Things to do before baby arrives (and trying to plan for afterwards!)

edited 22 June 2020 at 11:05AM in MoneySaving Mums
25 replies 3.5K views


  • Tracboo13Tracboo13 Forumite
    20 Posts
    10 Posts Name Dropper
    Along with above advice, you’ll be amazed at how much you buy for baby but don’t really use, sign up to Freecycle and check it often as lots of good people put items on there for people to collect for free, most things you can wash and wash until you’re happy, but yes second hand is a good option, I know some people want brand new for baby, I did with no.1, I had got rid of everything by baby no.3 so just looked for best deals everywhere, you can sign up to baby clubs now in supermarkets and boots etc as you get vouchers and good tips too. Closer to the time get your shopping orders done in preparation with few weeks slots booked, it helps not having to attempt the outside world with a newborn! Enjoy every minute but try not to stress if things are not being ticked off your list quickly, you’ll get there eventually! Good luck 
  • justjj_2justjj_2 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Congratulations! I'm a first time mum of a 6month old, and I found that what I'd assume I would need wasn't quite true... 
    1. Sign up for the Bounty packs and Emma's Diary packs - free samples of various things (creams, nappies) and vouchers too. Slightly different contents in different stores, so maybe sign up your partner too. Also the Boots parenting club, again some vouchers for free bits (Child's Farm pack which everyone raves about)!
    2. Ask recent mums you know if they have any hand-me-downs - everyone is desperate to make space once the clothes don't fit! 
    3. Facebook marketplace is also good for used things, I've bought a baby sling and swim shorts for free.
    4. Make some frozen meals for you both for when baby comes, or if you have a relative/friend who wants to help that can be their task! You have no time to cook real food, but you'll need the energy.
    5. For breastfeeding a loose buttoned top and a vest top underneath work well. If you invest in bf clothes, I suggest getting tops that you can layer up with normal clothes. 
    6. Have a list of things you'd like as gifts, for when people ask. My parents got us a pram suit and it was what we needed for our December baby! It can be a bit big as they're all enclosed anyway and it will last longer! Other things for your list might be a baby camera. 
    7. I would try different brands of nappies - you'll get some with the packs I mentioned earlier. It's not just the abosorbancy that's important, but also the shape of the fit. I think some babies have chunkier thighs and some less so!
    8. Snacks for night feeds are a must!
    9. I would see how you feel about work once baby is here. You only get this time once, and it goes so fast. I absolutely thought I would be keen to go back to work, but I'm enjoying watching my daughter grow, and doing different activities with her to develop her muscles and brain! Even now I do not have time to work, so it's worth planning for things if that's the case for you. 
    10. See what your children's centre/council has for parents and babies. Ours has different classes every day (when not in lockdown). All free, and helps to grow your network.

    Hope this helps! 
  • MelanieforumMelanieforum Forumite
    28 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 10 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    You sound well sorted. Heres my twopennorth!
    Beforehand - stock your freezer with oven food, get posh squash if you dont like water cos you WILL be thirsty, get lots of nappies and wipes/cotton wool (if you are using cloth nappies you are a wonderful human but also get one pack of eco disposables for outings)
    After - youll be so proud but rota your visitors to one a day it will spread the fun and be less hectic and get them to check with you just before arrival too, dont be proud say yes if someone offers to peg/hoover/whatever it will make them feel happy, play with your clothes as you will be something between maternity and old self do swaps with friends or use ebay until your figure settles down.
    Work - teach your bab from the start that lying on their back is not abandonment it is safe and interesting (i though this was impossible til i has a c-sec and then it was neccesary and fine!), when your bab is 3 months it will start amusing itself so maybe you can do tiny bits of work then? see how it feels, and say yes to help :)
    Comping Beginners Luck 2020;
    April - 2 crates mini Mateus Rose, Vorworks mixing bowl,
    May - VOCD ceramic vase, Calon Wen Dairy Hamper.
    June - Vintage might-be-Mulberry bag, Chikas wholefoods goodie box, Night Owl duvet.
    July - Welsh food sharing plate
  • KateLovattKateLovatt Forumite
    1 Post
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Good childcare is the key enabler to you returning to work so I’d strongly recommend you look into it now while you have the time and energy. Many nursery’s often have waiting lists so you need to get your name down now. It will also give you an idea of how much it will cost so you can budget accordingly. Childcare availability will also be a key factor in determining when you return to work - I had to delay my intended return by a couple of months due to my chosen nursery being unable to accommodate my original dates. 
    Totally agree with batch cooking a freezing. My top tip would be to make fork food that can be eaten with one hand....babies have a knack of waking up and needing a cuddle/feed just as dinner is served!!
  • JessyRMJessyRM Forumite
    64 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    It sounds like a good plan, I agree with not stockpiling and buying second hand. I'd also suggest calling nurseries and putting baby on the waiting list for your chosen nursery ASAP if needed. I didn't realise there would be a waiting list and couldn't get my daughter into the nursery we wanted until now (shes 2) luckily with COVID it's less of a transition as shes not been at her old setting. 
    Join some FB groups for breastfeeding - I was so chilled and realistic about it when my daughter was born after being on some groups and asking lots of questions. It's really hard at first but gets much easier for most people and is worth it!. 
    You always need way more muslins and baby grows than you think :) 
  • musharoommusharoom Forumite
    45 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Congratulations! I'm also expecting although due a couple months earlier than you.
    Have you considered reuseable nappies at all? We will be hiring a newborn kit from our nearest nappy library for then using 'birth to potty' nappies which you can alter size of as baby grows. We've got these second hand but nearly new and should hopefully never be without nappies, although they will be harder work in terms of an increase in washing. I've just reviewed our utilities deals as well on that note. 
    My baby prep list is pretty much the same as yours except I've also done a Will and LPA for peace of mind and in preparation for worst case scenario that none of us ever want to think about (for me, this was following the sudden and unexpected death of a friend earlier this year in Jan leaving his widow and 1.5 year old struggling with grief and finacials). Made it seem so important to me and husband to get ourselves up to date with these as soon as we discovered we were expecting. We have done basic/simple mirror wills online to cut the cost, too.
  • ST1991ST1991 Forumite
    515 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Thanks everyone for your comments. A small update with my progress!
    I'm now 24 weeks and feeling very heavy! I weighed myself and i have put on over a stone already. I've had some issues before with my appearance/weight and even though it is completely normal to have a bump and put on weight i just feel sad and gross... I'm going to mention this to my midwife in my appointment next week to make them aware in-case i start to feel worse and worse. Either way, there is only a few months left now until baby arrives!

    My debts are almost cleared - I have approximately £2k left to pay out of the previous 15k debt i had .

    All my Direct debits are sorted out, and i've even paid my water bill ion advance for the remainder of the year so nothing is due until April/May time. I can afford to do that now, so i figured i'm helping my future self! Joint account is active and we've started to use this for bills and for a general 'pot' of our money too so we can try to save.

    I have contacted my employer about working from home, and we are looking at splitting parental leave so my partner is here to look after baby whilst i work from home (as cutting out my commute alone will increase my time at home!) so i'm just waiting to see if they agree. Depending on what they say will then depend on how much time i take off work myself on maternity. We've come up with a budget, and although it is 'tight' it is nice to know we can just about afford everything on just one of our salaries + maternity pay. Once maternity pay leaves that is obviously a different ballgame - and we'll need to look at childcare hour vs working hours at that point. Full-time childcare seems to be around £1000 per month from what i can gather, and i earn more than this so it seems do-able!

    My mum has bought the cotbed and mattress for us, and she did the same for my sister and wanted to do the same for us. It was only £75 (cot + mattress) brand new in ikea, and goes perfectly with our planned decor! Bargain for mum... :)

    I picked up a travel system from facebook for £55. Bugaboo Cameleon which is practically brand new, plus a maxicosi car seat and isofix base. Need a bit of a clean but i know it won't be used for very long anyway :) My partners parents also wanted to contribute something towards this as my mum bought the cotbed, they are giving us £150 (as he has a mum and dad, and i only have my mum) so we'll be putting their money towards the travel system i've just bought + the next car seat or stroller - whichever comes first!

    I left my house for the first time in ages and when with my sister to buy some basics from primark, and also went to boots when they had a huge 50% off baby clothes. I spent £90 in total between both shops but i have a HUGE array of basics + really cute bits and bobs in 0-3, 3-6 and a few 6-9. Tummy is feeling big already... so im guessing baby wont be in 0-3 for long  :D 

    Our house is a mess... we are mid-decoration of both bedrooms and i'm working from home so my 'office' is in the nursery, all of our bedroom furniture has been relocated to the living room which is now not habitable... the walls upstairs are bare, we've encountered a few issues with plastering that need to be tackled before we can decorate... and the whole house is just a pigsty. I'm trying not to let it get to me, as at this point i cannot keep anything clean!

    As for nappies, this is something i hadn't considered! I didn't know things like nappy libraries existed, but there is a shop on my local highstreet which actually does 'all things' reusable nappies. When i've got some time i am going to pop up there and have a chat with the owner for some advice and guidance - or if not only just to work out the costs etc :)
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
    43.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    One suggestion: you could stop weighing yourself and rely on your midwife to do it. Your scales won't be the same as theirs, and if they are concerned they will let you know. 
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • ST1991ST1991 Forumite
    515 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts
    Thanks Sue,
    It's not necessarily weighing myself that is the issue, it's more of a body image thing. I have always been petite, but loitered around just under/over 7 stone for a few periods of my life at which point i felt like i was still overweight (looking back that is stupid...) Even a year ago i was about 8 stone.
    I'm now 9 and a half stone, which is still perfectly fine (especially for someone who is 6 months pregnant) i guess i just felt those thoughts creeping back in. Especially as i hadn't of thought i would put on a stone and a half already, with quite some way to go!
    Anyway i don't want to distract too much from my original thread - and i have discussed these concerns with my midwife to make them aware, i think i just wasn't aware myself how much my body changing would affect me mentally. I am measuring 24cm at 24 weeks so all is normal :)
  • onwards&upwardsonwards&upwards Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Don't use the second hand car seat, that is one item that should be bought new. 
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