BLOG: Spending £3k BEFORE your baby arrives is crazy (and unnecessary)
It was a ridiculous amount to spend on what was essentially a souped-up version of a Mothercare babygro.
It was also a total waste of money because it was far too big for my six-pound baby.
But I was a first-time mum and that’s what I was meant to do, right? The more I spent, the better parent I’d be, right?
Wrong. Obviously. I was just left with a credit card bill as long as my arm.
So when I saw a survey from Sainsbury’s Bank saying expectant parents spend £2,800 in the six months before their baby’s arrival, it brought back memories of my out of control spending.
I wish back then someone had told me to stop getting sucked in by the first-time parent propaganda and given me a list of what you really need to buy before your baby arrives.
So I thought I’d write my own version now, with the benefit of hindsight. I’m sure many people will disagree and say they couldn’t live without their perfect prep machine (Google it, it’s expensive) or wipe warmer machine (yes, that is a thing). But these were the essentials from my point of view.
- A car seat: they don’t let you drive away from hospital unless your new arrival is in one. And you’re going to want to get out of that place as soon as you can. £190
- Baby clothes: Again, pretty essential. But don’t go overboard. A few babygros, a coat/jacket/snowsuit depending on the time of year, and a hat will do. £20
- A Moses basket: so your baby has somewhere to sleep (if he/she sleeps). £100
- A pushchair: you don’t really need to buy this before the baby arrives but the last thing you’ll want to do when your baby is three weeks old is trudge around the shops trying out different models. And being able to get out of the house in those early days is worth its weight in gold. £300ish (you can spend less or a lot MORE).
If I’ve forgotten anything essential, feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section below.
NB: I’m by no means a baby product expert. I’m only qualified to write this because I had a baby once, not that long ago, and overspent.
Joanna Faith is editor of YourMoney.com
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