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The Real Cost of Having a Baby

Budgeting for the Cost of Having a BabyIf you’re expecting a new arrival – congratulations! Starting a family’s an exciting time for everyone, but you’ve probably realised having a little one will take up a big space in your bank account.

It’s predicted couples with children spend approximately £15,000 extra a year, according to the Money Advice Service, but we think you can cut those costs.
But how do you cut the cost of having a baby?
First, wait for the baby shower. No doubt your friends and family will flock to the shops when they find out you’re expecting. Accepting pressies from your loved ones is one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of having a baby.
Next, source second-hand gear. You could try online selling sites and local baby swap or shop groups. Remember equipment like a car seat or cot mattress should always be bought new due to health risks.
Make sure to join baby clubs too. Subscribe to new-parent newsletters and get access to exclusive promotions and discounts from your favourite baby shop. You’ll often receive unique special offers for your family, just by signing up.

The last thing to do? When you’re looking for affordable baby items, make sure to only buy the essentials. Those cute cashmere newborn outfits which end up in baby spit up? The adorable designer shoes they can’t even walk in? Or what about that diamanté-encrusted Moses basket they won’t sleep in? You don’t need them!

Thinking about the cost of having a baby doesn’t have to be a chore. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you buy just the basics for your little one. Our money-saving baby budget checklist covers everything you’ll need for your new arrival’s first month at home.

Cost of Having a Baby Checklist


First on our list of newborn necessities is feeding equipment. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to buy some:

  • Breast pads to absorb any leaks
  • Nipple cream for sore breasts

If you’re bottle feeding:

  • 6 bottles
  • 8 spare teats
  • Sterilising equipment
  • Bottle brush
  • Formula

The NHS recommends newborn babies need around 150-200ml per kilo of their weight per day, so the amount of formula required will depend on your little one.

For both types of feeding, make sure to buy some muslin squares. These affordable baby items are perfect for wiping dribbles and cleaning up milk spills.

What you don’t need: jars or an expensive blender to make your own food. Remember when you’re budgeting for a baby, they won’t move onto solids until they’re six months old.


Newborn babies sleep a lot in their first month, waking irregularly throughout the day and night for feeds. When calculating the cost of having a baby, make sure you buy:

  • Cot and mattress (a new firm one which fits the cot without leaving gaps)
  • 4 sheets – they’ll need to be changed often
  • Light blankets to layer over your little one for warmth
  • Baby monitor

What you don’t need: a Moses basket. Babies will get too big for a Moses basket when they’re around three months old.

You can also minimise the cost of having a baby by avoiding pillows for your baby, as they increase the risk of suffocation.


Newborns need their nappy changed around eight times a day. When you’re working out the cost of a baby, make sure to factor in:

  • Nappies – around 250 for their first month
  • Baby wipes – a pack of 400 should be enough
  • Nappy rash cream
  • Nappy sacks
  • Waterproof changing mat

What you don’t need: a changing table, one of the least affordable baby items which takes up a lot of room. Just lay your changing mat down on the floor for quick convenient nappy changes.


Our baby on a budget checklist does not include fancy shoes and baby jeans. Remember friends and family will want to buy gifts for your little one, usually clothing, so only get the basics:

  • 8 sleepsuits (for day and night)
  • 6 vests
  • Wool hat
  • Mittens
  • 6 pairs of socks

What you don’t need: cheap baby stuff does not include designer gear! The cost of having a baby is high enough without fashionable extras they don’t need.


You don’t need to bathe your tiny tot every day, unless they’re a real water baby and love splashing about. Newborn babies should be bathed at least three times a week. You’ll need:

  • Cotton wool for cleaning and drying delicate areas
  • Soft towels – regular ones are fine
  • Baby nail clippers (little nails can get very sharp)

What you don’t need: a baby bath. They’re expensive, take up lots of space and are useless once your little one grows out of them.

Save on the cost of having a baby and bathe your infant in the sink. When they’re too big, use the (adult-sized!) tub.


Your baby will be checked over by a health visitor within two weeks of the birth. If you have any concerns about your little one, consult your GP. But you can still stock your medicine cabinet with:

  • Pain relief – always check the label
  • Thermometer
  • Petroleum jelly to moisturise dry skin and treat eczema

What you don’t need: plasters, as babies can choke if they end up in their mouth. Leave them out when planning your baby on a budget.

On the move

New mums and dads don’t need to stay indoors with their new arrival. If you and your baby are healthy and ready, you can go outside and get some fresh air. Make sure to have:

  • Pram
  • Baby changing bag to easily carry the necessities
  • Car seat – it’s illegal to travel without one

What you don’t need: baby shoes. Your tiny tot can’t walk – they won’t be strolling alongside you if you do venture outdoors! Don’t count these in the cost of a baby.

It’s never too early to start ticking things off of your baby on a budget checklist. Always shop around and find the best price, so you can start motherhood without breaking the bank!

Affording a baby doesn’t have to be difficult with BabaBing! We have a stylish and inexpensive range of baby gear that’s perfect for new mums and dads. From baby changing bags and high chairs to baby bouncers and rockers, we have a fantastic selection available to help you start your family for less.