Baby budgeting(25 Posts)
Am trying to do some sums (seriously is there a mat leave calculator out there somewhere as I'm sure I've over complicated it) but wondering what you all think is a survivable amount of money to live off with a small baby.
Planning on breast feeding so hopefully formula won't be a huge layout, but what are the costs you didn't bargain on??
I spent a fortune on lunch out as until 7 months baby would only sleep in pram.
I'd say the same about lunch and cake - I really needed it to survive mentally.
Also cost of medicines like teething gels, the 101 different types of gripe water, etc
Baby didn't take to bottle so had to try out different bottle teats, and spent a fortune on it, and it's all just sitting here now!
Also despite thinking I can sell on stuff, it is much harder to sell. I'm probably going to end up giving it away to family.
Also spent a good amount on treating tongue tie.
It depends really on lots of factors, we have been very lucky and we bought lots of baby goody hampers with things like wipes, nappies, nappy bags etc...You can get great deals on these buying in bulk though.
I signed up to Boots parenting club and got a voucher for a changing bag. Its just simple and plain black, comes with a plastic changing mat but as I'm breast feeding It is perfect as I only need to chuck nappy stuff and a change of clothes and don't need to worry about bottles etc...
If you do end up breast feeding I would suggest investing in a decent pump down the line so budget for that if you wanted but don't spend lots on sterilizers etc as the easiest I've found are the microwave ones that come with the better pumps!
I'd agree with other posters about budgeting for easy to make treats and food for you. I bought lots of yoghurt and dried fruits and munched them lots as well as lots of nice juices etc. You need something easy to grab but something that is also going to keep your energy up! Cake is also pretty good.
My little man has grown very quickly and is already in 3-6 month clothes so I would say go easy on any newborn clothes just in case and get lots of muslin cloths (I love them for everything) cleaning up dribble and sick, catching errant milk spray, a little extra layer, for privacy when feeding in public etc...you can't have too many in my eyes!
Try second hand free sites in your area or on FB, I got a load of clothes and second hand bottles for expressing etc that only needed a good sterilization and new teats.
Really though, newborns aren't too pricey. They are fairly happy with food, clean nappy and warmth!
Good luck and congratulations!
sorry that should say we were given lots of baby hampers as gifts!
Do you have a park nearby? If so, you can maybe avoid all the coffee and lunch costs as hopefully things will be warming up soon. Otherwise newborns aren't all that pricey at all... Agree with Muslins and/or hand towels... But other than that you can just buy less and wash more often. But unfortunately there are always medicine and silly little things that make your life easierbut all add up. Breastfeeding will definitely keep costs down and avoid steriliser, teats, etc but breastfeeding doesn't always work so prepare for that! Always jeep some money aside cos you never know what you need!
Yep, newborns aren't expensive Plan to cover your bills, allow a bit extra for nappies if using disposables, baby clothes, maybe a bit extra on utilities (extra washing, heating due to being at home during the day etc also you may want heating on at night for night feeds) and you will want a bit of spending money to be able to go out to groups etc, but can do this very cheaply if on a budget - Sure Start groups are free, most breastfeeding support groups are free and most other groups are only £1-2 per session, you can pay more for specialist classes like Sing and Sign, baby swimming, or Tumbletots etc if you want to and have the money.
If you do NCT classes (or other series of antenatal classes, ie not a one-or-two-off NHS session) while pregnant then that gives you a ready made group of people to socialise with after the baby is born, usually this will start off at coffee shops but progress to people's houses. IMO it's definitely worth the outlay for the classes just for this reason.
IME life with a small baby is very much like life before baby financially in that it can cost as much or as little as you are inclined to spend and have available. You don't NEED a £500 pram, cot which converts to a fancy chair, and every £20 per month class you can find or organic bamboo nappies and purest virgin-spun cotton babygros. Maybe nice to have if you can afford it but for most of us you can make do with middle of the road stuff and if you're particularly eco minded you can meet every need without spending a penny, although this is probably impractical in practice - not one to aim for, I don't think
It's later on when you have childcare to consider that children become very expensive. That, and clothes, school trips/supplies, wanting more expensive toys etc as they get older, but there's still an element of that their needs expand to fit your budget rather than being a set amount.
Thanks everyone- that's really helpful. Just want to take as much mat leave as possible without having to sell body parts to make ends meet. Will start stockpiling calpol and muslins now and save selling kidneys for nursery fees.
Sign up for the Minor Ailments service at your local chemist. Free medicines for baby (Calpol, teething gels etc), and for yourself for a year post birth. Saves a fortune but not many people know about it.
Ooh I didn't know about minor ailments service! Must look into that!
Lol no need to stockpile calpol... But it's good to have a variety: calpol, nurofen, calcough, calgel, teetha granules etc etc lol although you may find calpol works for everything!
In fairness, you could even have a newborn sleep in a drawer if you're really stuck
Under minor ailments, you can get liquid paracetamol and liquid ibuprofen for free for your babies/kids as well as teething gel.
When the kids get older and go to nursery/school you can get lice treatment shampoos free as well as stuff for coughs/diarhoea - saves you an absolute fortune. You can only register with one pharmacy (so need to pick one you can use) and I've read that some health boards in the UK no longer run it, so check with your pharmacy.
For yourself (if pregnant or one year post baby) you can also get gaviscon for free along with haemmoroid cream... (unsavoury, but hey, a lot of us need it).
I didn't find any hidden expenses really, in fact it was more a case of not using stuff we had bought (like baby bath (never used) breast pump - never expressed, steam steriliser (never needed it) millions of clothes received as gifts (make sure you take them back and get bigger sizes if you get loads of 0-3 sizes as gifts - don't rush to pre-wash them like I did :-( when I had him in sleep suits for first 4 months...
So, maybe make a list of what you think you'll need, then scrutinise to see if you can get by without them.
Thanks for the info, will look into this tomorrow and get my Damn gaviscon
Good point about sleepsuits too... That is ALL the clothes you'll be needing op... For us it was til 6 months... Lazy! And vests!
Don't stockpile because the BB date is only about 2 years so if you find you sail through teething, the one time your toddler gets a fever in the middle of the night will be when you find you don't have any calpol which is actually in date (I have used it anyway )
Our minor ailments service will only give out medicine to children over 12 months
We spent about £5 a week on nappies etc and £15 a week (omg) on formula. This lasted the first 6 months. We didn't spent much more because we were given most of his clothes.
Laundry went up by 50%.
That was all really.
Just accept offers of everything. We were given a cot, bought a pushchair and were given tonnes of clothes.
Agree with not going mad before baby is born, buy things as you need them. Agree with not stockpiling as well. Both of mine have reacted to Johnson's so if we'd stockpiled their products we might as well have flushed our money down the loo.
Go to your local nct nearly new sales and see if they have any groups that meet. Anyone can go, you don't have to be an nct member. But hey usually ask for a small donation but give you a cuppa and a biscuit. Its a cheap way of meeting some local mums and mums-to-be
I dont like Johnson's either and ended up with loads! Same with nappies... Many people would stockpile a certain brand only to find out dc doesn't get on with them. Our favourites are the much cheaper aldi Own brand and I prefer their wipes too!
And I bought absolutely nothing to do with feeding before Lo arrived. Just thought I'd try bfing and if I needed anything I'd buy it when I needed it, same with formula. We were close to lots of 24 hour supermarkets with DC1 so getting hold of bottles and formula wouldn't have been a problem.
In the end I bought some reusable breastpads, a couple of nursing bras and bought a new breastpump from the babycare for £5.
Remember to factor in what you may save too:
Petrol to and from work every day
The expensive coffee/lunch during and after work
The cost of a weekly supermarket shop which can be massively reduced bow you have time to go to Aldi & the greengrocers, butchers etc
Work clothes (if you need to buy)
Ask for clothing and bra vouchers for birthday/Christmas presents and save them for after birth. I was a different size for a while post pregnancy and your books have a mind of their own. Also I didn't have any tops that were helpful for breastfeeding out and about.
My baby groups are a pound a go and I go to two a week.
I bought most of my baby clothes in size 0 to 3 months to begin with and on ebay in bundles, they were never more than a fiver
I made my own muslins. You can get it for a couple of quid a metre and just hem it. It's quite a soothing thing to do in preparation too.
Buy wipes in jumbo boxes. You get through them by the truckload.
Some great suggestions thanks everyone- think I'm going to just get the very basics to start and see how we get on. Like you say the shops don't suddenly shut when baby is born.
Fab idea about clothes vouchers- had almost forgotten about me in all of this- fortunately it's my birthday a few weeks after my EDD so that's my wish list sorted!
Honestly it's one of those things where you just spend what you can afford! We had no money when DS1 was born so spent very little.
I breastfed him - didn't buy a pump or steriliser
Used cloth nappies - got some second hand from a friend and then got a £50 voucher from the council
Everyone we knew who'd had a baby in the last year wanted to offload clothes, moses baskets, bouncy chairs etc that their child had outgrown
Used ebay and freecycle for everything else - clothes, pram, slings etc
Also used cloth wipes and went to free baby groups at the local Children's Centre.
Vests, sleepsuits, muslins, muslins,musins! If' you're breast feeding you'll need a couple of comfy nursing bras- I didn't but more just in case BF didn't work out- same with nursing tops- a vest under your normal clothes works as well. Iwish I hadn't bought so much before DS was born- you're much better placed to know what you need after you know your baby's weight and you get pressies (it's unbelievably how generous people are!).
The main unexpected costs for us were a new mattress(!)- we were planning on bringing DS in with us then decided to go into the nursery instead as it was easier but the bed was rubbish- and stuff like a heater so we didn't need to leave the heating on all night (we had it on 24 hrs a day for the first week- ridiculous!!) and takeaways as I hadn't made enough food before he was born- In hindsight it would be cheaper to buy a second freezer and fill it with cheap healthy dinners than the amount of takeaways/TV dinners we ate in the first month!
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