In today’s post, I’m sharing ways to save money on those all important baby essentials. We all know having a baby is no cheap affair, but if you’re reading this post, you’re probably pregnant and on a strict budget, just like we were.
Before I was pregnant, I had no idea how expensive baby products were. When I was expecting Rose, the cost of stuff genuinely came as a massive shock to the system! From big, one-off purchases like a car seat and pram, down to the little, every day basics like nappies, clothes, food, bibs.
The list of baby essentials is relentless and the cost of these things can easily reach well into the thousands!
My initial advice would be try not to panic and buy things you can’t afford under pressure! (I blame the nesting phase for this one!)
Instead, I would suggest finding ONE basic list of baby essentials online and sticking with it – this baby essentials guide from the NHS is one of the best ones for mums-to-be in the UK in my opinion.
Once you’ve got your list, come back here and find out how to get the best deal on each essential baby product.
How to save money on baby essentials
Here are some of the ways I’ve saved money on baby products in the past year…
Bag yourself all the baby freebies
Did you know that loads of brands give away free samples, coupons, and baby products for you to try before you buy? You can save so much money scoring freebies like nappies, bottles, weaning food samples, and many more essentials.
The best part is, you can claim these while you’re still pregnant – so you can stock up ready for baby’s arrival.
Check out my huge list of pregnancy and baby freebies to claim right now in the UK and start stocking up on those freebies!
Buy second hand baby essentials
Whether you’re looking on selling sites like eBay, Facebook, or Vinted, or planning on hunting down bargains in charity shops, buying second hand is one of the best ways you can save money on baby essentials.
From clothing to toys and every day essentials, you really can find most things second hand. However, there are a LOT of baby products on these selling sites and in charity shops.
A good way to avoid becoming overwhelmed is to find a product brand name and model or release date of a specific item on your list, and focus on searching purely for these, rather than searching through a sea of endless generic baby stuff.
To help you get started, here are 15 baby things that are perfectly fine to buy second hand.
Get cashback on new baby product purchases
There are certain items that you will need to buy new for obvious reasons. For these, I recommend using cashback sites Like Quidco and TopCashback, and cashback apps like Airtime Rewards and Shopmium to save money when you shop online.
These sites and apps work with thousands of retailers and reward you for shopping with them by paying you back a percentage of your purchase.
Supermarket cashback apps also offer discounted and sometimes free baby products like formula and baby snacks when you upload a photo of your receipt to the app. How good is that?!
Use a money-saving browser extension
While I think cashback sites are amazing, you have to log in and click through to shop with each retailer, which you might sometimes forget to do. I’ve done this so many times and I kick myself every single time!
Luckily, sites like TopCashback and Quidco also have browser extensions. These sit within your browser (e.g. Google Chrome) and pop up automatically when you’re on a website that could earn you cashback.
Check out my list of essential money-saving browser extensions to help you save money every time you shop online.
Join baby clubs
I was all over the baby clubs when I pregnant. I wanted to soak up as much information as possible and get lots of perks while doing so!
Lots of brands set up these baby clubs to offer new parents and parents to be helpful advice, plus exclusive discounts and freebies. They also email you regularly with updates on your pregnancy and baby once they’re born. My favourite one is definitely Boots Parenting Club. Closely followed by Pamper’s Club.
Use your loyalty points when shopping for baby items
Lots of supermarkets also host multiple special baby and toddler events throughout the year. They also offer personalised offers on your app or card relating to what you buy regularly in-store.
So, the more baby items you buy with your points, the more you’ll save next time. It’s a win, win!
Hunt down coupons from baby brands
Another great way to cut down the cost of baby products is to find coupons. While coupon isn’t as popular in the UK as it is in the US, there are still coupons to be found.
Brands like Pampers often have sponsored Instagram and Facebook posts, which appear in your feed. Simply fill in the form and they will pop your coupons in the post.
Check out my list of 40+ places to find coupons in the UK to help you hunt down those coupons and save some cash!
You can also go direct to the source and email them to ask for coupons. It’s not a guaranteed way to get anything, but manufacturers like P&G have been known to send people money-off coupons and free samples.
Become a product tester
Product testing is one of my favourite ways to save money, while trying new products and giving my honest opinion. Brands really value consumer opinions about their products, especially in the baby and parent market. You could be selected to try breast pumps, bottle sterilisers, toys, prams, car seats, and much more.
Here are my top 15 baby product testing panels to join today for baby freebies in exchange for your feedback. Make sure you fill in your profile and submit your feedback to increase your chances of getting more free stuff to try in the future.
Shop the sales & baby events
If you can resist the temptation of shopping for those super cute, teeny tiny baby clothes, it might be best to wait until the big sales, often around September for summer stuff and January for Christmas/winter pieces.
As I mentioned earlier, many supermarkets also have baby events where you can save money and stock up on essentials like nappies, baby shampoo, clothes, and baby food and accessories, often up to half price.
Sometimes even more! Keep an eye out for these with the help of Facebook groups like Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group. Fellow bargain hunters will often post as soon as they discover a sale.
Check out outlet shops – in-store & on eBay
While outlet stores tend to still be on the pricey side with lots of luxury, high-end brands, you can still bag a few bargains. Cheshire Oaks, for example, has a big Marks & Spencer outlet.
I’ve always found M&S baby basics like vests and bodysuits really good quality. They’re a good fit, and they wash well and maintain their shape. You can often find these for a fraction of the RRP in their outlet shops.
If you’re looking for more bargains, lots of brands now have eBay outlet stores, including Joules, which has some adorable baby clothes at reasonable prices, so definitely worth checking out!
Buy baby products in bulk
If you spot a good deal on nappies, wipes, or any other essentials, especially before baby arrives, my advice would be to stock up there and then. Especially for the first few months. You’ll thank yourself later, when you’re exhausted and in your newborn bubble.
Also, travel nappy packs are the perfect size for the hospital, but once you get home, definitely buy the biggest quantity size available. They’re better value, and you will run out way less often. Meaning you will rarely ever have to experience that panic feeling when you only have one nappy left.
Look at reusable options
While reusable options may seem like an expensive up-front cost, they can help you save money in the long run. Reusable nappies and wipes are washable and made with love to last longer. They help the planet and help your wallet, as they save you needing to buy these essentials every week or so.
Start a baby gift registry
Baby gift registries are a great way to let family and friends know exactly what you need for your little one.
You may think that a gift registry is exclusively for larger, more expensive gifts, but actually, you can add whatever you like! Whether it’s baby clothing, muslin cloths, dummies, bottles, the choice is yours.
If you’re wondering how to create and share your gift registry, Amazon baby wishlist is a great option! It’s so user-friendly and you can get inspiration on what to add using their baby checklist.
Plus, when you sign up and spend £20 on baby products, you can choose a free gift worth up to £17. Find out more in my step-by-guide on how to claim your Amazon baby wishlist free gift.
Skip the toys for now
If you’re ready for some mum guilt, this one is going to pull hard on your heartstrings. You don’t need toys for newborns! You’re NOT a bad mum for not buying them all sensory toys under the sun. Do you know what the ultimate sensory experience is? The world around them!
All you need is a baby mat or activity gym in the first month or so. Other than that, take them on walks, introduce them to new people, let them take it all in. Once they start to become a little more responsive, then you can introduce basic toys like contrast baby books and rattles.
I always feel a little weird about recommending breastfeeding as a money-saving tip, but it has genuinely saved us a lot of money. I know it’s not for anyone, but personally for me, it was a more convenient option.
We were quite fortunate that Rose had a good latch very early on, but she was a very unhappy newborn, screaming during the night. I didn’t have the time or patience to prepare bottles for night feeds. So breastfeeding and co-sleeping just worked better for us.
Also, it meant we didn’t have to buy all the equipment that comes with formula feeding, like a bottle steriliser, or a feeding kit or milk warmer. But as they say, fed is best! So you do what is best for you and your family :).
Enter competitions to win free baby products
You can win huge baby and maternity bundles, big ticket items like prams or nursery furniture, and even every day basics for your newborn. Some competitions are simply a ‘like and retweet’ or ‘follow and comment’ style, while others require a little more effort and creativity.
It’s totally up to you which ones you choose to enter. It’s worth noting though, a lot less people tend to enter the ones that require more effort, meaning your odds of winning are greater if you enter those ones!
Buy multi-purpose products
Clever marketing from big product companies would have you believe that you need a lot of products for your baby. That’s really not the case. If you’re on a tight budget, consider looking for products that serve various purposes. For example:
- Baby cotton wool pads can be used as a good, practical all rounder for ears, a soft wipe down during the newborn stage, and also for nappy changes instead of baby wipes
- An all purpose baby wash is fine, you don’t need separate shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath, etc
- Before you rush out to buy a nappy bag or backpack, do you already have a bag in your wardrobe you could use as a nappy bag and also as your own bag when you’re not out with baby?
All things to think about to help you cut down costs…
Consider own brand products
Another clever marketing scheme, making you feel like you have to buy the top brand products because they’re obviously the best, right? Wrong!
Aldi own brand nappies or Tesco own brand wipes are more often than not just as good. Your baby might even have a bad reaction to one of the leading brands, or they may prefer certain own brand products like baby snacks from Morrisons.
It’s all about trial and error!
Check if you’re eligible for financial support
Have you check if you’re entitled to any financial support from the government? Recent figures show that a whopping £825,000,000 of child benefit remains unclaimed in the UK.
Are you one of those households missing out? It’s not just child benefit that you may be able to claim, there are a number of ways the government offers support to those with children. To find out what benefits you could be entitled to, check out this guide to financial help if you have children.
Compare nappy prices online
Nappies are probably one of the most important baby essentials, and they vary quite a lot in price, depending on what size or style you’re looking for.
Luckily, there is a super useful website called Bum Deal (yes really!) that ranks the cost of nappies from cheapest to most expensive. It includes every brand in a range of sizes, including supermarket own nappies.
You can even download the app and check prices on the go. They also compare the cost of wipes too, which is pretty handy!
Start a baby swap chain with fellow mums
I love this idea! If you have any friends with babies or who are due soon, why not set up a baby swap group on Facebook or WhatsApp? Or organise a face to face event where you each brand some items to switch?
It’s such a nice incentive, knowing your clothes are going to a good home, instead of landfill. And the best part is, you’ll save some cash, as you’re not spending a penny.
Top tips for shopping for baby essentials
Hopefully theses tips will help you save some money on baby essentials. Before you go, here are some more little nuggets for you when shopping for baby items…
Create a budget (and be strict with it)
It’s so easy to get carried away when shopping for your new bundle of joy. However, we’ve all got our financial limits, and it’s important to create a budget before you start shopping. This will help reign you in when you get tempted to purchase things you don’t really need.
Do your research
It definitely pays off to do some research on baby products while you’re pregnant. Read and watch reviews, look on forums, check out multiple buying guides, become a sponge and soak it all up!
The last thing you want is to buy something too cheap that is causing you grief when baby arrives. Or on the other hand, regret spending so much when you could have got a better deal.
Browser extensions like Camel Camel Camel help you track the price of a certain item on Amazon, so you can weigh up when is the best time to make a purchase.
Consider waiting until after baby is born
This sounds a bit bonkers, but all really you need for your newborn baby is some clothes, nappies, a car seat to take them home, and somewhere for them to sleep. I personally would wait before you rush out and buy anything else.
We bought so much stuff, which Rose didn’t like at all. A Moses basket, a baby bathtub, a pillow lounger thingi, to name a few. In the end, we didn’t even need or use half of what we bought or stuff that had been gifted to us.
This brings me nicely onto my final point…
Sell what you don’t need
If you do find yourself with more baby clothes or items you haven’t used or have used but they’re still in good condition, you could always sell them on to make a bit of extra space and to help put some money towards the next stage of your baby’s life.