Follow these tips and tricks to make big savings in your baby’s first year without compromising on your baby’s needs
Did you know that a baby can cost over £10,000 in their first year? With the excitement of a new addition to the family, many parents understandably make impulsive buying decisions. It can be tempting to opt for the most expensive products, but they’re often not necessary.
By getting the best deals possible on baby costs, you can save a lot of money. These tips and tricks will help give you and your baby what you need while helping you to spend less.
1. Buy only what you actually need
The pressure to keep up with the Jones' and buy all the latest, trendiest baby stuff can be overwhelming for new parents. But try to take a step back and think more carefully about what you really need.
Essentials include clothes, a cot, bed sheets and a pram. But even this doesn’t mean you have to splash out. All new baby products on the market must comply with strict standards and undergo rigorous quality testing, so you can be sure that a less expensive product is perfectly fine. Also, when it comes to things like clothes and bed sheets, many parents end up buying far more than their baby actually needs. Friends and family often love buying baby clothes and other products as gifts.
For everyday essentials like nappies or wipes, try to avoid stockpiling, as you might find later on that you prefer a different brand or see deals in supermarkets.
Things like an expensive changing table and a potty with an iPad attachment (we didn't make this one up...) aren’t absolutely necessary. Instead of spending on items that your baby will soon grow too big for, it is a good idea to consider purchases that your baby can use more long-term. As an example, many parents opt for a Moses basket for their newborn before using a cot after the first few months. But, if your baby is happy with it, it is perfectly fine for your newborn to sleep in a cot from the beginning, as long as it fits in the same room as you. Of course, you should never compromise on your baby's safety for the sake of a few pounds saving. ALways make sure the mattress is new (even if the crib is not) and make sure it is firm and that there are no gaps around the mattress. You can read more about how to keep your baby safe and comfortable at night here.
Lots of parents buy everything they think they need before their baby is born. And then find that they never use some items. To make sure that you don’t end up buying things you never use, it could be worth picking up the essentials beforehand and then waiting to see what else you'll need.
2. Borrow from family and friends
If you have friends and family who have had their own babies, why not ask for second-hand baby clothes, toys from friends and family? You may even be able to borrow some bigger items, such as a high chair, for a while. They know the challenges that come with a new addition to the family, so most people will be more than happy to help.
3. Buy pre-owned baby clothes and products
In their first year, babies grow fast and outgrow their clothes. Buying brand new clothes every few months make your costs add up. But if you buy pre-owned clothes, you will make huge savings over the course of your baby’s first year. And because babies grow so quickly, pre-owned clothes are probably only used for a few months at most in the first instance.
Buying other pre-owned baby items like toys, monitors and highchairs can also see your costs shrink. Find quality pre-owned baby items online at websites like Preloved and Loopster. To help make sure second-hand items are safe, check out this guide.
4. Sign up for as many baby clubs as you can
Retailers are really keen to attract new parents, so many of them have set up 'baby clubs' that give you access to promotions and sometimes even freebies. Here are a few to check out:
- Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda
- Retailers such as Mothercare, Boots, Cow & Gate and Pampers
- Websites like LatestFreeStuff, Your Baby Club, and Emma's Diary
5. Shop around
Buying everything from the same one or two supermarkets or department stores limits your choice. And you might miss out on great deals elsewhere. By shopping around, you can pick and choose where to shop and grab the best deals from different retailers.
Google Chrome price comparison plugins like Honey and Shoptimate can help you get the best deal on your baby purchases. They automatically compare prices and find and apply coupon codes when you shop online. Easy.
6. Make sure you're getting what you're entitled to
When you have a child, there is support out there to help with the expense of raising kids. Anyone with children can be eligible - you can find out more about how much you could get and how to claim on the government website.
If you are worried about covering all newborn expenses, you might qualify for the Sure Start Maternity Grant. This is a one-off £500 payment, which you don’t have to pay back.
You can absolutely provide your newborn baby with everything they need, without breaking the bank. By following these six tips, you can make massive savings in your baby’s first year, helping you to focus on other essential costs and minimise money stress. As a bonus, you will create good baby spending habits to guide you as your baby grows.