So we asked friends on facebook for their top tips to help new parents ensure they have everything their new arrival needs, but also avoid wasting money.
‘Don’t go crazy buying all the latest gadgets, lots of clothes and toys. Most of it you won’t use. I wish I’d discovered car boots, charity shops, local selling pages and eBay with my first.’
In a lot of cases, new parents find that friends and family members with children of their own are only too happy to pass on baby clothes, while well wishers often give outfits as presents after the birth.
But even if that is not the case, there is no point spending a fortune on clothes they will only wear for a few months, and you can find some great next-to-new deals on auction websites such as eBay (which is also a great place to sell them on when you’re done), and even on group pages on facebook.
‘Don’t buy much – they don’t need much, and if you decide you need something once the baby has arrived, then buy it.’
The right toy can make the difference between a happy, gurgling little angel and a howling baby.
But you don’t need lots of toys. And as with clothes, most newborns are deluged with soft toys and mobiles from their parents’ friends and relatives. So try to hold yourself back in the months leading up to the birth.
Changing mats and nappies
‘Don’t go wasting money on all the fancy gadgets etc, especially changing stations. Stick to a good old changing mat or your knee.’
Although you can’t avoid buying nappies, there are ways to keep the cost down. You could, for example, take the environmentally friendly route and opt for nappies that you can wash and reuse.
But if that sounds too much like hard work, look out for repeat purchase deals and discounts on websites such as Amazon, and don’t be afraid to buy supermarket own-brand nappies, which are just as good, and often a lot cheaper, than branded ones.
Prams and car seats
‘Buying online is cool but not for car seats or prams.’
Visiting a store will help you to get a better idea of the different sizes of prams and car seats and help you to better select one that meets your requirements. You can always order your chosen model afterwards online if it’s cheaper.
For prams, a model that transforms from pram to pushchair is one way to avoid having to shell out again a year down the line (just make sure that you pick one that folds down easily and has a removable carry cot).
And when choosing a car seat, you should check whether your vehicle has Isofix car seat mounting points and whether the seat you like will fit into it. For babies weighing up to 13kg, a rear-facing baby seat is the correct choice (although youngsters weighing between 9kg and 18kg can also use forward-facing baby seats).
Of course, you might find that the friend or relative who is so keen to offload all their clothes on to you also has a pram or car seat to give you.
Cots and mattresses
‘Don’t bother spending lots of money on the cot. A good mattress is the important thing so spend the money on that.’