There are lots of cost-effective ways to get hold of all the basic equipment you need for your baby. Make sure your newborn doesn’t break the bank with our top ten money-saving tips…
1. Seek advice
It doesn’t cost anything to ask friends and relatives who are already parents for advice. Ask them what they couldn’t live without and what they wish they’d left on the shop shelf.
2. Put pen to paper
Never underestimate the power of “the list”. Writing down everything in black and white won’t take long, but it will allow you to think practically and focus on what you really need, rather than what you want.
3. Spread the load
Look out for babycare bargains before the little one is even born (and when you’re still earning!). Save by stocking up on essentials such as nappies and wipes with buy-one-get-one-free offers that you can stow away.
4. Look out for local sales
Look online and in the local paper for “nearly new” sales. These can prove a treasure trove for all sorts of goodies at a reasonable price. Sharpen your elbows first though and take cash – these can prove more ferocious than the Boxing Day sales.
5. Delve into charity shops
Second-hand and charity shops on your high street are always worth rooting through. Buggies are one of the biggest outlays for new parents – but you can often find nearly new ones at a fraction of the retail price. Do your research first so you know what you’re looking for, and make sure instructions are included.
6. Choose cheap but chic clothes
Don’t spend a lot of money on clothes your baby’s going to grow out of in weeks. Supermarket brand clothes are good value and you can find bundles for sale on sites such as eBay.
7. Beg and borrow
Borrow from anyone and everyone you know. Friends who might not be having any more children, or are at least taking a break, could loan you things like a moses basket, playmat or a cot, which will save you an absolute fortune. Register for your local freecycle too, and keep your eye out for baby gear.
8. Granny knows best
There was probably no such thing as a baby gym in your gran’s day. Take a back-to-basics approach and find out how your relatives made do in days gone by – and better still, see if they can put their knitting skills to good use while you chat. Homespun baby blankets, mittens, booties and cardigans are trendy as well as cheap.
9. Party time
Ask a close friend to organise a baby shower in your honour and compile a gift list of essentials that your nearest and dearest can buy for you and your baby.
10. Stay focused
Don’t be bullied into buying the latest gadgets by impressive marketing campaigns. Lots of love, affection, cuddles and laughter are what really count with babies – and they don’t cost anything.