Freebies for the Expectant Mother

Recently, we have had more friends around us getting engaged, married, and having babies, so to help the parents-to-be or my future self, I’ve compiled a list of memorable “freebies” that I remember signing up for or have heard about – I don’t remember which freebie sign-up gave me samples of bamboo wipes and nursing pads though.

Before we start, here’s a tip: because you’re signing up for a lot of these programs online (and in store), you may be asked for an email address. I find that having a dedicated “baby” or “junk mail” email address really helps filter the baby-related items. If you don’t want samples to come to your direct address, you can also send it to your FlexDelivery (PO Box) address at a local Canada Post office.

  1. Gift Registries
    If you are considering signing up for a baby gift registry, there are a couple of options:

    • Babies “R” Us: upon placing a few items on the registry in store, a bag of freebies/samples and coupons will be given to you. If I remember correctly, a 0-6 mo pacifier was in mine, and a BPA free bottle (which we didn’t really like – we preferred the Avent bottles in the end). If you deliver on your submitted expected date (or your guess), they will give you a gift as well.
    •  Sears: apparently, if purchases are made from your registry with them, and if you guess the correct date of the baby’s arrival, then you get credit back for those purchases. I didn’t know about this, or else I may have benefitted :)
  2. Work Benefits
    • Employee Assistant Programs: Through my employer’s employee assistance program, we got 3 books (A What to Expect book, a year one book for Daddy, and a board book), a Baby Einstein lullaby CD, a mini Whoozit toy, and some other generic literature
    • Health insurance and fitness credits: this covered a private ward for recovery after delivery, and also allowed me to buy a jogging stroller as well as a breast pump
  3. Brands
    Even though you may plan to breastfeed exclusively, you might need formula as emergency supply or even to give away to other expectant/new moms since formula actually costs a fair bit!

    • Nestle Baby: you need to select that you plan to formula feed to get the backpack with change pad I’ve been told, some formula, and maybe a bottle?
    • Enfamil: formula
    • Johnson & Johnson used to give out a free travel pack of baby products if you request it from their contact form, but when I did, they sent me a voucher to claim one in store (which I haven’t found a place that carries them yet), and when my sister inquired, she was just directed to healthyessentials.ca to request non-baby related samples. You can now sign up for an account at healthyessentials.ca, fill out your profile to say when you’re expecting and they will automatically give you a form to fill out so that they can send you the the voucher.
  4. Stores
    • Shoppers Drug Mart: VIB – free pack of diapers (I actually received two, but it could be because the fine print said offer valid until Dec 31, 2012 so I emailed them about it; my sister only got a coupon for diapers, I think), a baby bib, and coupons for 1000 Optimum points for buying various products, like baby Tylenol, diapers, drinks and snacks. Be sure to opt in on Optimum emails as they seem to send diaper coupons every so often (my sister has gotten $8 off any size pack of diapers and some other freebie). Update: they discontinued the program sometime near the end of 2016.
    • Sobeys Baby Be Healthy: free monthly vitamins up to a year (you just need to go once a month), reuseable bag, a couple of Size 2 Compliments brand diapers – these perks may only be given to you if you sign up in store (at the pharmacy)
      Update: I was able to sign up online and get a small gift bag in store, and this time it contained a package of Huggies Little Snugglers newborn diapers!
    • Thyme Maternity: they may be affiliated with the Nestle program, but when I went on Customer Appreciation Day, I think I got more than the standard package. Signing up to receive their emails will also alert you when they have a 1-item 50% off coupons.
    • Speaking of stores, if you’re already shopping for baby items online, some stores have referral codes so that you can get a new member discount (search on retailmenot.com for online stores), or 5% off items that you have put in your cart but abandoned mid-transaction for whatever reason (e.g. Snugglebugz.ca). Oh, and be on the lookout for diaper coupons in newspaper flyer inserts like Redplum or P&G, or online through sites like websaver.ca or P&G (can’t remember if it was brandsampler.ca or brandsaver.ca) and remember to price it per diaper to see whether is sale is actually a good deal since each store has their own count of diapers per box (a handy spreadsheet helped me keep a tally)
    • For those out west, London Drugs has a sign-up form that you can complete to get a package in-store (or shipped free with $200+ purchase).
  5. Region’s resources
    • Our city’s library has a partnership with Zinio and allows you to download magazines to keep. They used to offer Today’s Parent, but now they have EcoParent and Birthing magazines. One branch has a toy lending library that even allows you to borrow toys for free! (You can also get Today’s Parent for $1 an issue that’s mailed to your home if you’re an existing Rogers or Fido customer)
    • The Region of Waterloo has a free online prenatal program. While I found in-class sessions helpful for answering questions and hands-on practice (e.g. massage techniques), this seems like a great refresher or prep resource.
  6. Midwife offices
    And speaking of libraries, some midwife offices will have a lending library of books, DVDs, and even free samples from various companies (lansinoh/nipple and/or diaper rash cream, Today’s Parent magazines) or even an mommy-exchange box that may have gently used clothing for baby and mom-to-be!
  7. *Unverified* Baby Boxes: (1) and (2). Because my babies were born before these initiatives were offered, I don’t actually know if you will actually get a baby box; one of our friends did mention you have to complete a form and bring in a voucher to a physical place to get the box.

Once the baby is born, you may wish to join free programs like (note: these examples may be specific to my area):

  1. Early Years Centres
  2. Mom and baby programs or support groups, either through local libraries, churches (e.g. MOPS or our local Salvation Army’s Parent-Child Resource Centre) or find meetings or activities online, such as Life With A Baby (LWAB) or La Leche League (LLLC for breastfeeding support)

Other moms, did I forget anything? I’ll try to keep this list updated if anything new pops up.

Oh, and happy pregnancy! It’s exciting times quite the adventure ahead :)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: