I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ignore those lists in magazines and websites that tell you what you need for your new baby. (No, obviously not THIS website). Many of those lists are sponsored and include things that you honestly don't have to own and are a complete waste of money.
Unless you are rolling in cash and want to own every last baby accessory on the planet, here are some items that you can do without, and that will save you money both in the long AND the short term…
1. Changing table
No, seriously, you don’t need to fork out over £50 on a specialised baby changing station complete with wipe holders and all sorts. All your child needs is a soft surface that’s wipe clean. All you need is a surface that is ideally the same height as you so you don’t put your back out (or hurt your knees).
There is nothing wrong with the floor, although that did make me creak getting up and down, but if you really can’t cope with that, then why not pop out a word on Freecycle for either an unused changing station or an old desk. Yes, an old desk.
We used a pine desk that was just perfect. Right height for me, the drawers stored everything and baby was just fine. You can’t wander off and leave them unattended though…
Saving: Anything from £60 upwards
The world is shifting towards re-usable nappies and you can find SO many different varieties out there that there is bound to be a solution that saves you money and isn’t too fiddly. You can look at savings of up to £30 a week by using the right nappies, and washing solutions.
Saving: £20 upwards
3. Nursing bra
Honestly, these should come with a label that says, “pointless”. You will spend more time faffing over fiddly buttons or pop-off edges than you would if you just lifted your old bra up, or shifted it to the side. If you can’t stand that idea then consider a sports bra or a jersey knit underwire bra instead.
Saving: £10 upwards
4. Baby Wipes
You don’t need to invest in baby wipes at all for the first four to six months of your child’s life. For the first few months it isn’t a good idea to use them anyway. Good old fashioned water and cotton wool are more than enough for baby’s bum, and don’t contain any potentially harmful or chemical substances for that exceptionally delicate skin.
You also won’t need a top and tails bowl. Just a bowl of warm water and some cotton wool. Ta da! You can even make your own wipes using wet washcloths in a ziplock bag (for when you go out) or you can follow this online recipe for organic and lush homemade wipes.
Saving: £2 a week (or more!)
5. Nursing Pillow
Waste of time! If you had a tricky pregnancy and invested in one of those awesome sausage pillows then use that, it’s perfect. If not just use your own pillows. Experiment with lounge and sleeping pillows until you find the ones that work best for you.
Saving: £25 upwards
6. Special baby towel with ears
I know, I know, it’s cute. But honestly I only found myself wrestling with it to try and find the ears while also holding a slippery baby. And that towel ended up getting really worn through a lot faster than the normal, thick and yummy towels that I use. Children do not need special towels.
A normal towel is thick and lush and big enough to wrap them up snug as bugs in rugs.
Saving: £10 upwards unless you have to buy new towels.
A normal bin will do nicely and doesn’t take up as much space. Just whisk your dirty nappy contents into the loo and your dirty nappy into a plastic laundry bag. If you use disposables you can easily take it to the bin when you’re done.
Saving: £20 upwards
8. The Insane
You will also not need baby wipe warmers, a shopping trolley cover, a climate controlled stroller, a gliding nursing chair, a bullet-proof stroller, a Grobag Egg (everyone I know who had one had it fail within a month), and a foetal heart machine.
These gadgets actually exist and I have to raise my hand to having bought at least two of them. The best way to save money before embarking on your baby shopping adventure is to chat to all your mommy friends and you’ll soon see how little you actually need to get started. Save your cash for the real essentials.