I knew baby's required a lot of things ready for when they enter the world, but nothing QUITE prepared me for just how much stuff they actually need and obviously all that adds up. Very quickly.
We all want to provide our baby's with the best of everything which is natural, but you can still do that without breaking the bank. Here are my tips for saving money when expecting a baby..
Don't be afraid to accept hand me downs! My sister has three children of her own and I was lucky enough that she had put most of their baby things in storage. She had a gorgeous wooden rocking crib that we have put in our room. She also had new born toys, play mats and a sling that are all in perfect condition. I'd only accept second hand from people I knew and trusted. Just make sure if anyone gives you clothes ect that you give them a wash first.
Join Baby Clubs/Advantage Cards:
As soon as we had our first scan I signed up to so many baby clubs. Boots is my favourite as you can collect your Boots points like normal (4 points for every £1) but we also get sent so many vouchers especially for their baby/pregnancy section. Whether it be nappies, nipple cream or clothing, there are vouchers for everything. We also received a voucher for a free Maam bottle and soother which will come in really useful for when I begin expressing. When you go for your first appointment you will also receive your first Emma's Dairy pack which is full of useful information, vouchers and also a card to fill in that you can hand in at your local Boots, Argos or Tesco and you will receive a large packet full of samples of nappies, wipes and non-bio washing liquid.
I've always known I want to breastfeed and although the main reason behind my decision is the health benefits for both baby & me, money also does play a small part. Formula can be really expensive and soon adds up over the months. Breastfeeding is free! Obviously if for some reason I can't breastfeed I will pump my milk and have to maybe think about formula but until then we aren't buying any. We only have our Maam bottle that we received free from Boots and I've bought a Nature Bond Silicone Breast Pump ready for when I do decide to start pumping. We aren't buying any bottles or bottle feeding accessories until we know for definite we will need them as at the minute they are just a wasted expense.
Our house is literally full on nappies and wipes that we have bought in bulk! There are so many baby events going on throughout the year that all do amazing deals on the essentials. It works out so much cheaper to buy a box of wipes than it does to buy the individual packets. Don't buy all your nappies in one size because baby's grow very quickly and they'll soon grow out of new born so we have bought sizes ranging from 1-4! We've also picked up a variety of different wipes from different brands due to the fact that your baby's bottom might not agree with a certain brand. Whatever you don't use though, you could always pass on or sell! There is always someone out there who can make use out of the things you can't.
I never noticed as many baby events as I have done since becoming pregnant. All the major supermarkets do them sporadically over the year, usually every 4-5 months, so no matter when you get pregnant you can take advantage. Asda has been my favourite for their baby event, we bought our moses basket from there, bedding, baby toiletries, nappies, changing mats. They also do car seats, high chairs, rockers and so much more! You can pick uo some amazing bargains. Sign up to their websites and you can get reminders of when baby events are coming up and even get a sneak peek into what will be in the event.
Think Before You Buy:
Before we went and spent our monthly wages in Mamas & Papas (easily done, trust me) we wrote a list of all the essentials we needed. They are obviously the priority. Anything else you can buy afterwards when you know you already have everything you NEED, so everything else is a little bonus and treat for baby (and you). We looked online and Pinterest for lists of the absolute essentials and read reviews on what worked for people and what was a gimmick. Does a baby really need a wipe warmer? I don't think so. A cold wipe to the ass never did me any harm. It's so easy to get sucked into the baby world and especially when you are a first time mum, you have no idea what's an essential and what you can do without.
Hold Back On The New Born:
It's so easy to pick up hundreds of little new born sized vests and sleep suits, but thinking practically, baby's grow so quickly that they'll soon outgrow them! The majority of our baby's wardrobe is 0-3 months. At least that way you know they will fit in them for a slightly longer amount of time. For my baby shower we were bought quite a lot of newborn clothing so we went out the next day and exchanged them all for 3-6 months. It isn't being ungrateful, it's just thinking logically. It would be such a shame for them to never get worn and be wasted when people have taken the effort to buy you lovely outfits.
These tips have really helped us when it comes to saving money and I hope some of you guys find it helpful as well!