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how much does a baby cost?

(46 Posts)
lexib Mon 25-Mar-13 18:22:23

So the title's a little ott, but...
Realistically, how much will it cost too buy everything I'm learning I need for a newborn? So far my list goes... clothes, cot, changing top, bath stuff, monitor, sterilising kit, bedlinens, nappies, other nursery niceness (decoration etc), travel set including pram, car seat, muslins, bibs, mobile, blanket...
I want you buy nice things, in association much as is possible.
How much did setting yourself up forward a new life cost you? Trying today factors in to maternity maths for the coming year
Thanks forward any help you ladies have

EmpireBiscuit Mon 25-Mar-13 18:37:50

I found he cost what we could afford to spend. It's sort of like asking "how much does a wedding cost?".

Figure out what you want/need and how much you have to spend and go from there.

IslaValargeone Mon 25-Mar-13 18:41:05

Same as EmpireBiscuit said.
When I found out I was pregnant I was without a job and we were on the bones of our arses money wise.
You just go with what you have the money for.

Cavort Mon 25-Mar-13 18:45:48

I am currently pregnant with my first baby. I'm pretty organised, nursery decorated and furnished and think I have pretty much everything to last the first month after the baby arrives. I have just had a quick reckon up and I think we have spent about £1500 so far. I have tried to be sensible and get bargains and sale items where I can but that is for all new stuff.

It's such a difficult question. You can really spend what you want or what you have. Don't forgot you may or may not get loads passed on from friends or family. I have been given books, toys, baby bath, steriliser to name a few. eBay/gumtree has loads of clothes, prams etc.
one thing I didn't factor in was the cost of maternity clothes and bras.
Post birth you also need to factor in little bits like cotton wool, breast pads, maternity towels etc as well as the obvious nappies etc. you can look out for special offers and discount codes.
we got our nursery furniture from mothercare on offer. wardrobe, cot and chest of drawers for 300. mattress 140 but cheaper out there.
Pram was expensive as went for iCandy but cheaper alternatives. Cost us over 800.
Car seat 65 (half price when buying pram).
Crib instead of Moses basket 100 plus mattress 30.
Plus some clothes, nappies, change mat, bedding, change bag, paint for bedroom plus curtains etc.
Hope that helps

SmileAndPeopleSmileWithYou Mon 25-Mar-13 18:54:38

My DS is 4 months now and the main thing I would want to pass on is don't buy too many clothes etc. We got a lot of stuff when he was born in a range of sizes, we got vouchers too. Stuff that was not needed we exchanged and with the vouchers he got we have only just started buying stuff out of our own money!
Apart from the furniture/pram/car seat costs I don't think there is a lot of expense needed. A lot of the stuff people buy really is not needed at all, like top and tail bowls for example!

birdofthenorth Mon 25-Mar-13 18:57:14

As long as a piece of string, you can safely buy the vast majority of things second hand or borrow them from friends, and much of the furniture and accessories you're told are essential are far from it.

However, the biggest costs by a mile for me were taking a year's maternity leave - last 3 months unpaid, and previous months SMP much lower than my previous wage- and then going back part-time. Both absolutely the right decisions for me and DD but my finances will never be the same again!

stargirl1701 Mon 25-Mar-13 19:00:03

We spent very little. We bought a new car seat and a new mattress. Everything else was either bought second hand from NCT sales or Jack & Jill Markets or ebay. We managed to get a cot bed and nursing chair free on freecycle. Friends loaned us a Moses basket & crib. We spent about £300 all in and that was including clothes up to 12 months. You get masses of gifts when baby arrives.

lexib Mon 25-Mar-13 19:01:08

Thanks everyone, yes that does help. Conscious that i don't want to go overboard if it's not really necessary, but then is hard to downplay the excitement of all this smile
Can anyone tell me where the line is between things we need to buy at the best quality possible (thinking mattress) and things that don't really matter? No idea whether the cot material for example needs to be anything particular. Mainly this bits related to keeping the baby healthy.
Potential paranoia I know, but no one tells you this stuff! And on 12 week lockdown right now

lexib Mon 25-Mar-13 19:08:33

Smile - i saw those top and tail bowls!! Things i never knew were out there grin

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 19:13:20

I would spend enough for a cot so you get a drop side. Otherwise they are all the same.

You need new mattress and car seat. I would buy the best you can afford for them. To me safety and reducing SIDS is very important. I've got bedding from John Lewis and mothercare and prefer the John Lewis.
Pram is really personal preference, buy what's important to you ie rear facing, adjustable handle bar etc. there will be an antenatal group on here for your due month I found that really useful as we have all shared info etc.

Cavort Mon 25-Mar-13 19:15:12

Most baby stuff is pretty heavily regulated by British Safety Standards so you can buy cheap knowing it is up to standard. Whether you are sucked in by all the spiel about expensive being better is down to personal choice. smile

tilder Mon 25-Mar-13 19:15:20

You can spend as much as you like. Saw a cot the other day for £500. Not including mattress.

I got a lot of stuff in Ikea, including things like towels, sheets, mobile's etc. Buggies can cost a fortune but the buggy threads on here give really good advice. I have always had second hand buggies, either ebay or family. Good quality ones will do several children.

Good luck and hopefully you will be inundated with lovely baby clothes, all ours have been. IME people are very generous when you have a baby.


OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 19:16:59

By the way, I'm a fan of spending if it makes my life easier and I can afford it. I have a friend who didn't buy a lie flat pram, a baby carrier or a travel system. She survived the first six months simply by carrying her LO in her arms, and driving everywhere. That is just crazy in my mind. But she did save loads without having to buy the travel system though!

noblegiraffe Mon 25-Mar-13 19:21:33

Baby clothes, if you want to buy new, are fine to buy cheap, they only are in them for a month or two anyway. Asda or Sainsbury's vests and babygros are good quality and wash well.

Oh, and don't buy any bath stuff at all. Baby can easily be washed in the sink with nothing but warm water, you really don't need any johnsons stuff.

I never got a changing table, just use a changing mat on the floor.

If you're planning to breastfeed, don't bother buying sterilising kit until you know you need it, I never used mine.

People will want to buy you stuff, make the most of it!

Agree with those above. I'd do your research, decide what you want and then keep an eye out for a bargain.

We got our cot made but if we hadn't I'd have bought from ikea. DD is 4 months and still in her Moses basket so there isn't too much of a rush if you're planking on using a basket.
Changing top - don't bother imo. We've got a mat upstairs and downstairs and we change her on the floor or bed.
Steriliser and bottles etc - don't bother if you're planning on BF. I bought and got given these as I was planning on expressing but at 4 months DD still won't take a bottle so she'll be going straight on to a cup. If you think you want to express just buy a cheap hand pump that comes with one bottle until you know they'll take it.

We've decorated the nursery but that was mainly for me to have something to do. She doesn't sleep in it yet.

Pram, I researched lots and bought on eBay. Car seat I chose and waited for offers online.

Clothes I bought some at the next sale but got bought and given lots.

Top and tail bowl/baby bath I haven't bothered with at all. Just a wet flannel or bath with me/DH

staverton Mon 25-Mar-13 19:40:06

Get thee to an NCT sale. You can get almost everything there. Feel a big of a muppet buying all the baby stuff brand new in john Lewis- would have saved a fortune!

Gardentreehouse Mon 25-Mar-13 20:07:23

Baby wardrobe is another waste in my opinion. Just get a normal adult size one or put clothes in drawers. Changing table is also pointless imo, a nice chest or drawers with changing mat on top is perfect. Once they start to role, it is dangerous anyway. Both these items will save you £££.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 25-Mar-13 20:17:27

I didn't get a changing table originally, but my back really hurts after a month of changing DD on the floor. So it ended as one of those things I really did need. I guess you can try one on the floor first as they are very cheap. I don't have any dressers of the right height to change DD on.

NewBlueShoes Mon 25-Mar-13 20:20:01

Don't buy anything until you really need it and can see it will be used for a few months not just a short phase.
I bought most things, cot, bedding etc from John Lewis and they are still going strong 10 years and three children later. Some of the cheaper kit might not be as robust.
Definitely go to an NCT sale and borrow things from friends if you can ( door bouncers, Bumbo etc). You can also put wanted signs up in supermarket/ village notice boards which is how I got a travel cot.
You can easily get overrun with toys, my 10 month old's favourite things are a pair of Daddy's socks ( clean!!), a few pots and pans and some shiny paper.

Lionsntigersnbears Mon 25-Mar-13 20:42:39

Sorry I saw your post title and immediately thought 'how much are you offering?' clearly this pg is getting to me more than I'd thought ! grin

Free cycle is a total godsend if your in a tight budget ....

PhylisStein Mon 25-Mar-13 20:49:35

Beg all your friends and family to turn out their attics for old baby stuff, and only buy the minimum of everything. So much stuff everyone buys is an utter waste of money! A budget baby will still cost you loads in terms of loss of earnings but a designer baby with all new flash stuff could cost £20,000 p.a. just for the kit! Think of what a baby in 1950 would have had and just get that!

JollyYellowGiant Mon 25-Mar-13 20:56:58

You need a new mattress and a new car seat (if you have a car).

Everything else can be second hand. Tesco is good for vests. Don't buy any basic clothes (vests or babygros) in Mothercare or Next as they are not any better than Tesco or Sainsburys and 3 times the price.

A pram/buggy can set you back £600 or so if you buy new.

Apart from big purchases like furniture, you need to remember that things like nappies cost a fortune. A few months before DS was born we started adding nappies, wipes or cotton wool to our weekly shop. This softened the blow somewhat once DS was here.

BabyHMummy Mon 25-Mar-13 20:57:23

With exception of matress we have bought everything second hand and spent about £150. Have cot, travel system, changing mat and car seat. Also been given stuff by friends.

Look at New and what you like and then hit Nct or recycleforchildren sales and ebay to get a bargain.

Msbluesky32 Mon 25-Mar-13 22:24:22

There is a calculator tool on the money advice service but what everyone else has said - you can spend as little or much as you want. I've totted our spends up and we've spent about £1,200. This includes:

New pushchair (in sale) and new car seat and isofix that form a travel system
Cot (half price but brand new on ebay)
Cot mattress (new, we spent a bit more on spring as meant to be better)
Moses basket and stand (sale)
Change table (ebay) and change bits (all sale/ reduced)
Bedding for basket and cot (new, ebay)
Clothes up to three months (new but in the sales)
Monitor (new but reduced)
Rocker (new but in the sales)
Nursery paint, wall stickers, blackout blinds, lampshade (new but in sales/discounts)

Msbluesky32 Mon 25-Mar-13 22:30:26

Ooo and re: sterilising, for now I've bought some Milton sterilising liquid ( less than £3) for cold water sterilising - just until I work out how breast feeding goes and what I need to sterilise regularly

One more thing - do your research carefully so that you don't end up having to buy stuff twice e.g. think about what you will be using your travel system for most. If you mainly drive and only need one for quick trips out get a light weight, small, easy to fold one. If you walk everywhere get a tougher 3 wheeler that won't fall apart or get punctures on rough ground.

I spent ages picking a pram so got exactly the right one, but bought a sling on a whim which is completely unsuitable. I really need a sling so have ended up buying another.

Factor in the cost of using the washing machine when shopping for clothes. It might be better to have a few more baby grows and run the machine less often. On a sicky day my newborn can get through 6 baby grows.

A baby bouncer is a life saver if your baby has colic. Don't buy one in advance, wait until you know whether you will use it.

You definitely don't need a baby bath (use a sink as someone has already said), baby toiletries (midwives recommend warm water and cotton wool pads for washing), baby wipes except for trips out (warm water and cotton wool again), special towels, or fancy two piece outfits.

I bought the bare minimum in advance and am now (3 weeks in) starting to buy things I know I will use.

Shootingstarsandcomets Tue 26-Mar-13 08:02:58

As much as you want. We spent a fortune on ds and his nursery is beautiful, his pram state of the art luxury, he has beautiful clothes and all the toys you can think of. It makes him no happier than any of his friends who have second hand everything. I did it for me because I wanted all those things but you certainly don't have to spend a fortune. I am now expecting dc2 and he/she will get the same lovely nursery but all the clothes and toys will be hand me downs and I'm sure he/she won't give two hoots.

GirlOutNumbered Tue 26-Mar-13 08:07:48

I spent alot of money on a STokke sleepi that grows with the child. We love it and when DS1 went into a toddler bed, DS2 is now in the Stokke. Also, if you spend alot of money, you can get quite a bit back by selling on ebay.

I bought an expensive pram too and hated it!! I ended up changing for a cheap mclaren buggy, which I use all the time.

I also spent more money on carseats, as I think that safety in the car is very important.

StuckOnARollercoaster Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:05

Definitely like the comparison with a wedding - it honestly can be anything.
I reckon we are probably spending about £250 up front on bits and pieces - some clothes, second hand cot, new mattress, stock of nappies and also echo that maternity clothes were something that I forgot to factor in but have made my life so much comfier!

We are not going silly on a nursery so I guess that's where our big saving is - baby in our room for first few months, then the guest room converts to their room and we will just turf out the double bed, reuse the existing furniture and give it a lick of paint to make it child friendly.

We are lucky that grandparents have bought car seat, pram and carrycot (£480 new)

The hardest thing to figure out is what the additional weekly shopping budget will be - if I can breastfeed then the first 6 months may not be that different other than nappies. But as they get older then it probably will grow.

I know people think I'm a bit odd - I'm lucky that financially I am in a good position and could go to town on shopping, but I want to keep the money as savings for longer off work rather than 'things'. Its a bit odd as a family friend that is also pg is the complete opposite, is already stretched financially, is buying everything and making me out to be a tightwad that doesn't love my unborn baby but I know that I won't be going into debt, can have at least 2 years off (if I choose to) and if we don't spend all the savings in the early years we will have the choice for nice holidays, or even higher education or their first car.

Even though I am not going crazy I do love wandering round shops for inspiration, and keep going through the cute little vests and sleepsuits that I got on ebay and lovingly washed and ironed (probably the 1 and only time they get ironed!!!) Am also making my own crochet blanket and have gone to town on 4 balls of baby cashmerino wool rather than acrylic wink

lexib Tue 26-Mar-13 13:24:23

Thank you everyone! I knew I'd get lots of help here smile

Loupee Tue 26-Mar-13 13:40:28

I remember reading these types of threads when DS was born last year. And although generally very helpful, I was glad to have stocked up on clothes as I think only 1 person gave us clothes as a gift.
I bought bundles of various size of baby clothes through Facebook selling pages, and just added bits and pieces to them. For us that was the biggest money saver.
I also agree with adding nappies and wipes to your weekly shop now, most shops will exchange unopened packs of nappies, so you don't need to worry too much about sizes to get in. Knowing what deals come up on wipes is really useful,I use Huggies Pure wipes but never pay more than £1 a pack, also the little bundles wipes from amazon are fab and you get 12 packs for £10.

Cornwall73 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:32:12

We are expecting twins and are budgeting £1000 for absolutely everything but aiming to spend less by getting stuff second hand.

It's true that people lend you stuff and give you lots of clothes as presents or things they don't need anymore from their children but one thing I would urge you is to look at your exact circumstances. We are doing this 8-10 yrs after our peers due to infertility and mcs so the chance of borrowing things or being offered hand me downs are long gone for us, hence we will have to source everything ourselves.

milktraylady Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:17

I started an excel spreadsheet, as I like to keep in control of my money

Bloody hell, glad I did

The grand total of what we have bought plus been given is 4000 gbp

Blimey that's a lot- but we were given/ loaned over half. I made assumptions for what the loan items would have cost me. And my sister gave us all her second hand clothes up to 1 year old - clearly I wouldn't normally have bought all that up front.

But it does all add up. shock

I recommend-
:writing a list
:saying yes if people ask what can they get you
:surf the deals on line of all the shops, then you know you are getting the cheapest price (plus you prob won't have the energy to traipse round all the shops anyway!)

And if you put all the spends on a credit card (paying them off each month of course) then you can collect loyalty points, like tesco clubcard etc.

And to be even more organised, keep all the receipts & boxes stuff comes in. You will have better second hand value upon selling it all after.

<can you tell I'm worried about the money?wink>

milktraylady Thu 28-Mar-13 16:48:37

Oh I forgot- worth going to nct sales. Yes a bun fight, but if you go with a list, you will get bargains.

glossyflower Fri 29-Mar-13 07:52:33

Most of my stuff is second hand, baby hasn't arrived yet but I've estimated I've spent approx £400 including decorating the nursery.
The most expensive thing I spent money on was washable nappies and the nursery wallpaper. My family helped us with the decoration. The nursery carpet was even given to us by a friend who had spare!
My cot was technically second hand but never been used, still in packaging. It cost £42 inc new mattress.
Through out my pregnancy I have resisted buying barely anything as you will find people will want to give you things.
I did spend about £30 the other day on baby grow sets - the first items of clothing I bought!
Once baby gets here in a couple of weeks then I will know what else I need to get.
All the best. Xxx

rustybusty Fri 29-Mar-13 08:02:28

We spent-

£20 travelcot
Given a free sling
£39.99 pushchair with assessory pack and rain cover
£35 Various bundles of clothes off ebay

So thats £95 that has been my whole first year costs as I breastfed,co slept and didnt use a dummy

My mum did buy me blankets for the travel cot and a couple of packs of babygros/sleepsuits.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:04:41

Honestly- at least 2k but you could do for a lot less.

rustybusty Fri 29-Mar-13 08:06:32

Sorry forgot to add £35 for carseat, £10 for 112 nappies from asda, and 46p wipes from tesco. Having a baby is quite cheap.

OrWellyAnn Fri 29-Mar-13 08:07:09

I remember that urge to get the nicest things possible for dd1. I (quite irrationally) hated the idea of her having anything second hand. We spent and were gifted loads of lovely things..lots of which we barely used and didn't need... on reflection I wish we had accepted more hand me downs and put the money aside for when she and her sibling grew up a bit! (or spent it on good quality, low salt ready meals for those days weeks when you can't be arsed to cook!

Thngs we used
Car seat
Baby gro
Nappy bag (backpack does just as well, our 'posh' nappy bag was pants once we came to use it!)
Changing mat
Electric breast pump
All in one outdoor suit (to keep them warm in sling)
Lansinoh - for hour poor nipples

Things we didn't use .
Travel system. We all preceded the sling, and it would have saved us about £409 to know that in advance! sad
baby crib AND Cot (ended up co sleeping huge awful waste of money. Though with child two we took the side off of the cot and put it next to our bed so we could co sleep AND get some sleep ourselves smile )
Baby bath
Changing table (should have bought second hand chest of drawers instead)
Lots of pretty clothes (babies puke a lot and they have very runny poo, which tends to explode out of their nappy a lot...baby gros are the best thing ever and easy to wash and dry!)
Breast hand pump (get a decent electric one, MUCH better!)
Bumbo (both kids hated it)
Steriliser and bottles (both befall the way through, neither would ever take a bottle and the midwife in scbu told us our dishwasher on a hot load was very effective...though don't quote me on that ;)

I'm sure there's loads more...but we wasted easily £1500 on stuff we didn't need. This figure would have been much lower if we had known anyone who had babies at the time with some experience. smile

MildDrPepperAddiction Fri 29-Mar-13 08:08:46

They don't cost much, just your sanity!smile

OrWellyAnn Fri 29-Mar-13 08:08:47

God, so many errors in that I can't rouse the energy to change them...but HOUR poor nipped means mine. DH didn't bf (afaik!!)

memphis83 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:16:07

Don't bother with the pretty bedding. The bumper is recommended not to be used after 6 months and the quilt recommended not to be used until after 12 months so pretty pointless.
The mobiles are also recommended not to be used after 6 months, we bought a lullaby teddy instead.

Asda baby sheets have the mother and baby gold award and imo have lasted better that the Mamas and Papas and Mothercare ones I bought.

We also bought a spring mattress from Kiddicare for £40 that is still in perfect condition at nearly 3 yo. They are about double that in Mothercare.

nethunsreject Fri 29-Mar-13 08:18:06

Both my kids came free with a bottle of wine. wink wink

lexib Fri 29-Mar-13 13:28:26

Orwelly, that's really useful - i have all of those 'not really needed' ones on my list! Great reason for another chop down smile
And that last post made me laugh a lot

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