How to save costs when having a baby

I always remember a friend saying “I can’t afford a baby” and another friend replying by saying “if you wait till you can afford one, you will never have one“.

That conversation stuck with me over the years and it is true, when you think about the cost of a baby, it could put you off the idea. So we have been contemplating how to save costs when having a baby.

Obviously there are lots of ways that you can save, such as breastfeeding over formula (if you are able) saves on the weekly milk costs, reusable nappies over disposable can save a huge amount but what about the big items?

Classic children room in white color 3D rendering

Here is our list of things that you will need and will need to budget for

NEW BABY CHECKLIST

  • Cot (plus mattress, sheets and blankets)
  • Car seat
  • Pram/buggy/travel system
  • Wardrobe / Changing Station
  • Moses basket/ crib (plus mattress, sheets and blankets
  • Changing bag
  • Breast pump (The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old but we are not the breastfeeding police so a pump is always another option for mums who can’t, or don’t want to feed).
  • Steam steriliser

So when you get to a point in pregnancy when you don’t want to go to the shops anymore, you can sit happily online and let PiWop take the hassle out of haggling!

Maternity Myth Buster: things you CAN do during pregnancy

Life sure changes as soon as you see the blue line on the pregnancy test. You’re instantly concerned with a whole host of things you just can’t do anymore. Whether you planned for your pregnancy or it was an unexpected surprise, one thing is for sure, pregnancy is certainly life changing.

Yet, despite what Facebook, friends and old-school fact sheets might tell us, we don’t have to cut out all the best bits. Being pregnant is anything but a jail sentence. This is a time to enjoy and treasure with those closest to you. With a few tweaks to your weekly agenda, pregnancy is merely but a wonderful aspect of your existing way of living.

So. Ditch those dictating guidebooks. You don’t necessarily need to listen to your endearing great aunt (twice removed) who thinks she knows best. Let’s bust some maternity myths together. Here are five things you can do during pregnancy, that will definitely make life more liveable.

Myth Buster #1: You can exercise

Take things steady. So long as you don’t go from 0 to 100 as soon as you see the beautiful blue lines, you’ll be fine to exercise. Regular running, yoga, aerobics: it’s all good.

If you love to take part in fast-paced, or adrenaline-fuelled sports, speak with your doctor or midwife. Chances are, it won’t be something you’ll have to rule out entirely.

Several pregnant women exercising with ball in gym

Myth Buster #2: You can eat prawns

So raw shellfish is a no-no. We’re sure your midwife has told you that from Day Dot. Just think off all the harmful bacteria that can cause viruses and food poisoning and gawd knows what will happen. Shell fish. A definite no-no. Don’t question it.

But if you’re craving a prawn curry from your favourite Indian restaurant, you’re in luck, lady. So long as those prawns have met heat and have had a thorough cooking, they’re all yours. You gotta get your seafood kicks some place, right?

Myth Buster #3: You can eat chocolate

So your best friend told you that chocolate contains caffeine, and you should definitely give a swerve during pregnancy. Note from one mother to another: you need chocolate to survive pregnancy (and parenting), and it’s perfectly safe. Trust us.

You do need to eat the stuff in moderation, but research has shown chocolate can even reduce the chances of pregnant mothers suffering from preeclampsia. That’s right. Medically proven. Get the Galaxy in.

Myth Buster #4: You can have sex

We’re not sure whether this one was decided by the boys or the gals. If you’re tired and can’t cope, just go with it. Sex is off the cards. We’ve got your back.

But, if you want to have fun between the sheets you’re worried about any health issues that may arise… forget it. It’s perfectly safe to have sex while pregnant. Enjoy.

Myth Buster #5: You can sleep when you need to

In today’s day and age there seems to be a relentless pressure on women to keep going while their carrying their child.

Stop.

Your body is (literally) making a human. That’s tiring business. And while it’s completely normal, it’s absolutely essential that you rest as and when you need to. The old, ‘I’m pregnant’ line? Use it. It’s yours. And rightly so.

Pregnant woman lying in bed sleeping

Would you consider a football inspired baby name?

Baby names are always such an emotive topic and one of the UK’s most unpopular baby names could be about to make a comeback – thanks to England’s World Cup success. ‘Gareth’ was ranked 117 in the popularity charts in 1996 – the year England reached the semi-finals of the European Championships.

Young expectant mother with letter blocks spelling name on her pregnant belly

But following Gareth Southgate’s infamous penalty blunder which saw them miss out on a place in the final, it had plunged to 1,903 by 2016, with just a handful of tots given the name each year.

However, the England manager’s success so far has seen a sharp revival in interest in the name, with almost two thirds (65 per cent) of parents believing it will make a comeback thanks to the World Cup.

Fittingly, the Welsh name means ‘gentle’ and was first made popular by a legendary ‘brave and modest’ knight in King Arthur’s court. Gareth definitely seems to have a more relationship and gentle approach to his management so maybe this is true.

The study, by ChannelMum.com, found around one in 14 children currently have a football-inspired name – but 84 per cent of parents think more babies will now be given a moniker based on the Three Lions players.

More than one in 10 of the parents polled who are currently expecting even admitted they are now considering a footie name for their baby. How about you?

Picture showing pregnant woman with question marks on belly

Picture showing pregnant woman with question marks on belly

How much sleep do new parents get in the first year of their baby’s life

One thing that is joked about when you are pregnant is trying to sleep while you can but how much sleep do new parents really get in the first year of a baby’s life?

Pregnant woman lying in bed sleeping

Amazingly, new parents will steal just four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby’s life, it has emerged. That means in their tot’s first 12 months, exhausted mums and dads will sleep 59 per cent less than the recommended eight hours a night, losing the equivalent of 50 nights of kip. It also emerged a typical parent spends 54 minutes per day trying to get their baby to sleep, adding up to almost 14 days in their first year.

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More than two thirds of British parents believe they have got into arguments with their partner purely as a result of their baby’s poor sleep habits. Steve Reid, CEO and Co-Founder for sleep technology brand Simba, which commissioned the study, said: “As a new parent myself, the fallout from sleeplessness as a parent can be overwhelming and can push you to the limits, which is why we’ve been meticulous in crafting the new Simba Hybrid® Cot Mattress. “Sleep nourishment, plays a vital role in the recuperation, growth, immune system, brain development and learning of a child and having put the cot mattress through rigorous independent testing, the results speak for themselves. “Nine out of 10 babies fall asleep faster on a Simba, with three out of four sleeping longer too – gifting parents with a much-needed additional hour of sleep every night. “When your baby sleeps well, you sleep better and that sets everyone up for the day. “Investing in the right mattress is just as important for babies as it is for adults.” Sixty-four per cent look back on their first year as parents and are ‘amazed’ they were able to function through it all as well as they did. In those early months, one third of new parents believe warm milk is the best remedy for settling a restless baby. Thirty two per cent found their little one slept best when they were rocked to sleep in their arms, and one in five got their baby a comfort blanket to keep them cosy while they snoozed.

close-up portrait of a beautiful sleeping baby on white

TOP 20 WAYS TO SEND A BABY OFF TO SLEEP

1. Warm milk

2. Sticking to routines

3. Gentle rocking motion

4. Dummy/Pacifier

5. Give them a warm bath

6. Comfort blanket

7. Reading

8. Gentle bouncing

9. Singing

10. Give them a favourite toy

11. Play with my baby as much as possible during the day to tire them out

12. Calming music

13. Ambient noise – e.g. hairdryers, washing machines, turning on the hoover

14. Driving them around

15. Baby massage

16. Children’s TV

17. Putting them in hiking pack or pram and walking for miles

18. Reducing eye contact before bed

19. Putting them outside in the fresh air

20. Scenting a tissue/fabric with fragrance near the bed