Getting Real With Shadra Bruce

While my best advice for Black Friday is to stay home and skip the chaos, especially if you’re expecting or have a newborn, if you do have to go out, here’s a Black Friday Shopping Survival Kit for New or Soon-to-Be Parents:

The hype around Black Friday tends to be gift-centric, which makes sense with the upcoming holiday. Yet, statistics collected by BIGinsight regarding Black Friday in 2012 show that almost 80 percent of shoppers used the opportunity to score deep discounts on non-gift items. Parents with a recent newborn or a baby on the way may like the idea of saving hundreds on necessary baby items, but facing the crowds just before or after a birth could be daunting. To make the experience more pleasant, create a Black Friday shopping survival kit with the following tips:

Do Your Homework

Know what you need and where to get it. You probably have had a baby shower and it’s now time to fill in the gaps. Make a list of all the items you’d like for your baby, including furniture, blankets, clothing, toys, and practical things like diapers and bottles. Don’t limit your list to immediate needs—if you can get something for a few dollars, it’s worth storing for future use. Match your list to ads for deals on those items.

Store-Specific Apps and Websites

Retailers are leveraging the mobile trend to bring extra value to customers on Black Friday. Using the Macy’s mobile shopping app, you can get an early peak at Black Friday sales, make a shopping list and see the location of specials within your local store. Other retailers may offer perks through their shopping apps, so make sure you check in with your favorite stores before hitting the road on Friday. Store websites also are a good place to get information about Black Friday deals. While online make use of free shipping and coupon codes for a percentage off your entire purchase to stock up on baby necessities like diapers or baby formula.

Think Outside Old Navy

Shopping for baby needs on Black Friday is likely to take you to places other than traditional retail outlets. Pay close attention to drug store advertisements, for example, and make sure you sign up for customer loyalty programs with Walgreens and CVS prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. A loyalty card with either company gains you access to discounts and rebates and lets you stock up on rewards points. During Black Friday, both stores offer cash-back rewards that allow you to earn money off your next purchase, which is a great way to save on medicines, baby food, baby supplies and diapers.

Carry-ons for Momma and Baby

Whether you’re expecting a new arrival soon or your baby is already in tow, plan to use a carry-on for your Friday outing. A pregnant mother may require snacks or beverages during the shopping trip, and you won’t always be in a place that offers either. If a baby’s on board, make sure you have a change of clothes, prepared bottles, diapers and wipes, and hand sanitizer. An easy-to-maneuver and comfortable stroller will keep your baby calm as you shop, and you’ll probably want to have at least two adults along to ensure someone keeps an eye on the baby at all times in the bustling crowd.