When you’re having your first baby it can be difficult to know what is an essential and what you can live without. Having a baby is expensive, and it doesn’t get any cheaper for around 18 years or so – so it’s prudent to make savings where possible.
The trouble is that it’s so nice shopping for a new baby that it’s easy to get carried away. It’s also hard not to be swayed by baby magazines, catalogues, forums and friends telling you that you ‘must have’ x, y and z.
The fact of the matter is that babies actually need very little, and can be provided for as cheaply as you like. They don’t need to cost a fortune in the early years – so save your cash for when the talk of games consoles and designer trainers comes!
There are, of course, some essentials that you need to have to keep your baby warm, comfortable, safe and happy. These include:
A Place to Sleep
Current advice is that babies should not co-sleep with parents, so baby needs a safe and comfortable place to sleep from birth. Newborns can sleep in a moses basket, but these are usually quickly outgrown by the average size baby. At this point you’ll need to invest in some nursery furniture to give baby a space to call his or her own – namely a cot, a chest of drawers or a wardrobe, and possibly some toy storage.
Don’t worry about it costing a small fortune. You can order reasonably priced nursery furniture from ASDA Direct, with cots starting at just £69 (for the Kinder Valley Kai Cot which comes in a choice of white or natural).
Multi-use items of nursery furniture that will grow with your baby are also worth consideration in order to save money in the long run. A chest of drawers that doubles as a baby changing table, for example, or a cot bed that can be used for years to come.
A Method of Transportation
Most people choose a pram or a buggy that lies flat to use while baby is very small, before moving onto a lightweight (cheaper) stroller once baby is sitting up unaided. If you’re not planning on having more children you can recoup some of the cost of your pram by selling it online when you’ve done with it.
Some parents however like to use front or back baby carriers, or slings to get around with their little one. While keeping baby close to you can be lovely, it’s worth bearing in mind that your tiny newborn will grown quite quickly and can soon become a heavy load to carry for prolonged periods.
While shopping for baby clothes is lovely, sticking to the basics and bypassing expensive outfits will help you to stay within budget. The supermarkets are great places to pick up cheap, good quality baby clothes.
If your baby has basic clothing, somewhere to sleep and a way of getting around then you’re off to a good start. Jungle themed swings, fur papooses, designer outfits and enough toys to open a shop can all come later on.