What would you say were ESSENTIALS for having a baby?

in MoneySaving Mums
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Not a first time Mum, but a while since I've had a baby and just had a complete surprise that we're expecting.....

Financially, I'm determined to do this without buying all the extra "stuff" that babies really don't need, so wondering what your essential buys were with your babies? Did anyone go really minimal?

There seem to be so many different products I didn't have with my children, and it's really confusing! :(

Thanks in advance :)
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  • edited 15 June 2016 at 8:56PM
    questionssquestionss Forumite
    322 Posts
    edited 15 June 2016 at 8:56PM
    nappies, vests, sleepsuits, muslins, hat depending on time of year, cardi

    Decent sling/baby carrier and/or a buggy/pram if you want one. Car seat

    Somewhere to sleep - Moses/cot etc don't need Moses if you have space for a cot where the baby first sleeps. Don't need either the if you plan to cosleep.

    Comfy blanket/playmat to put them down on.

    Details of support you might need - breastfeeding support, local children's centre etc

    This is pretty much all I had with my three, no buggy till about 3months, i did buy a basic bouncy chair thing after a few weeks.

    You might want Some sort of formula/bottles/steriliser if you don't plan to breastfeed or are concerned about having a back up & don't live near late night/24hr shops
  • questionssquestionss Forumite
    322 Posts
    I forgot baby sleeping bags - so much easier than blankets. I used them straight away as I have big babies. I bought them on eBay in bundles for a few quid instead of £15each
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Cotton wool and a small bowl to fill with water for cleaning posterior when changing nappies. Or you can use odd bits of muslin if you don't mind the washing ...

    A roll of j-cloths is jolly handy as they get a bit older: once you are weaning, wipe baby's face and hands with damp j-cloth, wipe all mucky surfaces with damp j-cloth, wipe floor with damp j-cloth, throw j-cloth into washing machine / laundry basket. When j-cloth becomes more holes than cloth, throw away.

    I'm sure it will all come flooding back, but those are my 'minimalist' suggestions.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • supkisupki Forumite
    122 Posts
    OH and I just found out last week we too are expecting. total shock. first baby so no idea where to start. But have been looking on ebay for prams and have found travel systems for under £50. waiting to announce at 12 weeks to see how many friends offer their unwanted kids clothes and other items. wish us lucc.
  • gayleygoogayleygoo Forumite
    816 Posts
    If you didn't need the "new" gadgets with your other childre, then you probably don't need them now :)

    I found cloth nappies and washable wipes to be a wonderful way of moneysaving, and far less impact on the environment. Many people sell them on when they've finished with them (there are FB groups that offer them) so you don't even have to spend a small fortune up front.

    A sling is very handy too. Don't get one of those crappy Baby Bjorn ones though, they're not comfy, baby doesn't sit in the right position and anyone I've ever known has used them has hated them! Mei-tais, wraps and buckle carriers are great.

    We got baby no3's cot and highchair from Ikea - cheap and practical. A breast-pump and maybe a couple of bottles are good if you plan to breastfeed. Aside from that, check out what friends who have children might have in their attic and be quite willing to give/lend you :)

    Pram - potentially a huge cost if you are into brands. I see so many mums with prams that I know cost more than our car :rotfl: which is fine if you can afford it, but my first one was a £100 travel system, and the second was a half-price M&P pram that we reused for the third baby.

    For the car seat, if you can get one with an Isofix base, they are really worth it. I got our car seat and base half price in a sale, and while I may have been reluctant to pay full price it is great not having to deal with seatbelt straps every time you go out.

    One Love, One Life, Let's Get Together and Be Alright :)

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  • anotheruseranotheruser Forumite
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    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Essentials?

    A fertilised egg :P

    It's a subjective question as different people think different things are essential (EG: Some people think Sky TV is an essential when moving house!).

    2nd poster has covered the basics that I agree with.
    If I don't provide specifics to a question, don't ask for them in your answer.
    When I want specific answers, I'll provide the information.
  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
    11.6K Posts
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    Carseat - the hospital may not let you out without one.

    Cot - doubles as sleep space & storage for a while.
    cot sheets (feel free to cut up boil washed charity shop finds)
    cellular &/or fleece blankets (check market stalls for fleece by the metre - does it *matter* if little 'un sleeps under John Deere logo'ed fleece? That they sleep was my priority, & then that I could wash & dry the bedding easily.)
    If baby seeping bags are available, grab them - massive step forward, but if not, sheets & blankets Still Work.
    For sleeping elsewhere, you may want a Moses basket, or you may find a drawer lined with a blanket & then bedlinen as usual works fine. (Our holiday alternative, & baby slept fine, so did we. May raise eyebrows with visitors - but do not let them dictate unless they are also Paying.)

    Clothing - depends on your storage but wherever possible go for machine wash, easy to dry, ironing strictly optional. Local facebook groups apparently sell in handy bundles, and I'll guess there may remain a few leftovers from previous offspring?
    You may want a couple of "smart" outfits & weather proofing for going out/baby clinic but then again you may not have the oomph to be unduly fussed. It's much more MS to have the young 'un in retro gear (aka clean second hand) anyway.

    Feeding - were you able to breastfeed last time? Will your family support you if you revise this learned skill this time? As if emphatically not, then steriliser, bottles & all the rest of the tackle (but you can teach your older offspring to fill & boil a kettle?)

    Nappies - whatever you used last time will almost certainly still work. Stick with the tried & trusted!

    Bathing - put bigger child in bath. Have them hold baby while you wash. Eventually plan to delegate - hand them baby, put your feet up, expect to see them both washed & clean in 20 minutes. Possibly include partner/sensible relatives as umpire/supervisory depending on age of children.

    Getting around - if you've other small children, a pram that will allow another child to sit is helpful but then someone has to walk not ride. You may as well get one that ships baby & shopping, or get right up to speed on internet shopping so you can the essentials delivered at a handy time with minimal clicks.

    Above all, carefully trained siblings can be worth their weight in rubies. They can & will learn by example how to bath a baby, how to change a nappy, how to load & unload the washing machine, how to boil the kettle & they may even figure how to use a washing line. Older as in in-secondary-school children can be expected to learn to make tea & coffee, grill fish fingers & possibly start online orders for supermarket deliveries, but start training them promptly & supervise/control the payment stage.

    I of course have hopes your partner will be pulling their weight too, but in coaching the young you may accidentally remind the old....

    Sign up for all the mum & baby stuff, make as much use of the coupons & vouchers as your local supermarket's policies permit & compost the rest. You Do Not Need All The "Stuff" Advertised!

    All the very best of luck!
  • Carseat - the hospital may not let you out without one.

    Feeding - were you able to breastfeed last time? Will your family support you if you revise this learned skill this time? As if emphatically not, then steriliser, bottles & all the rest of the tackle (but you can teach your older offspring to fill & boil a kettle?)

    Nappies - whatever you used last time will almost certainly still work. Stick with the tried & trusted!

    Getting around - if you've other small children, a pram that will allow another child to sit is helpful but then someone has to walk not ride. You may as well get one that ships baby & shopping, or get right up to speed on internet shopping so you can the essentials delivered at a handy time with minimal clicks.

    Above all, carefully trained siblings can be worth their weight in rubies. They can & will learn by example how to bath a baby, how to change a nappy, how to load & unload the washing machine, how to boil the kettle & they may even figure how to use a washing line. Older as in in-secondary-school children can be expected to learn to make tea & coffee, grill fish fingers & possibly start online orders for supermarket deliveries, but start training them promptly & supervise/control the payment stage.

    I of course have hopes your partner will be pulling their weight too, but in coaching the young you may accidentally remind the old....

    Sign up for all the mum & baby stuff, make as much use of the coupons & vouchers as your local supermarket's policies permit & compost the rest. You Do Not Need All The "Stuff" Advertised!

    All the very best of luck!

    I will be attempting breastfeeding, even though I bottle fed my two other children, I feel as though it's worth a go. It may or may not stick, but the health benefits to the baby and the financial benefits to my wallet :rotfl: have helped me reach this decision.

    My youngest is 5, nearly 6, and we haven't had any sort of buggy for about three years. However, I may need to invest in a buggy board as I have a feeling she'll want to hop on ;) I'll wait and see though first if that happens....

    I'll definitely be doing the second hand route for everything (except cot/moses basket mattress'), and have started keeping an eye out at Boot sales/charity shops/fetes etc. I may even keep a little diary, to see just how cheap I can do it :rotfl:

    Sadly, I've got rid of 99% of my childrens old baby stuff, as I hate clutter, so have passed clothes on to the Mums up the School, and donated my old Quinny to charity etc. But at least it helped out someone in need :)

    Thanks for all the fab tips - completely agree that the more complicated a gadget is, often times a baby doesn't need it xx
    CC #1 = £0/£200.
    OVERDRAFT = £0/£400.
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE = £4/£200.
  • thebigboshthebigbosh Forumite
    298 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    not really essential but we found (and still do) it really useful to set up changing stations upstairs and downstairs in the lounge. So bought an additional changing mat, some nappies and wipes.
    School is important, but Rugby is importanter.
  • Muslins. Muslins EVERYWHERE. Approximately 100 should do it.

    Then...

    Clothes
    Nappies/wipes (and a bucket and mesh bag, if cloth's your thing)
    Something for the baby to sleep in (you could always go straight for a big cot to save money; if you're looking at a co-sleeper then you can take the side off a cotbed and lay it alongside your bed right from the off. I would highly recommend this if you're breastfeeding as it means you won't need to get out of bed in the night!)
    Bedding/baby sleeping bags
    Something to tote the baby around in (buggy/sling, whatever)
    Car seat
    Somewhere to put the baby, like a bouncy chair
    Changing mat
    Small toys

    And... that is about it. Stuff like highchairs etc will obv come later.

    For you, I would stay stock up on snacks, painkillers (hopefully you won't need them, but you can never be sure), more maternity pads than you'd ever think necessary, and same for breast pads if you're breastfeeding. You can always pass them on to someone else in need if you do buy too many.
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