What not to buy baby

Category Life events how to save money, money saving tips, what do I need for a baby

Preparing for a new arrival? It’s an exciting time. But the sheer volume and choice of baby products out there could make you go a bit ga-ga. So, what do you really need to keep your baby - and your bank balance - happy and healthy?

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Of course, the best people to ask about baby stuff are those who’ve already been there and experienced the expense of shopping for a new arrival. A wig for a newborn baby? A bogey removing pipe? Watch the video above to see parents talk about some of the stranger baby products they’ve seen, how to save money, and the things you definitely do and don’t need for your baby.

Want some more advice? Here are a few extra money saving tips from the parents in our video.

Be wheel-istic

OK, so unless you’re planning to saddle up the dog, your wee one will need its own set of wheels. But before you splash out on the limousine of prams, consider how practical it is and how much use you’ll get out of it. Parents are full of stories about trying to collapse huge prams in supermarket car parks, wedging them into the car boot, then realising there’s no room left for the groceries. It really doesn’t make for a fun day out. Instead, look for a lighter pushchair (under 10kg is a good weight) that folds down quickly and easily. Most come with detachable seats or carrycots which can be updated as your baby grows.

Deploy the kettle

Of course, you’ll want to keep Junior as safe from bugs as possible (the immune system doesn’t get going until 2-3 months old). But there’s no need to ship in special sterilisation equipment if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to). The NHS itself has guidelines for sterilising bottles and teats simply and cheaply in boiling water. You can do the same with teething rings or other plastic toys your cheeky monkey might put in its mouth. It’s environmentally friendly too (unless you’re a germ).

“For the first six months, babies tend to be pretty busy just eating and sleeping”

Bags before bins

Nappies. Yes, they are going to happen. Hundreds of them (thousands, actually), with varying degrees of ‘severity’. And while a special odour-sealing nappy bin might seem a good idea, lots of parents who’ve bought them say they didn’t really use them. Most preferred to throw their nappies out every day (or even more than once a day). Scented nappy bags are a top tip and will keep stinky parcels at bay until you get the chance to take them to your outside bin. It’s one less thing to clutter up the kitchen too.

Don’t go toy-tastic

For the first six months, babies tend to be pretty busy just eating and sleeping, and the thing they’re most likely to do otherwise is look intently at every face they see (mainly yours). So you don’t necessarily need a room full of toys at this early stage. While Junior’s vision develops, a few toys with flashing lights and sounds will keep your tiny human happy until they’re old enough to sit up, pick things up and throw them around (then it’s time to move your breakables, because they really, really do like to throw things around).

Think twice. Then think again.

There are loads of baby products that seem essential or just so high-tech you think you have to have them. But parents who’ve learned the hard way have cupboards full of these gadgets and gimmicks. From bottle warmers that take too long (when a hot tap does the same job) to a machine that warms up baby wipes (unless you live in the Arctic, room temperature baby wipes are just fine)!

That said, all the mums and dads in our above video agreed that one gadget you really will want is a baby monitor, ideally one with a camera and video display, so you can see what’s going on in the nursery without having to peek around the door.

If you’re looking for more ways to save money, why not read our latest round-up of money-saving tips ?