If you’re expecting a baby very soon, or you’ve just had one, CONGRATULATIONS! I had my first child 10 months ago and it’s been such an amazing experience.
Anyway, as a fairly new mum, I know first hand just HOW EXPENSIVE having a baby can be. It’s crazy that something so small requires so much stuff!
But, don’t worry, help is here. I’ve put together 12 tips to help you cut the cost of having a baby and spend a little less in your child’s first year.
How to cut the cost of having a baby
- Call a friend. If the baby hasn’t arrived yet, you’re bound to have a large shopping list of items you expect to need. You’ll also have a larger group of friends and family eagerly awaiting your new arrival, ready to shower him or her with gifts. Solve both problems in one swift move by creating a baby gift list. Like you would do for your wedding, create a gift list online of the things you’d like and subtly drop it into conversation so people know it’s there. Then sit back and wait for them to buy you what you need! Don’t feel guilty about it as those who give you gifts will get the satisfaction that they’ve bought you something you really need, and you’ve taken away their headache of trawling baby stores with no idea what to buy!
- Facebook to the rescue. It’s unlikely you can put too many ‘big’ things on your gift list but it’s highly possible that you have a few friends on Facebook who own some of those items already and are willing to donate them to you or sell them at a hefty discount. Post a message asking very nicely and see what you can come up with. It’s not begging if you suggest that you’ll pay or return the favour with something they need.
- Second hand? Try the NCT nearly new sales. This is where parents can buy and sell baby clothes and toys so it’s win-win as you not only get what you need at a cheaper price but you also help some other parents save some cash to kit out their own kids in the next stage of their lives.
- Buy in bulk. It’s impossible to avoid making a lot of new mum friends when you have a baby. And guess what? They’re going to be in need of nappies, wipes and other new baby things, just like you. So, agree on a brand and pop to Costco or another big wholesaler where you can buy the items in bulk. You can then share the purchases and the cost! An easy way of cutting the cost of having a baby!
- Host. When the baby first arrives, you’ll want to get out the house to see people and feel like you’re still human. Rather than meeting friends at coffee shops every day and spending over five pounds a time (on coffees, snacks and parking), organise for you to take turns hosting at your home. Everyone can bring a little food and you’ll find it to be much more relaxing, as well as cheaper.
- Go own brand. It’s tempting to go for a name you know when stocking up on nappies but supermarket own brands can be so much cheaper. Believe me when I say that you will get through so so many nappies so if you can buy nappies at 10p each rather that 20p each, that will amount to a HUGE saving.
- See what you can get for free. Did you know there are several websites that allow you to get stuff for free? There’s Freecycle which lets you see who in your local area is giving away items they no longer need, and then FreebiesiteUK and Freebiers Club which give you access to giveaways and free samples.
- Avoid expensive clothing. Babies grow quickly and everything they wear becomes stained just as fast. So don’t bother buying expensive clothes for them; get down to Primark or Asda and buy multipacks of clothes that cost a couple of quid. And don’t worry that your baby won’t look their best – they’ll be gorgeous in whatever they wear.
- Share childcare to cut the cost of having a baby. When you go back to work, if you’re not lucky enough to have parents or parents in law who can look after your little one, you’re likely to be faced with the sky high costs of nursery. However, as an alternative, you may want to look at finding a friend who will look after your child one day in return for you looking after her child another day. In other words, you pay for three days of nursery, your friend cares for your child one day, and then you care for their child and your little one on the fifth day. If you have to work full time, or you need a day just to yourself, another option is Nanny Share where you share childcare with another local family thereby reducing the costs!
- Don’t buy flashy toys. Baby toys are very cute but I’ve found time and time again that my son would rather play with a wooden spoon or an empty water bottle than a toy car or cuddly toy. So before you stock up on toys for your little one, try them out with some simple but SAFE household objects. Wooden spoons are great because they’re too big to be swallowed. Be careful with anything made of card or paper as dribble could cause little bits to tear off and end up in baby’s tummy.
- Make your own baby food. Once your baby is at weaning stage (don’t rush there, it’s hard work!!!), you’ll be tempted to try all of the baby food pouches and jars available at the supermarket but as some are £1 a pop, I’d recommend recreating them yourself first. At stage 1, babies only need cooked and pureed fruit and vegetables so do that yourself and save some money. Annabel Karmel is the LEGEND when it comes to baby food and she has a huge range of recipes that will help you through the process.
And my final tip to cut the cost of having a baby?
12. Baby modelling. If your little one is extra cute, they may be able to earn you a little bit of extra money with some modelling work. All you do is pay an agency fee and then you’ll make that money up in no time with modelling gigs. If you go with an established agency such as Baby Models UK, you will have the peace of mind that all contracts are safe and professional.
Mums, have I missed any ways to cut the cost of having a baby? Please share your money saving tips below xx