" parents who are reading this article today, Hannah has offered to give you a sneak preview of her new book containing her listing of the top 10 companies that offer free stuff to new and expecting parents. You'll definitely want to bookmark these websites!
1. Procter & Gamble (Pampers)
In the United States or Canada, call 800-543-0480, 800-726-7377
U.S. Website: www.pampers.com (click on "JoinPampers.com")
Canadian Website: www.pampers.ca (click on "coupons and special offers")
2. Kimberly-Clark Corporation (Huggies)
In the United States or Canada, call 800-544-1847
3. Johnson & Johnson
In the United States, call 800-526-3967
In Canada, call 800-361-8068
U.S. Website: www.johnsonsbaby.com
Canadian Website: www.jnjCanada.com
4. Nestlé Carnation Infant Nutrition
In the United States, call 800-242-5200
In Canada, call 800-387-5536
U.S. Website: www.verybestbaby.com
Canadian Website: www.nestle.ca (click on "Good Start Magazine")
5. Similac Welcome Addition Club
In the United States, call 800-BABYLINE
In Canada, call 800-518-CLUB
www.welcomeaddition.com (click on "Join the Club")
6. Mead Johnson Nutritionals
In the United States, call: 800-BABY-123
In Canada, call 800-361-6323
U.S. Website: www.meadjohnson.com
(click on "Nutrition For You", then "Enfamil Family of Formulas")
Canadian Website: www.enfalac.ca/en/
(click on "Enfamil First Connections")
7. Gerber Products Company
In the United States & Canada, call 800-4GERBER
U.S. Website: www.gerber.com/mygerber/register.asp
Canadian Website: www.gerbercanada.com
8. H.J. Heinz Company
In the United States, call 800-USA-BABY
In Canada, call 800-565-2100
9. Associated Hygenic Products (Drypers)
P.O. Box 8830
Vancouver, WA 98666-8830
In the United States or Canada, call 888-639-5863
10. PBM Products, Inc. (America's Store Brand Infant Formulas)
In the United States, call 800-485-9969
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