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How to cut your costs when having a baby

It’s natural to want to buy your baby the best of everything, but those tiny booties and cute bouncers add up. But there are ways to cut your costs, so your new arrival doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Planning for baby

  • Work out how much money you’ll have coming in

    Check what benefits you’re entitled to as a new parent. And where relevant, find out what you can about your workplace maternity or paternity package, so you know how much money you’ll be paid when you’re on leave. 
  • Calculate the cost of having a baby

    To get a better understanding of how much you can spend on what, plan ahead. The Money Advice Service has an easy-to-use Baby Costs Calculator. Planning ahead will save you any first-year financial shocks. And it’s a good incentive to keep down the costs of kitting out your new arrival. 
  • Ask other parents for advice

    Write down a list of things you think you need (or ask for one at a mother and baby store). Then chat to other parents and visit online forums to find out what you actually need. They’ll have a good idea which bits are essential. The website Which has lists for most and least useful items to buy for your baby. And sites like Mumsnet can link you with people who’ve been through it all before letting you pick up tips along the way.
  • Borrow if you can

    Ask friends and family if they have baby things you can borrow like buggies and prams.This is especially useful for things you won’t use very often or for very long.
  • Cut back on clothes

    Avoid stocking up on newborn baby clothes – shop for bigger sizes. Tempting as it may be to pick up drawer-fulls of tiny jumpers, if you have friends and family nearby it’s likely they’ll buy you plenty. Plus your baby will outgrow newborn sizes fast. You might only need to buy one set of vests and babygros to get you through the first couple of weeks.
  • Learn to love ‘nearly new’

    New can be nice, but do you really need it? Your baby will grow so fast they’ll often hardly use clothes before they’ve out-grown them. Look for a local NCT ‘nearly new’ sale – these offer preloved mother, baby and childrens' clothes and essentials. And there's nothing wrong with finding nearly new items at your local car boot or via your local community Facebook page. Freegle websites often have great baby stuff absolutely free.
  • Pay attention to reviews

    Everyone’s different, but it’s helpful to know if your friend found a popular buggy impossible to fold, or if a certain type of bottle got bad reviews online. Before you buy, pick the brains of your friends who are already parents, and search out product reviews online.
  • Sell things you don't need anymore

    If you’ve got the space, hang on to the boxes that came with your baby's things. And keep the labels on baby clothes until you use them. Then sell them when you’re done with them. This will also help free up space in your home. 
  • Shop around

    The prices of items can vary widely from place-to-place, so search around before you buy. Look out for sales and use price comparison sites like Price Spy to find deals on the web.
  • Use your library

    See what your local library can offer you and your newborn. Lots of libraries have free parent-and-baby classes, story-times and games you can use or borrow. Plus they’re a good place to meet other parents. 

TIP: Your baby will grow so fast they’ll hardly use their shoes and clothes before they’ve out-grown them. So learn to love 'nearly new'.

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