Sunday, 3 August 2014

Preparing for baby, as cheaply as possible!

As I'm in the process of kitting out Child-The-Second at present, I thought now might be a good time to share some ideas I've come across about doing so on the cheap. It's a text heavy post so I hope you stick with me. I'll try to put in as many pictures and links as I can to brighten things up, though!

The following list is just my own opinion on what's necessary, and other places will tell you different things so pick and choose according to your own lifestyle. Remember - the shops will still be open after baby is born, so if you find that you're really lacking in something, you can grab it at a later date!
Daughter and I, all wrapped up at 12 months.
  • Sling - Daughter wouldn't be put down at any point (seriously - I slept sitting up with her over my shoulder for at least six months) and I couldn't have kept my life running if I hadn't been able to get on with things hands-free. My Papoozle was a godsend, but there are hundreds of different types of slings out there and the best way of finding one to suit you is to look up sling libraries in your area. The list I've just linked to is not comprehensive, so if there are none posted within easy distance, it's still worth a search on facebook for separately run groups, or private meetings. The operators can advise you on the different kinds of slings available. From stretchy wraps to woven wraps, mei-tais to Tulas, the main thing to be aware of is that baby should be close enough to kiss, facing Mum (whether worn on the front or back) and the legs and bum should form an 'M' position.
  • Car seat - This one really is non-negotiable if you drive (and some hospitals won't let you leave until they've seen the baby in a car seat, whether you're driving home or not!) but see below for ways to make the most of this investment.
  • Pram - Possibly the most cost-effective way to get a pram is to buy a car seat which clips into a pram base. Obviously, it's not advisable to buy car seats second hand as you don't know if they've been involved in an accident, but if you search summer/January sales, you should be able to find one at a discount. Then it's just a case of buying used pram accessories for your chosen model - ebay or Gumtree are good places to start, and you might even get lucky at a car boot sale.

    The pram also doubles as somewhere to put the baby if you're lucky enough to have one that will be laid flat without screaming the ears off every living soul in a thousand mile radius... unlike Daughter, whose aversion to being put down led to us giving our pram away and using the sling exclusively. This is another way to cut down on costs if you think you can manage it, by the way. If you have a good sling designed for the purpose, you can continue carrying your child well into toddler-hood. We successfully lugged Daughter around until she was two-and-a-half years old, at which point she refused to be carried any more. In terms of weight and height, even now at well past three years, I could easily get her back in the sling if she was tired enough to let me.

    In any case, though we'd initially planned not to bother with a pram this time, we were able to source one for free from Gumtree and intend to use in place of a moses basket for when baby is asleep downstairs. The moses basket, by the way, is the single biggest waste of money I came across when we bought things for Daughter.
  • Cot -  If you're not planning on co-sleeping (which is really useful if you're breastfeeding, but it's not for everyone) then you'll need a cot. You might have read that co-sleeping isn't safe but if you think it's something you'd like to do then look up ways of safely co-sleeping. Anyways, re. the cot, you can pick the frames up for free, or very cheaply on Gumtree/freecycle and then just buy a new mattress. Again, with my velcro baby I wished I hadn't bothered for the first six months, but now I'm glad I spent the money. I bought a second hand Stokke Sleepi which grew from a crib to a cot, to a toddler bed to a children's bed. Were we not putting baby 2 into it, Daughter could have been in there until she was 10 and following that, it can be turned into two chairs so we really will be getting our money's worth.

  • Bedding - I found baby sleeping bags a godsend when Daughter finally went into a cot as she's such a wriggler, but if you're not keen on those then in addition to the sheets you'd need anyway, a couple of cellular/crocheted blankets are great. I liked to have two of each (one on, one in the wash).
  • Muslin cloths - These save a fortune in baby wipes and kitchen roll! If you're using washable nappies, you can even use them as extra padding for night time use. Before you buy any, it's a great idea to ask on freecycle/Gumtree/facebook selling pages for used ones. Chances are that they'll be grotty, but often people are willing to give them away for the postage and they can always be thrown in the washing machine with a box of dye to brighten them up again.
  • Nappies/wipes/bum cream - Reusables aren't for everyone, but you can save a small fortune by using them and many councils offer a lump sum towards the purchase price as it saves them money on landfill. I picked some up second hand for £60. When I thought I wasn't having any more babies I sold them on for £50 so £10 for almost three years of nappies was awesome. There are used cloth nappy boards on facebook, but I find they're priced for fluffy bum addicts. Gumtree seems to be the cheapest place to go. If you're still not convinced, check out Phoebe's post about how easy it is to use cloth.

    Otherwise, Aldi nappies are cheap and very good. If you can stock up during their baby events then they're even better value for money. Reusable wipes are something I didn't know about last time round but I'm giving them a try now - a friend with an overlocker has run some old towels through it to make them for me and I plan to use them in cool camamile tea with a drop of tea-tree oil in. For nappy rash cream, I can't recommend Vaseline highly enough, or if you're breastfeeding, Lansinoh lanolin cream does an awesome job too (see below) and you're likely to have it in.
  • Nappy bag - If you're using reusables, then you need a few 'wet bags' to carry soiled nappies home in. Other than that, any bag big enough to stash nappies, wipes, a change of clothes for baby, a change of top for you if you're breastfeeding and space for a bottle if you're not, will do. Don't be suckered into expensive ones with compartments etc. - there's really no need. If you're brave, you could have a go at making one too - I did one which unzipped along the corners to become a changing mat and we really loved it.
  • Clothes - these are a 'blink and you'll miss them' sort of thing as they're grown out of so quickly. Check out charity shops and ask on freecycle/gumtree in case anyone is giving some away. If the ones you're offered are the 'wrong' colour then you can just dye them. For us, there was no point in spending a fortune on cute little jeans and things as they're such a pain to get on and off that they never got worn in the early months. We just had all in one suits until about six months old when things started to calm down a little and Daughter stopped screaming when she was laid flat.
  • Feeding - If you're planning on breastfeeding then Lansinoh cream is amazing for chapped nipples and I always got on better with reusable breast pads to stop leakage onto clothes, but the disposable ones from Lansinoh are great too, if a little pricey. Treat yourself to some lovely nursing tops and bras and don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work out. Breastfeeding is a skill, and again, it's not for everyone. If you decide to go down the bottle route, see if you can borrow a few different types of bottles from friends and when choosing a formula, buy a few pre-made cartons from different brands to see which baby takes to best. I made the mistake of buying a massive tub of one when I made the switch and Daughter wouldn't take it. I ended up using it in the bread machine for about a year later :P Once you know which make of bottles/formula you're likely to use, invest in around 6 bottles and teats, as well as a steam steriliser - I used a microwave one for speed and because I could keep it in the microwave when I wasn't using it. It was cheaper than a counter-top one and took up less space. Aldi/Lidl often have bottles in their baby events, or you could look for second hand, sterilise and then just buy new teats, but it depends on what you're comfortable with. 
And that's all I can think of for the baby stage.

What were your essential buys? 

6 comments:

  1. Ward Sepakat Melawan Kessler Lagi

    http://www.football-images.net/2014-08-13/67e2bda20f36dfe67c88cbaceceeb06c.jpg
    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, Raja kelas menengah super versi WBA Super, Andre Ward dilaporkan sepakat untuk kembali bertemu Mikkel Kessler di dalam ring. Laporan tersebut juga menyebutkan bahwa rencana duel ulang tersebut digelar di kandang Kessler di Denmark.

    Dua petinju beda negara itu pernah sekali bertemu pada 2009 di tempat asal Ward di Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, Amerika Serikat. Kala itu, Ward mencetak kemenangan technical decision di ronde ke-11 dari 12 ronde yang dijadwalkan.

    Dikabarkan, Ward setuju untuk bertarung di luar Amerika Serikat untuk pertarungan bergengsi kali pertama dalam karir profesionalnya. Apabila duel tersebut terlaksana, maka Kessler untuk kali pertama berlaga di negaranya sendiri dalam dua tahun terakhir.

    Diyakini jika duel Ward vs Kessler II akan berlangsung pada minggu pertama November, sementara konfirmasi resmi terkait rencana kontes pertarungan tersebut akan diumumkan tengah pekan ini.

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  2. Neymar Bangga Jadi Bagian Sejarah Barca

    http://www.football-images.net/2014-08-13/85c74e3c1ea66b7c462e7b94eb42934b.jpg
    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, Neymar mengaku amat senang bisa kembali bergabung dengan Barcelona, usai menjalani liburan musim panas pasca membela Brasil di Piala Dunia 2014.

    Ia juga berterima kasih pada seluruh penggemar yang selama ini sudah memberikan dukungan kepada dirinya, terutama di saat ia tengah menjalani pemulihan cedera tulang belakang.

    "Saya merasa amat hebat bisa menjadi bagian dari sejarah Barcelona. Untuk semua dukungan yang diberikan oleh fans yang ada di seluruh dunia, saya mengucapkan terima kasih," tutur sang pemain.

    "Saya amat menikmati apa yang saya lakukan, yakni bermain sepakbola. Ditambah lagi saya berada di salah satu klub terbesar di dunia. Saya amat terhormat bisa mengenakan seragam Barca dan bermain dengan pemain yang amat saya kagumi dan gemari," pungkasnya.

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  3. Sakio Bika tak Buat Banyak Perubahan

    http://www.football-images.net/2014-08-13/9fb610b39daa94c015b3afa5ec9f3eca.jpg
    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, Sakio Bika tidak akan mengubah terlalu banyak gaya bertarungnya ketika kembali bertemu dengan Anthony Dirrell dalam duel mempertahankan gelar kelas menengah super WBC wajib di StubHub Center, Carson, California, Amerika Serikat, Minggu (17/8).

    Sang juara juga tetap akan berdiri dan bertukar pukulan pada duel ulang tersebut, dia pun berharap Dirrell melakukan hal yang serupa. Bika harus menjalani duel ulang dengan Dirrell, setelah tidak terdapat pemenangan pada pertemuan pertama Desember lalu.

    "Saya tidak akan berubah terlalu banyak. Saya akan keluar untuk melawan. Saya tidak ingin berlari-lari dan mengejarnya," ujar Bika.

    "Saya akan menunjukkan pada Anthony bahwa saya siap untuk melakukan apa yang saya selalu lakukan: membuat orang senang melihat saya bertarung. Jika dia ingin mengambil sabuk saya, dia lebih baik datang dengan kondisi siap," kata Bika lagi.

    Petinju 35 tahun itu tidak melakukan perubahan apapun selama menjalani kamp pelatihan, karena dia berencana untuk tetap pada rencana permainan dan percaya bahwa di atas segalanya akan membawa pulang kemenangan.

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  4. Poncharal : Pimpin Monsters Layaknya Orkestra
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    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, Pimpinan Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Herve Poncharal mengaku sangat bangga bisa memimpin sebuah tim besar di MotoGP. Pasalnya Poncharal menganggap perannya di di Tim, seperti memimpin orkestra.

    Poncharal Menjelaskan perannya untuk menutupi kekurangan tim di MotoGP dan regulasi akan ikut bermain di MotoGP pada tahun 2016.

    "Hari-hari menjadi Team Manager di MotoGP, Moto2 atau Moto3 adalah seperti menjadi pemimpin orkestra. Dalam peran MotoGP berarti anda harus melakukan lebih dari dalam kategori lain," tuturnya Poncharal.

    Meski begitu, Poncharal yakin timnya akan tetap kompetitif meski setiap pebalapnya hanya akan mendapat jatah lima mesin per musim dan empat liter bahan bakar lebih sedikit dari para pebalap Open.

    "Apapun yang menyangkut tim saya, Yamaha lah yang memutuskan. Jadi saya tak akan mengambil keputusan sendiri, karena saya menghormati hubungan yang kami jalin," ujarnya.

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  5. ‘Ribery Tak Akan Dihukum’
    http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/673/IRTq0T.jpg

    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, CEO Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge menyebutkan bahwa Franck Ribery tidak akan mendapatkan hukuman dari pihak manapun terkait keputusannya untuk pensiun dari Timnas Prancis.

    Sebelumnya, presiden UEFA, Michel Platini, mengklaim di hari Minggu bahwa winger Prancis itu bisa mendapat hukuman tiga laga di level klub, andai ia menolak panggilan dari pelatih Didier Deschamps.

    Namun demikian, Rummenigge berkeras bahwa Ribery sudah mendapat ijin untuk pensiun dari dunia sepakbola Internasional.

    "Semuanya sudah selesai. Sama halnya seperti Philipp Lahm yang membicarakan mengenai keputusannya untuk pensiun di level Internasional, Franck sudah membicarakannya dengan Deschamps," tutur Rummenigge.

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  6. Rojo dan Shaw Bisa Diturunkan Melawan QPR
    http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/150x100q90/743/rLMqw7.jpg

    Agen Bola Terpercaya indo11.com melaporkan, Dua pemain anyar Manchester United bakal mendapat kesempatan untuk melakukan debutnya bersama Setan Merah akhir pekan ini, saat tim menjamu QPR.

    Marcos Rojo, bek asal Argentina, kemungkinan besar akan diturunkan andai Phil Jones mengalami cedera. Bek Inggris itu ditarik di menit ke-77 dan digantikan oleh Phil Jagielka kala Three Lions menang 2-0 atas Swiss di babak kualifikasi Euro 2016 dini hari tadi.

    Rojo, yang dibeli dengan harga 20 juta poundsterling dari Sporting Lisbon di musim panas ini, baru mendapat ijin kerja dari pemerintah Inggris pekan lalu. Masalah tersebut pula yang membuatnya tak bisa tampil di pertandingan melawan Sunderland, MK Dons, dan Burnley.

    Sementara itu, Luke Shaw juga bisa jadi akan membuat debutnya di United akhir pekan ini, usai berhasil pulih dari cedera hamstring yang membuatnya absen di satu bulan pertama kompetisi.

    ReplyDelete