Over the years the hotukdeals team has, between us, had quite a few babies. As this is the first thread of this sort we thought we’d speak to each other and trawl through the site, to give new and expectant parents some crucial advice.
Here they are then, hotukdeals’ top tips — from how to save money building your nests to getting the most out of your local area.
Everyone needs a helping hand when a new little one comes into the world, so hopefully these tips will give you some ideas. Do you have any tips or ideas you could contribute? Please don’t hesitate to comment below.
Throughout the year, there will be times to look out for sales and clearances at the big-name baby stores and brands. These sales will often be at different times of the year, unhelpfully, but Argos, Mothercare, Mamas & Papas, Online4Baby, Boots, and John Lewis will all have at least one big event.
If your favourite shop or store isn't in the list, please let us know more in the comments below.
During the pregnancy, lots of people will be waiting for your baby to arrive. Your parents, your family and friends, even your parents’ friends, so ask them to buy stuff that the baby can grow into not just newborn stuff.
We all know that tiny newborn babies are super cute and have tiny clothes, but they quickly grow out of them and will only wear them a few times, if at all.
This goes for toys and other things too. If you don’t feel awkward asking for specific items, go for it, as it will make your lives easier in the longer term.
Buying second-hand is much more sustainable and cheaper than buying new, so if you need a buggy, bottle steriliser, or a wooden cot then get one second-hand. So many people have had a baby before you, so there will invariably be someone looking to sell an almost-new item.
Make sure to search on sites like eBay
as you are guaranteed to find a bargain on things like baby monitors, baby baths, breast pumps, and so on.
However, for items like cot mattresses or baby bottles, for hygienic reasons you should probably buy brand new. And when it comes to car seats, unless you know the person you buy it from and that no accidents have occurred, I would suggest buying new.
Try before you buy schemes
There are lots of schemes that allow you to test a product before you buy it. Such as the Sling Library to try out which baby carrier you might want. If you are in London, SlingingLondon
may help your search, but there are lots of other places in the UK with sling libraries set up.
Some companies have set up sample boxes of their products, such as Bounty
, Child’s Farm
, and Emma's Diary, or give them away via sites dedicated to freebies, check out our freebies section here: hotukdeals.com/tag…ies
There are a few other giveaway sites with great baby sections too, like Magic Freebies
, and Wow Free Stuff
Hand me downs
Much like second hand stuff, hand me downs are often cheap, and in a lot of cases free. Babies and toddlers don’t really care if they wear the latest trends or have box-fresh trainers.
The best thing for you to do is find a friend or family member whose child is 6-18 months older than yours, and grab every bit of hand-me-down available. Clothes, toys, pushchairs, and so on, will all be available for when you need it. And the best thing about it is you can hand it down too!
Nurseries and childminders
Put your child down on the local nursery waiting list as soon as possible (honestly preferably before it is born), as the lists are often long — sometimes years long. If you can’t find a nursery with places available, the next best thing is a childminder.
It is often expected that your parents will help with this, but it may be more beneficial to your child to play and learn with other children of a similar age in a professional setting. However much grandad might complain.
Childcare costs can vary in price massively, depending on where you live, and if it is with a nursery or a childminder. One thing to do is check your eligibility for help with fees, you can inquire about this on the Gov website.
Aldi, Lidl and Amazon
Much the same as the big names, the two budget supermarkets often have ‘baby weeks’ and you’ll find some great bargains there. Products like baby baths, bottles, bamboo dinner sets, bedding, changing bags and mats, and much more.
Plus you’ll find that their nappies — Mamia and Lupilu, respectively — are of the same award-winning quality as the big brands like Pampers and Huggies but at a fraction of the price.
Amazon often has great deals on baby products on its ‘Subscribe & Save’ pages, things like nappies, creams, shampoos, etc. So well worth having a look now and again on Amazon's baby search
And finally, Emma’s Diary
is very popular with young mums and dads, with some superb offers to be found.
Apps & groups
Babies are a multi-billion dollar industry, which means there are lots of apps to help get you started. From making friends to getting them off to sleep, just search for baby apps on the App Store or Google Play.
Baby Manager is a free app that tracks feeding and sleep, which can be shared between parents. Available for iOS
Peanut, for example, is great for meeting new mum friends — dubbed the Tinder for new mums. Available for iOS
The Wonder Weeks app is a fantastic milestone tracker — a really helpful app that tells you when and why your child might be more clingy or grumpy. Available on iOS
Groups on Facebook
— both local and nationwide, these groups can help you find things for free, to buy or to help reduce stress, give you breastfeeding tips, and so on. There are hundreds of groups for new parents, have a look. One in particular is a lifeline for new mums who are breastfeeding, called La Leche League.
You can set up a fund for your baby that people can contribute to at milestones like birthdays, either with a normal savings account or with a junior ISA.
There is lots of choice out there but Money Saving Expert
can help you pick the right one for you.
With ISAs, you are only allowed to invest up to £9000 per tax year, and the money is locked away until your child is 18 years old. You cannot access it once it has been invested, and when your child is 18, it is theirs to spend how they wish... whatever you may have planned for them.
There are two types of junior ISA — the junior cash ISA and the junior stocks & shares ISA — and you are only allowed one of each ISA per tax year. You can either invest up to £9000 per year in one or the other, or split the savings between them, but you cannot go above the £9000 limit.
And there you have it, our top tips for a cheaper and hopefully easier time of it.
Do you have any tips for new mums and dads? Please get in touch below to let us know your nuggets of wisdom for all things babies...