Babies are wonderful, there’s no question about it. They’re also expensive! If you’re a first-time parent, there are a gazillion things, the cost of which you probably never factored into your budget.
We hope to help you be a little more prepared for the arrival of your little one, with respect to knowing what expenses to expect, at least! We’ll even give you a few tips on how you can save on baby costs.
When you have a baby, you become responsible for feeding, clothing, and sheltering a tiny human being. You also have to make sure that your little one is happy and healthy. What are some of the things you’re going to have to spend on?
Diapers of the disposable kind are every parent’s best friend. However, they tend to work out to quite a bit. And, it’s recommended that you change a baby’s diaper every four hours. So, that’s a lot of diapers we’re talking about!
One way to save costs (and the environment, too) is to use reusable cloth nappies. Just remember, though, it involves more work as there’s going to be a lot of washing involved!
Doctors and the World Health Organisation recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months. But this isn’t always possible. Fortunately, infant formula is available and can help your baby get the nutrition he needs. Plus, if you’re a working woman, you’ll most likely opt to formula feed your baby once you get back to work.
For those who are able to, pumping and freezing breastmilk for use in the future is one way to avoid the expense of buying formula.
Here’s something that might interest you. In case you didn’t already know, when you give birth, any hospital-related expenses for the baby need to be borne by you. However, the good news is, that if your family has a Health Insurance cover, you just need to add your baby on to your existing insurance once he or she is born and you can get this amount back. So, don’t forget to contact your insurance provider, make the necessary updates and claim your money back.
Vaccinations for your baby will start right from the time you are in the hospital and will go on for several years. This is one of the biggest costs you will have with respect to your child. You can save a little bit here by not opting for the feverless vaccinations. Keep in mind that when you have Health Insurance that has a maternity cover, the baby’s vaccinations are usually covered. Do make it a point to check this when choosing your Health Insurance plan.
How many clothes does a little baby need, right? Well, you’d be surprised. Newborns are generally kept warm so, apart from onesies and little baby vests/frocks, you’re also going to be paying for caps, mittens, booties, socks, and swaddling clothes.
Keep in mind, though, that babies grow really quickly in the initial months. So, if you aren’t opposed to it, hand-me-downs from friends and family can save a ton of money on baby clothes.
If you’d still like to go ahead and shop for your baby, use a lifestyle and shopping Credit Card for additional savings.
Bath, Bed And Beyond
Nothing is too good when it comes to your little one and baby product companies know this only too well. There are plenty of products that you absolutely MUST have: body wash, shampoo, powder, wet wipes, massage oil, baby towels, a crib (don’t forget sheets for the crib), a co-sleeping bed, a changing mat, a feeding pillow, a bouncer, a car seat, a pram, a baby carrier, a high chair, books, toys, rattles, pacifiers, and milk bottles—the list is endless!
Just keep this in mind: before you go ahead and buy everything you think you need, ask yourself if you really need it. Think about whether you can use alternatives. For example: Is it possible to use a regular pillow instead of a feeding pillow? Does your baby really need a pacifier? Not all babies do. A cold carrot stick has been known to be a good substitute for a teether and so on. So, slow down and think about it. Don’t make any hasty purchases.
Investing in People
Taking care of your baby on your own can be fulfilling but tiring at the same time. All said and done, most new parents need all the help they can get. If you have a good support system in place—in the form of family and friends, then consider yourself lucky. However, if you aren’t so lucky, getting someone to help you look after the baby and with the household chores and cooking might be something worth considering. That is, given your financial situation of course.
If you do expect to hire help, it’s a good idea to start saving up for this well in advance. Opening several Fixed Deposits or a Recurring Deposit is one way to save and get interest on your money.
Baby’s First Birthday!
Your baby turning one is generally a big deal, for the parents at least! Families usually go all out with a big cake, grand decorations, return gifts, the works. One way to cut down on party expenses is to take the DIY route—bake your own cake, make your own snacks and food, and get creative and make the decorations yourself.
However, if you don’t feel up to the task, you can still save by making use of offers and discounts on your Credit Card. At minimum, you’ll get rewards and cashback, which will help soften the blow. If you haven’t managed to save up for your little one’s big birthday bash and you feel you absolutely must have one—baby’s never going to turn one again, after all—you could consider taking a Personal Loan to foot the expenses. There’s no collateral required and no questions asked about what the loan will be used for.
This article was originally published on bankbazaar.sg. Edited and re-published with permission