Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • Shoxt3r
    • By Shoxt3r 18th Apr 19, 12:51 PM
    • 55Posts
    • 17Thanks
    First-time Mum & Dad - any tips for money-saving?
    • #1
    • 18th Apr 19, 12:51 PM
    First-time Mum & Dad - any tips for money-saving? 18th Apr 19 at 12:51 PM
    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!
Page 1
    • Dime Bar
    • By Dime Bar 18th Apr 19, 1:23 PM
    • 567 Posts
    • 239 Thanks
    Dime Bar
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:23 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:23 PM
    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.
    The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
    Arthur C. Clarke
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 18th Apr 19, 1:41 PM
    • 11,786 Posts
    • 15,804 Thanks
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:41 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:41 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by Dime Bar
    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!)
    2019 wins: Bottle of Prosecco; Popcorn Shed popcorn; Moisturising 'M&S Time Capsules'; Case of Boost Sport + £30 Just Eat voucher; Battle Proms tickets and hotel...
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 18th Apr 19, 1:59 PM
    • 8,472 Posts
    • 18,329 Thanks
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:59 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Apr 19, 1:59 PM
    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.
    • Shoxt3r
    • By Shoxt3r 18th Apr 19, 3:52 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 19, 3:52 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Apr 19, 3:52 PM
    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!)
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    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...

    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 18th Apr 19, 4:59 PM
    • 16,441 Posts
    • 22,723 Thanks
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 19, 4:59 PM
    • #6
    • 18th Apr 19, 4:59 PM
    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.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Munchkin84
    • By Munchkin84 18th Apr 19, 8:13 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 455 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:13 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:13 PM
    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 Emmaís 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.
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 18th Apr 19, 8:47 PM
    • 662 Posts
    • 2,317 Thanks
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:47 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:47 PM
    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.
    • NeverendingDMP
    • By NeverendingDMP 18th Apr 19, 8:51 PM
    • 369 Posts
    • 1,345 Thanks
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:51 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Apr 19, 8:51 PM
    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.
    35,213 - Jan 2018, 28500 remaining.
    Mortgage 77230- Jan 2018
    73364 remaining.
    Emergency fund 55
    Make 2019- 1075.46 /2019
    1% challenge 33%
    • sheepy21
    • By sheepy21 18th Apr 19, 9:09 PM
    • 197 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    What you must buy new-

    Car seat (and isofix base)

    The rest can be secondhand.
    Pushchairs can all be found in amazing condition secondhand, so definitely do that, but make sure itís a non smoking household.
    Secondhand cot is also totally fine, though check itís 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 wouldnít recommend you bottle feed the baby to bond with it, in the nicest possible way, you donít need to feed the baby to bond. If breast feeding, your wife will need a fair amount of time so that the baby doesnít 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.
    • dawyldthing
    • By dawyldthing 18th Apr 19, 10:56 PM
    • 3,379 Posts
    • 3,334 Thanks
    Have a look on local deals on eBay

    Iím 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 itís 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. Iím 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 canít bring buggy in to pick him up :/

    Youíve got to think that if your in a hotel youíve got no idea how many peopleís slept in them cots etc. Theyíll grow out of puke on stuff so often.

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

    As for the voucher sites - Iíve not signed up for any of them as youíll 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
    to the lil one
    • in my wellies
    • By in my wellies 18th Apr 19, 11:09 PM
    • 823 Posts
    • 653 Thanks
    in my wellies
    I see some amazing bargains at car boot sales.
    • sn1987a
    • By sn1987a 19th Apr 19, 5:00 AM
    • 397 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    A lot of useful tips already shared.

    Check lullaby trust for what makes a cot or mattress safe. Old cots may not follow the most current regulations.

    Boots parenting club gives you a 10% discount if you decide to buy baby stuff from boots. Combined with £10 off when £50 spent, is good.

    I suggest that you do your research and decide what you want to buy, then look where you can find it cheaper. Especially when you are not in a rush, you can wait for a good price.

    Baby shows may have some good offers, try to get free tickets for local ones.

    I suggest that both you and your wife do your research about the benefits of breastfeeding, how a bottle can cause nipple confusion at the early days(even if just breast milk is given) and how you don't need to feed the baby to bond. There are so many other ways to bond, e.g. bathing, putting to sleep. Formula costs a lot. Join also breastfeeding support Facebook groups.

    When baby is 6 months old, consider doing baby led weaning instead of traditional. It will save you a lot on buying ready food for baby. Again do your research on the benefits, join blw support Facebook pages, decide what's best for your family.

    I used a lot charity shops, Facebook market and Freecycle to get things cheap/free, and Amazon prime to get things quickly when you have no time to go out.
    • goodwithsaving
    • By goodwithsaving 19th Apr 19, 7:22 AM
    • 959 Posts
    • 1,566 Thanks
    Don't skimp on a car seat. You can buy ones with swivel bases now which means no straining your back to twist and get the baby in the car seat!
    Worth the little extra money
    • jwil
    • By jwil 19th Apr 19, 8:54 AM
    • 10,641 Posts
    • 37,705 Thanks
    Cloth nappies - there is a strong second hand market for them which help the savings even more. It also means you can try different types until you know which one suits your baby if you haven't got a library nearby. You can then sell them on again after.

    Instead of buying a steriliser, you can buy bottles you can sterilise in the microwave (MAM), and the sterilising tablets or liquid and a bucket or tub are much more versatile for everything else (and cheaper).

    A sling is so much easier than lugging a pram or pushchair everywhere and great for bonding with your child. Agree about the travel system - it's not good for the baby to constantly be in a car seat.

    I didn't buy a baby bath, I used the kitchen sink or the normal bath.

    You don't need half as much stuff as the baby stores tell you.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 19th Apr 19, 9:34 AM
    • 9,458 Posts
    • 31,696 Thanks
    Huge congratulations!
    Please buy the cot from a charity shop - we got ours from Barnardos, and sanded & revarnished it to make it ours and apparently Brand New. Or just ask around, there are bound to be people whose children are graduating from cots often bought new who want to get rid but haven't quite grasped how.

    Muslins - all sorts of colours, easily washed & a godsend for baby specific mopping, wrapping, nappies etc Also easily knotted into a portable washable toy.

    The amount of Stuff held out for sales as vital is hair-raising & far too much of it is utter nonsense. That said what is one parent's lifesaver is a complete waste of time to another parent. (You will be issued with guilt along with the baby, this is normal. You will also be judged beyond all recognition by everyone from loving friends to absolute strangers - but your little one won't get round to that for several years. Probably.)

    Car seat, cot mattress - yes buy new. After that, facebook, charity shops and other parents with slightly larger children & a shortage of space will all shunt bagfuls of stuff your way!
    • freyasmum
    • By freyasmum 19th Apr 19, 10:46 AM
    • 16,730 Posts
    • 48,917 Thanks
    I would recommend the Ikea high chair all day long. It's not the prettiest thing to look at but it's moulded plastic and it can go in the top rack of a dishwasher. Even if you don't put it in the dishwasher, it's much, much easier to clean than one with lots of folds of plastic material everywhere.

    Car seat and mattress must be new. My son has an Ikea cot for when at my parents and it's been perfectly fine for him though he's only in it once every few weeks for a few nights. It was around £100.

    You don't need everything that people tell you, you need. It's an exciting time, but try not to jump in and buy everything until you need it.

    Buy mostly 0-3 vests and sleep suits. And a pack of smaller clothes closer to the time. If the baby is small, you can pick up more smaller clothes and, if not, you can return them. Asda is decent value for their vests and suits. They wash well and are quite cheap to start with.

    Stock up on nappies when they're on offer. We have used the Aldi nappies almost exclusively (though the free nappies kept us going for around a fortnight! Pick up all the free packs your entitled to. The midwife should give you some, too).

    Also, you don't need a nappy wrapper or bin, whatever they're called ��
    • Mrs Arthur Crown
    • By Mrs Arthur Crown 19th Apr 19, 11:45 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    Mrs Arthur Crown
    Just don't go mad buying everything at once. We didn't have much to start with, as we didn't know what we were doing!!!! Turns out we did OK and didn't end up with piles of unused stuff. Babies can grow ridiculously quickly and I am glad we didn't buy loads of clothes and nappies in advance.

    Agree with the advice about possible crash damage and car seats.

    Before the birth, get the absolute basics organised - cot, baby carrier/child seat, pushchair, bottles and steriliser (don't assume that you will be able to breastfeed, however much you might want to - I couldn't and the memories of the breastfeeding !!!!! still haunt me to this day (13 years on). Don't unpack the steriliser until you know whether you are breastfeeding or not. Keep the receipt!

    Get some terry nappies and some disposable ones, again, not too many as you don't know what size of the latter. The hospital will probably send you home with a couple of days' worth anyway. Keep the receipts for the ones you buy!!

    We were lucky in that we were able to borrow a cot from a friend who was between babies. Don't be too proud to accept second hand clothing, or other baby things. A hot wash, or a soak in some Milton, depending on what the items are, is all you need to do.

    The baby really won't care what he/she looks like, and will grow out of things so fast. We had lovely neighbours who had a garage full of boys clothes up to age 4 that they were going to take to a boot sale, but they gave them to us for a donation so our son was well set up until he started school.

    Buy just one one pack of each of three sizes of babygros from the nearest supermarket to the hospital or to your house, and keep the receipts, and then send your other half, who will be less exhausted than you, to return the ones which are too small, and get more of the right size!!

    There is so much out there to tempt first time parents into over-buying, and when my mum told me what options were available when I was born in the late sixties it put things into perspective from a "what the baby needs" point of view, rather than what the friends and neighbours think of you with your second-hand push chair or whatever.

    If you think babies are expensive, wait till your baby starts secondary school!!!!!!!!!

    Wishing you happy rest-of-pregnancy and an easy birth. Hope all goes well.
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 19th Apr 19, 7:37 PM
    • 226 Posts
    • 1,573 Thanks
    Having had 2 babies in the space of 15 months I have had a lot of experience recently lol. My number 1 best buy would without a doubt be cheeky wipes. I absolutely hated the packs of baby wipes that you get from the shops. Im so glad I made the investment with my first child as when baby no 2 came along I just ordered a few more extra wipes. They are still going strong and my youngest is now 1. I reckon I've saved a few hundred quid in wipes alone for the 2 of them. Plus they are so much more user friendly then the horrid packet ones.
    Unfortunately for me I struggled to produce enough milk so had to switch to formula. I used aptamil with my first but then with my second I tried the aldi mamia and there was no discernible difference (except for the price).
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 19th Apr 19, 7:41 PM
    • 3,590 Posts
    • 6,593 Thanks
    Half of what you buy won't really be necessary. The difficulty is deciding which half...

    Make friends with people who have kids about 6 months to a year older than your child - good for an endless supply of cast-offs. If they then conveniently have another child, you can pass them back. And ideally you would then have another child...

    Sell anything that is unused/underused/not totally destroyed on ebay and recoup some of your outlay.

    And have a list ready when people ask what you would like them to buy for the baby - there's a limit to how many cuddly toys any child needs, so it's much better to make good use of their willingness to spend money on your child!!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,326Posts Today

6,563Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the weekend, it's the weekend, yay. It's that moment, when as usual, to sign off for family time. So I bid y?

  • Actually the BBC was set up to "educate, entertain and inform" so I think it is one of its responsibilities and cle?

  • Today's FRI twitter poll: Puritanical new laws by Tories/Labour/EU/Trump/Putin (pick ur own scapegoat) dictate mode?

  • Follow Martin