Preparing for a Baby ~ 8 Money Saving Tips

When I found out I was pregnant, the internet was the first place I turned to for advice on what I'd need to prepare for the arrival of my baby. From recommended quantities of newborn baby clothes and size one nappies to what I'd need to take with me in my hospital bag, take it from me, there's a Google search return for EVERYTHING.

It's no secret that the baby product industry is big business, but with the U.K and U.S markets estimated values of £900 million and $23 billion respectively, it's difficult not to grow a little sceptical about how much baby gear really is necessary.

What do you really need to get you set up for your new arrivals? What corners can be cut, and crucially, do you really need a gro-egg? Read on for 8 money saving tips I've picked up for having a baby on a budget.

1. Shop Ebay and Gumtree for baby furniture bargains. 

How long are babies in cots for? Not very long...Harry is 5 months old and already half the length of his. Thank god it was only £20 from Gumtree. Along with a small wooden chest of drawers, a changing station and a wardrobe my total spend on nursery furniture was £103.00. Can't argue with that.

2. Check Facebook for baby swap and sell pages in your local area.

Babies grow out of things. Fast. This means that a) most second hand stuff is essentially pretty damn decent and b) there's a hell of a lot of it out there.

I managed to pick up a Chicco Baby Sling for a fiver and a huge 40 piece bundle of baby clothes for £10 using my local page.  

3.Borrow from friends.

If you have friends with older babies and who plan to have more kids, borrow things from them. It's win win. You get to save money by not buying new whilst your friends get to de-clutter their homes, temporarily at least. Harry and I are currently borrowing my friend's door bouncer. He loves it, and we saved £15. 

Just don't forget to give the stuff back

4.Don't buy gimmicky products.

Each to their own on this one, but as the owner of a Gro-Egg baby room thermometer I have to say that I think this is an absolute waste of money. It looks pretty and in owning one you feel like you're part of that whole 'instagramable' baby consumer culture that we all get sucked in to from time to time, but you don't need one. 

Ordinary room thermometers are available to put parent's mind at rest for a fraction of the Gro- Egg's price. Like this one here. It's £3.67. That's £18.32 left over for the baby's ISA. Score.

5. Stock up on a range of nappy sizes, not just tiny ones.

It's so tempting to get mega prepared by pre-buying a ton of size one nappies for your baby before they arrive. There's something so satisfying about having the changing station look like a supermarket aisle, but it can be a wasteful. They grow out of little nappies SO FAST. Harry was in size 3s by 16 weeks and I'm certain we only ended up using about two packs of size 1's tops. We definitely had a couple of uncomfortable weeks stuffing him in to the remaining size 2's we'd stock piled either way. 

Honestly unless you live in the middle of nowhere you can opt not to stock pile or if like me you just NEED to, have a pack of the next size on stand by. It's all you really need. Seriously it will be okay.

6. Leave elaborate new born baby outfits on the shelf.

How many hours did I spend perusing 'cute newborn baby outfits' online? More than I care to recall. 

I spent £18 on shirt collar and dungaree set for Harry to wear to Ed's graduation when he was 2 weeks old. It was totally uncomfortable and he pissed all over it half way through the day. If you're looking to save money on anything let it be on newborn clothes. They can grow out of them in literally 4 weeks and if they're too elaborate your baby will make you pay for your vanity.

Comfort over style and less is always more. It will make you sad that they only got to wear them once or maybe not at all. Take it from me, £18 for one wear makes the heart bleed and the wallet scream.

7. Before you buy a £50 baby changing bag, ask yourself what's wrong with the bags you have.

Look! Here's one from Argos for £79.99 and it's not even dad friendly. 

If you saw my What's in the Baby's Hospital Bag post you will have seen that I bought an Eastpak Delegate messenger bag as Harry's changing bag. It cost twenty odd quid and you know what I only use it if we're going overnight somewhere. I already had a much more compact bag that was equally inoffensive for dad to use which we take out all the time.  

8.Invest in things you really want.

Lets face it, buying for a baby is exciting. It's part and parcel of getting prepared to welcome a new addition to the family. So with that if you're in a position where you want to part with a little extra cash, my advice is do so, on things you really, really want. 

As a new mum I really wanted a brand new pram for Harry. I figured I'd use it most days and so in terms of cost per use it would be worth it. Plus  if I'm honest I liked the idea that it would be just 'his' and no one else's. I bought our Joie Chrome Stroller (review and unboxing post here) and don't regret paying out for this particular item brand new. 



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