Money Saving Tips For New Parents
Jan 07, 2015 by James Rowland
Parenthood is a wonderful experience, but it can be very expensive. In the UK, raising a child costs an average of more than £227,000, so it makes sense to save money where you can. All parents want the very best for their baby, but there are ways of saving the pennies without compromising on quality. Here are some of them.
- If you are a new mum, consider waiting a while before purchasing a new post-natal wardrobe. Maternity clothes are often more comfortable for the first few weeks in any case, and after that your body may change in ways that you don't expect. What you want to wear at that point will depend on many factors: how active you are, whether you breastfeed or use formula, how much weight you lose and so forth. Some mums fit back into their pre-pregnancy clothes very quickly. Many clothes marketed as being specifically for the post-natal period can be expensive; waiting may save you pounds.
- If you are planning to have another child, buy romper suits, leggings and other baby basics in gender-neutral colours so that you can use them again the next time around. Also, beware of buying too many baby clothes in the same size. Babies grow incredibly quickly, some are big at birth (so can go straight into 0-3 month baby clothes, bypassing the newborn size), and many basics may go unworn if you're not careful.
- Many of the 'must haves' marketed at new parents are not essential. It might be sensible to wait a while and see what you actually need.
- Keep a bag of baby essentials in the car – it saves you having to buy everything on the hoof when you go out and suddenly realise that you have forgotten the changing bag!
- Generally, the bigger the nappy the fewer there are in the pack. Use the smallest size you can and compare the numbers per pack between manufacturers and you could save a considerable sum.
- Baby shoes are pointless – babies don't walk! Socks alone are just fine.
- Save a fortune on baby food by making your own purees and starter foods using a hand blender. For example, consider buying tins of fruit (in fruit juice rather than syrup) and blending them to a puree. Anything you don't use at once can be frozen; use an ice cube tray or small lidded tubs that can be bought cheaply in pound shops and similar.
- Some things, in particular car seats and mattresses, should never be second hand. Most other things, however, can be – although many health professionals advise parents to avoid anything from a home where someone smokes. Sites like Freecycle can be a great source of free equipment, much of it in fantastic condition.
- Use damp cloths instead of baby wipes: use plain water or dip/soak them in diluted baby wash.
- Join a toy library – your local children's centre, or health visitor, should be able to tell you if there is one nearby.
- You don't need pillows or a duvet in a cot – in fact, they can be dangerous.
- If you can't buy second-hand, consider borrowing articles, especially short-term items such as Moses baskets.