When we first started seriously thinking about Little Mr’s existence, we had to face the facts and look at our financial situation. It wasn’t pretty; we were both still paying off our university debts, we were still working hard on our careers and added to that we had to live within our means with the increased costs of living. We had to pay the monthly bills, put food on the table and petrol in the car. We have considered other methods of transport other than our cars but in reality, taking 90 minutes to get 7 miles to work is a bit of a joke!
We came up with a budget by looking at the costs of having a baby and started to put a little bit of money away each month. We had to consider nappies, milk, clothing, food when weaning, baby furniture and accessories, there was quite a lot to consider but of course we didn’t have to buy it all in one go and it’s surprising how much you get given as a new parent in the way of gifts, hand me downs and free samples from shops, magazines and shows such as The Baby Show.
When we had the good news that we were expecting and we had the all clear from the 12 weeks scan, we decided to plan ahead. We took advantage of the baby events in supermarkets and bought newborn nappies in bulk. We stockpiled essentials such as wipes, washing liquid and baby toiletries so that when we needed them we didn’t need to add them to the weekly shop.
According to Natwest, who have created their Child Cost Calculator, the national average that families spent on nappies in one year was £520. Wow, that’s a lot of money on nappies! I seem to have forgotten how many nappies Little Mr went through in a week as a newborn but as we used up the stockpile, we bought a packet of nappies in the weekly shop which probably wasn’t anymore than £6 per week.
I naively planned to breastfeed Little Mr and didn’t think about the cost of formula. We spent at least £9 per week on a tub of formula for Little Mr so over the 11 months that he drank formula, that adds up to quite a sum. Obviously it goes without saying that I was more than happy to buy it considering our plans to breastfeed didn’t work out. As long as my Son was happy and healthy, I probably would of paid a lot more.
In terms of baby furniture, we managed to grab a deal at The Baby Show back in 2012. We had shopped around and found the furniture set we wanted; a cotbed (can be used as a cot then a bed with the sides off so can be used for a lot longer) a chest of drawers with a changer on top and a small wardrobe. We managed to get the set for a lot less than the original shop wanted, it was in perfect condition, brand new and even came with a mattress.
In total, we probably spent around £1,000 before Little Mr arrived. We had bought the nursery furniture, bought plenty of newborn essentials (nappies, wipes, toiletries, baby clothes, muslins, new sheets for the moses basket I borrowed off my Sister) and a car seat to bring home our baby in. We didn’t really need much more and as I said earlier it’s surprising how much family and friends like to help out when you have a baby (not that it’s taken for granted) but we managed to store away clothes up to the age of 2 for Little Mr. I personally don’t like to see newborn babies in full on outfits. I like to see them in baby grows and sleepsuits, lets face it, that’s pretty much all they do for the first couple of months and it’s important that they’re comfortable in what they’re wearing. Many of the supermarket ranges for newborns are brilliant and really can help save a small fortune.
We’ll be planning ahead for another Baby Shilton in a couple of years and if we’re lucky enough to conceive again, I know it’ll be amazing for Little Mr to have a baby brother or sister. I’m not worried about the cost of bringing a new baby into our family, we will cope and make sacrifices if we need to. We just need to be sensible and do our sums (and work on winning the lottery so I can give up work, ha!)
Disclaimer: This post is published in partnership with Natwest