How to Have a Baby on a Budget?

When we found out we were pregnant we decided that we would have the baby on a budget.  Not a quantifiable one but we decided that we were not going to go out and buy everything and anything for him brand new.   We are very conscious of the material world and often put the following questions against our intended purchases;

Do we want it?

Do we need it?

Will our lives be better off with it?

Can we make do without it?

Can we make it?

If we can make it through all the questions positively then we’ll go ahead and buy but it doesn’t always work!

When attempting the baby on a budget we had to look at our options.   We were quite lucky and had a friend who gave us a lot of stuff, but we also hit the charity shops, ebay, Facebook Sell & Seek, Freecycle and Table Top Sales.

Probably our best tip is, don’t rush to buy it, chances are you won’t need it and we might get it elsewhere cheaper.

I trawled the internet to come up with a definitive baby list of things that people say you need for a baby.   I combined, edited and listed my heart out!  You can download a blank copy of BABY LIST here, but read on to find out my thoughts on it first!

B = Bought F = Friends N = Not Buying G = Gift M= Made

MUM TO BE

 In the baby growing phase.
Maternity Support Bra (2-3)    I just made do with my own bras, I didn’t suffer.
Maternity Trousers/Jeans B  An eBay purchase, bought 2 and rotated.
Maternity Tops B  I bought a few of these, from ASDA, eBay and a few others
Maternity Dress B  I wish I hadn’t bothered buying a dress, I wore it once and felt so fat in it that it wasn’t worth it!
Swimsuit F When am I actually going to go swimming! A friend gave us theirs, I didn’t go swimming!
Stretch Mark Cream G  My Mum bought us some Bio Oil.  It didn’t work, I’m all striped up for life!
Pregnancy Book B  I bought Day-by-day Pregnancy Book , its a good book for seeing the size of the baby but I didnt need to have the book!

HOSPITAL CHECKLIST 1-2 Days

 In the Hospital

Hospital Bag

 No need to buy a bag, I own a bag!
Nursing Nightwear x 2 B  I did buy myself some new Primark PJ’s
Dressing Gown N I Don’t do dressing gowns so why buy one  I have a Warm jumper!!
Slippers N  I own slippers
Comfy cotton briefs B I did deem this necessary and a larger size & black
Maternity san Towels x 48 B  I did buy the maternity ones but they were comfy, I reverted to normal sanitary towels within a day of getting home
Nursing Bras x 2 B  I found some in Aldi but did revert to Marks & Spencers after
Breast Pads x 40 N I considered making some? I did however go and buy some in the end. Home Bargains brand ended up being the best and cheap
Toiletries / Hairbrush N  All stuff I own at home, got packed.
Towel N  I own towels not buying – didn’t need them in the hospital
Newborn gentle wipes Cotton Wool & Water… They advise not to use wipes!
Cotton Wool B  Yes I bought some!
Nappies approx. 10 B  Yes I bought some, totally new experience for me!
Baby bodysuits x 2 F  I totally took the wrong sizes to the hospital
Baby sleep suits x 2 F  Ditto
Baby Blanket x 1 M  Oh, yes I made my own blankets!
Infant Car Seat F  Kindly donated and not been in an accident!
Mum – Comfy clothes to go home in N  I own clothes, just took some track suit bottoms and a Tshirt
Massage Oil  N decided not to take or buy ever!
TENS machine  N I know it may help but I didn’t need it in the end!
Birthing plan and notes  On the list as a reminder to take them! I never made a plan **Sheepish**
Coins/Money for Carpark N Our hospital has a card machine now, no coins needed!
Mobile & Charger with MP3s & ears N I took my charger and mobile!  Did suggest Dave might want the Radio but we didn’t need it as I laboured quickly!
Drinks & snacks N I asked Dave to make sure I had snacks. They got bought and he took them away again! Numpty!

BABY CLOTHES 1st 2-3 months

Sleepsuits 6-8 F  I never did work out what the difference was between a sleep suit and a body suit!
Vests x 4 F  I had about 30!
Body Suits 6-8 F  I figured they were all the same anyway!
Sun hat F  I think I had one of these
Soft cotton hats x 2 F  Definitely did these!
Cardigan x 2 F  More Jumper than cardigan
Socks x2 pair F  We got given loads of socks in the end!
Scratch mitts x2 pair F  Some babies might like scratch mits, the Robot didn’t!
Jacket/pram suit WTF? I didn’t know what this was so didn’t bother!
Day wear outfit 3-4 F  We got given so many clothes he hardly wore any!
Shawl My son in a shawl, eh no! Blankets will do!

I think I purchased more stuff for myself in the form of clothes than I did for the baby!!

OUT & ABOUT

 Got to get out with the baby!
Pram / Push chair (from birth) N I was adamant I was carrying the Robot, I succeeded.  We did get a free and old Jogger buggy and my Dad insisted on buying a pushchair but both remained folded and away for many weeks!
Infant car seat F  As above we were given this
Child view Mirror  F Do we really need this – We got given one in the end and it’s handy
Changing bag M I insisted on making one or I use a rucksack. My Made one keeps all my washable nappy stuff in now!
Isofix car seat base F  To go with the car seat
Infant insert carbiofix N  Didn’t buy one
Baby sling or carrier Hired a Close Caboo from the Sling Library
Travel Cot F Got given one from Daves Sister
Sun blinds  N Try and make?  Still don’t own any to this day!

SLEEP TIME

 Yes, I believed that the baby would sleep!
Mosses Basket F  Got given this, great condition!
Cot or Cot bed & Matress B I did prefer a Cot Bed but found a cot in a charity shop. There is no rush on getting as planned on using mosses basket.
Waterproof Mattress Cover Not a high priority?
Fitted Mattress sheet x4 F Again thank you friends!
Flat Sheets x 4 M I made some out of old sheets! Still haven’t used them!
Blankets 2-3 including cotton cellular B  I bought some Aldi cellular blankets and made the rest
Changing unit or cot top changer mat M Didn’t want a changing unit, but made some mats out of an old towel or two. Still use them now, they are great as they just go in wash if pooped on!
Baby listening monitor  Didn’t rush to buy this and bought at about 4 months when we left him alone to sleep. Bought a BT one off Amazon
Room thermometer  N  Do we really need this!
Nappy Pail and lid or nappy system A bin?
Wardrobe We never did buy nursery equipment
Chest of drawers Mum gave us these when we decorated his room at 6 months!
Cot mobile F I wasn’t going to buy one, got given two!
Swaddling blanket See cotton cellular blanket above
Sleeping bags x 2 F  We got given these, they are great!
Blackout blind M Dave made shutters in the bedroom!
Night light  N  We have a bedside lamp!
Nursing Chair N No room in the house, will just have to sit on the bed!

Breast Feeding

 I was adamant I wanted to breastfeed!
Nursing Bras x 3 In hospital bag
Easy opening nightwear In hospital bag
Breast pads – disposable / reusable In hospital bag
Muslin squares x 20  B Getting quite addicted to Aldi’s Muslin squares, they have a new design out at every baby event!
BF Support Pillow M Oh yes I decided to make this, I made it too small and resorted using a blanket!
Nursing Tops  B  I bought these from a variety of places mainly full price
Breast Pump  N Waited to see if we needed, didn’t.
Breast Milk Storage Bags  N Didn’t need
Bottles/steriliser  N Didn’t need
Soothers/dummies G Got given some of these but we never needed them
Nipple cream / shields / Shells  B Mum said she would buy me some, but failed, I bought Lanishoe in the early days!

HALF WAY POINT HONEST

  

WEANING (6 Months)

 We bought most the weaning stuff at about 5 months
High Chair F  We were given this, it looked really old and scrappy but it’s the best!
Larger bibs  B Aldi long arm bibs are the best
Bowls  B Charity shop find
Spoons  B ASDA baby isle cheapy
Beakers B Tesco buy
Soothing teethers x 3 for 1st teeth  B I bought 1 from Boots in desperation but it turns out that the Robot just chews anything!
Storage pots  B To store what?  BLW all the way and I haven’t work out what to store yet!!
Splash mat Have you seen our carpet?  We have now bought some builders sticky back plastic to stick to the floor under the chair.
Bumbo Baby Seat Just don’t know what this is! I do now though, didn’t need
Food Blender Really? I have a hand blender
Weaning Guide Book Internet? I did buy GillRapley Baby Weaning in the end!

Bath and Change Time

 Bath time is the best!
Disposable/reusable nappies  F My friend very kindly gave us her stash to try out, and they are great
Nappy sacks and wipes G  We got given some of these and are still on the same packed 9 months on!
Changing Mat M  I made a change mat out of a towel!
Top n Tail Bowl Seriously, they make these things?  A bowl worked wonders
Baby Sponge and face cloths B  We ended up buying Cheeky Wipes, best investment ever!
Non Slip bath mat Think we’ll cope!
Baby towels F G We got given towels yay! new and old but would have just used our towels if not!
Cuddle and dry robes  Really?
Baby tooth brush & paste  B Didn’t get this until about 7 months when the teeth arrived
Baby nail scissors  B  Essential buy from the local chemist
Baby hairbrush and comb For a boy?
Baby bath F  This would have been crossed off but we were given one
Bath thermometer Didn’t need this at all!
Nappy cream  B Bought after the baby arrived
Bath support  Don’t need this!
Bath Toys Buy it later – must buy it soon!
Baby toiletries I just don’t know when we will need these! We’re still on water!

TIME TO PLAY BIRTH – 6m+

 Oh yes Play Time!
Baby activity gym G I had plans to make my own, but my friends bought it for me for a baby present!
Play Mat for tummy time Use the activity gym mat!
Lightweight rattles  G  We got lots given to us
Soft teddies/toys  G  Again lots given, don’t buy these
Baby books with mirror/texture  G  Got given again
Bouncy cradle or swing F  Bouncy bouncy was great for baby!
Rattle and teething toy  All above!
Pram/push chair toys  On the list above!
Light & musical toys  Haven’t gone out of my way to buy!

Home Safety

 Most of this we are thinking of buying soon
Safety Gates  Buying shortly
Socket covers N  We live in an old house. All our sockets have plugs in!
Cupboard catches N  Taking the risk and probably don’t need!
Harness/reins  M  Might have a go at making these!
Fire guard  B  Found this in a charity shop for £3!
Medical thermometer  B  Bought from the chemist but only used once so far cheapo!
Humidifier  N  Still not sure we need!
Corner cushion protectors  N  Not buying these but we’ll see when the Robot toddles!
Play pen  N  Travel cot will have it’s uses!

I hadn’t realised how big my list was until I got going with this post.  The biggest piece of advice I can give is have a think, does your baby really need this?  Can we make do without it?  What did they do 100 years ago?  Wait until baby arrives to see if you need it!

Look in the charity shops, go to NCT and table top baby sales, eBay and if you have friends with babies see if they have any little bits they could send your way.  Good luck and enjoy trying to have a baby on a budget!

Do you have any other tips or hints to add to this?  Why not comment and let others know.  If I go for baby two it might be handy for me too!

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15 Comments

  1. Wow what big list!! It is amazing all the things that you need when you have a baby. With my second daughter we decided to have almost everything second hand as we knew it would not worth it getting all new again! We used Ebay, Gumtree or Amazon. We got great bargains there. Most of the clothes that my daughter uses are from her older sister so we didn’t get crazy with clothes. This list is really useful and helpful. Thanks for sharing, #marmondays
    A Moment With Franca recently posted…Hatch Cards – Augmented Reality Greetings CardsMy Profile

  2. Wow!!!!!!!! This is amazing, and I bet you are very glad that you put so much thought into it! I wish I had seen something like this before shopping for baby number one. Well, correction, I wish I had one to show my husband…! He downloaded an app of all the things that were deemed ‘essential’ for a newborn. Most of it I hadn’t even heard of, and told him that we’d buy some absolute basics, and see what we actually needed once the baby was here. But he insisted on systematically going through the list, and getting absolutely everything on it-BRAND NEW!!!!!! I was horrified, but he was literally unstoppable. And of course, most of it was a total waste of money. The only thing I will say, is that I loved our baby bath. Baby one was born in the dead of winter, and our very old house is very hard to heat, and the bathrooms especially are sooooo cold. So I would light the fire, and enjoy bathing him in the baby bath in front of the fire! I also wanted to baby wear, but after 10 minutes or so, I would get chronic back and shoulder pain, so gave this up in favour of a pushchair. Our Mamas and Papas Sola was amazing-I loved it from the start, and we still use it now, just with a buggy board on the back for the eldest! I never owned one single item of maternity clothing-that was the one element of control I had over the situation! I wore leggings and loose tops for the whole time!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink!

    1. isntitpretty

      Oh wow, it’s not often you hear the man getting wholeheartedly involved in baby purchases! That’s great that he wanted too! I was put mostly in charge of all purchases, when the cot appeared in the charity shop I did send him to buy it and carry it home though!! It’s great you love your buggy. I wonder what I’ll do if there is a baby number 2 but I’m sure I’ll cope whatever I do!

  3. This is a really great list! And it’s also great that you got so many things gifted! I don’t have children yet, and not necessarily saying I’m going to do things on a budget, but it makes total sense to wait, you don’t need to rush out and buy everything at once… Half of the stuff you will never use, and the other half will be gifted!… I have learnt that lesson from friends and family over the years 🙂
    When you say you carried him everywhere, what did you mean? Wasit a sling that carried him, or you carried himin your arms? xxx #BigPinkLink
    SassySassy recently posted…Happy Diaries #3My Profile

  4. You’ve done so well – it is so true that it’s remarkable how much stuff you need, it all mounts up so quickly. I bought so many things that we didn’t end up needing, despite early good habits in not buying too much. In Emma’s early months I went a bit nuts buying second hand clothes for her and then our family bought us a shedload anyway! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam great to have you xx
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…What I’ve Loved Reading This Week – 9th September 2016My Profile

  5. Pingback: Wearing my Baby - My Story - two tiny hands

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