Planning for aBaby on a budget

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A mother and baby spending time together

How the cost of raising a child has changed over the years

Below, we've rounded up the cost of raising a child to the age of 18 and how this has changed over the years. These figures are taken from the annual Child Poverty Action Group reports. As you can see they have fluctuated over the years, with a significant drop between 2015 and 2016.

Cost for a couples to raise a child

Cost for a single-parents to raise a child






















Those overall figures are two rather staggering amounts and the Money Advice Service has also reported that during your first month as a new parent, you're likely to spend as much as £500!

So, what if we told you we have some tips and tricks that could help you save a little cash in the run-up to having your baby? Read on to find out more.

A newborn baby in the hospital overlooked by a nurse
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The baby prep timeline

You're pregnant! Which means amidst the celebrations and excitement comes the planning and preparation for your bundle of joy to arrive.

Here, you'll find a timeline, breaking down what you need to consider each month before your due date. Of course, these are just guidelines and you will have your own thoughts on how you want to plan your pregnancy, but if you are looking for some ideas these may be a good starting point!

Weeks 4-8

It's official! There's a baby on the way. Those first few weeks are likely going to be a whirlwind of joy, a little bit of trepidation and perhaps a fair bit of nausea, as some women have to deal with morning sickness. But there is the excitement of knowing you're expecting. You'll also likely be trying to keep the news under wraps as you wait for your first scan.

What to buy

  • Lots and lots of ginger biscuits or sweets if you have morning sickness (Gin Gins are a popular choice for many women).
  • Body lotion or oil for your growing bump.

What to do

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Book an appointment at the surgery

Plan a visit to your GP to confirm your pregnancy with them and to get checked over to ensure you're healthy. They'll then set up an appointment with a midwife.

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Deal with morning sickness, if necessary

If you're experiencing morning sickness, look around for tips to help you get through the day. Ginger biscuits in bed before you get up, smelling lemon-scented things and sipping water little and often are tried and tested methods to combat nausea. If it is stronger than this, then let your GP know.

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Set a budget for baby essentials

Sit down and go through your monthly budget and set aside a little money each month to put towards the things you really need for your baby. It will add up over the course of nine months.

An expecting mother holding her bump

Weeks 9 - 13

At 12 weeks your baby is around the size of a plum. This means it is first scan time! Once you have had the scan, and you are ready, you can share the news with everyone.

You may still be experiencing morning sickness and your first midwife appointment should be in the diary. This is a good time to look ahead and consider what you may need to buy.

What to buy

  • Maternity clothes
  • Parenting books

What to do

Baby tracking app icon

Download a baby tracking app

These apps are a fun way to follow your baby's progress. You can see how big your baby is and how they're developing at each stage of your pregnancy. Ovia Pregnancy Tracker, The Bump and Hello Belly are popular choices.

Classes icon

Look into free antenatal classes

These classes prepare you for having a baby and can be accessed for free on the NHS. They do get booked up early, so try to find some well in advance. It is also worth looking at the National Childbirth Trust for information. It is the UK's leading charity for parents, with information to help you through the first 1,000 days and beyond.

Baby budget icon

Attend a baby show

These events take place throughout the year and are a great opportunity to try out the products you’re considering for yourself and to get free advice from experts.

A pregnant woman standing on the beach holding her bump

Instead of buying brand new maternity jeans, look into waistband extenders that expand the waist of your favourite jeans as your bump grows. Alternatively, you could use a simple hairband or elastic band looped around your trouser button!

Weeks 14 - 18

At 16 weeks, the baby is around the size of an avocado and you'll now be wrapped up in the excitement of planning. Ask family and friends who have had children if they have any hand me downs you can use - a great way of saving a little money. They will be very happy to offload the unwanted items, clogging up the drawers, especially if they are not planning more children.

What to buy

  • Changing mat
  • Baby monitor
  • Newborn baby clothing

What to do

Workplace icon

Let your workplace know

You don't have to tell your workplace about your pregnancy until 15 weeks before your due date, however, it's a good idea to make them aware as soon as possible. They can make sure the environment is safe for you and telling them in plenty of time means they can check this earlier. It also means they have plenty of time to find cover while you are on maternity leave and you can hand over any work to your colleagues. You will need to provide them with a MatB1 maternity certificate.

Wishlist icon

Set up a baby wishlist

When you announce your pregnancy to the world, everyone will want to know what you need. Create a wishlist on a site such as Amazon that you can share with family and friends. It means you won't get lots of doubling-up gifts, and you'll get the things you really need instead.

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Book your 20-week scan

Your baby is around the size of a sweet potato at this stage. The 20-week scan is an important scan that is offered to you during your pregnancy. It can highlight if there are any problems and you'll be able to hopefully see your baby's face and hands in detail. Very exciting!

A pair of hands create a heart shape on the mother's belly

Weeks 19 - 23

You're in the midst of your second trimester now. This is when you'll start to feel the baby move more often and your sickness (if you had any) should hopefully now be subsiding. Now would be a good time to turn your mind to preparing the house, and baby's room for the arrival of your new family member.

What to buy

  • Muslins
  • Cot
  • Cot bedding and mattress
  • Pram

What to do

Nursery icon

Prep the nursery

It's a good idea to get the room cleaned and painted as early as possible to ensure the chemicals or smells aren't lingering.

Furniture icon

Buy larger furniture

Now is a great time to pick up a cot and mattress to feature in that newly decorated baby room.

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Set a budget for baby essentials

Researching, shopping and choosing the right pram or travel system for your needs is important. Check out our guide to buying a pram.

A newborn baby plays in their crib

Weeks 24 - 28

The baby is around the size of cauliflower during this time and you're likely feeling the effects of being pregnant more than ever. As your bump is bigger you may find it harder to do more physical things. You're drawing nearer to those final few weeks so it's time to get those bigger jobs done and out of the way.

What to buy

  • Bottles
  • Steriliser
  • Extra teats
  • Nappies

What to do

Date icon

Book in a date for your baby shower

If you're having a party to celebrate your pregnancy with family and friends, now is the time to set the date. To give you one thing less to think about, why don't you consider asking someone close to you to organise it for you?

Furniture icon

Set up the nursery furniture

Spend a weekend setting up your crib and other furniture in the nursery. Having a comfortable chair that you can nurse baby quietly in is really important. Do you have one in the house that you can move into the room, to save you buying an expensive nursing chair?

A newly decorated rooms awaits the arrival of a newborn baby

Weeks 29 - 33

The big day is drawing nearer and so it's time to start planning those final preparations for when the baby arrives.

What to buy

  • Car seat
  • Formula (if you are not breastfeeding)
  • Changing bag
  • Baby wipes

What to do

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Cook and freeze some meals

When you get home with your baby, you won't want to be cooking. It is well worth spending a day cooking some meals and freezing these ready to eat later. Why not ask your friends and family to make one dish each?

Washing Machine icon

Wash your baby's bedding and clothing

Wash these items to ensure they are clean and ready for your little one to arrive. Use non-bio washing detergent to ensure your little one's skin isn't irritated.

Baby car seat icon

Buy and fit your baby car seat

Fit this in your car in preparation for the big day. You want to make sure that it is secure and ready for when you bring your baby home. You don't want to be fitting it the day when emotions are running high with tiredness, excitement or nerves.

3D Scan icon

Book a 3D scan

See your little one in 3D for the first time! It's a great memento to keep for the future to show them what they looked like while in the womb!

A decorative mandlepiece celebrates the forthcoming arrival of a newborn baby

Weeks 34 - 36

It's nearly time! This is the month to grab any last-minute baby items and get ready for the day when you head to the hospital to finally meet your baby.

What to buy

  • Energy snacks
  • Toiletries
  • Maternity pads
  • Nipple pads
  • Cream
  • Soothing gel packs

What to do

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Pack your hospital bag

Spend some time packing your hospital bag ready for the day you give birth. This should feature items such as loose clothing, breast and maternity pads, some entertainment to keep you occupied, phone charger, baby clothes, snacks for energy and toiletries.

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Plan how you're going to get to the hospital

Take some time to plan your route with whoever will be going to the hospital with you. Even do a trial run so you really know where to go. That way there won't be any surprises on that all important drive. If you need to get a taxi, now is the time to research a service that offers rides to women in labour.

A smiling baby enjoys getting dry after a bath
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The newborn baby essentials checklist

It's definitely an exciting time, planning and buying for a newborn baby but when it comes to what you need to purchase it's a good idea to have a list to tick off.

You can spread the cost of those baby essentials over your pregnancy, as the little one gets ready to arrive. Here's a comprehensive list of what to buy for a new baby, that you can keep for later and tick off as you go along.

Baby essentials

There are some things you just can't do without! From travel essentials to feeding equipment, these are the baby items you should buy before your new bundle of joy arrives.

Newborn baby nursery essentials

These are the baby items you'll need to care for them on a day to day basis.

*It's best to put your baby down to sleep in one of these, close to you for the first few weeks.
**Water-based if you're using cloth nappies.
***Buy nappies in a newborn size and 0-3 months to ensure all bases are covered!

Newborn baby feeding essentials

Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, pick up the items on the list as necessary.

Newborn baby clothing essentials

When it comes to clothes, newborns rarely get dressed up and it's likely friends and family will donate or gift you lots of baby clothes.

Most babies live in baby grows and 'bodysuit' vests that have quick and easy access for all that nappy changing! It's also a good idea to pick up a range of sizes. It's hard to predict exactly how big your baby will be so as well as newborn sizes, buy clothing in sizes from 0-3 months and 3-6 months. Babies grow fast!

It's also a good idea to think ahead and only buy clothing suitable for the time of year your baby will be born in. Buying winter clothes for a summer baby is pointless - as they'll be too big for them by the time the cooler weather comes around!

A handful of newborn baby clothing essentials

Newborn baby travel essentials

If you're heading out with your little one, these are the baby items you'll need to take along with you.

*Including a change of clothes or even two!

A bag packed full of baby essentials including a milk bottle, dummy and toys

Baby items that are nice to have

These items wouldn't be considered essentials, but are good to have around your home.

Essentials for Mum

These are the things Mum definitely needs, once the little one arrives.

A varitation of different baby essentials from toys to extra clothes

Newborn baby items you probably won't need

These are the items you likely won't need when the baby first arrives, so put your money towards those essentials, initially!


Why? Babies won't need one straight away, but toys that rattle and make noise are important for development.

Baby cutlery and plates

Why? No need to pick these up, until you're weaning your baby at around six months.

Changing table

Why? You can easily use a changing mat on the floor or place this on a chest of drawers.


Why? Until your baby can hold its own head up and is moving onto solids, you won't need one.

Fancy baby clothes

Why? You'll get plenty from friends and family, just buy the basics.


Why? Until your baby is crawling, there's no need to worry about buying one of these for your home.


Why? Again, a newborn baby definitely won't be tackling these straight away.

Nappy bin

Why? You could just use a bag or normal bin!

Average cost of important baby items

The Money Advice Service has created a round up of the average prices for the most common baby essentials:

This means if you opted for the budget options for each of these, your spend would amount to £343.82.

A newborn baby has their nappy changed by their mother
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Cloth Nappies vs Disposable Nappies

There has been a lot of debate in recent years when it comes to which nappy to use. Should I use cloth or disposable nappies? Those who are passionate about the environment are now leaning towards cloth nappies, as they provide many benefits and can even be more cost-effective over time.

Here, we've taken a look at cloth and disposable nappies to help you make your own choice about what offers the best value for you.

What is a cloth nappy?

These nappies are perhaps considered to be a more traditional style, you use them like a normal nappy, then pop them in the washing machine when soiled before reusing them again.

What are disposable nappies?

Disposable nappies offer ease and convenience and are typically quite cheap to buy. They are used and then thrown away, there is no washing to worry about. However, there is increasing evidence that they aren't great for the environment as they take a very long time to break down in landfill due to their plastic coating.

Expert Advice

We spoke to Wendy Richards, owner of The Nappy Lady Ltd. about cloth nappies, their benefits and why they may be the right choice for you.

Wendy created The Nappy Lady in 1999, following a "bad experience with a cloth nappy that was on the shelf at a store."

Nappy Lady Logo

Wendy Richards

The Nappy Lady

It became clear that there were different types of cloth nappies on the market and every nappy suited a different type of baby or family priority. What was best for one person could be the worst nappy for another.

The Nappy Lady was created to lead parents through the cloth nappy maze, it's an independent resource where we try and highlight the pros and cons of each nappy and with our advice service we match families to the best nappy on the market for them.

Wendy now has three children and she chose to use cloth nappies for all of them.

"Until I had my first child I'd never changed a nappy, so I can remember how daunting it all seems. We knew we couldn't afford for me to go back to work after having our first child," she said.

"I was a store manager for WHSmith and the hours were long and I would have to start work before childcare would be open. Childcare would be so expensive I would barely be breaking even. By cloth nappying (and breastfeeding) we'd be able to keep our costs low to help me stay off work for longer. The environmental benefit of cloth nappies was an added bonus but cost was the main reason why we started with cloth."

Even if you only used one cloth nappy a day that's over 900 (disposable nappies) saved over a 2.5-year period! So if every new parent did this, in the UK alone we would save 611,195,400 nappies from landfill!

Here, Wendy broke down some of the basics for us, when it comes to cloth nappies.

What are the benefits of cloth nappies?

"Some are very close to disposable nappies, such as all in ones, so there is little difference apart from you wash them rather than throw them away.

A good cloth nappy is actually more reliable than a disposable nappy as they have strong elastic to keep all that explosive poo inside. Disposables have weaker elastic as they are designed to be used for two hours and thrown away evermore."

  • Cheaper - a pack of reusable cloth nappies costs from £100 - £500. See below to discover how these figures compare to disposable nappies, when it comes to great value.

  • Health - cloth nappies are cooler than disposables as they are more breathable. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular in Australia.

  • Comfort - They are softer than disposables. Remember those disposable maternity pants. Urgghhh! Bet you couldn't wait to get back to lovely cotton pants. Basically the same applies to cloth nappies.

  • Potty training - Tends to be quicker in cloth nappies as the child feels wetter so they learn the link between toileting quicker. On average [children] wearing cloth tend to potty train 6 months earlier than a disposable wearing baby. The age of potty training has been increasing since the introduction of disposables, it used to be 18 months to 2 years and now it's creeping up to 3 years+.

  • Environment - One child in cloth saves 5,500 nappies from going to landfill. Think of all that single-use plastic that has been saved!

Any tips for cleaning cloth nappies?

"Yes, it's actually very simple."

"No need to soak any more and soaking isn’t recommended. Just put the nappies into the washing machine and do a rinse cycle.

This flushes them through like how our mothers would have soaked them but the machine is doing the work for you. Then after the rinse cycle put them on a long 40 or 60-degree wash with non-bio powder detergent and no fabric softener. Then dry as you normally dry your clothes.”

What is the average cost of cloth nappies vs disposable nappies?

"There isn’t an average cost as everyone is different. Some people are on a tight budget and we can get them cloth nappying from £100 with terry squares.

Other people might put ease of use higher and would go for an all in one which for full-time use can be around £400 - £500. Most people fall somewhere in between the two extremes.

Of course if you go on to have more children you can reuse the nappies again which you can’t do with disposables. At the end of the nappy time cloth nappies can be sold on as well to recoup some of the initial outlay."

"Cost of disposables also varies a lot depending on brand, how often you change and how long [the] baby is in nappies. An average is estimated to be £800 - £1,000 based on around 5,500 nappies."

How many cloth nappies do you need for a newborn baby?

"If washing every 2 days, then 20 nappies for a baby under 6 months."

Cloth Nappies

£100 - £500 for 20 nappies

  • Can be reused for future children

  • Great for the environment

  • Only need 20 nappies for a newborn baby

Disposable Nappies

£800 - £1,000 for 2,184 nappies

  • Cannot be reused

  • Take around 450 years to breakdown in landfill

  • A newborn baby is estimated to get through 12 disposable nappies a day

*6 months worth using an average of 12 nappies per day

Disposable nappies price comparison

We understand that cloth isn't for everyone, so here is a guide on the average prices for some of the most popular disposable nappies across the market currently. You can also use the site which helps you compare nappies across a range of shops and websites.

Pampers Premium
x24 nappies
£4.00 (16p per nappy)
Buy from Boots
Aldi Mamia Newborn
Nappies x24
£0.79 (3p per nappy)
Buy from Aldi
Sainsbury's Little Ones
Newborn Nappies x40
£1.50 (4p per nappy)
Buy from Sainsbury's
Tesco Fred & Flo
Newborn Nappies x24
£0.89 (4p per nappy)
Buy from Tesco
Lidl Lupilu Newborn
Nappies x24
£0.79 (3p per nappy)
Buy from Lidl
ASDA Little Angels Newborn
Nappies x24
£0.89 (4p per nappy)
Buy from ASDA
Boots Newborn
Nappies x24
£2.50 (10p per nappy)
Buy from Boots
Naty Newborn
Eco Nappies x24
£4.00 (16p per nappy)
Buy from Boots

Two new parents lovingly look over their newborn in their pram
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Your guide to buying a pram

The world of prams can feel daunting for prospective parents. It is one of the most expensive purchases for your new arrival. Choosing the right pram can be like choosing the right car! So, we've tried to narrow things down and find ways to save you money in the long run. Read on to find out how to choose the right pram for your needs.

What to consider before buying a pram

There's a lot to think about when buying a pram, here are just a few things to consider before making your purchase.

Is it foldable?

You'll want to fit your pram in your car or in a storage space in your home, so one that folds is essential.

Are the wheels sturdy?

You'll be pushing your pram everywhere, from a standard pavement to cobbles or gravel, so look for wheels that can handle a little of everything.

Does it come with all the accessories you need?

You don't want to factor the cost of your pram into your budget, only to discover you need to pay more later for a sunshade.

Is the seat reversible?

When your little one is a newborn, you may want the pram seat to face you but as they get a little older they'll want to see more of what's around them, so a reversible seat is a good choice.

Can you clip a car seat into the pram?

Travel systems are a popular choice for many, allowing you to swap your carrycot style pram base for the car seat - great when your baby has fallen asleep in the car and you don't fancy waking them up!

Does it have swivel wheels?

These make it so much easier to manoeuvre quickly while out and about and get through tight spaces.

A pram is shown being pushed down an autumnal path

Is a travel system the best value for money?

More and more parents are leaning towards a travel system. This is essentially a standard pram frame and wheel base, with a carry cot and a car seat that can be swapped as and when necessary. Travel systems are a great choice, as they can be adapted as the baby develops.

When baby is under six months you attach the carrycot, to allow baby to lay flat while out and about. You can also swap this out for their car seat. As your baby grows you'll then move onto the buggy or pushchair, which can be used throughout their toddler years.

Where to buy a pram for less

You don't have to buy a brand new pram and spend a fortune. There are several places to turn to where you can pick up that ideal travel system for less.

Facebook Marketplace
You'll find parents who no longer need their newborn pram selling them for a reduced cost on Facebook Marketplace.

This local selling site usually features prams for a lower price.

With the ability to bid on items at a low price, you could bag yourself a bargain on the site.

Car boot
Head to your local car boot sale and see what those with a stall have to offer - you could find something at an incredible price!

A mother watches over her newborn in a pram whilst taking a stroll on the beach

You don't have to buy the latest model! Shopping around for an older version of a pram that you like could save you a lot of money.

What to check when buying a pram second-hand

A wrapped up baby is looking content whilst taking a nap in their pram

Buying a pram second-hand is a great way of saving some cash - but there are some important safety aspects to consider before you hand over your money. Work through this checklist to ensure you're buying a pram that is safe for your baby.

Check the brakes work properly
Take a moment to check the brakes lock and don't move when the pram is pushed or leant on.

Ensure its locking devices work
When you open up a pram, there are usually two devices that lock in place to hold it together. It's very important these work correctly, to ensure the pram doesn't fold in on itself.

Check the pram reclines all the way back
A newborn must be laid flat to ensure their head and neck are supported, so you'll need to buy a pram that can recline all the way back. When they are around three months and can support their head a little better, they can then be sat up.

Test the safety harnesses
All prams should feature safety harnesses that must be used when you start to sit your baby upright. These ensure your little one doesn't roll out or tip forward when you are navigating curbs or bumpy terrain. Five-point safety harnesses are a better choice, these strap around your baby's chest, waist and between their legs.

Is it clean?
You'll definitely want to give your second-hand pram a clean and disinfect it yourself but it's important to check for any bad stains or soiled marks.

Accessories you don't need for your pram

You may be tempted to pick up some additional accessories for your pram but these can be costly and there are plenty of alternatives that can help you save money. If it doesn't come with the pram as standard, it's unlikely you need it!

Cup holder

Sounds great but these can cost a fair amount of money.


A blanket tucked tightly around their legs will keep them just as warm.

Branded changing bag

You can pick up a large rucksack or stand alone changing bag that can easily fit everything you need in and save a little money.

Smartphone holder

Pockets or a bag do the same job for free!

The top 3 pushchairs of 2019

According to research by Mumsnet, here are the top three pushchairs to consider:

A Nuna Mixx 2019 Pushchair

Nuna Mixx 2019 RRP: £450 - £675

Lightweight frame + large rear wheels + all-wheel suspension = a pushchair that adapts to your needs.

A Maxi Cosi Zelia Pushchair

Maxi-Cosi Zelia RRP: £299

This cheaper travel system is reliable, great looking and can even be folded down with one hand!

A Mamas and Papas Ocarro Pushchair

Mamas and Papas Ocarro RRP: £399 - £899

Puncture resistant wheels, front or rear facing seating and a padded seat make this a great choice for active parents.

A clothes rail full of multicolored baby clothes
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Where to find baby items on a budget or get them for free

Getting a bargain on those all-important baby essentials is easier than you may think. Here, we've rounded up where to look for deals and second-hand items that can save you a fair bit of money.

"Always check out baby events at supermarkets - buying things like wipes and nappies in bulk can help."

Nikki Turner, Buckinghamshire. Mum to two children

Friends and family

Loved ones who have had children already may have lots of baby items they can pass onto you. Here's what you could potentially buy from them (or even get for free!):

Baby clothes
Depending on how old their child is they could provide clothes for a range of ages!

Nursery furniture
You will have seen these in use and know they've been cared for.

Again, you know how the pram has been used and what it's been through.

Maternity clothes
Maternity clothing can be costly. If you're buying a whole new wardrobe, being able to swap and buy from those close to you can save you money.

A freshly made bed inside a white cot

"Have your baby after all your friends/family then you get hand-me-downs for life including an abundance of clothes, and so much baby gear like Moses baskets, cots, pushchairs, prams etc. They love to see your little ones use their bits and I just buy them a little voucher/gift to say thanks each time we get a batch of goodies."

Hannah Penson, Lincolnshire. Mum to Freya and Immy, ages 7 and 9.

Car boots

A handful of different baby gifts

Your local car boot is a goldmine for baby items, as people look to get rid of these bulkier essentials quickly and for a low price. You can even haggle to get more money off! Here are just some of the items you may find at a car boot:

Baby clothes
Look for items that aren't soiled and give them a good wash before using them. You'll likely be able to buy a big bundle for a low price or individual items for pennies!

Nursery furniture
Travel cots, rocking chairs and booster seats are likely the types of furniture you'll find at a car boot.

You can grab toys, books and play mats at a great price at a car boot.

You may even find a pram for a low price at your local car boot.

Top tips for buying second-hand baby clothes


Buy quality If they are better quality to begin with they will wash better and last longer.


Check for stains You don't want to get that item of clothing home and discover it has a stain that won't come out!


Wash what you buy before use Ensure you wash everything before putting your baby in it to ensure it's safe for them to wear.


Avoid items like bibs and muslins Don't risk any contamination or infection with items that have been used during feeding.

Charity shops

Your local charity shop is updated regularly with new donations. Not only is it a more sustainable way of buying baby essentials but it can also save you a fair amount of money. Below, you'll find a round up of the type of baby items you can buy:

Baby clothes
Many people donate their unneeded baby clothes to their local charity shop and in many cases they've barely been worn or may still have the tags on! You may find top end brands here for a much lower price than if you went directly to the shop.

Nursery furniture
Some charity shops sell furniture - such as the British Heart Foundation and Barnardo's - take a look at what they have to offer.

Look for toys that can be easily cleaned, ready for your little one to enjoy, at a much lower price.

A selection of multicolored toys for babies

Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Shpock

Bundles of brand new baby's clothes

Your favourite social media site now boasts a selling area, with people local to you listing baby items they no longer need or want for a lower price. All you need to do is message them, agree a price and then collect the item. Here's what you could pick up:

Baby clothes
Many people sell bundles of baby clothes on Facebook Marketplace, putting up images of large amounts of clothing that you can buy then sift through to keep the things you like.

Nursery furniture
You'll find people selling nursery furniture they no longer need for a lower price to get rid of them quickly. Ensure they're located somewhere you're happy to drive and take a friend along to help you get the furniture in the car.

Larger toys
Playmats and garden toys are common finds and can be picked up for a low price for your little one to enjoy later.

A baby mobile is shown whilst a mother rocks her newborn to sleep


Head to eBay for low prices whether you're buying from a direct seller or a business seller. You'll find listings for everything imaginable on this site and with low starting amounts, you could bag a bargain if you time it right. What baby items can you buy from eBay?

Baby clothes
You'll find regular sellers creating listings offering gorgeous baby clothes that you can bid for. Set yourself a budget and try to get your hands on those items you need for a lower price.

Nursery furniture
You'll find nursery furniture from businesses and people local to you.

Bottle and sterilising kits
Shop around and potentially pick one up for less on eBay.

A baby feeding bottle is shown whilst a mother enjoys time with her child


Bundles of brand new baby's clothes

You can pick up baby items for less at your local supermarket - such as bibs and vests - as well as toys and even furniture if you keep an eye on the noticeboard. Here's what's up for grabs at your local supermarket:

Baby clothes
Many supermarkets now sell their own brand clothing and these usually cost less. Sainsbury's, Tesco and George at ASDA are three brands that sell stunning baby clothes and items at a budget price.

Nursery furniture
Check out the supermarket notice board for listings from local people selling nursery furniture and other baby items.

Many supermarkets sell their own brand toys and books for a low price.

Supermarkets such as Aldi are renowned for their competitively priced but great quality packs of nappies.

You can pick up formula at the supermarket, with many offering regular deals to help you save money.

A white teddy bear is shown in a baby's cot

Local baby Facebook page

People in your local area have likely created a Facebook page for parents, where you can chat with other Mums and Dads who live nearby. You may find that some people post any baby items they're looking to get rid of on here first, before adding it to the wider Facebook Marketplace.

Baby clothes
Lots of parents use these pages to pass on baby clothes to other parents who need them more.

Nursery furniture
Look out for people on the page sharing images of nursery furniture they no longer need.

From playmats to teddies, you'll likely find lots of parents offering up toys on these pages.

A selection of cuddly toys are shown in a baby's cot

Freecycle and Freegle

Tiny green baby boots

These websites - Freegle and Freecycle - are great online spaces where people ask for what they need or post items they want to get rid of for free. The idea is that you recycle rather than throw away and pass on things you no longer need. Simply search for your area and take a look at the offer listings to find baby items that you don't need to pay a penny for.

You'll find people listing lots of cuddly toys their child no longer has use for.

Outside toys
Bikes and outside playsets can be picked up for free, they'll just need a good clean before they can be enjoyed in a few years.

Baby clothes
You may find people listing bundles of baby clothes for free.

Things you should not buy second-hand

There are some items that must be bought new, to ensure the safety of your baby:

Cot mattress

You should buy a brand new cot mattress to avoid harmful bacteria and also to ensure it is firm to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). A baby sleeping on a soft mattress that has been used is at a higher risk of SIDS.

Car Seat

If a second-hand car seat has been in any form of accident, no matter how small, its safety features will be reduced and may not be as effective in the future.


Even if they've been sterilised, it's best to avoid buying bottles second-hand.

A young child taking a nap in their bed
Saving tip


The benefits, saving schemes and baby clubs available for new parents

As a new parent, and even while pregnant, you can access a wide range of benefit schemes and helpful grants that can support you, when preparing for a new baby. The website has a great benefits calculator you can use but in the meantime, here, we've featured a round-up of some of the options available.

Healthy Start

If you are pregnant and receiving benefits or are under the age of 18, you may qualify for the Healthy Start scheme. This means you can apply for and receive vouchers that can be put towards buying fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, vitamins and formula milk when your baby arrives. It ensures you remain healthy and your baby does too while saving you some money!

Sign up to a health scheme

These schemes are available for pregnant mothers and are a great way to save up some cash ready for any medical expenses you may have to deal with. You simply pay in a small amount monthly, then receive a lump sum of money to use once you are issued your pregnancy certificate. It’s a great option to look into if you’re currently trying for a baby.

Free NHS dental treatments and prescriptions when pregnant

While your body does incredible things growing your new bundle of joy, you’re taken care of too with access to free dental treatment on the NHS and also free prescriptions during your pregnancy. This can save you some money and ensures you remain in good health during those nine months. You’ll continue to get these things for free up to one year after giving birth.

A parent reads a story to their child

Statutory maternity pay

When employed, you're entitled to one year's maternity leave and 39 weeks of maternity pay. For the first 6 weeks, you receive 90% of your wages before tax.
For the following 33 weeks, you receive £148.68 or 90% of your weekly average wage - whatever is less. Then for the final 13 weeks, you are unpaid. It's a good idea to save some money if possible, before going on maternity leave, to cover you for those final 13 weeks.

Statutory paternity leave

If you are the biological father, the partner of the mother or the intended parent if you are having a baby via a surrogate, then you are entitled to paternity pay. Paternity leave allows you to take two weeks off to be with your baby while receiving £148.68 per week or 90% of your wages - whichever is lower.

Maternity Allowance

If you cannot claim for statutory maternity pay - perhaps you’re self-employed or haven’t worked for your employer for long enough - then this is an allowance issued by the Government, fortnightly or monthly. What you receive depends upon how much you earn.

A child's mobile is shown with a handful of different knitted animals

Sure Start Maternity Grant

The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one-off payment of £500 to help you with expenses for a new baby. It is only available for people receiving certain benefits and can only be claimed for one child under 16 per household.

Child Benefit

This benefit is available to all parents and when you apply for it you will receive money each week per child you are responsible for. You will receive £20.70 per week for your eldest or oldest child and £13.70 per week for every additional child after.

It’s worth noting that if you earn more than £50,000, you may have to pay back some of your child benefit as a form of additional income tax.

Download the Bounty app

This dedicated parenting club not only offers lots of health advice but you can also get money off at local supermarkets on those necessary baby items with their Bounty packs.

A child's bedroom decorated in grey and yellow modern furniture

Book a personal shopping appointment at Mamas and Papas

These fab (and free) personal shopping experiences are not only great fun but you’ll also enjoy a discount on purchases over a certain amount of money and a free gift for your little one.

Get a baby box for free

The Baby Box Co. offers free education to parents and those who take their online courses. If you pass the courses - you’ll simply take a quiz after each one to test your knowledge - you’ll qualify for a reward of a free baby box. These are similar to Moses baskets and come with a foam mattress plus a sheet and cover.

Parents in Scotland can also apply for a free baby box through the Scottish Government. These are filled with baby essentials and can help you save some money when preparing for your baby to arrive. You’ll need to ask your midwife to register you for a box when you’re around 20-24 weeks pregnant.

Baby clubs and discount events

Many brands have created exclusive events that offer money off those necessary baby items.

Asda Baby Event

These take place throughout the year, offering incredible deals on a range of baby items.

NetMums and Aldi Mamia

You can claim free samples of Aldi's nappies and baby wipes through this scheme.

Ella's Kitchen

Get free goodies when you sign up to join the Ella's Kitchen club. You'll receive coupons as well as wallcharts and stickers to track the weaning progress as your baby grows.

Amazon Family for Prime members

If you already pay for Amazon Prime (this costs £7.99 per month or £79 a year - but you can get a free 30-day trial, just ensure you cancel before the time is up) then you'll also be able to access its Family club which offers discounts on nappies and baby food through the site.

*All figures are correct at the time of writing - during the 2019/20 tax year.

A family enjoys quality time together by going for a walk
Saving tip


Real tips from real parents

We've spoken to those parents who have been there and done that, learning tips and tricks when it comes to saving money and what they might do differently if they had to do it all again.

Bianca and Daniel Flatt

Bianca and Daniel Flatt Parents to newborn baby Lottie

"Definitely formula milk. Considering some women are unable to breastfeed, formula milk is between £10-£18 a tub and you can go through 1-1.5 a week. Some people may struggle with this.

Also, the crib. We bought a Chicco Next To Me, as we decided this was best for us. Luckily, we were able to purchase this second-hand from a friend, so it saved half the money! Babies are recommended to sleep with their mother for the first six months but not in the same bed, so this is the next best thing but they are usually about £200."

"Oh yes! This is the best way to save money. You can wash all clothing and items before your baby uses them. It’s also a great way of recycling."

"We bought a lot of things second-hand but you could also speak to Mums or other friends who have children and ask if they have anything they don’t need. We also bought a lot of baby items in the sales.

Black Friday and baby events in supermarkets are a good option, rather than well known, more expensive stores such as Mothercare that are solely for children.

Also, look out for local sales. I have a local ‘nearly new sale’ that I attended and bought useful cheap items i.e. plain vests, muslins and bibs. Items must be in excellent if not new condition to be sold."

"Yes, scratch mittens! Most babygrows have these built-in now and also newborn shoes. Baby feet are tiny and will unlikely fit in these."

"We will keep her first clothes, such as her first couple of outfits, coming home outfit, special occasion outfit, and have them made into a memory blanket. We’ll keep most things in case we have another baby girl or I will sell them for cheap at the nearly new sales or to friends or give to charity."

"Yes! Definitely muslins, you will need absolutely hundreds. Chenelle blankets, a nightlight/white noise toy to help soothe the baby and stock up on nappies, bags and wipes beforehand."

"My main tip is not to buy everything new. Clothes from Facebook marketplace or mum to mum markets. Half the stuff you don't use anyway. And breastfeeding saves money and effort too."

Jo Ciriani, Mum to a little girl aged 2

Bianca and Daniel Flatt

Tami Brieses Mum to Isla aged 7

"I'd definitely say the upkeep of having a baby; nappies, wipes, formula. It all adds up and I honestly think I've spent thousands and thousands on them over the years. You don't realise just how much it is, particularly because they're such small but necessary things."

"I bought a couple of toys and books second-hand, but the majority of things I bought new."

"I would put a small portion of her child benefit away each month, just £10 and continue to, even now.

It's also definitely worth looking at other supermarkets for nappies and wipes. I highly rate Aldi, Lidl and Morrison's own nappy range; I personally found Huggies the worst and Pampers is just very expensive for how many you go through with a baby."

Food prep is also where you can save; yes those pouches are extremely useful and time effective, but they are very expensive and you can bulk cook and freeze little meals for your child.

Buy books second-hand - they will honestly never know the difference. We go for used books from Amazon and it's so good; there are a lot of books that need new homes and it helps the planet a little bit too."

"I'd definitely do more research when it comes to a pram - I went for brand over usefulness which meant it was more expensive and I definitely won't be making that mistake again!"

"I would also look at getting a better mattress but a cheaper cot - I went for a set with the cot and it was very expensive. Although it served us well, there was no need to spend that much and I won't be doing that again either."

"I would say probably around 6-8 nappies per day? I would 100% look to using cloth nappies next time, the idea of them doesn't freak me out and at the end of the day if it means it's more cost-effective then it's worth doing."

"I gave a lot of Isla's baby clothes away to people who needed them more. I did the same with her toys and some books, but kept things like little trainers to re-use."

"Go to stores to try the products you like, then look out for them on a local nearly new site. Also, I got all of Millie's nursery furniture from IKEA for under £200.

And if you join a health scheme that you pay into monthly (I use SimplyHealth but there are loads) not only do you get money towards glasses, dental, physio etc but on receipt of your pregnancy certificate they pay you a lump sum (I got £300)."

Ellen Holmshaw, Mum to Millie, aged 4