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? 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Rojo dan Shaw Bisa Diturunkan Melawan QPR

    Agen Bola Terpercaya 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.

  6. Van Gaal: I don't just want spectacular attacking football

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal wants to see an improvement in the balance of his side, insisting that it is not enough to only produce "spectacular attacking football".
    The signings of the likes of Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao have whipped up excitement about the Red Devils' forward options, with the Premier League giants having won three of four league games since the close of the transfer window.
    But Van Gaal believes that there is a lot more work to do in finding the right overall structure for the team.
    He told reporters: "We need more balance, I said that after the Everton match. I'm looking for balance in the team, not just spectacular attacking football."


  7. 'Real Madrid would be wise to sign Lucas Silva'

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - Cruzeiro forward Julio Baptista urged former club Real Madrid to sign highly rated team-mate Lucas Silva.
    Real have been linked with a move for 21-year-old midfielder Silva amid reports of Sami Khedira's possible departure from the Spanish capital, with Arsenal and Chelsea rumoured to be admirers of the latter.
    And veteran Baptista, who spent three years at the Santiago Bernabeu, believes Silva has the quality to succeed in La Liga.
    "It would be a wise move," Baptista told Marca of Real potentially signing Silva.
    "He is ready to make the giant leap to Europe and into a big club like Madrid, but he needs time to settle, because it's not an easy club."


  8. Espargaro : Hanya Satu Orang Yang Berhasil, Vale!

    Berita Olahraga Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet –Pol Espargaro, pebalap Monster Yamaha Tech 3 meyakini bahwa pebalap Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Valentino Rossi merupakan satu-satunya pebalap yang mampu menyesuaikan gaya balap dan karakter generasi yang lebih muda.
    The Doctor telah turun di kelas tertinggi sejak tahun 2000, ia telah mengendarai berbagai motor dan melawan rival kuat dari tiga generasi berbeda. Menurut Espargaro, Rossi berhasil beradaptasi dengan baik meski telah berusia 35 tahun.
    “Hal tersulit di MotoGP adalah mengubah gaya balap demi karakter motor. Jika melihat balapan 10 tahun lalu, jelas ada perbedaan gaya balap yang besar. Mesin dan sistem elektroniknya juga sangat berbeda,”ujar Espargaro. “Mengubah dan beradaptasi dengan gaya balap terkini seharusnya sangat sulit, tapi ada satu orang yang berhasil melakukannya, yakni Vale! Saya ingin sepertinya saat berusia 35 tahun nanti,”tutupnya.

  9. Ini Tampilan Asli Off-Road SUV Ford Everest!

    Berita Otomotif Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet –Generasi termuda dari off-road SUV keren Ford Everest belum lama ini resmi memamerkan desain terbarunya dan siap menggeser posisi sang rival, Toyota Fortuner di Beijing, China.
    Sang 7-seater dari Amerika tersebut Nampak begitu maskulin dengan desain tubuh yang bongsor dan kokoh berkat kontruksi body-on-frame milikinya. Belum lagi ground-clearance setinggi 225mm dan water wading depth 800mm, membuat Ford Everest terbaru takkan gentar meski harus menghadapi banjir setinggi pinggang.
    Kekuatan New Ford Everest bukan hanya itu saja. Kemampuan off road makin handal di sokong dengan berbagai sistem dan teknologi canggih seprti new Terrain Management System dan Torque on Demand membuatnya makin ‘pede’.


  10. Mobil Supercar Ini Di Larang Masuk Korea Selatan

    Berita Otomotif Terbaru dari Agen Bola Cityholidaybet –Chevrolet sukses menarik perhatian pecinta mobil sport dengan produk Chevrolet Corvette (C7) Stingray. Di Korea Selatan harus menunggu lebih lama sebelum mobil ini resmi di jual.
    Dilansir dari situs Carbuzz, CEO Chevrolet Korea Selatan mengumumkan bahwa aka nada penundaan peluncuran seri terbaru C7 Stingray di Negeri Ginseng. Karena masih ada masalah perizinan dengan pemerintah setempat.
    Pemerintah Korea Selatan memang memiliki aturan ketat terkait tingkat kebisingan yang diperbolehkan untuk semua jenis kendaraan di Negara tersebut. Selain polusi udara dan polusi suara. Di beberapa Negara Eropa dan Asia, tingkat kebisingan kendaraan dibatasi 78 hingga 80 desibel, sementara dai AS masih diperbolehkan 90-95 desibel.


  11. Van Gaal Lamented Comments Neville Critical Of His Team So Much

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - He Manchester United coach Louis van Gaal his displeasure after listening to comments from club legend like Gary Neville are busy criticizing his team.
    Said Neville is also known that the United States will win the title this season after coming out of the "murder" in Southampton headquarters while also commented about the Liverpool game counter on the weekend by calling the upcoming duel at Old Trafford like 'dog and ducks against Red Lions ".
    "You can only interpret what you want. It is not hard. When I say that, then he should consider again the words."


  12. Portuguese Coach Called His Team Has a Chance to Repeat the Results of the Victory over Liverpool as the First Meeting

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - FC Basel manager, Paulo Sousa has urged his team to be able to play attractive football ahead of a meeting against Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday (10/12) in the early morning hours.
    Swiss giant is ready to do the crucial party for the Reds in the final game of the second set, and that the winner of the game will accompany Real Madrid fall toward the stage.
    At the first meeting, the success of the Basel 1-0 victory over Liverpool at home, and now he wants Sosa forces can achieve similar results.
    Basel is currently second place in the standings with six points, two points behind Liverpool. A draw in this match perfectly to provide them advanced to the next round.


  13. Juventus Assess the German Left-Back Would Be an Interesting Choice as A Replacement for the Position of Evra in the Defense Team

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - Juventus ball directly to Borussia Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer wing is likely to leave in the winter transfer window in January.
    Bianconeri interest on the basis of claims management Judge Patrice Evra, who used to play as a left-back has yet to show his best performance since docked from Manchester United.
    Tuttosport claimed that the figure of the German player, aged 26 years will be an attractive option for the positions that are often inhabited by Evra.
    This season, Schmelzer started getting fierce competition from Eric dorm in the main band Die Borussen and the club is ready to open the door if there is a display of admission worth 8-10, 000, € 000.
    Besides Juventus, the other two Serie A Italian giants, Napoli and Inter FC also expressed their interest to bring Schmelzer.


  14. Liverpool Still Have A Chance to Play In the Champions League Next Season and Rodgers Assess the Expectations Should Be Realized

    Agen Bola Terpercaya Cityholidaybet Reported - Penetrating the Champions zone at the end of the season remains the target that carried Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers is optimistic his team can cut the difference in numbers with a rating of four current occupants.
    Liverpool within seven points with Southampton in the Premier League with West Ham United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are in between the two teams.
    Rodgers assesses the major challenges to be faced Liverpool, but his team ready for it.
    Cast all improving and we can see how the seven figures may seem a lot, but also can quickly weeded out.

  15. Benarkah Claudio Bravo Bakal Berlabuh ke Manchester City ?

    Agen Bola Melaporkan Berita Olahraga Terkini dan terbaru - Pep Guardiola tampaknya sedang mencari kiper baru. Manajer Manchester City tersebut berencana memboyong kiper Barcelona.
    Dia adalah Claudio Bravo. Kiper berusia 33 tahun telah membukukan 16 clean sheets dari 32 pertandingan di La Liga 2015-2016.
    Bravo terlihat tangguh di bawah mistar. Buktinya, dia melakukan 68 penyelamatan gemilang. Bila dirata-rata, kiper Timnas Chile itu melakukan 2,13 penyelamatan per laga. Tingkat keberhasilannya menyelamatkan gawang Los Blaugrana sebesar 95 persen.
    Mantan kiper Real Sociedad itu masih memiliki kontrak di Camp Nou Stadium hingga 30 Juni 2018. Demi mendapatkan Bravo, City bersedia menebus klausul jualnya yang seharga 20 juta pounds atau senilai dengan Rp 339 miliar.
    Guardiola mengincar Bravo karena ragu dengan ketangguhan Joe Hart di bawah gawang Manchester Biru. Terlebih lagi, Hart melakukan kesalahan fatal yang menyebabkan tersingkirnya Inggris di Piala Eropa 2016.
    Ketika itu, Hart tidak sempurna menahan tendangan pemain Islandia, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson di Stade de Nice pada babak 16 besar Piala Eropa 2016. Gol Sigthorsson itu membuat Islandia menang 2-1.

  16. Danny Ings Siap Jadi Mesin Gol The Reds

    Agen Bola Melaporkan Berita Olahraga Terkini dan terbaru - Penyerang Liverpool, Danny Ings mengaku siap untuk kembali bermain di pertandingan kompetitif musim depan. Pelatih Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp mengungkapkan keyakinannya pada sosok Danny Ings yang ia yakini mampu menjadi mesin gol The Reds di masa depan.
    “Danny Ings, dengan kualitasnya, akan mencetak banyak gol di masa depan, itu jelas,” ujarnya Klopp.
    “Tapi setelah musim lalu dan cedera yang sangat panjang, dia tak harus menempatkan begitu banyak tekanan pada dirinya sendiri. Dia harus menikmati pertandingan, dia perlu untuk mencapai kebugaran setelah cedera panjang. Anda butuh periode lama untuk kembali 100 persen bugar,” sambungnya.
    Ings menunjukkan bahwa dirinya siap kembali bersaing di lini depan The Reds musim depan. Tekad itu sudah ia buktikan dengan satu gol kemenangan yang ia cetak ke gawang Tranmere Rovers.
    “Saya berada di kondisi baik dan siap. Saya telah melakukan latihan ekstra selama musim panas dan saya telah berhasil menemukan keseimbangan yang tepat pula. Ini juga karena saya sudah bekerja sangat keras selama enam bulan terakhir untuk bisa berada dalam kondisi seperti ini,” ujarnya Ings.
    “Saya sudah siap. Semoga saya bisa lebih baik daripada di laga ini, terus menjaga kebugaran, mendapatkan lebih banyak waktu bermain dan juga mencetak gol sebanyak yang saya bisa. Saya sungguh bahagia,” tandasnya.