By Amisha Mody
One of the most exciting things about being an expectant parent is browsing the aisles of cute baby clothes and accessories.
But what are actually the essentials?
In this blog, Amisha Mody shares her expertise as a Babycare Buyer combined with her experiences as a first-time mum…
Let me start by saying that in spite of being the Babycare Buyer for three years at Ocado, when I found out I was pregnant, my brain split into two halves.
During the day, I was the smart, professional who over time had entrenched herself into the market and had learnt everything there was to know about the products on offer. But when I came home at night, I left all logic at the front door and morphed into a ridiculously excited and hugely irrational first time mum.
Every evening I would settle down after my delicious, indulgent dinner (the waistline was going to expand anyway, I figured I may as well help it along with some cheese and chocolate!) and spent hours trawling the internet. I was the worst type of expectant mum and the formula was dangerous:
Knowledge of all possible products x unadulterated excitement = potential for lots of inappropriate and unnecessary purchases!
It’s easy to get carried away when having a baby and the assault of marketing messages, health guidance and ‘tips’ from lovely ladies in the supermarket is enough to take anyone straight from baby brain to brain dead! The average parent spends £11,000 in the first year on their child and as most households will go down to one income whilst the baby is small, financial prudence is critical.
So, in the spirit of learning (and laughing at) other people’s mistakes, I thought I would share my lessons for pregnancy planning:
#1 If you don’t know, don’t guess!
I have spent my whole life hearing wonders about a ‘Mother’s Intuition’ and when I was pregnant, I magically got the gift too. Being a girly girl myself, I just knew I was carrying a precious little girl. We didn’t find out the sex of the baby because we didn’t need to – my princess and I had that amazing connection! Of course I nearly fell off the operating table when the obstetrician told me I had delivered a boy. I even asked him to check again!
Whilst I recovered in hospital, my husband had to run home and quickly re-wallpaper over the pink stripes with jolly blue monkeys and I learnt an expensive lesson; maybe Mothers Intuition exists but in my case the channel was awry and some fine tuning was required!
#2 Think caveman
Back in the Stone Age, when a baby was born all they would need was a fire and a little leaf to cover their modesty. Whilst I’m not suggesting you dress your newborn in foliage, fast forward to today, and your baby still doesn’t need much on arrival.
Before your little one is born, it’s wise to cram in as much research as possible and shortlist the things you think will be necessary. However, only buy the essentials for the hospital and first few weeks at home.
Most retailers offer a next day delivery service and once your baby arrives, you will be best placed to judge whether you still want that item or require something different. Babies need very little when they are initially born so don’t go crazy on the buying – your home will become a jungle of toys, bikes and playdough in no time – enjoy the serenity of living minimalistically whilst you can!
#3 Colour me happy
Whilst once upon a time you would pour over the latest bags from Prada, you are now likely to be dreaming of the latest colours of prams. Just like the catwalk, each season, manufacturers tend to release new shades and hues of the same model.
Unless you are joining a very trendy Buggy Running club, it is wise to look to see if you can get the same pram in a similar colour. Sometimes by selecting a different hue from a previous ‘season’ you can save up to £100!
Shopping for your new baby is one of the most exciting parts of the nesting process. If you aren’t already feeling the little flutters from your baby, just holding those baby booties is enough to make your heart flicker with love.
Of course, the best bit is that it’s guilt free too! No more hiding shopping bags in the car until your partner is asleep – you can parade those Mothercare bags with pride. But shop wisely and slowly as every penny you save can go towards a beautiful new maternity dress for you! #WinWin!
NeeNoo is the UK’s first price comparison site for baby products. Its mission is to simplify the shopping journey for new and existing parents. Created and founded by former Babycare Buyer for Ocado, Amisha Mody, NeeNoo compares the prices of baby products and showcases parent reviews.