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Preparing for Birth On a Budget
Member Name: princesslilo
Preparing for Birth On a Budget
Advantages: Keep track with a budget
I'm sure the thought of having a baby and the costs involved freak a lot of people out but for me I knew that this would not be a problem. I have always been one to save money on a day to day basis so naturally this was the route that I was going to take with the little one.
Various baby bibles and the internet tell you that you will need this and that and the list is longer than your arm and amounts to a small fortune. You may think that 9 months is plenty of time to get everything sorted but when you get the morning sickness weeks out of the way and the last few weeks where you may be very tired out and possibly even immobile, throw in a few special occasions (maybe even Christmas!) and you are left thinking where did the time go!
So, starting from the beginning I would suggest that if you suffer from morning sickness invest in some seabands. They are available on Amazon, Ebay and local chemists and cost around £6. I thought these were quite expensive as I just didn't think that they would work but they did their job perfectly. They are stretchy cuffs that fit on each wrist and have a white ball that pushes on a pressure point on your wrist.
Clothes for your little one
I was lucky enough to be given a few few new born clothes from a colleagues daughter. This was my first baby so I had no idea how many vests, babygros, sheets etc I would need. Although I did think that I had quite a bit already without having to buy anything.
I would advise you to accept gifted clothes as babys can be in newborn clothes for a matter of weeks so it is not worth spending £6 or more on 1 babygro. Also, we received so many outfits, many of which we did not use as newborns do not like to be pulled about while you are dressing them. If you are not lucky enough to know anybody that has recently had a baby try your local freecycle site. I received three black bin bags full of clothes ranging from 0 months right up to 9 months. I have hardly had to buy clothes for my daughter for the first year of her life saving me hundreds of pounds.
My list of essential items of clothing are:
5 babygros (pop up the front ones work best rather than the ones that have to be put over their heads)
5 plain vests - preferably long sleeved
Scratch mitts (although I never felt the need to use these and many babygros have these built in)
Coat or Pramsuit depending on the season
Without taking the fun out of shopping for a changing bag (I did it too) they are really not worth the money and within months you will be wanting to swop it for a small one or throwing some nappies in your handbag. I would advise signing up to the Boots website and getting the parenting club bag free with a purchase of Pampers nappies.
Next go to the Asda website and sign up to their baby club. When you do this you can download two vouchers for the Huggies Newborn Starter Kit. This has a packet of size 1 nappies, a pack of baby wipes and a hat. In this box there are also vouchers for money off further packets of nappies. The boxes usually cost £5 and you get them for free. If you get your family and friends to sign up you should manage to get yourself enough nappies to see you through the first stage! Even though our daughter was 8lb 8oz when she was born these nappies fit her until she was about 2 1/2 months old.
Huggies have always been our preferred brand as we have had very few accidents with them and they are good value when Tesco, Boots and Sainsburys have their 1/3 off events. I would advise against buying Sainsburys Little Ones Nappies as they are not elasticated at all so offer little protection from accidents.
The cheaper option for cleaning your baby is cotton wool and water but this can be a little messy. Throughout my pregnancy we stocked up on wipes as I feel this to be an essential for me.
My list of essential changing items are:
Newborn Size 1 Nappies (we must have used at least 10 packets)
Top and Tail bowl or a little plastic pots for holding water
Baby Powder (some people advise against this)
Hooded baby towel
Again this can be a very expensive area with cots ranging from £30 up to £300! We purchased our cot on Ebay for a mere £8.50. A lovely Mama's and Papa's one which was still on sale for £150. All we had to do was purchase a new mattress. Our extravagance was the cot mobile as Fisher Price do a lovely rainforest one but we bought it for £20 again from Ebay. 8 months on this is still being used.
I was getting stressed about cot sheets, flat sheets and moses basket sheets as I was being told by various family members that I would get through at least two a day. This was not the case and I am glad that I didn't stock up as they are quite expensive! I purchased some Muslin squares from Tesco and used these under her head in the event that she was sick. They are are good as burp cloths to save your clothes, make shift bibs etc.
The best tip was to use a pillowcase for the moses basket mattress as the work just as well.
Don't spend a fortune on a moses basket either. Our daughter was in hers for just 9 weeks and seemed a little bit of a waste of money. See if you can borrow one or certainly look for second hand ones.
My list of essential nursery equipment are:
Cot & mattress (make sure the mattress is a good one as they could be using it for 2+ years)
2x Fitted Sheets
Baby Sleeping Bag (this stops baby's from kicking off their covers in the middle of the night)
Wipeable Changing Mat
A suitable chair or swing
Taking Baby Out
We could not afford to buy an expensive travel system that cost hundreds of pounds so we purchased one from ebay. Initially we loved it but when we actually tried to shop with it it was a nightmare. We couldn't get it around shop aisles and we would end up taking half of the shop with us! So we did end up buying a brand new stroller (which was one of the only things we purchased brand new!) Strollers now days are suitable from birth and are very lightweight and will see your baby from birth until they are able to walk about.
Baby slings are brilliant as it allows you to be hands free and when your baby is a little older then can face outwards. They are also good for babies that develop colic and do not like being left alone. They allow you to carry on with the housework etc.
Invest in a good car seat that will last you as long as possible. Apparently it is best for your baby to be rear facing up to at least 16 months as it is safer should you be involved in an accident.
We also purchased a mirror for the car that fixes onto the headrest to allow you to see your baby in the rear view mirror.
As they say breast is best but I was so ill after giving birth that I didn't feel up to it. This would have been the cheapest method of feeding and wouldn't need any of the equipment that I am about to list!
We were given a bottle cooler and warmer made by Lindam by a friend but never used this. We found that it would warm the bottle too much which is not good when you have a baby screaming for its feed!
We tended to use a jug of hot water to warm the bottle but after 6 months I got inpatient and thought I would try warming the bottle in the microwave which I wished we had done from the beginning. You have to give it a good shake afterwards to disperse any hotspots but it takes around 30 seconds to heat to a suitable temperature.
We have found that 8 bottles are sufficient enough - this enabled us to make the feeds all in one go so they were ready for the day ahead. We went for the Avent Gold Bottles but wished we had invested in Dr Brown bottles as our daughter suffered from colic for the first 7 weeks which was awful.
We also purchased the Tommee Tippee steriliser which allows you to sterilise 6 bottles plus dummies etc in around 5 minutes. (I would advise against this one as we have had nothing but trouble with it but I will save that for it's very own review!)
Find the cheapest reputable brand of dummies you can and stick to them! We made the mistake of purchasing the mam dummies as I liked the designs but cannot get her to have any other dummy now and they are one of the most expensive brands! They do sell their own range of soother savers though which are a godsend when you are out - no more dummies on the floor.
Essential feeding items list:
Thick cotton bibs (I dislike the plastic backed ones as they are not very absorbant)
A few items that are a must - calpol or similar for after their innoculations, saline nasal drops for stuffy little noses that they just can't blow, Ashton and Parsons teething powders are amazing but quite hard to get hold of, bonjela, a syringe for giving medicine, oilatum for any skin complaints.
And the all important item that doesn't cost a thing - LOVE! At the end of the day it is all they need. There wasn't all of this fancy stuff around a hundred years ago so don't worry that you don't have the newest most up to date stuff. It really does not matter!
Summary: Babies do not need to cost the earth!