When I found out I was pregnant with my first baby, my OB-GYN gave me a goodie bag that contained some magazines, brochures, free samples, and coupons. I had no idea what some of the products were, but I wanted to try them, so I started exploring options.
When my second baby was born, I was more familiar with how these “free samples” or offers work, and I want to share how did I ended up with all of the products in the picture (and more) paying nothing or covering only the shipping costs.
Things I Got for Free
1. Welcome Gifts for Creating Baby Registries
Welcome Box with Amazon Baby Registry—Using my Prime account, I completed an online baby registry on Amazon. After spending $10 on purchases from the registry, I got a great “Welcome Box” of baby products that included a swaddle, a onesie, a Philips Avent bottle, Pampers wipes, some diapers, baby lotion, shampoo, nursing pads, and some coupons. The contents of an Amazon “Welcome Box” can vary, as Amazon says that each box is meant to be a surprise and may contain products for baby and mom.
Welcome Kit with Target Baby Registry—As with Amazon, once you have completed the process of creating your baby registry with Target, you may visit Guest Services to receive a “Welcome Kit” valued at $80 of coupons and samples. Mine contained Pampers wipes, a MAM pacifier, a Nuk pacifier, a Philips Avent four-ounce bottle, a couple of Honest Co. diapers, nursing pads, breast milk storage bags, baby lotion, and body wash, as well as coupons. After my baby was born, I got more coupons and products in the mail from Target, including a Target onesie for my son’s first trip to the store.
Free Goody Bag with buybuyBABY Registry—I didn’t create a baby registry at this store because San Antonio doesn’t have a buybuyBABY and I didn’t want to have to drive to the nearest store in Austin; however, if you travel to Austin, Dallas, or Houston frequently, you may want to consider creating a registry at buybuyBABY, as you can pick up a free Goody Bag in-store after doing so. buybuyBABY doesn’t tell you what’s inside the bags, but I found a video on YouTube that shows the contents of a 2018 Goody Bag: Pampers samples, Water Wipes samples, a Chicco pacifier, a “baby on board” sign, and other small samples and coupons.
2. Formula Samples
My goal was to breastfeed both of my kids, but when I found out I had to supplement my first child, having formula samples on hand gave me some peace of mind.
Similac® Strong Moms—When you sign up for Similac’s program, the company says you can get up to $400 in offers. I don’t know if I really got that much, but I received in the mail two cans of Similac formula: one Similac Sensitive® and one Similac Advance®. In a different package, I also got a six-pack of two-ounce, ready-to-feed bottles of newborn formula, which were really convenient. I also loved to receive Similac’s coupons in the mail. These gift certificate “checks” had a $5+ value and made it much easier to save money on formula.
Enfamil Family Beginnings—Signing up to Enfamil’s program can get you up to $400 in free gifts according to their website. I received two cans of formula—one Enfamil NeuroPro™ and one Enfamil Gentlease®—and eight single-serving packages that are great for on the go. Since my last baby was born in 2017, the sign-up gift may have changed a little, but the Enfamil website says you can also get free belly badges to record baby’s special moments and milestones and valuable checks with a $5 value, as well as some other coupons and expert tips.
MyGerber—What surprised me the most about Gerber® is that they provide not only formula samples but also breastfeeding advice and products. Their free package provided me with a breastfeeding blanket, a baby bib, two cans of Gerber Good Start® Gentle formula, a diaper bag, and some guides and coupons. Products vary; with my first baby I received a onesie instead of the breastfeeding blanket.
Note: My OB-GYN also had some formula samples at his practice. If you’re supplementing, you may want to consider asking your doctor for any free available samples. Also, because you likely will not want to change your baby’s formula routinely, consider signing up for these programs and exchanging products with friends.
3. Breastfeeding Products
Kiinde® Free Starter Pack—The Kiinde system helped me to collect and store breastmilk, as well as feed my baby using the same bags and without the need to transfer to a bottle. The company offers a free starter kit valued at $49 to new users who try the system. The Twist Starter Pack contains one Twist Pouch bag, four direct pump adapters (that you will use depending on the pump that you have), one Twist Squeeze Natural Feeding Bottle, one Twist Active Latch Slow-Flow Nipple with Case, and two coupons that will help you save money if you decide to keep using the Kiinde system.
Free breast pump with insurance: I didn’t want to skip the fact that under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance companies must cover the cost of a breast pump. The process totally depends on the insurance that you have. The easiest way to get your free pump is to call your insurance company and ask them for further instructions on what you need to do to get your free pump.
4. Free Classes and Other Products
The Baby Box Co.—This company offers free online parenting classes and rewards, such as diapers, onesies, and burp cloths, for completing them. The first time I saw a Baby Box infant bed was in a 4-D ultrasound location. I started researching the company and signed up for its program. After I completed the first class I got a Safe Sleep reward that included the Baby Box and a 22-pack of Pampers diapers and coupons; to avoid shipping costs, I picked up the box from the 4-D ultrasound location that is one of Baby Box’s company partners. Once you complete the quiz and claim the reward, you can select shipping options or pick-up locations if they are available in your area.
The Perks Gift Bag—After shopping the first time at Destination Maternity, I left the store with samples that included a four-ounce Philips Avent bottle, coupons, and a subscription to Parents magazine. To get the gift bag, you may have to mention that you are shopping at Destination Maternity for the first time and that you are expecting.
Things I Got for Free Minus Shipping Costs
A few magazines and gift bags contain coupon codes to various online baby-related websites that give you free products for which you pay only the shipping costs. I didn’t order products from all the companies, and reading the reviews online some products were described as not being very good quality. But overall, I was happy with what I received, which includes the products listed below:
Carseat Canopy—I didn’t know I was going to need one carseat canopy, but after I got it I used it on a daily basis and was very satisfied with the product.
Udder Cover—Udder Covers’ gift card provides you with a $35 discount, and many covers are listed at $35, so I paid only shipping costs. I ordered covers on this website for both of my babies.
Nursing Pillow—I got a minky nursing pillow at nursingpillow.com. The coupon gave me a $40 discount and again, I payed only shipping costs. The pillow is smaller compared to the ones you get at a regular store, but it was great for traveling.
Sites That Provide Free Products with a Subscription
Honestly, I’m really bad at remembering to cancel a membership within the time frame a most companies demand, so I decided not to get any of the free samples that come with subscription orders to avoid being charged (and ultimately paying more that the samples cost). However, if you are good at canceling subscriptions, it may be worth your while to explore sites like Honest Co. diapers and Seventh Generation.