Welcoming a newborn baby into the family brings with it overwhelming feelings of joy, but also a need for financial adjustment. You’ll need to prepare to live on maternity pay while paying for an extra body — and recent research suggests raising a child to the age of 18 costs couples .
is an essential part of preparing for the arrival of a baby. With such a wealth of baby products out there it can be tempting to splash out on everything, especially if it’s your first. It’s important that you budget carefully, so you know what you can afford and weigh up what items you actually need against what it would be nice to have.
Here are four essential areas to get you started.
First, you’ll need clothes to keep your baby warm and comfortable. Start with several all-in-one suits to keep them covered up for the first few months, plus a few vests and cardigans to help them cope with the cold.
When you’re out and about, a soft, warm hat is a good idea, unless the weather is hot, and you may want to add a thicker all-in-one suit to the list to keep them cosy. While it may be tempting to kit your baby out in the best brands, bear in mind that they’ll grow out of their clothes fast and are likely to make a mess of them along the way too.
It may not be glamorous, but you could be changing your baby’s nappy around 10 times a day in the first few months. It’s a big initial investment to get started with reusable cloth nappies but will save you money in the long run. It’s common for supermarkets to run offers on disposable nappies, so it’s worth stocking up where you can.
Whether you want to invest in nappy sacks and a nappy bin too depends on your personal preference. It’s perfectly acceptable to put nappies in your normal bin as they are, just remember that it won’t always be that easy to get there straight away. Many councils are now offering a separate nappy waste collection area. Check your local council and sign up to this service if needed.
Getting your baby off to sleep can be one of the most challenging tasks of parenthood, but that doesn’t mean it has to cost a fortune. You’ll need a Moses basket, crib or cot, but, again, your baby will grow out of it fast, so there’s no point in blowing your budget.
You will also need to buy a new mattress, sheets and blankets. Shop around for a good deal, but don’t try not to splash out on anything you wouldn’t be comfortable with your little one having an accident in.
The baby travel equipment you invest in will depend on where you want to take them and how you plan to get around. You could opt for a backpack-style baby carrier, a pram and a rear-facing car seat, or just the items you know you’ll definitely use.
Your pram will need a cover to shade your baby from rain and sun, while sun blinds are useful for the car in the summer. Prams in particular, can get expensive, so see if you can pick one up second–hand on online marketplace websites or in your local area.
What’s on your list? With all your essentials in place, you’ll be able to sit back and eagerly anticipate your little person’s arrival.