The First Year
Knowing what you may need, how much things will cost and budgeting adequately can help. After all, you will be on maternity leave for some time, and you may find your maternity pay does not stretch as far as you would like it to – a recent report from maternitycover.com found that nearly half of women on maternity leave get into debt because of poor benefits.
It’s useful to also know what you should be buying. New mums in particular are vulnerable to marketing gimmicks and pushy sales staff – so it’s a good idea to wise up before you head for the shops and better still, shop online and you could save hundreds of extra pounds on cash back and voucher code deals.
Research by insurance firm LV this year (2015) claimed that bringing up a child in the first year will cost a whopping £230,000 from birth to age 21 and this cost is expected to escalate to £350k in 10 years time. MMM believes it can be done cheaper!
But, before you start panicking, check out MMM’s guide below of what you may need and what the average costs might be – looking at maternity wear and essential baby items.
Looking at maternity needs
There are plenty of places today that sell affordable and decent maternity wear – H&M, Mothercare.com, Asos.com and Gap often have some great buys. Also try eBay, as people are always trying to sell maternity wear that they no longer need and you can get some great deals.
You don’t need to go over the top, as maternity wear is just a temporary wardrobe solution and even though you may have another baby, you may need to buy things again depending on what season it is when you are pregnant.
- Two/three leg wear (jeans/trousers/skirts/leggings)
- Two/three stretchy tops
- A smart outfit for work and for going out
- Two/three maternity bras
|Baby equipment||Price range(lowest to highest)|
|Cot/cotbed||£50 – £200|
|Car seat||£60 – £200|
|Pram/pushchair||£150 – £1,300|
|Baby monitor||£20 – £250|
|Baby bottles & teats||£5 – £8 *|
|Steriliser||£15 – £80**|
|Baby bath||£10 – £15|
|Changing mat||£7 -£20|
*it may be more economical to buy sets rather than individual bottles
**cold sterilising equipment is cheaper and can be just as good
|Other baby essentials||Average cost|
|Bottle cleaning brush||£4.00|
|Baby sleeping bag||£30.00|
*get one free from Boots if you sign up to its Parenting Club
Where to go for cheap essentials
*Cheap nappy sacks – Tesco.com Value at 35p for 300 bags (Don’t be fooled into thinking pound shops are cheaper)
*Nappies – try Amazon.co.uk where nappies are always discounted (and they get delivered to your door)
*Wipes – again, at Amazon.co.uk where packs of 10 are sold at a discount price. But also look out for regular supermarket deals – they are run so often, you will hardly ever have to pay full price for wipes.
*Changing mat – £4.50 from Tesco.com (remember, it’s just for poo, so no need to splash out).
*Kiddicare – prices are usually competitive, so always worth a look.
Buy baby clothes, obviously, but don’t go over the top as your baby will grow out of them fast.
The main things you should get are: vests, sleep suits, hats, socks, towels and flannels, blanket, all in one winter coat and some muslin cloths.
Second hand/nearly new sales
You can get nearly new baby essentials second hand at excellent prices. Head for the NCT nearly new sale where you can grab excellent bargains on clothing, bedding, toys and more. The sales are held throughout the year and NCT provides sellers with strict guidelines, so you can be assured what you buy will be in great condition.
Also try out charity shops, where many also sell new items at cut prices. Stores like M&S often donate stock to charities.