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We all know having a baby is expensive. So what are your priorities and how can you save money?

Top three baby budgeting tips

We all know having a baby is expensive. In fact, new parents spend on average £1,000 just preparing for the new arrival and some parents-to-be spend a lot more than this.

Others end up spending a lot more than they need, or can afford to, by buying loads of baby stuff they don’t need or never use.

We sat down with our children and young people expert Kirsty, to look at three key areas to budget when you’re expecting a baby and how you can save money along the way.

1. Baby bedroom

The first area to think about, and one where serious savings can be made, is the baby bedroom.

Unless you’re lucky enough to be given a cot by a friend or relative, you’re going to need to get one yourself. A new cot can cost anywhere between £70 and £700.

While your newborn will certainly get some good use out of a cot, they’re not going to be using it forever. This means there’s a good supply of second hand cots which you can pick up at a much lower cost.

Whatever cot you end up getting, make sure it meets British Safety Standards.

On top of this, you’ll also need to think about a good supply of bedding. One thing you probably don’t want to be buying second hand is a mattress, but you can shop around for the best deal.

Then there are the accessories for the room like a baby monitor, room thermometer and nightlight. On top of this, you need to factor in how much it will cost to decorate the room. The costs can start to mount up quickly. 

2. On the move

Prams and pushchairs are another big expense, with costs ranging from £100 to £1,000, but there are things you need to think about.

First, a pushchair is not a one-off purchase. As your child grows and is able to situp you will need to buy a new one.

Second, you need to think about how you’re going to use it. Does it need to fit in the back of a car, be carried upstairs or have extra space for shopping?

Prams are a great example of the two principles of shopping for a baby:

  1. Do your research so you know you’re getting the right product for you and you baby.
  2. Buying second hand can save you a lot of money.

Car seats are another serious expense, with prices ranging from £50 to £500. But, like prams, you’ll need to get a new one as your child grows, so you need to think carefully about which one you’re getting.

It’s worth getting a brand-new car seat, just so you can be sure of its history and be sure it includes all the instructions and parts. 

3. Feeding, clothing and changing

Clothes sound like an obvious thing any parent needs to think about, but unless you want to be doing laundry every day, you’re going to need quite a lot to get you through the week.

You also need to think about how fast your baby will grow.

As a new parent, you might be given dozens of onesies for a newborn, but in a couple of months, none of them are going to fit, so it’s important to think about getting, or budgeting for, some larger sizes.

Nappies are another thing people can underestimate. A newborn will go through 10 to 12 a day!

This means you need a large supply and it’s worth looking into alternatives like reusable nappies as well.

But we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of what you might need to get for your new arrival.

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