When money’s already tight, the added pressure of a new baby can really push things to the limit. If finances are an issue, it’s important to focus on the essentials when you’re planning for a new baby on a budget.
Many people get carried away with the excitement & the anticipation of a new bundle of joy arriving. It’s such a special time & it’s so easy to get sucked into buying anything and everything remotely baby-related. It’s often other family members that will go out and buy gifts for the new baby too. If you’re finding finances an issue, it’s worth writing out a list of what you actually NEED and asking people to buy something off that list. Don’t feel guilty about doing that, people would rather buy you something you actually need that they know will get used.
Whether you’re bottle or breast-feeding your baby, your baby will need milk. Financially, if you choose to breastfeed then you’ll save a lot of money! Obviously breastfeeding doesn’t suit everyone and some mums have difficulties so if that’s you, then you’ll need to buy formula, bottles & sterilising equipment.
Formula milk averages around £10 for a tub. There are a number of varieties and they don’t tend to be on offer. Choose one you can buy easily at various supermarkets if you can. Once you’ve chosen one, you shouldn’t change brands unless baby doesn’t take to it, so you need to know you can buy it readily.
Bottles – there are all sorts of weird and wonderful bottles available. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need top of the range all singing all dancing ones, you don’t!
Let’s face it, you cannot get away with not buying nappies with a newborn baby. They have a tendency to wee and poo spectacularly at all hours of the day and night! If you’re feeling really savvy and able to cope with it, you could buy reusable nappies. Although these may seem expensive initially, they will definitely save you money in the longrun. I’ve found a selection over on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2uGAJ2Z. If, like me, your stomach isn’t strong enough to cope with washing out poo explosions, then you’ll have to lump it with disposables. There is so much choice with disposable nappies these days and the cheaper brands are often outdoing the big names. Aldi nappies, for example, have won numerous awards and they tend to be much cheaper than the big brands.
Somewhere to sleep
Babies need somewhere safe and secure to sleep. There is so much choice out there these days that it can be really confusing. To be honest, I’d get a cot bed from the beginning. Whilst moses baskets and cribs look gorgeous and are so lovely to have in the house, newborns can’t stay in them for long. In fact, all three of my children outgrew the moses basket within 6 weeks and none of them slept well in it. It was a complete waste of money! You can pick up cheap second hand cots online and then just buy a new mattress and bedding to put in it. We were fortunate enough to be given a free cot for our youngest child (we’d thrown the old one out after our second thinking we were done). We bought a brand new mattress at a great price from the indoor market. If you can fit a cot bed in, then this will last your child until they’re toddler-sized and will be much better value for money long-term.
Babies need clothes, but they don’t need the most expensive clothes you can find!
Baby clothes basics:
- warm cardigan
Babies need to be kept warm with layers, vests and sleepsuits/all-in-ones and a cardigan are ideal for this. If it gets hot you can remove the cardigan. Babies can’t control their body temperature in the same way that we can and it’s often the extremes such as feet that will feel the cold. Sleepsuits with feet are ideal as they keep the feet warm and can’t be kicked off like socks. Hats are important too as a lot of heat is lost from the head. You’ll need to use your common sense with this, if it’s a red hot day then you’ll obviously need to dress baby in less than a freezing cold one.
It’s all about layers with newborn babies. You’ll need a couple of cellular blankets which help to keep baby at the right temperature. You can add one in cold weather and remove in cooler weather. I’ve found a few reasonably priced ones here.
If you’re planning on using the car, you’ll need a decent car seat. It’s recommended that you buy a new car seat, there’s always the possibility that a second hand car seat has been involved in an accident and has hidden damage.
You’ll need some way to transport your baby whilst you’re out and about. We started off with a travel system with our children which came with a car seat that easily slotted onto the top of the frame to make a pram. Travel systems vary massively in price. You need to consider a few things – price, size (will it fit in the boot of your car, will it fit through the front door), how long your child will fit in it.
Inevitably, the temptation will always be there to splurge and overspend on a new baby, this is 100% understandable and I did exactly the same with our first child. Baby’s really don’t need a lot though. If you’re on a tight budget and you’re worrying yourself silly about buying all these wonderful gadgets such as milk preparing machines and nappy bins then just take a second to remember what’s really important here.
You’re bringing a new life into your family!
Your baby won’t remember whether their milk was warmed up the old-fashioned way or where you threw their nappies when they’d filled them, they will, however, grow up feeling safe, secure and loved by a Mum and Dad who thought about their long-term well being.