Little ones grow up so quickly and you’ll notice that their needs change quickly – they’ll grow out of that romper suit in a matter of weeks and will advance beyond playing with that toy in no time at all. And if you’re buying new items for every stage of your child’s development, the costs soon add up. So, how can you save money – and even get free baby stuff – while bringing up your little one? Here are some ideas…
1 USE HAND-ME-DOWNS
I know some things just don’t work as hand-me-downs (especially things where hygiene plays an important part) but many baby items can be passed on. And I bet you’ll know loads of people who would love to give you a bag of goodies when you need it. So, ask around your friends and members of the family who already have children.
Ideally, the best people to ask are those with children who are 6-months to 2-years older than your own child. That way, it’s likely that they’ll still have some of the items that are suitable for the age group of your baby – any older and they’ll have probably cleared out those tiny coats and toys long ago. Just be sure to thoroughly wash clothing and disinfect toys before using them and organise hand-me-downs in age-order so they’re ready to use at the right time.
2 GET FREE BABY PRODUCTS
Did you know that it’s possible to get freebies for your baby from companies? It’s simply a case of registering online – in fact, you could spend some of your maternity leave bagging some freebies in preparation for your youngster’s arrival. You can try free samples of baby products by browsing the suppliers on Your Baby Club UK, which gives you a chance to try out products from top baby brands free of charge including wipes, nappies, and even toys and books.
The freebies, vouchers, discounts and coupons are already out there – it’s just a chase of knowing where to look for them! If you’re in the US, there’s also an international version of the site where you can get discounts and free baby stuff in American too. I think this would be useful for finding out what works best for you and your baby before you stock up.
3 DECORATING THE NURSERY
While you’ll probably be getting brand new baby essentials such as the cot and mattress, there are still many items of furniture that you won’t need to buy new – and can make some savings in the process. For example, I’ve seen just how much little wardrobes and chests of drawers cost so perhaps you could look on your local Facebook selling pages to see if someone is having a clear out or ask around your friends.
But, also, you don’t need to buy baby-specific versions of storage furniture. Instead you could use ‘normal’ drawers and wardrobes, as long as the furniture is in good condition, is safe to use with no sharp parts and is strongly secured to the walls – all of my furniture is bracketed to the walls, just to be safe. Then you can add cupboard latches and drawer locks to keep little fingers out of them. If you need to upcycle handed-down furniture or paint the walls of the nursery, be sure to choose durable baby-safe, environmentally-friendly paints.
4 BABY-FRIENDLY FINANCES
It’s important to have your finances in order when your little one comes along, as that’s one less thing to worry about when you’re dealing with care and night feeds etc. Try to save as much as you can before they’re born and don’t forget to check the details of your maternity leave or shared parental leave so that you can factor in any statutory payments when you’re planning your budget.
Likewise, knowing how much child benefit or tax credits you’ll receive will help you to plan and, if you’re already getting certain benefits, there’s a maternity grant you could claim if you’re having your first child. Check the Government’s financial help if you have children page to see what you could be entitled to – including covering future costs like childcare and transport to school. If you know what kind of income you’re working with, you can draw up a budget that still allows you to save money while bringing up your little one.
Let me know any other ideas for cutting costs in the comments below. What hand-me-downs did you get and how did you save money when your little one arrived? It would be great to hear your thrifty tips!
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