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Budgeting for first baby

(70 Posts)
Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:01:06

I worry about money. A lot. I'm not sure if I'm over worrying or being sensible. I was just wondering how other people are approaching budgeting for their first baby.

I knew we would be planning for a baby for a while before we actually started TTC, so we've been squirrelling away as much as I can to cover bills while I'm on Mat leave. Assuming I get maternity pay (depending on whether I get made redundant in the next 6 months, but that's a whole other thread confused), we've saved a good amount for bills. I now want to put aside enough for buy everything for the baby and then, if possible, a slush fund for some disposable income for the unpaid part of Mat leave.

Anyway, regarding purchasing baby goods, we are aiming to save £2000. It seems like a lot, but we're budgeting for a £600 Bugaboo Bee in there (as most other pushchairs are too big for our car hmm). We're not necessarily aiming to spend that much, but thought it was a good amount to have put aside. We're hoping to buy new (although not crazy expensive designer) items, although I realise you can save buying second hand.

Roughly what did you spend, setting up for new baby? What's a sensible amount to try and save?

arbrighton Sat 01-Apr-17 19:07:53

We only spent £300 on travel system from mothercare which does pack down pretty small. I don't understand why people pay more than that.
Other than that, by using second hand/ NCT/ buying bundles, I'm sure you don't need to spend anything like two grand!
After all a lot of the clothes will be worn only a handful of times before they are out grown.

We're also getting lots of hand me downs from family/ friends e.g. the changing table from BIL and SIL (which I wouldn't otherwise have bothered with)

Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:16:59

I've researched pushchairs pretty thoroughly, and unfortunately we need something les than 55cm wide, due to the wife of our hallway and size of our car boot. Plus, being in London, I need something small enough for buses. I didn't initially plan to spend that much, but the Bee really does fit our criteria perfectly. Thing is, by the time you chuck in a car seat and an isofix base, that's pretty much £1000 there.

Say £150 for a bedside crib, £200 for a cot after 6 months, £100 baby monitor, breast pump (maybe?), it all seems to add up quite quickly!

EdgarAllenPoe Sat 01-Apr-17 19:18:59

We spent about £250 on a travel system from baby's r us and another £20 on an extra base so we could easily switch between cars.

When family found out, they wanted to buy something so my parents got us a chicco next to me for £150. I probably would have forked out myself if need be as it turned out to be invaluable for this emcs mummy with limited mobility for the first few weeks. I think we bought few thin blankets, loads of muslins (so useful!) and about 3 sleepsuits but we're given a ton of clothing and blankets. Our sound only monitor was 2nd hand and worked fine. We did buy a chest of drawers with edges for a changing mat for £80, we needed the storage and I hate changing him on the floor.

Most other stuff we waited until he was born. You never quite know what you need until you need it! Plus we didn't start doing up his bedroom until he was 6 months so space was limited.

£2000 sounds like a lot to me. Better to save it for nappies. But don't buy a ton of tiny nappies. They outgrow them super quick and my 10 pounder never fitted into newborn size (that goes for clothing too).

Good luck!

PotteringAlong Sat 01-Apr-17 19:19:47

£200 for a cot is madness! Ikea do one for £35 that does the job and has lasted for all 3 of my children. Again, you can get a good monitor for about £30.

GuinessPunch Sat 01-Apr-17 19:22:56

We spent about £2300. But that including nursery furniture (drawers, wardrobe and cot bed). Pram, car seat, chicco next to me and sleepy head were the biggest purchases. Add in bouncer, swing, 2 baths, changing bag, changing mat, steriliser, sling, blankets, swaddle, clothes and toiletries.

EdgarAllenPoe Sat 01-Apr-17 19:23:46

You can hire hospital grade breast pumps for about £40-50 a month. I ended up panic buying an electric one for £100 upon leaving hospital because he wouldn't feed but I had loads of milk. I used it exclusively for 6 weeks when it broke. It was not a pleasant time. If I'd known I could hire a much better one for the same cost i would have. Would have saved a lot of stress.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying a breast pump in advance because you're unlikely to need it in the early days, and very few of us end up having to rely on it entirely. But if you're unlucky like me, it would at least be good to research options and not get caught out.

Whattodo23 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:23:50

I would get the travel system and that's it. If you intend to breastfeed will be easier if baby sleeps with you so you wont need a crib or cot. Baby monitors are a good investment

daisypond Sat 01-Apr-17 19:27:54

Virtually nothing. We bought a sling. We were given a cot and a moses basket. We didn't have a pram or a car seat (didn't have a car). We bought a buggy for when the baby was about six months old, a basic folding one that lay flat that we could easily get on the bus, train or tube, but we didn't get it until we needed it. Before that, we used the sling entirely. Bought some clothes, sheets, blankets. A changing mat - not a table, that's about it. No baby monitor. We just used a normal table in the baby's room. Babies don't need much in the way of stuff. We did buy a pump for expressing milk, but never really got on with it.

Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:29:25

Well, we don't have to spend it all, I suppose there's no harm in oversaving and having some cash left over for when baby is here. I know you can do things for less, and I'm sure there are people who spend any awful lot more! That's why I was interested to see what different people saved up/spent in the end smile

EssentialHummus Sat 01-Apr-17 19:31:52

Go for a second hand buggy? I'm also expecting, found the brands I think will works for us, test drove in Mothercare and am now bidding on eBay for one at half the price for a recent model.

Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:33:33

Thanks Edgar, that's useful info. Will definitely bear that in mind

Sewingbeatshousework Sat 01-Apr-17 19:37:56

My DC are 8 & 10 so can't quite remember with them. 24wks pg with DC3 and we are so very lucky that most big things are being bought as gifts for us. Prices roughly Cosatto 3 in 1 travel system £500, ISO fix base £100, cotbed £150, cotbed mattress £100, changing unit £90, baby monitor £50, baby sling £50. I wasn't going to get a breast bump this time but think i'll get a cheap manual one just incase & a handful of bottles. We already have a huge stock pile of nappies & clothes, some bought as gifts others I have bought. We are using the swinging crib that DH used so that's free (still to buy mattress), and my brother is giving us his DD's hardly used Moses basket for living room (again will need mattress). Towels, bibs, muslins, sleeping bags, cot sheets etc all add up too.

LifeBeginsNow Sat 01-Apr-17 19:49:20

It's good you're being so careful. There's no reason to buy everything in the guides. Even the mothercare essential list had a lot of things I didn't bother with.

Facebook selling pages were good for 0-3 & 3-6 month clothes. I had a ridiculous amount for £50 each and didn't need to buy anything else (although we did receive some gifts).

I'd look at a crib rather than a Moses basket (wish I'd known the difference). They are bigger so you get more use out of it. We didn't get the cot straight away as they don't go in until after 6 months (mine was in at 3 months though as he was too long in the Moses basket!).

Other than that, we had a bouncer and play gym bought for us. Do you have family that may want to help out? Don't buy everything as they will probably want to get some useful things.

The early months are where you can be most frugal - scour those second hand sites! They really don't need much.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 01-Apr-17 19:57:14

Take a look at maternity action pregnancy and redundancy. You will probably still be entitled to pay of you've worked the qualifying weeks.

It's worth doing a budget overhaul in general. Take a look at your bank account and see if there's any unnecessary expenditure in there. Are you on the cheapest utilities as you'll use a bit more being at home and extra washing etc.

For the baby you don't need to spend much. There are cheaper versions of all the brand label pushchairs and furniture.
To be honest to begin with just cover the basics of somewhere to sleep, feeding, babygros, transporting baby.
With a car seat some last a lot longer than others. The ones that fit on a pram don't last until age one in my experience. Other brands can last until age 7 I think (Joie stages) so worth considering how long you're going to use something. Same with the newborn bit of a pushchair - they'll be out of that by 6 months ish.
I also wouldn't stock up on things like nappies as there's always deals assuming you are near supermarkets and they whizz through the early sizes. Also different nappies suit different babies.

Good luck

Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 19:59:05

Thanks, some useful stuff here. It's good to hear what's worth getting and what's not. For example, I've pretty much decided Moses baskets aren't worth the money.

Just to clarify, when I said I "worry" about money, I mean I'm a worrier. I worry and overthink everything. I'm a planner, hence wanting a rough budget in mind. We're not rich but we're not on the breadline either. So my worrying is more about being prepared than whether we can afford the basics. Of course, no reason to go silly either. Just trying to get a sensible figure mind. I'd definitely rather oversave.

Nightneverchanges Sat 01-Apr-17 20:01:30

A good buggy is well worth the expense and the bee is a brilliant buggy!

You can always skip the crib and go straight to a cot, google side-car cot. I did this, worked a treat.

Lemondrop09 Sat 01-Apr-17 20:01:47

Hi Abbey. I think (but still checking into it), that if I'm still employed by my qualifying week (15 weeks before birth, so end of June), I should qualify for SMP. Thing is, my employer has some generous contractual pay which I would really love to have (especially after working for them for 7 years!), but I'm not confident I'll get that as they won't be obliged once my contract ends.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 01-Apr-17 20:05:54

Fingers crosses you get the occupational pay then.
Here's the link www.maternityaction.org.uk/advice-2/mums-dads-scenarios/pregnant/redundancy-during-pregnancy-and-maternity-leave/

daisypond Sat 01-Apr-17 20:10:55

I'm surprised you think the Moses basket isn't worth it. Ours was given to us, second-hand, and it was really useful - for the baby for sleeping in, and also for carrying the baby around from room to room when it was asleep.

coxsorangepippin Sat 01-Apr-17 20:19:14

All the fabrics from bugaboo are machine washable (which didn't seem to be the case for the other models we were looking at) so we bought a second hand Bee and washed everything even the hood.

ellesbellesxxx Sat 01-Apr-17 20:19:46

We are expecting twins (next month eek!) after 2.5 years years and ivf so we had our money Aside in case we needed more ivf.

As we are not sure whether I will go back after mat leave or for how long, I am only counting on smp for now (if I go back I can take my half pay 12 weeks as a lump sum)

So.. I put aside £5000 for when smp runs out.. I will do my self employed work again around that time too.

We spent £400 on one set of nursery furniture as babies sharing to start.
£420 on a second hand pram from eBay BUT this includes two carrycots which I can sell on after for £80-100
Steriliser on sale in boots.. used points!
Bottles- Aldi baby event

All clothes.. lent to us or £5 from nct nearly new, we are sorted up to 6 months for boy, 3 months for girl

Moses baskets x 2 on loan

Baby bath on loan

Pump on loan

Er think that's it for now! Family members have bought us bedding and we have been lent gro bags so sorted there.. so not much at all smile

Cagliostro Sat 01-Apr-17 20:38:04

Helpful thread thank you 💐
I've been pondering this as I am unexpectedly pregnant with DC3. My DCs are 9 and 7 and we have no baby stuff whatsoever, not even a vest. Oh except one hat my friend knitted for my firstborn grin

I don't know anything about bugaboo but I agree with London buses you need something narrow, it was difficult when I had DD (when I had DS we had moved and buses are more spacious here so not such an issue this time).

Great to hear about ikea cots, that's a bargain!

So far the essentials I am thinking of are:
Buggy/travel system (although not bothered about the carrycot bit)
Moses basket - used the carrycot with other DCs as we never used it with the actual buggy, but I'd prefer something lighter and easier to carry
Cot (might leave that until after birth if we are using basket)
Sleeping bags - I was so anxious about blankets overnight. Must be ones that open at the bottom too for easier nappy changes
Bouncy chair - had an all singing and dancing one before but will be a cheapie this time
Bath chair - I found this far easier than a baby bath as it gave more support and my hands were freer, so I'll be doing this again especially as I have pain/muscle weakness issues now

Not sure about a sling again due to pain etc but will be thinking about it.

Other than that mostly planning on hitting Primark and Asda for super cheap clothes etc, and I've also heard Aldi nappies are great

Not planning on a breast pump as I found expressing hard both times, hoping to just BF again

Am I allowed a slight panic at the list above blush

Congrats OP and others!

Emeralda Sat 01-Apr-17 20:41:40

I'd say we spent less than £200. We were given everything except a mattress for the moses basket which we bought new, a folding changing table and a high chair, which I got on Gumtree. You might be surprised how much people give you when the baby is here, either as gifts or passing stuff on that they don't need anymore. We ended up with 7 slings!
It is nice to pick things yourself but don't over-buy, especially if you're worried about money.
Babies are cheap, childcare is expensive, so save your money for thatif you're going back to work.
I overpaid my mortgage and took a payment holiday while on mat leave. It wouldn't work for everyone though. Think about regular big expenses like car, insurance etc and put aside a fund for that so you don't have to worry when the big bills come in.

BlueSpottyTiger Sat 01-Apr-17 21:09:11

I saved £5000 while i was pregnant as
sat mat topup fund and unpaid mat.
I would say i spent an additional £1500 buying everything band new for baby.. not including clothes. (I can't do second hand but get why people do) xx

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