Let’s face it – having a new baby is an exciting time and it’s really easy to get carried away buying things. However, if you are on a tight budget it’s important to ensure that you don’t go overboard when it comes to baby purchases.
Trust me I know that’s easier said than done but, after working out what my income will be whilst on maternity leave, I’m well aware that we are going to have to tighten our belts for the next few months!
In reality, there isn’t much that babies actually need.
And it’s perfectly achievable to have a new baby on a budget if you are sensible about what you purchase.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you will likely receive gifts for your new baby from friends and family. So if you are worried about your budget it’s a good idea to make a list of things you need and ask people to purchase items on your list if they ask what you would like.
I made a simple gift list on giftster which you can see here – which has some items we would love to receive as gifts for baby Theo on.
To begin with, I was a little nervous about putting a list together but people would much rather buy you a gift you will actually use or want!
I put together a quick guide below to the things your baby will actually need.
It includes a few tips on saving money to help out with your budget too!
Babies need to be fed – either through breastfeeding or formula feeding.
Breastfeeding is definitely easier on the budget – after all, it requires no special equipment.
If you choose to formula feed you will need bottles, a steriliser of some kind and formula milk.
Formula averages at about £10 a tub and it’s not often on ‘sale’ or discounted.
Once feeding is established you can’t chop and change the milk you use (or you risk giving the baby a poorly tummy) so make sure you pick one that is readily available.
Personally, we like Aptamil and it’s available in most supermarkets and even on Amazon. We get next day delivery with prime so that’s quite handy!
I find an electric steam steriliser is an invaluable tool – we have this Tommee Tippee one.
Electronic goods like this often go on sale or are discounted in baby events so shop around before you buy.
We saved £22 by purchasing ours in John Lewis.
Some people say it’s much cheaper to use the traditional method of sterilising fluid or tablets in a plastic tub but this just doesn’t work for me.
It’s more labour intensive, means the tub has to be left out on the side in our small kitchen and after a year of use I can’t see it being much more budget-friendly than the one-off purchase we made!
Ours also came with 3 free bottles which saved us about £15!
As with formula milk you don’t want to mess around and keep trying to change bottle types.
You really don’t need anything fancy – just go with regular ones that fit in your steriliser.
We went with the standard Tommee Tippee closer to nature ones – we used them for Lily and loved them so figured we’d just do the same.
Baby will definitely need nappies. You can use reusables or disposables.
Reusable nappies are cheaper in the long run but will require an investment initially.
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The ones on the market today are fab – easy to use, eco-friendly and available in fun designs.
If reusable nappies aren’t your thing then you will be using disposables.
These vary hugely in price from the big brand names through to supermarket own brand.
I’ve tried various disposables in the past and actually preferred some of the cheaper brands.
Aldi and Lidl both do their own nappies that have good reviews too and are significantly cheaper than others.
A friend gifted us a BIG box of Huggies Pure wipes when they were on special offer on Amazon.
She paid just £7 for a box of 18 packets which is definitely a bargain.
It’s a great idea to buy your preferred wipes in bulk – but make sure you test them out on baby first as you don’t want to be stuck with tonnes of wipes that your little one has a reaction to!
As I’m making a conscious effort to cut down on the waste we generate as a family I will be using reusable wipes at home and only keeping regular wipes in my changing bag for when we are out.
I’ll share my reusable wipes DIY project soon.
Babies need somewhere safe and comfortable to sleep.
Look online and you’ll see thousands of products of varying prices offering your child a luxurious place to rest their head but, to be honest, people put their little ones in drawers for years so you really don’t need to go crazy!
If you are concerned about your budget I would suggest buying just a cot or cot bed and mattress. Ikea does some lovely cots for reasonable prices.
Moses baskets, swinging cribs etc look sweet but in reality, your baby will grow out of these quickly.
Lily hated her Moses basket and would sleep really badly in it so it ended up being a complete waste of money.
This time around we have been lucky enough to have been gifted a cot and mattress although if that hadn’t of been the case I’d have either bought an Ikea one or got a second hand one and just replaced the mattress.
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Bedding and blankets:
You will find that you change your baby’s bedding and blankets fairly often so I’d stock up on at least 3 of each.
That way you have one in use, one in the wash and one waiting.
Bedding wise they really only need sheets for their cot – it’s not recommended to have a duvet, pillow or bumper in a baby’s cot.
I found really reasonably priced sheets in Asda and on Amazon.
Blanket wise we had a few of Lily’s baby blankets left so I simply purchased 2 cellular blankets (great for keeping baby at the right temperature), large muslins that can double up as blankets and we have been given a beautiful crochet one for his pram.
If you drive or plan on using a car then you will need to invest in a car seat. Rear-facing designs are now the law in the UK.
It’s not recommended to buy one second-hand as you don’t know if it’s been in an accident or has any hidden structural damage to it.
We don’t drive so most of my travelling with baby will be via public transport.
I wanted a lightweight pram and fell in love with the designs of Cosatto.
We got ours in the clearance sale at Toys R Us – saving nearly £300, so shop around for one that fits your requirements and budget!
We are lucky enough to have been gifted our baby sling (this one) and whilst it’s not essential I would suggest trying one out if you have the budget.
There are sling libraries all over the country where you can try different types before you buy so you won’t waste money if baby doesn’t like it!
Baby clothes are intrinsically cute.
However, it’s easy to go over your budget (and overboard!) when it comes to buying them.
In reality, babies need very little clothes wise, particularly as they grow so quickly.
Baby clothes basics:
- Babygros (vests)
Those things are really all a baby needs for the first couple of months.
Sleepsuits are much more comfortable for baby to sleep in than full outfits. And you can get ones with built-in mittens too.
Depending on the time of year you may want a thick chunky cardigan or a lightweight one that you can layer up as necessary.
Supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco and budget high street stores such as Primark are great places for you to shop for baby clothes on a budget.
I love H&M and Next too but they are a bit pricier.
As a rough guide, I would suggest getting 8 sleepsuits and babygros in newborn, 0-3 and 3-6 months sizes to form the base of your baby’s wardrobe.
New Baby Budget…
The temptation to splurge will always be there when it comes to having a new baby.
Just remember that they really don’t need a lot of stuff.
All those products advertised such as fancy nappy bins aren’t necessities.
At the end of the day, your baby won’t care if they are dressed in Asda or Ralph Lauren – they will still do explosive poos all over it!
How did you save money on baby purchases?