Expecting your first baby? You may have panicked about how to budget for this oh-so important new arrival. From prams, cots and car seats to feeding apparatus, nappies and clothing, there are certain items you simply cannot go without. And who could really blame you for going on an excitement-induced shopping spree?
But as a new parent, saving money where you can is essential. How exactly should you avoid overspending on baby things?
Zena Goldman, mum of three and founder of blog Zena's Suitcase shines a light on all that new-parent spending.
Put the brakes on
Zena says, "We’re always hearing about how expensive it is to raise a child, and it’s true. But really, it’s as expensive as you make it. It’s so easy to get carried away after your 12 week scan and buy a million little outfits and toys. But it might be worth waiting to buy any non-essentials until your baby is born, then you can figure out what you actually need and what you have room for".
She adds: "The power of the internet lets you have anything delivered to your door within a day, so if you forget something, there's no need to fret". Remind yourself how quickly babies grow before splurging on a trolley-load of newborn-sized onesies.
Have a sibling, friend or family member with young kids? "Ask if they have any baby kit they no longer need," recommends Zena. "Many parents will be able to offer clothes and bits and pieces. Plus, it's definitely worth borrowing that expensive buggy or sling to check that it suits you and your baby before you go out and buy one for yourself".
Charity shops will often have rails and rails of baby clothes, as well as prams, toys and accessories that have barely been used. Also look out for local car boot sales, where parents will probably be hoping to offload second-hand childrenswear.
Gifts that keep on giving
Close friends and family will probably want to send something over as a gift – especially if you're having your first child.
Zena says: "Chances are that you’ll find yourself inundated with helpful gifts in those first couple of weeks after the baby is born – you may not actually have to buy that much. If people ask what you would like, it’s always a good idea to suggest vouchers, or baby clothes in slightly bigger sizes (like 3-6 months). Babies grow out of clothes so quickly, so it’s always good to have a few items stored away".
Perhaps your mum or sister who would enjoy throwing you a baby shower? Although this American tradition has yet to catch on in a big way here in the UK, it's probably only a matter of time! See our guide to throwing a baby shower here.
Keep an eye out for Asda Baby Events – the next one is 21 January to 17 February this year. These offer brilliant opportunities to save on a huge range of items, and also to stock up on everyday essentials like the Huggies Pure Baby Wipes Big Pack*, was £9, now £6 (12 x 56-pack; 0.9p each) - handy at home and great when you're on the go. Or pick up a sweet grey Hooded Towels and Face Cloths Set, was £9, now £7*. Make a note of what you need then take a look, in store and online.
And don't be tempted to buy stuff you won't use or need, no matter how cute it is!
*Promotion ends 17th February 2019