Pregnancy / new parent / new baby - how to survive and save money thread
1665°

Pregnancy / new parent / new baby - how to survive and save money thread

88
Found 22nd Jun 2018
I thought I would do this thread so people could bookmark and add to it so we get the best information, tips and advice all in the one place. You never know when you just might need it. I've recently come back to work after my maternity leave ended and I might be able to offer some help and insights as I am now a Mum of 4 boys.

What benefits am I entitled to and how can I claim them?

Check what maternity and paternity leave, pay and rights that you are both entitled to. You can get paid leave if you are adopting or going through surrogacy too. You are entitled to paid time off for ante-natal appointments and Dads can have 2 unpaid appointments as well - usually for scans (Up to 6.5 hours each time). You also accrue annual leave whilst you are off which is very handy to know and includes bank holidays. There is a great calculator which works out your pay as well so you have time to save and plan. You can also share part or all of your leave entitlement now if that is an option you'd like to explore. The earlier you do this, the more time you will have to plan and save or try to live off what you will get when you are on your reduced wage.

Maternity

Paternity

Shared parental leave

As your wages will be going down when you are on parental / maternity leave, you might be entitled to extra help, child tax or working tax credit and grants - use the Turn2us website and put all your information in and see what you could be entitled to and how to claim.

Benefit Calculator

Grant Search




Child Benefit
Once the baby is here, you should get child benefit (As long as one of you doesn't earn £60k or more) Rates are £20.60 a week for your first child and £13.70 a week for each child after that paid until they are 16 or under 20 if in approved education or training.

Tax Credits
If you work and have a low income, working tax credits and child tax credits help with the cost of living. Check what you can get but remember its needs renewing every year and tell them of any changes or you will have to repay any over payments.


2964831.jpg






Help with Childcare

Childcare is a massive expense - take all the help you can get from friends and family and check what you are entitled to. If you are a single parent and work 16+ hours a week or a couple and both work 16+ hours a week and household income is under £46k, check if you can get the Childcare part of working tax credit - different to child tax credit. They pay up until the child is 15 as long as its through an approved childcare provider.

Check eligibility and apply for Childcare Tax Credits


Free 30 hours childcare in England and Wales for 3 & 4 years olds - 15 hours free if one of you works 16+ hours a week and 30 hours free if you both work 16+ hours a week and earn under £100k each. Starts the term after child's 3rd birthday

Apply for 30 hours free childcare 3 / 4 year olds


Tax Free childcare - if you don't qualify for help elsewhere, get up to £2000 per year per child towards childcare up to age 11 or 17 if disabled. Really easy to do just set up an account with Childcare Choices and the government tops up your contributions up to a maximum of £500 every three months

Childcare Choices Tax Free Childcare



2964831.jpg








First Aid

Babies are tiny and frightening but you need to know what to do in case of an emergency so you can get a free St Johns Baby paper first aid guide sent through the post or download the free mobile app so you have it all there just in case the unthinkable happens.

Free St Johns mobile app

Free St Johns paper first aid guide sent through post

Some National Childbirth Trust centres offer specific baby first aid classes as do St Johns Ambulance if you wanted to attend to one of them

St Johns baby first aid course


2964831.jpg





Mum & Baby Healthcare

When pregnant you are entitled to free prescriptions until the baby is 1 - Ask your midwife for form FW8 which gives you the exemption. Although for things like aspirin and paracetamol and things you can get without a prescription try and save the NHS a bit and buy them yourself. You can get baby aspirin for pennies but costs the NHS a fortune

Free prescriptions

You also get free NHS dental treatment. Ask your midwife for form MATB this covers you until the baby is 1. NHS dental treatment is not actually free but costs a lot less then a private dentist.

Free dental treatment

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to Healthy Start vouchers. If you are pregnant or have a child over 1 but under 4 you could get £3.10 a week to spend on milk, fruit and veg and its accepted at most supermarkets. Children under 1 get £6.20 a week towards formula if bottle feeding or can be spent on milk, fruit and veg if breastfeeding.

Healthy Start Vouchers

You can also get free vitamins when pregnant up until the baby is 1 if you qualify and your baby from six months to 4 could get free vitamin drops - see if you qualify for the vitamins

Free Vitamins / Baby vitamin drops



2964831.jpg








Freebies, Discounts and Parent & Baby Clubs

Free Baby Box
Lots of local authorities are giving away free "baby boxes" in an effort to help cut the risk of Sudden Infant Death. Free to every new parent in Scotland automatically. You can get a free box by signing up to Baby Box University. Basically a free online course where you earn merits and after you've completed you get your free baby box. Collect from a location near you or pay a small delivery charge. Lidl are now helping sponsor this and box includes mattress, cover, sheet, nappies, wipes and a muslin cloth. Only available in England and Wales.


2964831.jpg



Boots Parenting Club
Boots have a really great parenting club that you can join as soon as you find out you are expecting. They send you offers in the post and via the app tailored to each stage of your pregnancy / age of your child. It goes up until the age of 3 and you get 10 points for every £1 you spend on baby things like nappies, wipes, food, clothes, toys, prams and pushchairs.

My Mothercare Club
My Mothercare club gets you 20% off maternity clothing, £100 worth of money off vouchers, member only early access to the sales and medical advice and GP access plus 20% off toys in the month of your child's birthday too.

Mothercare Expectant Parent Event
They also do expectant parent events where they close the shop and have demos of prams and car seats, extra money off like 10% off on up to £799 spends and 15% off £800+ spends plus you get a free goody bag too.

M&P and me club
Mamas and Papas have a club as well called M&P and me - they offer exclusive discounts and in store events and let you know when a sale is coming up.

Mamas & Papas Parent to be events
They also have parents to be events with first aid advice, car seat fitting demos, pushchair demos and you get a goody bag and vouchers off a sliding scale spend.



2964831.jpg



Emma's Diary
You can also join Emma's Diary you get 4 bags of goodies at each stage of your pregnancy, pick them up at Argos or Boots. People say they get spam emails after signing up so use a secondary email address for signing up to things like this although it should have changed now due to GDPR. Also flash offers on nursery bundles and they send weekly emails telling you what size and stage your baby is at.


Bounty Club
Bounty club - similar to Emma's Diary but you can get an app on your phone and you get more free goodie bags with them. You get a full pack of Asda Little Angel newborn nappies in their mum to be pack and it's worth trying out a few different brands of nappies before deciding which one is best for you.

Ella's Kitchen
Ella's Kitchen also have a club called Ella's Friends for when you start weaning your baby (Oh what fun!) They send you emails with age targeted tips, coupons for free products, special access to a free weaning app and they send you a wall chart with stickers and games too.


2964831.jpg



Cow and Gate Club
Cow and Gate also do a baby club - you get booklets, advice and a free cuddly cow if you join before you are 30 weeks pregnant

Hipp Baby Club
Free photos printed from Snapfish, money off vouchers for supermarkets and a free personalised baby photo calendar too

Netmums Mum Club
In association with Aldi, get free Aldi Mamia wipes and a full pack of nappies to try too.

Asda Baby & Toddler Club
Join and get the heads up before anyone else on when their baby events are and special offers mailed to you frequently.

ELC Big Birthday Club
Get a 20% off toys voucher when its your child's birthday. Valid online and in store. Plus free downloadable party invitations and thank you cards.




Re-usable Nappies & Wipes

Cheeky Wipes Re-Usable wipes
The government are talking about phasing out disposable wipes in the next few years. There are a few good offers on re-useable wipes at Cheeky Wipes with whole kits to get you started if that's something you'd like to look into.

Real Nappies for London
Some councils offer discounts on re-usuable nappies - in London they have the Real Nappies for London scheme with some great discounts

Fill Your Pants
Fill your pants has all of the UK's offers on re-useable nappies with links, discounts and trials from local councils and its updated all the time too. They also have a section on washable wipes.





Disposable Nappies

Bum Deal
Bum Deal is a disposable nappy price comparison site - put in the size you want and it will show you the best prices at that moment from the big retailers and supermarkets. Also has a wipe section.





Help, Advice & Support

Tamba Club
If you find out you are having more than one baby, you might want to join TAMBA which is the multiple birth support club. They provide a support network and friendship for families of twins, triplets or more in your local area.

Breastfeeding Support
Support for breastfeeding via phone or a live web chat. Really helped me when my baby was born with a tongue tie and couldn't feed properly.

NCT Support Line
Practical and emotional support for all stages and areas of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting and support for post natal depression





Life Insurance
We don't want to think about this during one of the happiest times of our lives but well worth sorting your life insurance out so that if the worst happened, your family is looked after financially.

Life Insurance Current Deals
Best current deals on life insurance, includes vouchers for taking out a new policy, discounted apple watches and free cinema tickets

Free Parental Life Cover
You can also get one years free life insurance cover through the Post Office worth £15,000 for each parent if you have a child under 4. It pays out up to a maximum of 8 children so for example if you had 8 children and one of you died within your free covered year you would get £120,000 paid out.

Aviva Free £15,000 one year Life Insurance
Aviva also offer £15k worth of free life insurance for a year too.




Tips and Hacks

Photo Prints & Gifts
Look out for offers from the likes of Boots and Aldi on cheap printed photos. Its nice to have them on your phone or camera digitally but also nice to get a few special ones printed out to look back on or give to family. You can usually get 1p per print up to 50 with 99p delivery. I have loads in magnetic frames on my fridge and change them now and again.


2964831.jpg


Private Health Insurance
If you or your partner have Aviva or Vitality private health insurance either through work or independently, you get a cheque for £100 just for having a baby - nice little perk and worth remembering and chasing up when the time comes. Called a baby bonus! You might need a copy of the birth certificate but easy enough to do.

2964831.jpg

First Class Train travel upgrade
Greater Anglia train services will upgrade expectant mums for free from standard class to first class in the last 8 weeks of pregnancy if there are no available seats in standard - all info in the link and easy to apply for too.

Free Baby on Board Badge
Get a free Baby on Board badge to let people know you've not just had a big lunch and that you are actually pregnant to get a seat on a packed train / underground. Available from Transport For London to addresses within Greater London and the South East.


2964831.jpg



Feel free to add your tips and any advice as I'm sure this is not an exhaustive list.





Other threads you might like...

Matalan £5 and under baby essentials event

Sim Only Deals for your Mobile Phone

Free Food & Drink inc Greggs & Krispy Kreme

Autism Mega Thread - Days out / Quiet Hours / Sensory Room







Community Updates

Groups

Top comments
Hot for the effort!


Here is my guide in how to not be worried about that:



34099989-1veti.jpg

34099989-99dDf.jpg

Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.
Should be in Misc/Freebies.
teh.arn56 m ago

Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.Should …Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.Should be in Misc/Freebies.


Seriously?

OP has provided an invaluable post that has loads of deals (Mothercare club, Aviva £100, Boots points and deal on baby food, current childcare scheme that ends in October, free life cover, vouchers for weening etc.)

This post belongs firmly in the deals section.
Edited by: "arCuThEDOWDr" 22nd Jun 2018
Bumdeal.co.uk for nappy price comparing
88 Comments
Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.
Should be in Misc/Freebies.
Thabks just shared this with friends who have babies due soon
Very nice guide, great effort.

You probably should put a link in to re-usable nappies, since this is a massive cost saving, especially if you get newborn-to-potty ones, and the are actually environmentally friendly, unlike the disposables ones which just end up in landfills, and polluting the oceans of our planet.

Here's a link to The Nappy Lady who has a great site, with lots of guides an information about re-usable nappies
Edited by: "Uncommon.Sense" 22nd Jun 2018
Heat just for the effort
some great tips
Bumdeal.co.uk for nappy price comparing
Great post, thank you!
Uncommon.Sense16 m ago

Very nice guide, great effort.You probably should put a link in to …Very nice guide, great effort.You probably should put a link in to re-usable nappies, since this is a massive cost saving, especially if you get newborn-to-potty ones, and the are actually environmentally friendly, unlike the disposables ones which just end up in landfills, and polluting the oceans of our planet. Here's a link to The Nappy Lady who has a great site, with lots of guides an information about re-usable nappies


Yes I have just edited - was late last night when I finished and I could only add so much info - have included reuseable wipes as well and link for what councils are offering discounts too
Great work op. Very helpful stuff. Would have certainly been handy if I was expecting.....luckily I'm not! Will be sure to share with any future parents
Really helpful thank you
Best price for nappies and wipes if you want the branded ones e.g. Pampers / Huggies, is Amazon subscribe and save. Also rash cream, baby wash etc. Far cheaper than the shops.

They also do regular baby box / baby wish list promotions where yo get free stuff for buying £10 of baby stuff
teh.arn56 m ago

Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.Should …Doesn't appear to be a deal, but when has that ever mattered here.Should be in Misc/Freebies.


Seriously?

OP has provided an invaluable post that has loads of deals (Mothercare club, Aviva £100, Boots points and deal on baby food, current childcare scheme that ends in October, free life cover, vouchers for weening etc.)

This post belongs firmly in the deals section.
Edited by: "arCuThEDOWDr" 22nd Jun 2018
Hot for the effort!


Here is my guide in how to not be worried about that:



34099989-1veti.jpg

34099989-99dDf.jpg

arCuThEDOWDr18 m ago

Seriously?OP has provided an invaluable post that has loads of deals …Seriously?OP has provided an invaluable post that has loads of deals (Mothercare club, Aviva £100, Boots points and deal on baby food, current childcare scheme that ends in October, free life cover, vouchers for weening etc.)This post belongs firmly in the deals section.



If anyone else (unaffiliated to the site) posted this it would have been moved within minutes.
If you have a rail season ticket, check with the franchise.
Several have "free" upgrades to first class for the last few months of the pregnancy.

greateranglia.co.uk/tra…-be
No season ticket required but can only use 1st class if no seats available in standard.
teh.arn6 m ago

If anyone else (unaffiliated to the site) posted this it would have been …If anyone else (unaffiliated to the site) posted this it would have been moved within minutes.


It would have been incorrectly moved if so.

Are you saying that valid deal posts are too frequently moved into the wrong section?
Edited by: "arCuThEDOWDr" 22nd Jun 2018
arCuThEDOWDr2 m ago

It would have been incorrectly moved if so.Are you saying that valid deal …It would have been incorrectly moved if so.Are you saying that valid deal posts are too frequently moved into the wrong section?



I'm saying invalid deal posts are left in the incorrect setions.
More so when some one linked to the site posts them.
E.g. some one will intentionally post a freebie in the deals section because it will get them more vies/heat.
Same with this.
Thank you! really useful
I put my baby in a box and now social services have taken her away, on the plus side you saved me a fortune in feeding/changing costs, thx op
This is a completely random thing to post and put all that effort into, but could not have come at a better time and is unbelievabley apprichated thank you
Really useful info this, thanks.

Just to add, if you have health insurance with Vitality you can also claim £100 for birth of child...! Don’t need to add them to policy, I just sent a low res scan of birth certificate as proof and got a cheque in the post about a week later
Thanks! It's amazing of you to take time out and share this!
Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link goes straight to sign up so wonder what the process is to get one (and if anyone has experience using it?). Thanks
stevieshoes20 h, 37 m ago

Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link …Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link goes straight to sign up so wonder what the process is to get one (and if anyone has experience using it?). Thanks


Yes it’s completely free you watch videos and online tutorials about baby’s and parenting. You have to collect from a local point or if that’s not convenient you can pay for delivery.
Reviews on mumsnet from people who have had / used them
Here
Almost all good info, although I will say that Emma’s Diary has its major downfalls as well, they might give vouchers and freebies but they also give/sell your info to third parties, has been proven by thousands.. thousands of people getting harrased by junk calls etc, mostly from Scottish Power and some getting harassed by them up to five times EVERY DAY, and all trace back to Emma’s Diary. Research it by all means, but it’s proven by thousands of angry parents-to-be. Other than that.. great and helpful post.
stevieshoes23rd Jun

Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link …Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link goes straight to sign up so wonder what the process is to get one (and if anyone has experience using it?). Thanks


Free if u live in Scotland full of useful stuff
Wow, thank you!
Just become a dad. A lot of useful info. Thanks for your efforts
Thank you. Great effort
NadirZ30th Jul

Just become a dad. A lot of useful info. Thanks for your efforts


Congrats. It's not easy. Gets better after a few weeks
Great post informative
Thanks for this! Just had the 12 week scan
ACJMY2K2 h, 0 m ago

Thanks for this! Just had the 12 week scan


Congratulations
Please please don't forget to get life insurance and also renew the coverage every time your family increases. I know dying is a horrid thought but it does happen leaving children with either a single parent or non. Also having a will in place so if the worst should happen people are aware of your wishes.
te72122nd Jun 2018

This is a completely random thing to post and put all that effort into, …This is a completely random thing to post and put all that effort into, but could not have come at a better time and is unbelievabley apprichated thank you


Congratulations in order then
stevieshoes23rd Jun 2018

Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link …Can anyone share more info on the baby box? Is it actually free? Web link goes straight to sign up so wonder what the process is to get one (and if anyone has experience using it?). Thanks


I know the baby box here in Scotland is free was Scottish government scheme don’t know if rest of uk have followed suit I’m sure Lidl are doing one if you fill survey in
36852648-va8Bl.jpg
36852654-VPnEG.jpg
This is really helpful. I think it's well worth mentioning Amazon and the baby wish list. You can get up to 20% off items on your baby wishlist.
davroz722 h, 46 m ago

I know the baby box here in Scotland is free was Scottish government …I know the baby box here in Scotland is free was Scottish government scheme don’t know if rest of uk have followed suit I’m sure Lidl are doing one if you fill survey in


Thanks. I’ve got mine now. Free elsewhere unless go for postage.
Post a comment
Avatar
@
    Text