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First-time Mum & Dad - any tips for money-saving?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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Shoxt3rShoxt3r Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
Hi all,

So my wife and myself are due to be first-time parents and looking at getting things together for the baby's arrival (all being well!) in September.

We've done the usual things like putting together a list of essential things we'll only need to get us going and also been in touch with friends who have kindly offered to provide us with some bits like a baby bath. We'll then look at getting anything else nearer the time or post-birth.

After looking on eBay and Gumtree we've found a few potential travel systems and cots, and looking at various sites to get advice on the best ones to go for. The I-Size or Isofix systems seem to be the easiest and most secure and both are supported by our car.

However, does anyone have any tips on sites they've found useful when looking for reviews and general advice? We're already signed up for Bounty but haven't been getting much from them in terms of vouchers that we'd find useful - I guess it's all a bit early anyway?

Thanks in advance!
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Replies

  • Dime_BarDime_Bar Forumite
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    First bit of advice.

    Do not buy a second hand car seat or isofix base. Yiu do not know if they have been in a crash etc. It's not worth the savings.

    That being said other than mattresses then I would get anything second hand.

    We find Facebook selling pages the best.
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  • hazyjohazyjo Forumite
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    Dime_Bar wrote: »
    Do not buy a second hand car seat or isofix base. Yiu do not know if they have been in a crash etc. It's not worth the savings.

    That being said other than mattresses then I would get anything second hand.
    Totally agree. You also don't know what countries they may have originated from and what their safety requirements are. Best avoided. Cots can also be one to be careful of when it comes to safety standards so please shop carefully if online. (Prob loads of other things that haven't come to the front of my mind too!)
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  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    I agree with the above - safety matters more than cost.

    Blankets, clothes, bibs, etc can be washed. Plastics such as bath, baby box, toys, can all be wiped down with Milton. Local FB pages often have people wanting to give away baby items, and it can save a fortune.

    Friends will want to buy clothes, so don't get too many to start with. Bigger babies might not fit into newborn size anyway - my daughter was over 9lbs, and didn't wear newborn clothing. Some friends will also buy toiletries, so don't buy too many. Not all toiletries suit all babies anyway.

    Even if hoping to breastfeed, it's worth having a few bottles in. An electric or microwave steriliser is much easier than a cold water system, but again, think of getting second hand.

    My daughter has just had her second baby. Some of her most useful items have been:
    * electric steriliser
    * small pots, including one with three compartments desgned to carry milk powder. It means that she can make up bottle easily when she is out - she just takes bottles with boiled, cooled water with her
    * anti-colic bottles - my granddaughter was a very windy baby, but the anti-colic bottles helped
    * muslin cloths - these can be used for so many things, and they wash and dry easily. You can drape over your shoulder when breastfeeding, mop up sick, use as an emergency changing mat, etc. She had a pack of four from Aldi, and they are now on the second baby even though they have been well used.

    Obviously she has the car seat, pram, cot, clothes etc as well. She did have a microwave steriliser, but whilst it fitted in my microwave, it didn't fit in hers.
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Forumite
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    hazyjo wrote: »
    Totally agree. You also don't know what countries they may have originated from and what their safety requirements are. Best avoided. Cots can also be one to be careful of when it comes to safety standards so please shop carefully if online. (Prob loads of other things that haven't come to the front of my mind too!)

    Hmm that's a good point. And I guess there is no true way of knowing if it's been in an accident or not; it would just be taking a blind chance. I suppose that pushchairs etc would be a different story though, so we could at least save some money by getting that second hand and finding a suitable car seat that will fit?

    We've looked at Ikea's offering of cots and also Mothercare and have found some nearly-new examples on eBay which are close by (saving on postage!) so I assume they would be fine?

    I think we would probably end up getting things like blankets, bibs etc. ourselves from the high street/online simply because I'm unsure about reusing second-hand ones - clothes would likely be bought by relatives and friends however.

    We had a thought about getting a steriliser anyway so we've got it as a back-up, and also to allow me to bond with the baby.

    Thanks very much for the list kingfisherblue!

    Are there any voucher or other savings sites that people have found useful when getting baby things? Or any newsletters etc. that regularly provide codes and useful information? As I say we're already signed up with Bounty but they don't offer a huge amount - we're signed up with the Boots Parenting Club but again I'm dubious of how useful it is...

    Thanks!
  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
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    I would only get second hand car seats of someone you actually know and trust... (lots of dishonest people out there.)

    As for anything else, particularly clothes, second hand on Facebook.

    Second hand cots are fine, but I would perhaps get a new mattress.

    Babies don't really need much.

    Any pushchair that lies flat is fine. Do NOT be tempted to splash out on a travel system where you can click the car seat onto the pram. Babies should not be out and about in a car seat; they need to lie flat in a pram.
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  • Munchkin84Munchkin84 Forumite
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    The supermarkets and boots have their baby events starting next week.
    Cheap nappies are as good if not better than pampers (they have a funny smell).
    Sign up to Emma’s diary as well as bounty for free gifts and vouchers.
    I used a site called online4baby and got our travel system for almost half the price of the exact same thing in mothercare.
    You can create an amazon baby wish list and I think you get £5 off your first purchase of £20 or more.
    And definitely use Facebook marketplace for bits.
  • DrawingalineDrawingaline Forumite
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    New mattress and new car seat. Everything else second hand.

    I used cloth nappies for my four, I went with the traditional Terry squares and saved a fortune. However the newer shaped ones can sometimes not suit certain body shapes. Have a look to see if there is a nappy library in your local area if you decide to give them a try. You basically pay a small deposit to take some to try, then return and get the deposit back. Means you can try a variety and find the type that suits.

    Also same if you want a sling or carrier. I helped run a local sling library for a time and we had a vast variety of different types to chose from. Again you can hire for a week to see which suits you and the baby best.
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  • NeverendingDMPNeverendingDMP Forumite
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    Congratulations enjoy the journey and have lots of fun with the little person when they arrive xx

    I'd sign up to boots aldi asda etc they all have baby clubs offering discounts. Get some nappies for the hospital bag nearer the time but try different brands and dont buy loads of the tiny ones as they grow quick :)

    Big purchases such as a matress, moses basket matress and car seat need to be new if you can afford. If you have a bigger baby - i know you cant plan this 'then the moses basket will only last 4-8 weeks so consider how much you want to pay and if you want to bother or go straight in a cot. The initial clothes will get covered in poop sick and milk -sorry- so vests sleepsuits etc from a supermarket not high end shops is sufficient. Also if you are able to say then perhaps ask people to buy 3-6 6-9 months clothes as this is when finances will start to hurt and you might not have time to shop. Feel free to buy a nice blanket for your pics in the early days but the first 12 weeks are a bit of a misty fog so you wont need full on outfits and shoes if you get my drift x
    I have no intention of starting a breast/formula debate as i have experienced it and discovered what will be will be. My only insight though is to say that formula milk is flippin dear, babies dont always agree with the brand you buy and once they get to 3-4 months a box might last 2-3 days tops. At ten aprox pounds a box its a lot. Your decision is the right decision though xxx

    Another thing is google nct sale to see if you have one near you. Our local nct holds one twice a year but different areas stagger them so you will probably find one somewhere. Its a mass toy and baby sale and to give you an example the first one i went to i left with three or four bin bags full of toys and baby stuff i had picked up and i spent about 30 quid. You normally pay a pound or two.entrance and if it is like my local one if it starts at twelve you need to start to queue at 11.30 but it in my experience it has been so worth it and has been the source of many a christmas present as well in recent years.

    Other things depend on your needs and wants. Baby wipes are amazing things for cleaning stuff so anything plastic or washable is much cheaper second hand.
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  • sheepy21sheepy21 Forumite
    221 posts
    What you must buy new-

    Car seat (and isofix base)
    Mattress

    The rest can be secondhand.
    Pushchairs can all be found in amazing condition secondhand, so definitely do that, but make sure it’s a non smoking household.
    Secondhand cot is also totally fine, though check it’s safe and up to the latest safety standards.
    Look out for bundles of baby clothes, most of it gets worn a handful of times so you can get real bargains with clothes bundles.
    Shop in Aldi! Their nappies are great, as are their wipes and look out for a baby event to get other essentials.

    Bottles and formula can be good to have on standby, however I really wouldn’t recommend you bottle feed the baby to bond with it, in the nicest possible way, you don’t need to feed the baby to bond. If breast feeding, your wife will need a fair amount of time so that the baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion and exclusive breast feeding is best at the beginning to get her milk to come in.
    If you do find you need to formula feed, then 100% buy a perfect prep machine, it was a lifesaver when we had to switch to formula. Again you can get them secondhand, but ask the person selling to take the back cover off so you can see that the pipes are clear.
  • Have a look on local deals on eBay

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/local-ebay-deals/

    I’m due any day now. I paid less than £30 for the pram, (bought a New never used flat pram but for it for £20 as it’s seven years old but you can tell the other bits never been used) bought Moses baskets off there or charity shops, the mixed bundles go for rediculously cheap prices (got 30 items for £10 at one point) but watch several as some go for rediculous prices. I’m going to try and get a cot (as a friend said other day on a post none of their kids settled in a Moses basket and woke me up a bit). Prob will invest in a new mattress though. Car seat will only be used to bring him home as no one I know drives and apparently can’t bring buggy in to pick him up :/

    You’ve got to think that if your in a hotel you’ve got no idea how many people’s slept in them cots etc. They’ll grow out of puke on stuff so often.

    I also did an online shop for all the basic stuff. There’s a good list of what you need on the nhs website

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/what-you-need-for-baby/

    As for the voucher sites - I’ve not signed up for any of them as you’ll find most are just leaflets with odd useful trial bits so an utter waste of time to get them. Only thing that can be useful is the lidl box. I believe you have to pay postage but have heard it is pretty useful
    :T:T :beer: :beer::beer::beer: to the lil one :) :beer::beer::beer:
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