Congratulations! You have a sweet little bundle of joy on the way! You are probably looking around at the overwhelming number of baby products around and feeling like you just don’t know what to buy, what you will actually need, and how to afford it all!
Never fear- we’ve put together some tips that can help you get the very best deals on essential baby items, so that you are well equipped when the big day arrives.
Prepare in advance
Get together a list of items that you think you might need… and then find a few seasoned parents and run it past them. Chances are they will be able to give you some fantastic tips on what you will find invaluable, and what you will probably never even use.
Don’t have any friends or family with kids? No problem. There are a huge number of online parenting forums and groups where you can ask for advice and tips. You could also ask your midwife for advice at your checkups if you feel comfortable enough, or take antenatal classes.
Once you have your list together you can start to slowly collect items well in advance, so that you aren’t rushing around at the last minute.
Plan for reaching distance
Some lucky parents end up with great sleepers- the babies that sleep through a thunderstorm, fall asleep on their own, and just don’t seem to be bothered by much of anything.
Some parents get babies that are noise sensitive, more unsettled, and where actually getting them to fall asleep and then STAY asleep seems like an impossible task.
Regardless of whether you have a great sleeper or a sensitive one, all new babies will be waking up at least a few times a night to feed at the start. This, in combination with the physical toll that pregnancy and having a baby takes on your body, means one thing- you’ll be grateful for rest.
Whether this is snoozing yourself, or just being able to sit down, you’ll be eternally grateful for having planned ahead in order to get the most rest that you can. Think reaching distance.
This could mean purchasing duplicates so that they are in easy reaching distance. For example, you might choose to set up one change table in the baby room upstairs, and one in the living room. Having two feeding stations complete with burp cloths, pillows, water, snacks, and spare clothes for you and the baby etc.
Consider gently used second hand items
Often brand new baby gear can be incredibly expensive. But unlike other items, baby goods are often only used for a short duration, meaning that you can buy great quality near new items for a fraction of the price.
For example, because babies grow so quickly (and people seem to love giving cute baby outfits as gifts), you can often grab second hand baby clothes that may have only been worn once or twice and look brand new.
Anything washable such as baby carriers, bed linen and bumpers, booties, pram inserts, and fabric toys that can be thrown into the washing machine are good choices for buying second hand.
Some items should be bought new however for safety reasons, such as car seats. So that’s where bargain hunting can come into play.
Many major baby stores offer price matching policies, which includes online items. So shop around, find the very best price on items, watch and wait for sales, and make sure that you aren’t paying full price just because you’ve left things until the last minute.
Many baby stores will offer loyalty cards with an associated discount on purchases, a discount code for joining a mailing list, and/or online discount codes. Sometimes you can even use a combination of these. You might even be able to use them on top of a price match depending where you shop and the store policies.
Buy in bulk
There are some things that you are just going to need a lot of, such as nappies and wipes. If you can grab multiples when you notice they are on sale, you are going to save big in the long run.
Most places will allow you to exchange unopened boxes of nappies for different sizes, for example if your baby outgrows newborn nappies and needs the next size up you can simply swap them over.
Expect to not want to cook
When you have a new baby, the last thing you will be wanting to do is prepare labour intensive meals. To avoid blowing your budget in ordering takeaway all the time, get prepared in advance and stock up your freezer with healthy meals you can heat and eat.
If you try to cook a little extra when you make your meals before your due date, you can simply freeze the leftovers. You’ll then be sure that you are getting in healthy and nutritious food that will be very convenient at the time.
Have an emergency budget
Put together an emergency stash of funds for whatever you may need to grab after the baby is born that you weren’t expecting. A baby swing, blackout blinds for a light sensitive sleeper, an electric pump, a cot wedge for a reflux baby, a different carrier, a specialist appointment, a co-sleeper… all things that you didn’t know if you would need but later find that you do.
Having a bit of money saved up means you can quickly go grab any items that will make your life easier without worrying about how to pay for them.
Your little one will only be little for a short while, so enjoy the little moments. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself permission to do whatever works for you and your baby, and makes the process more enjoyable! Best of luck!