How to save money for a baby

Saving money when you have a baby



illustration of money banknotesAs mothers start preparing for a newborn (weeks or months in advance), it can be difficult to decide what things to buy, specially in which items would provide value for the money paid and which ones to focus on. There are definitely items that will only be used for a very short time (if any!) that you should not perhaps spend a lot on and leave this money for other things you are more likely to need. You might need to save money for a baby so researching the options and knowing what to expect can help you decide how much you need to save for a baby.


 

   1- Bassinet vs cot vs crib:



Ok, they can be sometimes be called slightly different names and not all cots and not all cribs are the same so the whole thing can be pretty confusing so let’s look at them one by one:

The bassinet (or Moses basket in the UK):

An empty bassinet
Bassinet or Moses basket
They are suitable for newborns and very young babies (can usually be used to a maximum of 4-6 months, depending on the model). Your baby is going to outgrow a bassinet sooner or later. They are handy and easy to carry around however, you can do without them if you look at the other options. However, it is not the end of the world as Moses baskets are usually cheap and you could buy one if you think they are more handy. Keep in mind that you will have to store or get rid of them in a few months.

The carrycot:

More fancy and sturdy however more expensive. I don’t really think you need one if you already have a bassinet. The exception is if you find a good deal on a travel system that includes a carrycot and not vey expensive, in this case you might end up better going for one.

The crib or cot bed:

In my opinion, this would be the best choice if chosen wisely. Although it is the most expensive option of the 3, plus it is also much bigger and not portable! On the other hand, a cot bed will be essential at some point in my opinion and your baby will use it for a longer time so it would be a good investment. There are many different types from the small ones that would last up to 2 years to other ones with adjustable heights and removable side-bars so they can be converted to small toddler beds. I find this more convenient and practical and your baby will probably need one sooner or later.

One variation is a bedside crib which would act as an extension to your bed so your child can sleep next to you. This will depend on personal preference, your baby’s sleep habits and available space. Not everyone needs it but you might want to look at one if you have enough space and you want the convenience of not having to stand and walk to your baby to attend to them in the middle of the night. Keep in mind the baby will outgrow it within a few months.

Bottom line: Get a cot bed if you can afford one. Look for a versatile convertible one that would suite your baby at least for a couple of years. If you need to carry the baby in something, a Moses basket would be the cheapest option.  There are many people selling a lot of used bassinets in good condition online or you could try borrowing one.

The best way to save money for a baby is to try and plan a few weeks or months ahead, to try and envisage what your needs would be? Ask yourself how much does this baby item or food cost? You can easily find this out online or by going to your local shopping area.

Tip: Get a pushchair/pram that is suitable from birth i.e. can lie flat so you don't need to get a cot for it.

 


Note: A cheap moses basket is better than a carrycot if your pushchair can be used from birth or if you can use the car seat.

2- Clothes:

-The main thing to remember is that your baby grows very fast in the first few weeks and months and will outgrow most of his or her clothes so avoid spending a fortune on clothes for a single age group.
Some clothes are more important than others: shoes are absolutely useless for the first few months as your baby will not be standing yet! Also, you will need a lot of baby vests and other essentials: they get dirty whenever a baby leaks and you might change a few every day! Big supermarkets like ASDA or  TESCO (UK) or others in the US usually offer good deals on packs of these, instead of going for big brands. Keep the big brands for a special dress or outdoor outfit.
Another useful thing  can be to ask for specific clothes items as gifts from family and friends depending on your needs rather than having so many gifts that you don’t need.


 

3- UK and countries with national health insurance:

Make the most of it! If you are in the UK, make sure you know your rights (your midwife/GP should be able to help). You are eligible for free dental care while pregnant and for 1 year following childbirth, there are also different antenatal classes that might be available depending on your area.

 

4- Salary/statutory pay and benefits:

If you are working, make sure you sort out your pay during maternity leave and clarify the amount of money you are eligible for with your Human Resources department. Check official government websites if you think you might be able to claim any benefits in your country.

5- Free activities and classes:


Check with your local council/library/arts center or children’s center whether they have any activity groups, mom and baby exercise groups, nursery rhyme groups, etc. This is a good option to get you active and socializing.


I hope that helps. Please share with us if you have any more tips, suggestions or questions in the comments section. Tell us about your experience with the baby budgeting.

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