I’m just gonna throw it out there: I LOVE SWAG. Free stuff. Free samples. I clear out my hotel rooms of all the little soaps and shampoos, I make like a bandit at trade shows, and I love that when companies know you’re about to have a baby – they want you to try out ALL THEIR STUFF!!
I’ve been pretty selective in the programs that I sign up for though, some companies are a little too eager to pounce on families looking for some freebies. I came across one website a few months ago where you signed up and would receive a cornucopia gift basket full of brand name products and baby samples. Sounds good, right? As I was filling out the form, I actually took the time to read the tiny print at the bottom of the screen. It said that the basket would be delivered in person, and that a “representative” would be presenting other offers that might be of particular interest.
Hold up. I don’t even like talking on the phone, let alone have some salesman come up to my door just for me to turn him away after giving me a basket full of free baby goodies. Guilt trip, much?? I asked around, and it turns out that the parent company is an insurance agency – so guess what they’d be peddling along with your treats in hand? I decided to skip that program…
There are also some sites that give away “free” items such as nursing covers, car seat covers, nursing pillows, and baby leggings – you just have to pay shipping and handling. In some cases, the shipping and handling can be around 15-20 dollars. Some people love them, some people don’t like the quality or it ends up not being exactly what they want. In those cases, you have to make sure that the shipping and handling is less than or equal to the value of the product, unless you’d rather just buy the one you WANT.
The four companies I did sign up for are a bit more mainstream, and they’ve been no-obligation. No subscription, no questions, no money.
This program through the drug store chain is linked with their Optimum Rewards program.
Included in the package:
Terry Cloth Baby Bib
3 pack Pampers Swaddlers Newborn Diapers
2 pack Johnson’s Nursing aPads
10gr Skinfix Diaper Paste
28mL Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion
29mL Aveeno Baby Fragrance Free Daily Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal
29mL Johnson’s Head-to-toe Body Wash
50mL Mustela Dermo-Cleansing gel for Hair and Body (Newborn/Baby)
15mL La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP Lipid-Replenishing Body Balm
Plus a book full of coupons that reward you thousands of Optimum points just for buying things you’ll already need like diapers, baby wipes, shampoos, vitamins, and even snacks. If there is a Shoppers Drug Mart by you and you aren’t signed up for Optimum points, GET ON IT NOW!! It’s extremely easy to accumulate points (like “Get 1000 points if you buy McCain’s pizza”) and your card ends up as good as cash. I think the highest level is 80,000 points and that gets you $170 credit, if they’re not having a “Spend your points” event which knocks that value up to I think $230. Yeah. That’s a free Medela Swing. That’s a Smashbox makeup spree. Free snacks. Free toilet paper. Free cough medicine. Just sayin’…
Even though I plan to breastfeed exclusively, you never know what might happen. I signed up for some formula baby samples just in case. Enfamil has their Family Beginnings Program and they send you various samples of their different types of baby formula.
Included in the box:
6 x 59mL Enfamil A+ “Ready To Feed” formula bottles
1 Standard slow flow nipple
4 x 17.6g Enfamil A+ Powder Single-serve formula sachets
6 x 17.4g Enfamil A+ Gentlease Powder Single-serve formula sachets
1 oz Aleva Naturals Sleep Easy Hair & Body Wash
Coupons for Enfamil vitamins and formula
“Your New Baby” magazine
When you sign up, they give you the option of either Regular packaging or “Earth-Friendly” packaging. Since I plan to breastfeed exclusively, I signed up for the Earth-Friendly packaging thinking I would get vouchers for samples as opposed to actual product. The expiry dates are actually quite soon – May for the powdered sachets and September for the ready-to-feed bottles. Hopefully we can establish breastfeeding right away so I can donate the product for someone else to use.
Johnson’s New Parent Pack
Fill out the form and Johnson’s will send you a voucher for their “Take Along Pack” to redeem at a drug/baby store. I’ve seen it in stock at Walmart, Babies R Us, Target and Superstore.
Just select “General Questions” for the subject of the email, and write “Request for new parent pack” in the comments section. I still have my voucher and won’t be redeeming it until shortly after the birth, as the package does have an expiration date on some of the products.
Lastly, Nestle Baby.
Another formula program, but this one comes with a diaper back pack!
Included in the box:
1 x Sling style Diaper Bag
1 x Changing Pad
1 x package of 24 Huggies Newborn sized Little Snugglers Diapers
1 x 340g Nestle Good Start Powdered Formula
8 x 89ml Nestle Good Start Ready-to-feed bottled formula
1 x Nipple
Various coupons and literature
These formula samples have more of a lenient expiry date, being a good 9 months from now. (Hmm… hint hint?)