Raising a child is an expensive business. “How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?”, The Guardian, February reported that the average cost runs to over £200,000. Buying basic items for a baby such as clothing, bedding, nappies and food can become considerably expensive; however, this does not always have to be the case. There are a number of practical ways in which new parents can buy cheap and cost-effective baby supplies without breaking a budget.
Make a Baby Gift List
When a newborn arrives, the new mother and father will undoubtedly be inundated with gifts and presents from family and friends. Often, these gifts will be duplicated, with many buying clothing and layette.
Creating a baby gift list and distributing it to family and friends before the birth will allow them – in the same way as a wedding list – to choose gifts that are specifically required. This will save a lot of money in the short term as supplies are provided as presents, and allow a wide range of gifts to be provided.
Ask Friends and Family for Hand-Me-Downs
Usually, upon the arrival of a newborn baby, friends and family who have had children of their own will be happy to rid themselves of clothing and supplies and pass them on. It is important to not be too proud to accept these donations, or insist on buying from new. A baby will not mind if it is dressed in second-hand clothing!
It may also be possible for larger items such as cots, car seats or prams to be lent or given, which can save hundreds of pounds. However, it is important that these items meet the latest safety regulations.
Breastfeed instead of Bottle Feed
As well as being highly nutritious for the baby, containing the vitamins, minerals and antibodies that it needs for growth and development in the vital first few months, breastfeeding is also free. Formula milk can be expensive, especially when considering the amount that will need to be bought in the first months following birth. There is also the expense of bottles and sterilising equipment to think about.
Breast milk can also be frozen for occasions where immediate feeding is not practical. A new mother will need to purchase a breast pump in order to express, but the cost when compared to the money spent on formula is minimal.
Buy Larger Baby Clothes
Babies grow quickly in their first few months, and because of this clothes can quickly become too small as they are outgrown.
A good tip is to buy clothes that are a couple of sizes too big, so that the baby can grow into them. This means that the clothes last longer and are therefore more cost effective.
Stick to Essential Baby Items
The fact is that basic essential items for a baby actually number relatively little. Items such as layette, bedding and clothing needs to be purchased, but shopping around can uncover some good bargains.
The expectant parents should compile a list of what they consider to be the essential baby items and adhere to it as much as possible.
Look Around for Prams and Pushchairs
One high area of expense when buying baby items is the pram or pushchair. There are so different combinations and styles available, it is easy to become overwhelmed with choices.
Look at the practicalities of all available prams, such as how well they fold up and fit in your car boot, or how easily they can be transported on buses or trains. There are many multi-purpose pram systems available whereby the seat detaches and becomes a car seat. This will save money on buying these two items separately.
With all baby items, scour the listings and classified advert pages of magazines, newspapers and the internet to find a great deal. Remember, even the cheapest items have to pass safety standards, and so when purchasing an expensive item an parent is really only paying for the aesthetics and the brand.
It is possible to pay relatively little to provide a newborn baby with what they need to grow and develop healthily and safely. Searching for good deals, second-hand items and requesting hand-me-downs are just some of the ways in which a new mother or father can buy baby items on a budget.