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Expecting mother with cot

Paying for your baby costs – without the Windsor bank account

All eyes will soon be on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as their second child prepares to make an appearance. Are you expecting your own little prince or princess?

Whether you’re having your first or your fifth child, money may be on your mind. Here are some tips to handle the costs of having a baby from when you find out you’re expecting, to three months before the birth.

I’m expecting a baby, what next?

If you’re expecting, it’s time to start researching the different kinds of benefits you may be entitled to.

For example, did you know you can take paid time off for antenatal appointments?

You may also be eligible for free prescriptions and NHS dental care. Go to your doctor or midwife and fill out a Maternity Exemption form. They can post it for you, and your Maternity Exemption certificate will be sent back to you.

If you’re pregnant and living on a low income you could also get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. Find out if you are eligible for Healthy Start vouchers.

Six months to go! What should I be doing now?

There’s no doubt a new baby can impact your finances.

Not only does it usually mean a drop in income, it can also mean higher outgoings and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

If you’re worried about how much you can afford to spend on baby things, our Baby Costs Calculator provides a clear picture of what all those essentials could cost in the first year. Before you go shopping, use the calculator to understand what your baby will need and how much it will cost. This will help keep your spending in check.

 

It’s also a good idea to do your research. The list of baby items you need to purchase may feel endless, so make sure you’re buying the items you really need – for instance, a Moses basket may not be strictly necessary for you. You don’t have to buy everything brand new - there are lots of websites that sell second-hand baby goods, and if this isn't your first baby you may have a lot of the things you need already.

Three months to go! What's left to check?

It’s important you know how much maternity or paternity pay you’re entitled to. Read through your contract or talk to your boss or HR department. Now is also the time to talk to your partner to make sure you’re picking the right options for you.

From April 2015, the law changed to allow both parents to share up to 50 weeks’ parental leave and 37 weeks pay, if both parents are eligible.

 

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  • P.Newberry / 3 May 2015

    Advice please on any extra benefits for twin births .useful web sites etc