Getting Prepared For Your First Baby: A Practical and Financial Guide

Getting Prepared For Your First Baby: A Practical and Financial Guide

Getting Prepared For Your First Baby: A Practical and Financial Guide

Having a child is one of the biggest (and best!) life changes you will ever go through, so being organised both practically and financially is so important. Babies are small but expensive, and require a lot of stuff. If you’re a first time parent especially, it can be even more challenging as you won’t have previous baby purchases stored away. And with so many products on the market, it’s really difficult to know what’s worth spending your hard earned money on.

You can check out reviews, but one parent’s “must have” is another’s “don’t bother”! One of the best things you can do is come up with a plan, get organised and spend your pregnancy getting yourself into the best position financially. So when the baby arrives, you can focus on looking after them and not having to find the money for things they need or to buy things that you don’t have. Read on for ideas.

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Make lists

One of the best ways to get organised is to write lists. When you’re preparing for a baby, one of the most important lists you can make is a detailed breakdown of everything you need and rough costs. This enables you to spread the cost of purchases, and get things during the course of the pregnancy so that once the baby arrives you have everything you need. 

Categories can include:

  • travel (car seat, pram, baby carrier etc) 
  • nursery (cot, Moses basket, sheets, changing table, shelves) 
  • clothing (from newborn size up to 12 months to be well prepared)
  • cleaning and grooming (baby bath, towel, toiletries, nail clippers)
  • medicines (first aid, gripe water, thermometer) 
  • toys, books, sensory and educational activities
  • nappies, wipes and changing items 
  • and much more…

Once you know roughly what you need to buy for your baby, you can prioritise the most important items. Anything that will require saving for means you have time to get it sorted before the arrival of the baby. 

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Consider second hand

There’s a huge market when it comes to second hand baby items. This is because buying brand new costs such a lot of money, and babies don’t tend to use things for long before outgrowing them. This means it’s easy to find things that are in very good condition for much less than the cost of buying new. Things like prams, clothes, baby baths and other items can be picked up really cheaply, so consider if this is something you would be happy to do.

There are certain baby items which should always be bought brand new, these include car seats and mattresses such as Moses basket and cot mattresses. This is because second hand car seats could have been in an accident and have damage that’s not obvious just from looking. Mattresses that have been stored can harbour mould spores which are dangerous to a new baby’s health and can even lead to SIDS. Most other things are safe to buy second hand, doing so is actually really worthwhile since it reduces waste which is good for the environment and good for your budget too. 

Getting Prepared For Your First Baby: A Practical and Financial Guide

Utilise your baby shower and gifts

When you find out you’re expecting a baby, chances are lots of people in your life will want to buy you gifts. Don’t be too proud to accept them! This is a great chance to utilise some extra help, put together a wish list and have whoever is planning your shower send this to guests. This prevents you from ending up with lots of newborn clothes (which people love to buy) since they’ll be outgrown quickly. If people are set on buying clothes, ask for bigger sizes which can be stored away for a few months down the line. If you have relatives wanting to buy bigger gifts, a wish list can ensure that they’re buying things that you actually want and need. This can take off a lot of pressure financially, it makes the gift buyers feel good and helps you too so it’s a win-win. Many of us have conflicting feelings when it comes to accepting these kinds of gifts but it shouldn’t be that way, allow the kind gestures!

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Start a savings account

Finally, buying as much as possible of the things from your list that you possibly can means that you have access to pretty much all you need when your baby arrives. However, chances are there will always be things you’ve forgotten or extra items you thought you wouldn’t want but changed your mind on. For that reason, having an account with some money in, which is especially earmarked for these kinds of purchases can be really useful. If you’re entitled to child benefit payments, once these start being made one idea is to have them paid into this account. That way you can spend what you need on baby essentials and whatever is left accumulates. 

Later down the line, you could use some of the money accumulated in this account to spend on:

  • Baby’s first birthday (a party and presents)
  • Baby’s first walking shoes (these can be fairly expensive)
  • Clothing (after they reach a year old they grow slower and clothes need replacing less often)
  • Classes and activities
  • Special family days out or baby’s first holiday
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Prepare for the fourth trimester

The so-called ‘fourth trimester’ is the postnatal phase when your baby is a newborn up until they’re around twelve weeks old. This is a time of huge transition since you won’t be getting much sleep, you’ll be healing from the birth and generally everything will be new and different. There are ways you can make life easier for yourself during this period, which enable you to focus on your baby and not worry so much about other things. Before the baby arrives you can:

  • Cook and freeze meals into portions so you have healthy, home cooked food without the prep
  • Clean and organise your house so it’s easier to keep on top of with a new baby
  • Purchase comfy pyjamas or loungewear – you’ll likely be wearing them a lot at first
  • Accept offers of help from friends and family
  • Save up some extra money – sign up to websites with free cash offers or do some freelance work and have a chunk of cash ready to spend on whatever you need
  • Sign up to Amazon Prime – the fast shipping means you can quickly get hold of anything you need and might have forgotten without leaving the house
  • Set your bills to be paid by direct debit and get your finances in order to prevent missed bills

Getting organised for a new baby will make life easier in those early days, so do everything you can to keep things running smoothly both logistically and financially. 

Contributed Article.

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