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Bringing Your Baby Home On A Must-Have Budget

Bringing Your Baby Home On A Must-Have Budget

We were at the park with some family friends of ours last weekend and the topic of new parents crept into a conversation (as it always seems to do when you are a parent yourself). We started talking about the advice we had been given when expecting when Dan - our dear friend - told us about a piece of advice he had been given. “I hope you have a lot of money tucked away.” At first, he was a bit stung because the privilege and honor of being a parent and bringing up a happy child are not one that should be reserved for the rich. However, the advice wasn’t wrong, having children is expensive.

In the US, studies have shown that the average parents will spend around $11,200 on baby things in the first twelve months alone. That is enough to make your heart stop momentarily as you gulp so loud the birds flee from the trees. No wonder new parents don’t get much sleep. A big part of the problem is separating wants from needs. What a baby needs is a comfy place to sleep, a way to be nourished, and some means of getting from here to there. That is where their needs pretty much come to a halt, though.
Obviously, this is a little too on the vague side of things. It also doesn’t help those of you who are still sweating about the price. So, to help break things down for you a bit more, and prove you don’t have to be a millionaire to bring up a happy and healthy child, we have put together a few lists for your perusal. This is one for those panicked-parents out there.
Bringing Your Baby Home On A Must-Have Budget

Must-Haves You Must Buy New
The top of the list here is a car seat. This is an essential for all new parents and there are laws and rules you need to know. For example, hospitals won’t let you leave until they have seen you have a car seat and know how to fasten your baby into it (no glue allowed!). You really need to buy one of these new for your own peace of mind and your own baby’s safety. They just aren’t safe if they’ve expired and they should be totally avoided if they have already been in an accident, or even just dropped. This is a matter of national security (read: simple safety).
The other things you really should be buying brand-spanking new are things that fall under the bell curve of hygiene equipment. Yes, these can add up, but buying them new doesn’t have to mean buying them at full price. Keep an eye out for online deals or use free coupon and voucher websites like to save a small fortune without risking your child’s health. Anyway, hygiene essentials include things like nail clippers, sanitizers, thermometers, those squeezy-pump things that are meant to de-snot your baby, and basically anything that goes inside them. These should all be bought new.
Bringing Your Baby Home On A Must-Have Budget
Go Secondhand For This Need To Have Items
Chances are, you recently put your copy of Twilight away and started getting stuck into a fascinating series of books all about what to expect when you are expecting. Inside these books is always a list of essential things you will need, all of which you can buy nearly new or used (except those mentioned above, obviously). These tend to be things like Moses baskets, cot-beds, crib mattresses, clothing, furniture for your baby’s room (or nursery or whatever you are calling it), toys and books and all those cuddly playthings. Yeah, all of these you can buy - in almost perfect condition - from buy and sell sites and consignment stores and from friends who have kids older than yours. It’s all safe too.
What’s more, there are so many reasons that we urge you to go down this route. In 2013, 4 million children were born in the US and 750,000 in the UK. Imagine if all these babies got new cribs and mattresses and books and everything else we mentioned. That’s a big environmental impact right there, a lot of redundancy, even if you said half were second children that got hand me downs.
The other big bonus of going down the nearly-new route is the big, big, BIG savings you will make. That’s what the whole point of this is. So joining Facebook groups, go on Craigslist, look at Gumtree and eBay, visit and go to Garden sales and Car Boots.Then use all that money you saved to stock up on lettuce soup, red cabbage and chili chocolate, or whatever your pregnancy cravings, well, crave.
Other Little Tips And Tricks
We know we are not the voice of all parents, and we’re not by any means going to tell you that the fact we have children means we know everything and anything, and only our way works. But here are a couple of other things we found to be super-duper useful in our attempt to avoid baby-bankruptcy (and do your bit for the world).
1. Your baby does not care what brand you go for. Seriously. They don’t care if their clothes are from Louis Vuitton or the charity shop (in fact, they’ll probably respect you more for going down the charitable route when they are older). Your baby also won’t care if they are being pushed around in a stroller that’s made out of Unobtainium or if it was nearly-new from a friend, and they really won’t need all those toys. Babies only care about the love and support they get, oh and they will get some pleasure from watching you wipe up their sick and poop. That’s all they need though.
2. Pre-made baby food can be skipped from about six months onward saving you money, sparing the world yet more glass and plastic, all while opening your baby’s mind to a whole new world of taste and texture. Little pieces of cooked veg, bits of meat and cheese, or whatever else is on your plate. You’ll quickly realize that they are going to steal it off you anyway, so you may as well embrace it and broaden their culinary horizons early on. It will just become a matter of knowing how to stretch your family budget that little bit further. It’ll be worth it, though, especially as super sweet apple sauce can get a bit boring, as good and it is.

3. You don’t have to use disposable nappies or diapers. Yeah, there is an alternative. There are washable cloth diapers that you can use. This may sound totally insane to you and, let’s be honest, quite archaic. But there is a reason why so many second-time parents go down this route; you use about 12 diapers a day for the first 6 weeks and you won’t get completely rid of them from your life for years. That is a lot of money to go through. Yes, a washable cloth diaper is a bigger upfront cost, but why not ask for them at a baby shower or for a present. And just think of all the eco-friendliness you will be exuding. Wow. You go, mom.

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Amy Louise
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