New baby essentials: Don’t waste money on all that faff

By Bianca Mungalsingh
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Spend more time and less money preparing to meet your baby’s need with these helpful tips.

Newborn babies are more demanding on your time, energy and emotions than they are on material things. The average first time mum pays out between £1000 to £2000 according to a survey done by NetMums.com, but by avoiding the gimmicks and with the help of our suggested list of essentials below, you can spend far less.

When you arrive at your final list, you can use this Baby Costs Calculator to finalise your budget.

Dressing your little one: Keep it sweet and simple

During the first three months you won’t have a lot of time to dress your baby, push small buttons through small holes or slip socks and mittens on their feet after they’ve fallen off for the umpteenth time. Scrap the endless pairs of socks, the sock-ons, the mittens, the rompers and the baby jeans. Scratch the baby hats too as babies need to regulate their body temperature through their heads.

These are the items of clothing you will need:

Open and closed-toe sleepsuits (max 12): £7 for 3 at Asda

Body suits (max 12): £5 for 5 at Asda

Nappies (size 1): £8 for 96 on Amazon

Boy’s joggers (max 4): £6 for 2 at Tesco

Girl’s leggings (max 4): £6 for 3 at Tesco

Sleeping essentials: Use good habits not expensive gimmicks

Swaddling your baby in a thin, muslin blanket mimics the womb, promotes sleep and is helps prevent cot death. Newborn mattresses need to be hard so premium quality material adds little comfort. Mobiles are quite useless and sleep-inducing white noise can be found on YouTube or free apps. These are the sleeping items you will find very useful:

These are the sleeping items you will find very useful:

- Second-hand moses basket: bid from £0.99 on Ebay

- Foam mattress: £11.59 on Amazon

- Fitted sheets (max 3): £5.96 on Amazon

- Waterproof mattress protector: from £6.50 on Amazon

- White noise app: compare three on Lifehacker.com

Feeding with ease: save money and stress when preparing to feed

Breastfeeding varies from easy to very difficult so start with a manual pump and skip the nipple shields and creams until you know how you fare. Choose loose clothing over expensive nursing-specific tops and stack pillows on your lap when feeding instead of buying a breastfeeding pillow. Sanitise and warm your bottles using boiling water instead of going for an expensive cleaning system. These items below are the ones you will definitely need:

These items below are the ones you will definitely need:

- Simple nursing bras (max 4): £19.99 for 2 at H&M

- Bottles with teets size 0 (max 4): £16.42 for 6-pack on eBay

- Reusable breast pads (max 10): £11.25 per pack

- Loose tops and dresses that you can lift up or pull down easily: £14 for 2 at asos.com

*For formula-fed babies, average spend is £90-£130 per week, according to First Steps Nutrition Trust. You can buy formula in bulk, but make sure your child isn’t allergic to cow’s milk before you do so.

Bathing baby: Squeaky clean for less

You’ll need a bathtub with an anti-slip bump or mat to prevent tiny babies from slipping. Baby skin is highly sensitive so scrap the chemical washes and go for a pot of coconut oil, which works as a cleaner, lotion and diaper rash cream. Keep babies happy with a bath book and some squirt toys to teach them reading and motor skills like gripping, squeezing and hand-eye coordination.

Take a look at these essentials to ensure your baby is happy, clean and ready for bed:

Bathtub with anti-slip bump or mat: £6 on Ikea

Coconut oil: £3.48 for 7oz on iherb.com

Waterproof bath book: £4.99 for 4 on Amazon

Squirt bath toys: £6.29 for 8 on Chemist.co.uk

Hooded towels x 2: £3.99 on eBay

Playtime pals: Affordable fun for baby

Never pay full price for toys as there are always sales or buy second-hand. Invest in toys that will help babies develop early skills like grasping, rolling, tracking, recognising faces, smiling, laughing, coordination, holding up their heads and reaching. A bouncer allows you to be hands-free and face-to-face as you talk to your baby and a play gym will encourage your baby to develop the core muscles they need to roll and is excellent for the all-important 'tummy time':

Kolylong Farm Tails book: £2.89 on Amazon

Soft, sensory balls with bell and grips: £5.60 on thetoyshop.com

Baby bouncer: £15 at Tesco

Play gym: £15 at ASDA

Lamaze sensory toy: £8.02 on Amazon

Travel light: Keeping costs low on the go

You do not need an expensive buggy, just one that reclines fully to allow your baby to sleep lying flat and a pram suit to keep winter babies warm. A sling is an excellent travel pal and many babies love being carried this way, giving you use of your hands again to do chores while they sleep.

You'll have everything you need for trips outside with this list of basics:

Buggy that reclines fully: £60 Chicco Echo Stroller at Boots.com

Baby sling carrier: £5.99 on eBay

Multi-functional nappy bag: £15.99 on eBay

Buggy rain cover: £6.90 on for-your-little-one.co.uk

Pramsuit (for winter): £8 at ASDA

Top Takeaway

You can and will save a lot by being resourceful, doing your research, calculating your costs and sticking to the essentials. What are you tempted to spend most of your pre-baby budget on?

Author bio: Bianca is a mumpreneur who is most passionate about writing and education, and uses both to share her experience, tell heartfelt stories and support people, like young mums and newlyweds, on their similar journeys.?

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