How to prepare for a baby on a budget.

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Third time is a charm. I’m convinced I have got this down now. With this being my third baby you would think I have everything already. Which is far from the truth. We did an international move a couple of years ago and moved only with what we could fit in our car. Including four people and a double buggy it didn’t leave too much room to pack up old baby gear.

So starting from a fresh once again I have realised a few things.

Preparing for a baby doesn’t have to break your bank account!!!!

Avoid buying new at all costs. (at least for the most part)
Babies grow and change so quickly that most items you can pick up with very light use… for a fraction of the price. Your baby is going to spit up, have explosive shits, bang things, chew on things etc.  Do you really need to buy something in pristine condition at full-blown expense?!

You know those lists of things you need for a newborn – you don’t need half that crap!

According to mother care’s website this is what you’re going to need:
My thoughts of what you ACTUALLY need or hacks will be in bold.

for feeding

  • breastfeeding: choose from stylish nursing bras, tops and nightwear, as well as nipple shields and cream to help protect your skin – This is personal preference but as mentioned before you can get these things second-hand for so much cheaper. If you feel the need for the above clothing items I would stick to a couple of nursing tanks and bras. But don’t buy this stuff in advanced. As much as you plan to nurse your newborn baby sometimes things don’t go to plan. Also your boobs will change size once you’ve given birth and your milk has come in! If your going to invest in a nursing bra at least get one which fits right. DONT buy nipple shields prior to the babies arrival or the temptation to use them when your nips get sore will be too strong. Nipple shields can really confuse the bubs! 
  • bottle feeding: pick from a variety of bottles and teats to find the one baby likes best. You’ll need a steriliser to keep them squeaky clean too. – Bottle warmers are a waste of money and add one extra step while half asleep trying to prepare a bottle. It can also lead to a fussy baby… imagine being out of the house without a bottle warmer and your baby is denying the bottle because it isn’t perfectly warmed as its used to? No body has time for that. As for a bottle steriliser you can do this by boiling your bottles on the stove. Or even less effort chuck them in the dishwasher!
  • try a support pillow and don’t forget muslins to mop up any spills –If you had a special pillow to sleep with during pregnancy reuse it as your “support” pillow. If not a pile of pillows or cushions does the trick just fine.

for sleeping

The NHS advises that your baby sleeps in your room for the first six months, so it’s worth considering:

  • a lightweight Moses basket or crib, with a new mattress – Moses baskets are where it’s at. Being able to carry that sleeping angel upstairs/downstairs without having to worry if you will wake the little monster is irreplaceable. Does it need to be new? No. Do you need to go out and buy lots of sheets for this tiny mattress the baby will use for a couple of months? Hell no!!! Pillow cases work great as extra mosses basket sheets. Just wrap it around the mattress and your set!
  • a room thermometer – I NEVER used one of these and my kids seem to survive just fine? 
  • a baby monitor to help to keep an eye on them as they sleep – I guess this depends how big your house is – although if they are sleeping in a mosses basket in your room for the first few months this isn’t something to worry about until a little later. Again if you do purchase one it really doesn’t have to be new! 
  • a cot, complete with a waterproof mattress cover, fitted sheets and cellular blankets – Get a waterproof mattress cover! Ikea do these for cheap cheap cheap
  • cosy baby sleeping bags – This might come in handy depending when you have your baby….When babies are little you usually swaddle them in a normal baby blanket. As they grow, kick about and get the blanket off them you might want to use a “sleeping bag”  if the room is cold ie. its winter time. 
  • a cute mobile and some blackout blinds – Never had either of these and don’t intend to with the next one!

for dressing

C93BF8C6-E821-4498-8CE6-5BED96B73C6C.jpgBuying cute little clothes before the birth of your baby is so exciting. It’s good to have some basics ready for when they’re born, including:

  • sleepsuits and body suits
  • a couple of pairs of socks
  • a pair or two of scratch mitts
  • a hat
  • a blanket

Once you’ve selected these, you can add in more outfits, cardis and jumpers or a warm pram suit, depending on the season. I’m very impressed with how simple mother care kept this section. With my first I spent shitloads of money on tiny cute baby clothes from mother care… why?!? #regrets Most the clothes she only wore once or twice before out growing them. 

Babies for the most part live in baby grows/pyjamas. They are just so practical they keep the feet warm, easy to get on off for the million and one nappie changes your going to do that day and its comfortable for the baby. I do think having a couple of baby hats is important. I’d suggest skipping the scratch mitts they are such a pain in the ass as they always fall off. Onesies with the inbuilt scratch mitts on the sleeves is seriously where it’s at. Again socks are a bit of a waste of time – they don’t stay on. Your washing machine will eat them up faster than it eats adult ones up! Trousers with inbuilt feet are the best… or once again just keep the baby in baby grow/pyjamas.

950C87C9-2C4C-4097-9D2C-2F72DC0AF547.jpgCan you see the inbuilt scratch mitt?

Ebay is your best friend for used baby clothes. Search “0-3 months clothing bundle” or whatever age/sex and be prepared to be amazed and hooked. You can thank me later! 🙂

for nappy changing

It won’t take you long to become a natural at changing your baby’s nappy, but having everything ready for those first few times will make it a little easier. You’ll need:

  • nappies in the correct size, baby wipes and nappy sacks You don’t NEED nappy sacks. Try out lots of different nappie brands. I always thought pampers was the only brand I would use. To my surprise Aldi has amazing leak proof nappies which are cheap cheap. My sensitive skin child reacting so badly to the gentle pampers and did just fine with the aldi ones. So don’t think as I did cheap doesn’t mean bad when it comes to nappies!!! If there is ever an offer on nappies or baby wipes BULK BUY! You will use them!!!! 
  • a changing mat or cot-top changer – Handy to have one somewhere in your house for when they do those explosive poops that are going to get everywhere no matter what you do. Fun times!!!!  I scored a nappie changing station on a second-hand Facebook group for a tenner! Bargain!

D2EFE3A8-1FBF-4F6F-8804-9FC9675D5A7C.jpgIt’s also useful to have a nappy bin or disposal system handy to the keep smelly nappies in. You may like to have some nappy cream to hand too in case your baby gets a sore bottom. Get some Sudocrem

7D962E7C-0100-42CB-A71F-1F1649FFBBC9.jpg Babies getting a sore bum at one point or another is un preventable!! With my first we got one of those nappies bins. I didn’t find it all that helpful for us. If you need one buy one second-hand… literally crap is just going to go in  it!!!!

for bathtime

Newborns usually just need a quick top and tail at first, using cotton wool or a sponge. But it won’t be long before your little one is having a good splash about in the bath with their toys. These can all be useful:

  • a baby bath or a bath support – the sink is your best friend when your babies little for washing. We never owned a baby bath.
  • soft baby towels – I always get suckered into these as they are just so cute with the hoods but if you’re doing things on a budget (Like we are attempting to this time around… normal towels will do the exact same job for your little bub!)
  • a non-slip bath mat – Not needed.

You can check that the water is the perfect temperature with a bath thermometer. And if your baby is relaxed after bath time, it may be a good time to trim their nails. Again, bath thermometer is not needed. Test the water with the back of your hand and have it lukewarm! 

for playtime

As well as being fun, playtime with your little one will help their development. There are so many toys to choose, from cute teddies to big activity gyms. Here are some of the most popular items for babies from 0 to 6 months:

  • play mats, bouncing cradles and baby swings
  • lightweight rattles and teething toys
  • baby books with mirrors and textures
  • light-up and musical toys

Your baby may also enjoy something for the car or pram when you’re on the move. Babies really don’t need all the plastic toys shops try to sell you. I enjoyed having a bouncy seat for them to sit in. I’m looking to repurchase one but this time from one of the many Facebook buy swap sell pages they seem to come up around 10 pounds! The only proper toy’s we will buy for the baby is a special teddy we as a family will build for it at build a bear. A rattle, my 4-year-old has requested we go to the shops and she can pick the perfect rattle out to give to her new brother or sister. When the time comes round for teething toys I do like to buy  the teething toys from any of the supermarkets (always a lot cheaper than baby stores). Specifically the teething toys you put in the fridge and give to the baby cold so it kinda numbs the gums relieving any soreness. 

for safety

Baby-proofing your house prevents accidents and creates a safe place for your child to grow up in. There are lots of things available for the home, including:

  • smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Your house should already have one of these..
  • stair gates and play pens Haven’t needed one of these – god bless rooms with doors on 🙂
  • plug socket covers, cupboard and window catches – Dependent on your house. Many places don’t recommend plug sockets anymore!
  • furniture corner protectors – Do yourself a favour and don’t buy the corner protectors from Ikea. They are complete crap and will come off the same day you put them on those sharp edges
  • fireguards – Depends on your house

A medical thermometer as well as a book on common baby illnesses might be worth investing in too. You may also like to keep a first-aid kit handy. Get this, they are cheap as chips and an important thing to have in your house!

for out and about

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You’re sure to want to get out and about with your baby. Many prams and pushchairs are suitable from birth and can be complemented with these accessories:

  • a changing bag – Any bag will do, if you really want to get a changing bag have a look on amazon. They are cheap!!!! (I did this, this time around.. not sure I needed to but did it anyways)
  • a parasol – Never had one but I scored a great buggy which came with all the gadgets off one of those buy swap sell Facebook pages for a third of the price it cost new. It’s in great condition too! #happymummy
  • a raincover – When my girls where babies we lived in Amsterdam without a car we NEEDED a rain cover!!! If I had a car and didn’t do much walking I might have skipped out on this. This time round it was one of those brilliant gadgets that came with my second-hand buggy.
  • a furry footmuff (for winter months) – If it comes with the buggy than great if not, a blanket will usually do the trick!

A baby sling or carrier is also useful for short trips. For longer journeys in the car, you’ll need an infant car seat and you might want to consider:

  • an ISOFIX base – Check your local car seat rules and regulations! 
  • a car child-view mirror – Its fun to have but you certainly don’t need to get one of these (we never did)
  • sun blinds – You do not need these!

Baby carriers are great! Second hand ones are even better! These things can be incredibly pricey!!!! We use the “ergo” and love it. It does kill your shoulders but after like two hours instead of the usual 10 minutes with a baby bjorn etc. Maybe I’m just more wimpy than your average joe? #strongpossibility 

That’s it!

If you made it this far down my post give yourself a big round of applause. Seriously… this was long-winded I know but it’s clearly something I feel quite passionate about. Hoping you can save yourself a dollar, a euro, or even a pound!

 

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