So what do you really need for a Newborn baby?
According to the Money Advice Service, parents spend on average £10,300 (inc child care) on their baby in the first year alone.
This is obviously a huge amount of money, which would scare any new parent! So in this article I have highlighted the essentials and where I think money can be saved for those who are on a budget.
My daughter Niamh spent only 8 weeks in her Moses basket before moving to her cot, as she got too long for it! Some babies never take to their Moses baskets. With this in mind, my suggestion would be to buy a second hand Moses basket or if you can borrow one from a friend do so, however, it is always advisable to buy a brand new Moses basket mattress for your baby.
A friend advised me whilst I was pregnant to opt for an average priced cot rather than an expensive cot bed. Her little boy had chewed the top of his cot bed once he learnt to stand up in it, so she ended up having to buy a new bed anyway. I took this advice and we bought our cot and mattress from Ikea and although it is hard to tell at this early stage as Niamh isn’t standing up yet, it seems to be doing the job just fine and she is very comfortable in there. Again, aside from buying a brand new mattress which is advised, I see no issue in buying a second hand cot, there are probably some very beautiful cots for sale on sites such as ebay for a really good price.
This really does come down to personal choice. We opted for a Graco Symbio travel system and again bought brand new. I recommend you choose your pram based on your lifestyle, for example if you drive but are also planning to walk quite a bit a travel system might suit you best. The pram/buggy purchase is a difficult decision that does warrant some research as it will probably be your most expensive purchase. You will need to buy accessories, such as a rain cover, parasol and cosy-toes.
If you are on a budget I would recommend buying second hand. We spent £350 (not including accessories) on our travel system, and the same one is on ebay today (14th April 2012, buy it now) for £120.00 including accessories! It is not advisable however to buy a second hand car seat, just in case the seat has been in a car accident in the past.
You will probably be surprised at how much clothing a baby gets through, particularly in the early days! But also surprising will be the amount of gifts you receive before and after baby is born, so I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying too much newborn clothing, although as an excited mum-to-be I have to admit I didn’t abide by this rule myself!
It is worth noting, that ‘newborn’ fits babies weighing up to about 7-8 lb. So if your baby is bigger than this you will probably be dressing them in 0-3 months anyway. Essentials really are vests and sleepsuits. Cardigans, hats, cute outfits etc will arrive by the bucket load once baby arrives from excited friends and family members, and sometimes from people you hardly know, such as the kind old lady who lives opposite you or your Mum’s work colleagues!!
If you are opting for cloth nappies, please check out the other articles on this blog detailing what you need and how much things cost, you may be surprised at the cost saving if you opt for cloth nappies.
With disposable nappies, the average cost is about 15p per nappy. They are not cheap and again I would suggest not going too mad before baby arrives, just in case your baby doesn’t for long stay in the smaller size.
Whether you are planning to breast feed or not, I wouldn’t rush out and buy much in the way of feeding equipment until baby is here and you know what you really need. There are many different types of bottles that range in sizes and teat sizes and some which claim to be anti-colic bottles etc. You will need a good steriliser and I would recommend a microwave one as they are so easy to use and don’t clutter up the kitchen as they can be left in the microwave. In terms of breast pumps, bottles, nipple shields etc I would wait until baby is here, as these things are so easy to buy at short notice anyway and it’s hard to tell what you will actually need. I purchased many feeding items before my daughter was born which I haven’t even taken out of the box.
If any parents reading have any other tips please feel free to share in the comments box below, thank you!