How to Save Money When Having a Baby
I have had three babies now, so I feel that I know a thing or two about having a baby, what you need and what you can skip. With my first baby, I was probably more budget conscious but with my second two, I was more aware of what we really needed, having done it all before. Read on for my tips for how to save money when having a baby.
When planning a baby on a budget, one of the best things you can do is wait. Don’t read all the baby magazines and catalogues that will tell you about all the stuff you “need”. Instead, wait until your baby is here to see what he or she is like (babies like different things!) and then buy or borrow what you actually need.
There are only a few things you actually need before your baby is here and that’s somewhere for your baby to sleep, some clothes (sleepsuits and vests are all you need at the start), a blanket (cellular blankets are the best for newborns) and nappies and wipes.
Cloth nappies and reusable wipes can save you a fortune so definitely check them out for budget and environmental reasons. It’s good to have a car seat as well (you need one to leave the hospital by car in the U.K.) and a pram or travel system or a sling if you would prefer to carry your baby.
If you’re planning to breastfeed, you need nothing else. If you want to formula feed, you need bottles, a steriliser and formula.
Something you don’t need to buy now are lots of outfits that will get used once if not at all. Babies grow so fast and they should be comfortable which mini jeans and dresses are not. You don’t need a baby bath if you already have a bathtub and you don’t need toys for young babies. Ask your friends about which items didn’t get used much when they had kids — you can learn a lot from parents who have already been there.
Buying second hand is good for the environment and your budget. You can save LOADS of money buying baby essentials like your pram, cot and baby clothes second hand. Often things are very lightly used or not at all sometimes and have plenty of life left in them.
When you’re done with the items, you can also sell them on to get most of your investment back. Just make sure to buy a new mattress for your baby as per the Safer Sleeping Recommendations and don’t buy things like bottles and teething toys secondhand for hygiene and safety reasons. Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree are great places to look for bargains online.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for how to save money when having a baby! Share your best tips for having a baby on a budget in the comments.
In collaboration with Louise Wood.