Last summer I gave birth to my second child, and oh my were things different from the first time round! In all aspects from conception, to pregnancy and labour! But one major think I noticed which was a great improvement from first time round was that fact that I felt more confident, both in my instincts when I was pregnant and now she's here, as a mum.
I certainly feel more relaxed this time round and the experience I've gained is in more than just parenting but also in the way I evaluate what's important to me in various aspects of life.
When I look back to when I was expecting my first child I could have done with a little bit of, not exactly advice, but maybe insight as to what it would be like as mum. Now, every child is different, as is every parent, so there's no way I'm intending to give anyone parenting advice! That's not something I would have appreciated unless I'd specifically asked for it. However hopefully the tips in the post might help someone from making some purchases they may regret, or at least saving a little extra cash.
Having a baby is such a joyful experience that it's easy to get carried away in the spending department, especially if it's your first. The combination of pregnancy nesting hormones and the unbelievably teeny tiny cute outfits are truly a force to be reckoned with when you are trying to think sensibly about what you really need! It's a real test of mind over matter!
If you've got unlimited budget, then by all means and go out and buy whatever you want. But if you've not you might want to think a little further down the line as to what bump might need in the future.
Yes, I wanted a the best pram, gorgeous nursery with matching furniture, not to mention a wardrobe full of gorgeous little clothes but I'm glad now, five years later, that I made a few compromises. After all as long as baby's happy, comfortable, fed, clothed and loved they really couldn't care less if they're in the top of the range pram or designer clothes. And it's not long before they do start asking for all sorts, so save some money while you can!
Based on the mistakes I made with the first and the things I learnt and put into practice with the second, here are a few things to think about:
1. Don't go over the top buying clothes! - Babies grow so incredibly quickly so put some thought into what to buy clothes-wise. Just get the essentials, in newborn and 0-3 months like vests, sleepsuits, cardigans etc. as baby will have grown out of them in no time, and there's a good chance you'll get some lovely outfits given to you as presents. You don't need to have bought baby's first 6 months worth of clothes before they're born, there will still be lots of lovely outfits after baby's arrival.
2. Save some purchases for later - First time round I thought I had to have everything ready before I gave birth, but then when my son was born there were somethings we didn't even use for the first 6 months. For example we didn't use the baby monitor I'd bought for ages as baby slept in our room until he was ready to be moved into his own room. If I'd waited I could have used one of the gift vouchers gifted to us towards it. Baby gates are another that you can put off until later.
3. Buy neutral - if it's you're expecting your first (and you've found out the sex) and you think in the future you may want to have more children stick to gender neutral colours for certain purchases. Pram's for example, there are so many colours available that it may be better to avoid pink or blue. Now, this isn't a really big deal, I would quite happily put my son or daughter in any colour. In fact for the first three months of her life my little girl's been wearing various blue cardigans and coats that I'd kept of my son's. But not everyone would want to do that so think ahead.
4. Look out for extra discounts or parenting clubs - if you already have loyalty cards for Tesco or Boots for example, sign up for their parenting clubs. You'll receive extra money off/extra points coupons which can come in handy. Boots, for example, offer 10 advantage club points per pound spent on baby items when you are a member of their parenting club and these points mount up nicely!
5. Try own brand - supermarkets and Boots sell various own brand baby items. Nappies, wipes, baby purees and toiletries are some of the things that you can buy more cheaply than their branded equivalent. Try different ones to see which you like best. I'm particularly happy with Boots own brand nappies and Aldi's Mammia baby wipes!
6. Check out discount retailers - Aldi, Home Bargains and B&M Bargains for example sometimes stock well known brand baby products. I've previously bought Tommy Tippee bottles, Avent dummies and Nuby cups at these retailers at a great price. Aldi sometimes run a baby event and stock even more items like sterilisers and baby gates.
7. Buy second hand or ask to borrow - if there's something you're not sure if you'll use very much buy second hand or ask a friend if you can borrow their's to trial before you buy. For example baby slings/carriers, Bumbo chairs, bouncer seats. These are just a few things that I would put under this point as they're the sort of item that can be pricey to buy new and some babies love them and some just aren't that impressed! NB. Certain things like car seats I wouldn't ever buy second hand as you never know if they've been in an accident, or if they're still up to date with the latest safety features/recommendations.
I hope these tips are helpful and if anyone has any to add, please feel free to share them in the comments below.