I have two children and I have to be honest, they are not cheap. Both my wife and I did not realise how bills just add up as they grow.
I still remember the long long nights and then waking up after just a few hours sleep, I have to put on my work face and go to work. I do recall the experience as if was just yesterday and although the joy and satisfaction in having a child is more than words can describe, I still remember the costs.
New baby economics, have a look.
We did not think about how to save money with a new baby. We did not even budget for a baby and this is what I want to share with you. It would have been so much easier if we had set up a budget.
Let me show you my top 5 hacks to help those who are going to have a baby or are planning to.
1. Save The Cash on Bedding Items
Please do not go out and buy the best bedding you can afford so that you little precious one can be all snuggled up the best cotton on the market for a baby. Instead, what I am suggesting is that the life span on your baby bedding is very short and so now that you know this, does it not make sense to buy bedding that is affordable as opposed to the very best.
Buy a standard crib – buying the best sleep house crib is such a wonderful buying experience pre baby but post baby, this does not add any value to you and as I said, this is only for a short life span.
Save money, no need for the designer looks, best designer or fashion looks, just go and get a standard crib and you can save hundred. Just make sure that the crib meets the current standards.
You can then save more money on the mattress, blankets, crib sheets and play toys.
2.Recycle Clothes and Look for Deals
The Baby Industry makes a fortune on the fact that baby clothes and toys are relatively cheap and will only be worn or played with for a short time before they are outgrown. Every family feels compelled to buy such quickly obsolete products like baby clothes, furniture and toys again and again may line the pockets of CEOs, but on a massive, nationwide scale, it is completely and totally unsustainable.
Stick to a budget and I hope that the above tips can help you save money with a new baby.
Consider buying your baby toys and clothes at thrift stores, E-Bay or Craig’s List. Join sites like Schoola, Swap.com or BabyPlays.com to get great used toys. Check in your community for baby clothes swaps.
Please consider asking for hand me downs from other mums, relatives or friends. Just remember, I know other parents who have done exactly what I am saying and they did not have to buy any clothes for their little one until the baby was just over a year old.
3.Nappies, Diapers – Who Needs Them
Having a diaper is the traditional way that we have all been programmed to buy from all the advertising and marketing, companies put us through.
There is a huge environment impact on having disposable diapers and a study by the University of Queensland in 2009 shows.
However, what they do not tell you is the cost of buying diapers/nappies is far more expensive than using cloth.
The average baby needs a change of about 6-8 times a day. You add this up and over say 30 days, this is 240 nappies which is roughly 2880 a year. The cost is probably around £2500/$3000 a year per child. Look at some of the other savings:
The alternative is having a stock of around 24-30 cloth nappies/diapers and this will be enough for not only one child but also any future babies. The cost savings, to you as new parents is in the thousands.
4.Please Do Not Buy These Items
If it’s your first pregnancy, you’ll probably be a bit overwhelmed thinking about what stuff you might need. Going to the shops when you are pregnant is like going feed shopping when you are hungry – you will end up buying stuff that is not needed. But if you’re not careful, you could end up buying a whole load of gear you’ll never use, before the little one’s even born.
To help here is a handy list of recommended essentials, from bootees to bedding, car seats and cots.
Here are some of the top 4 items YOU SHOULD NOT BUY – Put them on your ‘don’t buy’ list:
- Nappy bins
“Value nappy sacks do the job fine. If it’s particularly stinky, just double-bag it.”
- Play mat
“Bought it for daughter when she was three months – she’d outgrown it by five months. Much better with a blanket and a few toys on the floor. “
- Door bouncer
“She just didn’t like and it got in the way.”
- Posh changing bag
“I bought a changing bag, which was unpractical, so bought a normal bag. Addition of a portable changing mat did the job.”
5.This is What Do You Need To Buy
Here’s how to save on everything you’ll probably need to buy for baby:
- Diapers: As I have mentioned, cloth nappies/diapers are the best financially over the long run.
- Wipes: Most wipes are largely the same. Buy them in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club and look for a generic type. You may want to go with unscented if you plan to stock up—again, if your baby is sensitive to scented wipes it’s a pain if you’ve got cases of them on hand.
- Bottles: If you’re breastfeeding you may only need 4-5 small bottles to start. If you’re feeding your baby formula, you should purchase a few more. Again, babies are picky and there are several styles out there, so don’t buy too many. If you aren’t sure, ask friends and buy a few “tester” bottles. When you discover what your infant likes, buy a few more.
- Essential Clothes: You need to stock up on 6 long sleeved sleepsuits, 6 white vetss, hat, 4 pairs of socks, two pairs of mittens and 2 cardigans.
- Breast Pump: Fortunately, many insurance companies and hospitals offer free breast pumps to encourage and help new moms with breastfeeding. If you plan to breastfeed, check your insurance benefits to see if a pump is covered. It will really save you money.
- Pacifiers: Again, these come in several different styles and it’s hard to know which one your baby will prefer. (Sensing a pattern here?) So, hold off buying a whole bunch until your bundle arrives. Then, buy one or two to test. (Keep in mind, some babies don’t even like pacifiers.) If your baby does, it’s useful to buy 4-6, as they will need sterilization and they get lost.
- Rags & Burp Cloths: Some babies spit up a lot. Some have pretty calm stomachs. It’s safe to say, if you’re doing a load of baby’s laundry every few days (baby laundry is often washed separately, so you might not do a load every day), half a dozen burp rags are usually
- enough. If your baby is colicky, you may need a few more. Similarly, 6-10 bibs are plenty.
- Onesies & Sleep Sacks: Okay, this may be a little controversial, but you don’t need tons of baby clothes! I know they’re cute and tiny and adorable, but if you’re saving money, buying a bunch of wear-once-or-twice-outfits isn’t worth it. Your baby is most comfy in onesies and zippered sleepers. You’ll need 6-7 onesies and about 4-5 sleep sacks. (You can get cute patterns if you can’t resist.)
- Swaddle Blankets: Babies love to get swaddled to sleep. Swaddling helps them feel secure and safe. You’ll need about 6 swaddle blankets (but on the side of fewer, until you really use them).
When working on your baby budget, those are the basics. Of course, there are a few additional items, which we will get to, but if you need to save money on your new baby, this is plenty to get started.
Here is a basic baby checklist for you to look over.
Having a baby for me was the best moment of our life and I just want to help you financially budget better so that you can enjoy the journey together and not trying to always analyse each months costs.
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