I have started to plan for my first baby’s arrival from the beginning of my pregnancy. We were living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and budgeting for baby was a must.
There are a ton of cute baby items for sale in the shops and on the internet all the time. I felt it very hard to restrain myself and just pass by without buying those super sweet baby items. What is essential and what can I live without was a paramount question.
Easy Budgeting For Baby
First, I decided what items I will be budgeting for and by when do l need them. I knew I won’t need them until baby comes, but what if baby decides to come 3-4 weeks early? It turned out to be very tiring to go shopping with a huge baby belly from 36 weeks on. I was grateful for having all the essentials already.
Once I was clear on the items I am budgeting for baby before she arrives, I looked around to see the price ranges and worked out how much I will have to set aside in the upcoming months. In fact if I have seen an essential item for a very good price, I bought it 2-3 months before my due date.
I will give you my essentials list in a moment. However, let me start with the items you might think of as essentials when you are budgeting for baby. But the truth is, that you can be without these and you can use that money for more important items.
What items are unnecessary if you are on a budget?
Infant car-seat with detachable base
It might sound like a great idea and if you are not on a tight budget, you can invest in one. I do not consider it essential as it can be used only for a short time. A simple baby-carrier did the job for me, when I took my infant out of the car. Instead of that I got a baby-car seat that can be used from infant to 4 years old.
I got a chest of drawers with a change-table section on the top, but most of the time I changed my babies on the bed anyways. I think, most change tables have an inconvenient height and it is very easy to be without.
Because I consider those wireless baby-monitors to be a health hazard, I have never used one. I have found that as a mother, my ears never sleep. As I woke up to the smallest noise if it came from my children’s bedroom, next to ours, I really did not need an electronic device to aid me.
Because a newborn spends most of the time sleeping, this hanging toy is not needed. Both my daughter and son frequently fall a sleep while feeding. Than I just lay them down in the cot. We didn’t have a crib mobile and I didn’t find it as a missing item. In fact, it was easier to lay down the sleeping baby into the crib or cot without having to move the crib mobile.
White noise machine
My experience tells me that, if a baby doesn’t fall a sleep easily, it’s not because of the background noise, but because their tummy hurts or they are otherwise uncomfortable. White noise machine will not fix that. On the rare occasions my daughter would not settle, playing music and cradling her worked magic.
Another unnecessary item. When the wipe was very cold at winter, I held it in my hand for 20 second to warm it up a little. It didn’t need a fancy appliance.
Heaps of 0000 baby clothes
I have read on a blog that I will need 7-14 sets of size 0000 baby clothes. It is impossible to tell in advance how big the baby will be at arrival. Additionally, the babies grow so much within their first few weeks that they need the next size up. Most of the clothes shopping can be done once baby is here. Additionally, it is better to buy one size larger bodysuits and jumpsuits than the actual size of the baby . Handy tip, if you are planning to have more babies in the future, buy baby items in gender natural colors and prints. Because they will not get worn out in that short time while their fit, they can be used by multiple babies in the family.
What Are The Essentials?
When you are budgeting for baby, the following items are a must be there when baby arrives.
It is illegal to carry babies and children in a car without a proper car-seat, and you will need it to take your baby home. There are car-seats you can use from 0-8 years old, which is a bonus, as you don’t need to buy a booster chair later.
I have used BabyBjorn – Original and I loved it as it was comfortable. It has wide solder and back straps which distributes the babies weight evenly on one’s back. Although I have never tried a sling type of baby-carrier, it does not seem to be comfortable for both baby and mum.
Cot or bassinet
This one is self-explanatory.
At least two cot sheet sets or sheet sets for bassinet
You might find yourself to change the cot sheet 2-3 times a day in the first few months after feeding.
You need more than one, for the same reason as above and in case of cold weather.
Because you will need to give baby water, have to store access breast milk, or formula if no breast milk – baby bottle is essential. I used Phillips Avent Classic Pp Bottle it was easy to clean and wasn’t leaking.
Either washable or reusable nappies – if you are concerned about the environment – or disposable nappies will be needed from day one. If you choose disposable nappies, the cheapest might not be the best. I have tried several brands and not all worked for us equally well. Huggies worked well for us. Surprisingly, the Coles’ Comfy bot’s nappies performed well too, and didn’t cause nappy rush.
Pram or Stroller
Vital item, as it is important to take baby out for a walk to the fresh air and mummy needs the walk too. A pram or stroller makes it very easy and enjoyable. Most pram’s have several settings, and can be adjusted lay down the back, if baby falls a sleep.
Water-proof mattress cover for the cot mattress
It is a very handy item. It helps you to keep the mattress clean and dry, one less thing to worry about.
Towels and face-washers
These are needed to wash and dry your baby, and the face-washers will be in frequent use during the day after feeds.
3-4 sets of baby-clothes
Budgeting for baby won’t be complete without a few set of baby-clothes. However, err into the direction of a larger size. You can always buy the right size, when you already know how big your baby is. Undoubtedly, if your first sets of baby-clothes are too big, baby will grow into them one day. But if they are too small at the first place…
Budgeting for baby is an exciting task. If we plan it out well in advance, we have enough time to set aside the necessary amount of money. We also have more options, more time to look around and find bargains.
For more comprehensive budgeting advice, download Family Finances – Great Ideas For Family Finance Planning – for free.