Saving on the cost of a new baby; how to buy the basics for less

Saving on the cost of a new baby; how to buy the basics for less

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Guest post by Marcia Nattress.

When you’re about to be a first-time mum, it’s tempting to rush out and clear the shelves of anything baby-related. But there’s really only a handful of essentials that you have to buy right away, all the rest can wait. Saving on the cost of a new baby needn’t be difficult.

Saving on the cost of a new baby; how to buy the basics for less

Make a list of the basic essentials to help you focus your spending on what’s necessary. It could also double up as a gift list if family and friends want to buy a practical present for your baby.

Clothing and Nappies: £50 – £100

  • One hat
  • One pair of mitts
  • Half a dozen body suits
  • Half a dozen vests
  • A warm cardigan/top
  • 2 or 3 muslin cloths
  • New born nappies – 3 packs (Your baby will get through 8-10 nappies a day in the first few weeks)
  • Baby wipes
  • Changing mat
  • Cotton wool

SAVVY TIP: If you’re concerned about the environment, you may prefer cloth nappies. But in the first few days when you’re adjusting to being a new mum, you may want to give yourself a break and use disposables. With cloth nappies, you’ll spend more upfront, but you could save money in the long run. Find out more at Liz’s Real Nappies and Twinkle Twinkle.

Feeding: £0 – £75 to get started

Breastfeeding is the ultimate money saver. No need to buy bottles, teats, formula milk or sterilizing units. Otherwise you may have to spend up to £75 just to get started. You will need:

  • A starter kit of bottles and teats – £15 – £25
  • Sterilising unit – £20 – £50
  • Formula milk – £7 for 900 grams
  • Breast pump £20 – £100

SAVVY TIP: If breastfeeding goes well, you may decide to express your milk. It’s worth borrowing a breast pump from a friend or hiring one first as it just might not be for you. Ask your local NCT (National Childbirth Trust) group about hiring one or log onto the NCT website.

Sleeping: £150- £250

  • Cot – £100 – £200 and upwards
  • Cot mattress – £30
  • Bedding – £20

Your baby will be sleeping in a cot for 18 months to two years, maybe longer, so it’s an investment that will last. Another option is a cot bed (which converts from one to the other). Ultimately it’s down to personal choice and how much space you have.

SAVVY TIP: Don’t save money on a mattress. Buy a brand new one for each baby. This is recommended by the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

Extras £100 – £125

  • Moses basket: – £25 – £75
  • Moses basket stand – £10 – £20
  • New mattress – £15 – £50
  • Extra bedding – £15

Some mums think a Moses basket is essential, but not everyone agrees. Because it’s portable, you can move it without too much effort. It’s also useful if you’re staying over with friends and family.

SAVVY TIP: The disadvantage with a Moses basket is it won’t last long. Your baby will outgrow it in a matter of weeks, so you might want to buy a second-hand one. But, as with the cot, you must buy a new mattress.

Baby Monitor – £10 – £100

A baby monitor can be expensive and you might manage without one, especially if you live in a flat. But if you live in a house or you’re planning to stay with friends or relatives regularly, it gives you peace of mind an extra pair of ears while your baby sleeps.

SAVVY TIP: Try and borrow one before you buy. You might decide you only need one for a few weeks. Otherwise, there are some baby monitor apps available, which make it much cheaper.

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Useful links:

To compare prices – and if you can’t face trekking round the shops – try sites such as kiddicare (now at Dunelm). If it’s tips or advice you’re after, try Mumsnet, Netmums, Bounty and Emma’s diary.