The night I found out I was pregnant was the most surreal and exciting night. It was a Thursday evening after work, I had been feeling a bit unwell for a few weeks and for some reason when I got home I decided to take the pregnancy home test. Looking at the hour-glass icon intently and waiting for the result which seemed to take forever made me drowsy. Finally it said “pregnant 3+ weeks” and everything in that moment stopped. I can still remember the song playing and the feeling of gentle realisation that swept over me. It was the beginning of a journey my husband and I had been waiting for and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Not too long, morning sickness or as I call it “all day sickness” knocked the sway from me and the thought of the financial implications began to sink in. I couldn’t believe the cost of child care, I’ve never bothered about that before – also the endless baby things/marketing on the internet did not help. Do I really need all this? Will my baby be missing out if I don’t buy all that’s out there and the very best – nothing less of course.
I wanted to be the best mum and for me that meant providing the best for my baby girl, I was ready to work off my fingers if that was needed. But so the joy of my growing baby took my mind of all my worries as I was totally in love with my growing bump and the gentle and sometime firm and rigorous kicks from my baby – I was experiencing another level of love and pleasure I rarely can translate into words.
As delivery day approached I was brought back to reality – my baby list was still full, a lot to buy I did not feel fully ready! We were also moving house which meant a lot more of household things to buy – it’s amazing how a 3 bed house feels empty when you are moving in your things from a one bed flat. Priority became my favourite word – I had to be practical and balance my idea of what the best was for my baby.
Below are a few hacks & savings I’ve made;
- EBay and its hidden gems: hubby & I relentlessly searched through EBay and we found good quality baby items which cost less than mainstream retail outlets and the great bonus was we got them all new. Examples include our baby bassinet we got for £10 (the mum we got it from never used it for her little one as she ended up co-sleeping. We got our new Ergo baby carrier for £30 which was £50 to £60 cheaper than mainstream retail outlets.
- Exploring alternatives: we already had a house full of different items we could use differently if we applied it correctly. I skipped getting a sterilising container and instead used one of my unused kitchen bowls to sterilise feeding bottles and toys. Used my Kenwood on-the go smoothing machine to puree my baby’s food and went for my blankets/duvet with pillows as hedges as a play area for my little girl – she rolls and enjoys tummy time with her mummy made toy island
- Mastering the art of baby layering: my little girl was born in the peak of summer, so we got a lot of light baby clothing from friends and family. As it became a bit chillier I wasn’t about to change her wardrobe when she had about 2 more months before she grew out of the 0-3 months clothing. I started layering – finding the right balance of keeping her warm without making her feeling clogged in with fabrics
- Changing my mind-set: It’s amazing how little my baby needs aside from me, diapers and wipes. I guess these are things you get to learn as you go through this journey. My new realisation meant I could pace my buying and focus on the core basic she needed at each stage to grow healthy. I wasn’t about to compare or feel inadequate because I did not have the latest gadget, toy or baby item all eloquently described to help with baby’s growth and development – I simply used what I had at home to stimulate and create a fun and exciting environment for her.
If you can afford to get all the cool snazzy baby gadgets, please do I’m sure it will be a total delight but if you need to prioritise then DIY as much as you can and find great savings on internet or baby group resale.
I’m five months and a few weeks into this journey of motherhood and I’m sure there’s much for me to explore and learn. If you have more hacks and saving ideas, please share and let’s make the process easy as much as possible for another mum.