Budgeting for baby part one: what do I bloody buy??! (the bigger bits and intro)

So I feel like I need to start this one with a disclaimer: I’m not a money managing expert. I am a fritterer. I like to throw away large amounts of money each month in small increments across Amazon Prime, take out coffees, cake, impulse buys for the house / baby / dog. Don’t be like me. Look after the £5s and the £5ks will look after themselves or something like that.

However my friend thinks I am better than I am and requested this article. Also I’ve bought a lot, shopped a lot and need a break from binge watching The Affair on Now TV so here’s what I reckon:

What do I even need?

Nappies (obviously) cloth or disposable. You’ll use maybe 8-12 a day when they are tiny. You will probably start on size 0 or 1.

Either gentle baby wipes or cotton wool to use with cooled boiled water.

Clothes – sleepsuits are nice for little newborns in my opinion a non sicky baby would probably have eight. There is no upper limit to the number of sleepsuits a sicky baby can ruin. (also, muslins). But they ones with foldover mits and you don’t need scratch mits.

Vests with poppers (to go under the sleepsuit) same number as the sleepsuit.

Cardigans (minimum 2)

Hats (minimum 2)

Car seat (unless you are walking home from hospital, which I really wouldn’t advise unless you live literally next door)

Either blankets (cellular so they don’t overheat) or sleeping bags (and if you get the grobags they come with a free room thermometer, and I think you can get a free room thermometer from Lullaby Trust as well).

And that’s it! You have arms to carry them. You have a bed they can share with you. You have many things around your home which could be made into toys. You can hold them in the bath with you. You can support them while they bath in the sink. Obviously there are many many more ‘nice to haves’ which will make life easier but you don’t need them.

The only things you should buy brand new are:

Mattresses – to reduce the risk of SIDS. Once they have been used too many times they aren’t as firm which is dangerous. If they got damp they could have mould spores. Even if it was only used by your first baby they recommend a new mattress for each subsequent baby. A decent one for a Snuzpod or similar may only be £30 but you can definitely get them cheaper.

Car seats as once they have been in an accident, or bashed around as check in luggage on a plane, they are no longer safe. However if you trust who you are buying off and know it hasn’t been in an accident it is fine. Amazon is normally the cheapest otherwise Mamas and Papas and Mothercare normally do ‘Expectany Parent Events’ where they give 10% off vouchers. They sometimes do the vouchers alongside personal shopping appointments where you also get a goody bag with a sleepsuit and little teddy (yay freebies 🙂)

Stuff that I think is nice to buy new (or so good it might as well be new):

Pram / pushchair. I only think this because I was born a mother and spent my toddler years pushing prams around. Prams are a big deal to me. I wanted a fancy new one. If you’re buying new make sure to look into the mothercare / mamas and papas discounts mentioned before. More sensible women will save hundreds on a used pram online.

BUT if you aren’t arsed about a pram don’t buy one. They are SO not necessary. My sling baby would have been happy having never sat in a pram until she was over six months old and could have gone in any cheap / lightweight buggy you wouldn’t put a precious newborn in.

If you want a wicker style moses basket I would say buy new. You can’t really clean them easily and I think when your precious newborn comes home you might feel weird about that. Aldi always do them as part do the baby event for as little as £15 including the stand!

Most mums keep a moses basket downstairs and a crib upstairs. Babies under six months should always sleep in the same room as you to reduce SIDS risk and you don’t want to be stuck in the bedroom watching them bored. Or if you’re Emily then lol I only sleep on you or next to you. In which case the moses was mockingly empty. Don’t be a smart arse and think you can transport the snuzpod top up and down the stairs. You can’t. It’s fucking big and heavy and annoying and you are tired.

Highchair: just get the IKEA one for £15. Easy to clean. Easy to take the legs off for transport. Easy to lift as it’s super light. Easy to get baby in and out. Just buy it!!

Stuff you definitely should buy used:

The cot / bedside crib. When my little one refused her Snuzpod (in favour of being snug up to my nipple at all times) I was happy I paid £60 for my used Snuzpod instead of £200 for a new one. Obviously no Snuzpod would have been more cost effective but I did not have the premonition to know the many things she would hate.

A washable moses basket like the Moba which is the only brand recommended by the Lullaby Trust (cot death prevention charity).

Things like jumperoos that baby may hate and you don’t want to waste money on. I got mine for £35, she loves it but at about £130 brand new I would have been very disappointed had she not.

Stuff you should try before you buy:

Slings / carriers / papooses – whatever you call them they are brilliant. My velcro baby wouldn’t let me make a sandwich until I got one of these. Babies are funny little buggers though and know what they like. Don’t just research one and buy online, your little one may not agree with your expert decision making. There are sling libraries across the country run by lovely volunteers full of advice who will show you how to put them on and talk through options. NB if the baby isn’t in correctly they could slip down and suffocate, or they could get hip dysplasia. Go to a library and you won’t spent their tiny months full of paranoia about if they are positioned well.

My local sling library (West Yorkshire Sling Library) hire out for £10 a month but you can swap as many different ones as you like within the month for the same fee. Most libraries visit lots of cafe and town hall type places once a week so there should be one near everyone. Once you are ready to buy there are loads of second hand sling Facebook pages. The benefits of second hand is that they are ‘broken in’ so feel immediately soft and comfy. I bought mine new as it was black Friday at Koala Slings online and a good deal.

I shall do another article on the little buys (clothes, toys and the million and one other things) and where to buy them at some point when I can be arsed. But for now I should be packing for my weekend away in Suffolk, via a detour to the snacks cupboard.

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