Thursday, 30 July 2015

The big purchases

If you're anything like me then worrying about the cost of everything when you find out you are expecting a baby is a big deal! I'm not going to lie, I panicked...a lot! For something so small it turns out Squishy needs a whole lot of stuff. Don't get me wrong a lot of it is "like to have" rather than "must have" but I think it's natural to want the best for your baby before they even arrive and to never want them to have to go without.

I thought I'd put a little post together showing the main expensive things that we have had to fork out for during my pregnancy - the big purchases as such!
We've been very very lucky and have had family members offer to purchase some of these for us which we will be eternally greatful for. I also love to bargain hunt and have found a lot of things cheaper second hand on eBay or Facebook selling sites which has helped us a lot.

So here goes...

1. Pram/Pushchair/Travel System

Obviously an essential and probably the most expensive thing expectant parents have to buy. It's hard because there is such a variety out there and you really need to do your research to decide which sort of pram would suit your family's needs best. Poor G was so fed up of visiting Mothercare and playing with prams over and over again, long before we came to a final decision.
We always knew we wanted to go for a complete travel system rather than just a pram. This meant we would get a carrycot for use the first couple of months, a pram type seat which can be both parent and world facing and a car seat - all which can be easily interchanged.
We ended up going for the Babystyle Oyster 2 travel system which is kind of medium/low in the price range of travel systems.
My parent very kindly offered to buy our pram for us which was an amazing relief. Each part needed purchasing separately which is a bit of a pain but good in the sense that you could spread out the cost if you wanted to.
Oyster carrycot - RRP £115, currently £34 in the sale - I managed to pick this up second hand for £10 
Maxi Cosi Pebble car seat - RRP £165 - I managed to pick this up second hand for £25
All Mothercare

2. Cot/Cotbed

This wasn't really an essential purchase before Squishy arrives because we expect she'll be sleeping in with us for the first 6 months or so, rather than in her own room, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
We picked this lovely Obaby Winnie the Pooh cotbed in white with a pine trim. I love the Winnie the Pooh theme and have definitely been trying to incorporate some Disney into the nursery. The mattress has three different height settings and the sides can be removed to turn it into a cotbed that will be suitable up until the age of 5. 
I'm not saying we definitely won't change Squishy's bed before she is 5 cos that seems a long way off but it's nice to know that we've got the option and don't have the expenses of toddler beds/single beds later down the line. It also came with a free mattress which I thought made it extra great value.
Again we were lucky enough to have this bought for us by my nan and grandad.

3. Steriliser starter set

I think subconsciously I always knew I didn't want to breastfeed so had already looked into and sussed out what we would need to bottle feed.
We ended up opting for the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Essentials Starter Kit - £119.99 Asda - but I did wait to pick this up in the Baby & Toddler event as I knew they went down to half price £55.
This is a fab kit and contains absolutely everything we need to get started bottle feeding:
- electric steam steriliser
- electric bottle warmer
- 4x 260ml bottles
- 4x 150ml bottles
- 2x medium flow teats
- 6x powder dispensers
- 2x insulated bottle bags
- bottle/teat brush
- teat tongs
- soother 0-3 months 

4. Baby swing

Again I totally understand this isn't a must have but I always liked the idea of having a swing for Squishy rather than a bouncy chair - I'm not sure why!
I had my eye on this super reasonable Baby by Chad Valley deluxe swing - £43.99 Argos. I love the little elephants and that it's unisex. Amazingly I came across somebody local to us who was selling the exact same one second hand for £15 in great condition so I was over the moon with that.

5. Playmat/BabyGym

I absolutely fell in love with this ocean themed playmat in Mothercare - £40. We kept putting off buying it thinking nearer the time etc.. and then disaster struck - the discontinued it!! Luckily I managed to hunt down a fabulous condition one on eBay and I think we ended up paying £16 including postage which I was over the moon with.
I think playmats were definitely something I underestimated the price of before we were expecting a baby!

6. Crib/Moses Basket

Now I never ever even considered getting a crib for Squishy. I thought they were unnecessary and seriously overpriced and a Moses basket was just always what we were going to purchase.
The one I had my eye on was so cute, all pink (obviously), elephant themed and £34.99 from Asda which I didn't think was too bad. Then again the same thing happened, we left it too long to purchase and they stopped selling it and I couldn't find another one that I loved as much.
I did however see a lady on our local selling site selling this lovely crib RRP £99.99 for £20 so I couldn't turn it down.
Looking at it practically I think it would have been worth spending a little more to get a crib because it's so much bigger than a Moses basket and will hopefully sleep Squishy happily for a lot longer.

7. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine

Again this is by no means an essential item to have and I definitely wouldn't have purchased it full price - £119.97 Asda (again these do go down pretty much half price in the Baby event) - but it has come so so highly recommended to us by friends as an absolutely essential life changer of a purchase that we thought we'd give it a go.
Again I managed to get this on one of our selling sites for £35 which I thought was much more reasonable.
For anybody that doesn't know the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine basically makes up perfect room temperature bottles for you in less than two minutes so there is no waiting around for boiling water to cool while your baby screams their head off. Obviously yet to use so we'll have to let you know how we get on.

8. Highchair

We haven't actually bought a highchair yet because we obviously won't be using one for a good 4 months or so yet but my Aunt and Uncle have said they would like to buy it for us when the time comes so I have started looking at what type we would like.
I'm currently torn between these two
Grey Chevron My Babiie highchair - £79.99 exclusively at Mothercare, Billie Faiers (from TOWIE)
Red Kite highchair £32.99 Mothercare
I know we'd like something unisex so we could potentially save it for any further babies (even though this is getting very ahead of ourselves!). I think it will probably be the My Babiie one to be honest, I adore the chevron pattern, it's so so cute and the seat does appear to give baby more support and cushioning that the Red Kite one but we'll see.

9. Baby monitor

Again this isn't something we have purchased yet because Squishy will pretty much be sleeping right next to us at all times when she is really small so there won't be any need for a monitor but we have decided which one we would like.
I know lots of people really recommend video monitors and monitors that come with sensor mats to detect any breathing problems but I've said all along this is definitely something I don't want. I am such a worrier anyway I really think either of those functions on a monitor would tip me over the edge and have me a quivering wreck checking her breathing and movements every 2 seconds. I've heard from a  lot of people that the sensor mats are very unreliable and can go off for no reason, causing absolute heart attacks I'm sure! Something we've decided we could do without. Simple sound monitors did the job fine when I was small so that's what we have decided to go with. This BT Pacifier Baby Monitor RRP £59.99 currently in the sale for £39.99 (which I did not know about so more than likely we will be picking it up sooner rather than later) is pretty top of the range for a simple sound monitor and has lots of functions that we like the look of. Two-way talk, a long range, temperature display, lullabies and a light show. You can even plug in your own MP3 player if you think baby might appreciate some tunes of an evening!

So I thought it'd be interesting to look at our total spend on the "big things" if we'd bought everything at full price and all at once....a whopping

£1,427.91 -  which definitely looks rather scary!

Then when you take into account the lovely things we have been gifted and the buying things second hand the amount we have actually spent on exactly the same products is.....

£235.99 - a crazy saving of over ONE THOUSAND POUNDS!!

I know we have been so so lucky to have some family members buy some of the more expensive necessities for us and we really do appreciate it so much but I honestly think if we'd spread out all these purchases over the 8 months since we found out we were expecting Squishy is really would have been manageable. This has definitely shown me that even though G may laugh at my money saving/scrimping ways it is without a doubt definitely worth shopping around for discounts on things or buying bits second hand - I'm quite proud of my savings now it's all laid out in front of me like this.

Have you bought any of these items for your little ones? I'd love to hear what you think of them! Have I left any expensive purchases off the list?

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