A bit of a blast from past from me today, as I am going to be looking at budgeting for a new babies arrival. My two (gorgeous) girls are now 17 and 10, so it’s been a while since I had the joy of buying for my own baby, but I do remember those times both fondly and well. They were a heady mix of very exciting and very expensive!
If you are in the position of either beginning your parenting journey, or further down the line I have found a fantastic guide of costs and budgeting for a new baby. On it is everything you might need, including a baby prep timeline with checklists for all of those newborn things you need to buy. It’s very easy to slip into a buying frenzy but I am want to reassure you, that in fact, you don’t really need very much at first. I would have very few essentials on my list, I’ve in fact popped them down at the bottom of this post. I thought it might be useful to give you those here, as well as how I budgeted to buy them.
How I budgeted
Firstly I waited I think for the first three months before I bought anything. I think it was a mixture of necessity and feeling like it wasn’t appropriate until that time. Back then, I had more deposable income (well it was only the two of us) and I remember it was incredibly important to both of us that we have a cushion of money, both to buy things for the baby, but also I wanted to have something saved for an emergency. So for those first three months, all of our extra cash was saved. We made small changes to our life as well, money-wise, in preparation for the changes that were to come later. So no more takeaways and we both had lunches from home. I scoured eBay and sales for maternity clothing, as I knew I wouldn’t want to spend much on those.
Budgeting Ideas :
The main things I bought before my daughters were born and that I never regretted were nappies, babygrows and toiletries. I just added a few of them on each of my weekly shops. Lots of different sizes, so I had a selection going forward. I then knew that I had enough to last me for at least the first 12 months. That was a great weight off my shoulders money-wise, and it took the hassle out of making sure I had things for that whole time. Anything I didn’t need I swapped with like-minded other parents who were friends at different stages to us. It just worked perfectly.
Gifts and Second-Hand Items
Often parents or friends want to buy a substantial ‘thing’ for the baby. If they do, I think its good to embrace that. They want to feel like they are helping, and that so lovely that they do. For us, the pram buying process was incredibly special as I got to have time to spend with my mum as this was the item she really wanted to provide. Later as we had our second baby that pram came in useful again, and my mum kept it at her house. She loved babysitting with my Dad, and that way they could travel around in style. Also, do not be afraid to accept second-hand items from friends or family. If I have one regret it was that when I had my first I was determined everything was brand new. It was a silly mistake, and when I had my second I made sure I didn’t repeat it.
Other Essentials :
- Somewhere for the baby to sleep.
- Changing Mat
- Baby sleeping bags
Finally, the last piece of advice from me would be to sign up to all of the sites for babies, as then you can get discounts and be gifted some essential items like room thermometers and nappy cream. Also at every supermarket, there are baby events, where you can buy things at a greatly discounted cost. Do your research, pop to the local library for books and magazines and don’t forget to ask for advice from other people.