How to save money when preparing for new baby

Caroline Cassidy

Preparing for your new arrival can be quite a prospect and very expensive. A recent survey found that preparing for a new arrival will cost in the around £860 for the average parents. The list of essential things the baby will need just keeps growing. From nappies to safety items, the expenses just seem to mount up. So what can you can do to cut down on these costs? With just a little time and research it is possible to acquire the necessities without breaking the bank.

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The prospect of a new baby can tempt you into buying all kinds of stuff but before you clear the shops it pays to wait and see. You may find friends and family provide a lot of what you need as new baby gifts.

Breast-feeding is cheaper. Whatever you may think about the health benefits, this is one of the easiest ways to save money as a new parent. If you can't breast-feed for health reasons then check to see if you are entitled to free or subsidised formula milk under the government's Healthy Start scheme.

Having family support is priceless when it comes to the early days of parenthood. They can provide you some vital down time when you need it. A regular slot will help enormously.

Adverts will make you think you need all kinds of things so you should avoid being tempted. You will save cash if you don't buy on impulse. Wait until you really need something before buying it and then see if other parents think you really need it. Large purchases like prams and car seats need consideration.

There are plenty of ways to get second hand bargains. Try flea-markets, charity shops, and websites like ebay and freecycle. Take care when it comes to buying cots, you will need to make sure your purchases meet safety standards. Mattresses should always be new

Try real nappies. Disposable nappies account for over 1⁄4 of UK landfill sites. Using cloth nappies will save you lots of money compared to disposables. Not everyone will look forward to washing dirty nappies and if you feel this is a bridge too far then try buying own brand disposables.

Making food for your baby can provide real savings. After six months your child will be moving on to solids and you can begin to prepare your own food. Bought baby food is very expensive. If you choose to do-it-yourself make large batches and freeze. You just need a blender to make fresh, wholesome food for your child. Try fruit like pears, apples and bananas or veg like carrots and peas. Processed foods may contain salt so if you use them take care. Ask your GP about salt levels for your baby.

When it comes to activities you can share with your newborn there is plenty of choice and you don't have to pay a fortune for it. Sports and leisure centres will have a list of activities for baby and mum. Try community centres and your local council for low cost options.

Take a look at your bills. Are you paying over the odds for your credit card or insurance? Try some price comparison sites, especially as your circumstances will have changed with your new arrival.