In its first year your baby could cost you $10,158 (6,499.87) going by babycenter.coms’ baby cost calculator. According to The Telegraph “a third of mothers acquire debt on maternity leave. The average debt accrued by new mothers is £2,500 as one in10 cut short leave for financial reasons”.
However you don’t have to incur all these cost. Someone once said to me “I have to remember that the amount of money I spend on my baby doesn’t determine how much worth I place on her”.
Babies grow fast they move from one stage to another before you can blink and that fancy item you bought might only get used once or twice. Especially in the early stages 0 – 6 months. Believe me I learnt the hard way. The first £8 pair of shoes I bought for my baby he wore just once and then it was too small. Think about it, how many major outing would you baby have in a week? So by the next major outing you find out that those fancy clothes you bought are all already too small. I even have items that I forgot where even there. I found them while clearing out the cupboard and by then they were already too small. So how do you save?
First of all prioritize – You don’t need everything written in the list at the back of the mothercare book. Moses basket: no need go straight for a cotbed. Baby beddings: no need use yours. Just make sure you give it an extra clean. The most essential things you need in the first few months are a few baby grows, nappies, blankets, caps if its winter and a car seat to bring your baby home.
Make sure friends and family know you would accept second-hand and freebies.
Discount Vouchers and Freebies – subscribe to as many parenting forums as possible and you would be given vouchers and loads of freebies for doing so. To list a few of the one’s I got.
- Baby bag for boots – priced at £30
- 2 Advent bottles – priced at £5.95 each
- 3 pack of Newborn diapers – both huggies and pampers (from Bounty, Sainsbury baby club, Asda baby club) loads of sample as well.
- Loads of sample wipes (pampers and huggies from Bounty and Sainsbury baby club)
- 3 sample sudocream and 2 sample bepanthen nappy cream
- 0-3 years tooth brush and toothpaste
- A load of Johnson’s products.
- Loads of stuffed animals (cow and gate, aptimil etc)
- Baby booties (Sainsbury’s)
- Iron tables, cotton wool, washing powder fairy, fabric softener, Dettol spray and loads of money off vouchers for baby food, diapers, wipes, soaps.
Bargain hunt – I love bargain hunting. My best bargain for my baby was two free buggies, Moses basket with stand £6, car seat £10. I think all in all I spent about £500 preparing for my baby. Get acquainted with the internet. A lot of money saving sites claim it is cheaper to buy online and in my experience it is. Here are some sites which might help you. There is also the NCT sales, they are a charity that organizes sales for mothers in their local areas. At the NCT Mothers can buy nearly new items at bargain prices from their owners. Just check their website for one thats coming to your area.
eBay – you can get both new and second hand bargains here. I even sell my baby items here once I am done with them.
Preloved – Same set up as eBay. Bought stuff like leather chair £30, washing machine £50. Baby activity centre £5.
Mumscentre – Exchange, buy, and sell baby items.
Mumsnet – Buy from mums in your area get free stuff as well.
Amazon – Some items are usually cheaper on amazon than in than the baby shoes. I regularity find that baby bottles are cheaper in amazon plus most of the time they have free delivery.
Freecycle – Get and give away your items for free (I have a friend who furnished her house off Freecycle).
This is not an exhaustive list. It is just a list of sites I use regularly. On a note of caution there are a few things that you shouldn’t buy as second hand for a baby like bottle teats, you are also advised against buying a used cot mattress so make sure you do your research before you buy.