So my baby is due in June, I've been frugal for a while where household bills/food etc is concerned so ok there. I was wondering if anyone has any tips for saving money once baby is here??? I plan to breast feed if possible but are there any things I should be stocking up on? If so what & what products do you recommend I start using to keep costs down as I know nappies etc can be very expensive. Also will I get vouchers for food etc if both my self & DH work full time. Any tips/help greatly appreciated
Although your nesting instincts will kick in big time, resist the urge to buy everything for the baby new. Yes, some baby stuff does get covered in vomit and poo, but lots is barely touched/worn/used as they grow out of stuff so fast, and as each baby is different some things suit some and not others.
I've been selling my baby stuff at some nearly-new sales recently and you can pick up good baby clothes, for example, for 50p-£1 an item. White babygros a a good plan as you can wash them hot. For girls, you can then stick a pinafore dress over them and you're sorted. Boys don't need anything else!
Don't buy a cot yet, the baby won't need it immediately anyway. You can definitely buy one second-hand. My DC1 actually slept in a travel cot (which we got for free from a cousin) with a cot quilt for padding for ages, and then I bought her an Ikea cot from eBay for £20.
Baby/nursery furniture is much more expensive than normal furniture but you can find perfectly suitable stuff in normal ranges so don't be conned! Ikea stuff is fab.
Let it be known amongst friends and acquaintances that you are open to receiving second-hand baby stuff. One colleague gave me bags and boxes full of stuff for free, just because she wanted rid of the stuff. Including a Baby Bjorn baby carrier, for free!
And you can pick up washable nappies at NCT sales or online if you're thinking of going in this direction. I sold my sons for £35 - good as new and would allow you to break even within a couple of months compared to disposables.
Sign up with your local Surestart centre - they often run activities etc for new parents, and it is where I met some of my best friends. Always useful to know people with children the same age as yours anyway! A good network of local parents will lead to babysitting and playdates in a few years time.
Check out local sports centres, libraries, churches etc for cheap or free things to do for parents and babies/toddlers. Many churches run mum and baby groups, regardless of whether you are a parishioner or not.
Don't stock up on one brand of disposable nappies - they may not suit your baby.
Sign up to all the supermarket and nappy company baby clubs. They'll send you loads of junk, but also vouchers.
I got a cot from Freecycle (new mattress) and buy lots from ebay. Ebay allows you to sort by distance, which is useful for heavy things like a cot.
Definitely ask around as lots of things are only used for a few months, like a bouncy chair, bumbo etc. DH even found random baby items left on his desk at work and his work noticeboard was a great place to pick up things even cheaper than on ebay or NCT sales. We were able to revive an old baby monitor by buying new rechargable batteries, I didn't know this was possible before.
Get the free Boots changing bag if they are still doing it. The Ikea highchair is great, but be careful with Ikea as you can go in for a highchair and come out with a lot more than that.
I never got a changing table and didn't miss it.
If I was doing it again I wouldn't have got the expensive travel system as DD only slept in the carrycot bit for a couple of months before outgrowing it and the whole lot is so heavy. I would have got a stroller suitable from birth.
If your parents/PIL (or others) intend to buy you a big ticket present then try to guide them towards something really useful.
Some great ideas, thank-you! Think I'll give the resusable nappies/wipes a go after the first few weeks, research begins on those tomorrow. Will be giving sure start a visit soon I've heard good things about there.
Just incase I can't BF for some reason is there anything I can do/buy to reduce costs there?
I FF my babies MrsA, after a short stint bf them both. Formula basically costs a fortune, but some things to bear in mind:
Cow and Gate is exactly the same as Aptamil, but is one of the cheaper formulas and Aptamil is the most expensive. It's all to do with marketing. Hipp looks cheaper, but comes in smaller boxes.
For night times and days out, lots of people use the wee cartons of ready made formula. I made up bottles and kept them fresh in a Fridge to Go. It's a tiny and freezing cool bag.
Follow-on milk (for after 6 months) is not subject to the same rules on promotions/offers etc as first milk and is often on offer. Once my babies were older than 6 months, I used to mainly stick to their usual brand (C&G) but if another was on a good offer (often SMA) they'd get that instead. I figured that if they were weaning anyway they wouldn't be that bothered. They weren't!