Whether or not your baby was planned, the initial costs can often come as a shock to new parents. There can seem like an endless list of things to buy in preparation and a peruse around Mothercare can show you just how expensive these items can be. Fortunately, not all of these baby items are necessary, and you can save extra money by shopping around. Here are just a few tips for those shopping for baby kit on a budget.
Weigh up what you really need
There’s a lot of stuff out there that is sold to you as a parent, but you don’t actually need. For example, you don’t need a changing table or a wipe warmer or even a bottle steriliser (soap and hot water is just as effective). You can even do without a moses basket and put your infant straight into a cot. Consider the items that you really do need such as car seat, pram, nappies etc. It’s worth noting that there are a few items that don’t get the hype they deserve – breast pumps (if you’re breastfeeding), swaddling blankets and portable dummy sterilisers are just a few very useful baby tools worth considering.
Buy things second hand
Nothing beats the look and feel of something brand new, but you can make huge savings by buying items second-hand. You can find everything from baby bouncers to prams on second-hand on sites like Gumtree or on Facebook swap and sell pages. Buying locally allows you to check the condition in person yourself first before buying (a photo online often isn’t enough to go by).
If you know someone with a child that no longer need their baby stuff, enquire about whether they have anything that they could possibly offer you – you may not even have to pay for it. This can be a great way of saving money on big items such as cribs, prams and walkers – a close friend or family member will be happy to give you these items on most occasions if it helps you out.
Shop for vouchers
When buying many baby items, you can try saving money using discounts codes from Voucherland and other coupon sites. These can often give you access to great discounts on new and second hand items. Signing up to baby shop mailing lists can also alert you of discounts and sales.
Buy baby supplies in bulk
You can save a lot of money on supplies such as nappies, wipes and formula milk by buying it in bulk. Local supermarkets may only sell small portions of these supplies, however by targeting online wholesalers you can buy huge boxes of nappies and giant tubs of formula milk. These bulk supplies can work out comparatively cheaper than were you to buy the same amount in small packs.
Throw a baby shower
A baby shower can be a great opportunity not just to celebrate your baby but to get gifts from people. Try to persuade people to buy practical gifts for your baby shower, otherwise you’ll end up with lots of newborn clothes and soft toys. Don’t be afraid to ask for money rather than gifts – this could be contributed towards a large baby item that you need and could be more useful.