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Baby On A Budget - A Checklist of Essential Baby Products

Updated on June 12, 2011

Buy baby essentials on a budget

When you discover you are pregnant, you will probably feel a variety of emotions ranging from joy to anticipation to panic, but certainly one of thoughts you will have to consider is how much money the new baby will cost you, and how you will be able to afford it.

Of course, people from all walks of life have babies, and almost everyone, in the Western world at least, affords them somehow, but there are some things that are not necessary, and there are other things that can be done cheaply.

Firstly, some essentials not to skimp on:

The nursery

  1. A cot bed – bare in mind that this will last around 7 years if it transforms from a cot to a junior bed, and will have to withstand your baby chewing the rails, bouncing on the base and kicking the frame, it needs to be sturdy and good quality. Buy one made from wood, or make it yourself, and cots can be obtained second-hand to save money, as long as you buy a new mattress.

  2. A cot mattress – make sure it fits the cot you have and opt for the best quality you can afford. A minimum of 12mm should be suitable, but 15mm is better. You should buy this new.

  3. Cot sheets – you will need at least 3 cot sheets, some babies are very sickly in those first few weeks.

  4. A sleeping bag or 2 cellular blankets – your baby might feel safer at first being swaddled or placed in a sleeping bag to sleep, and cellular blankets can be doubled by folding them in half.

Bathing and changing

  1. Towels. They don't have to be specific baby towels, the kinds with the hoods on, as these tend to be small anyway, but your baby will need his or her own towels. At least two should do.

  2. A sponge or washcloth will help you to bath your baby easily.

  3. Cotton wool or re-usable fleece baby wipes, for cleaning your baby's bottom at change time.

  4. Nappies – cloth nappies are cheaper than disposable and very easy to use.


  1. Six vests, three sleepsuits and a cardigan. This is the basic first set of clothes your baby will need as a minimum. Of course, most babies have more than this, and people will want to buy your baby clothes as gifts, but these are the basic essentials. Get these in both the first and second size.

  2. Scratch mittens – for the first few days at least, you will want to prevent your baby scratching his or her face accidentally.

  3. Socks – if the sleepsuits don't have them attached.

Feeding – breastfeeding

  1. If breastfeeding, you won't need anything else at first but it may be helpful to have some nipple ointment in, in case you suffer from sore nipples or problems with breastfeeding.

  2. Breastpads – although these are not needed at first, you will need them after the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding, when the milk comes in properly. Re-usable are the cheapest option and you will need at least 3 pairs, otherwise you can buy boxes of disposable breastpads.

  3. A breastpump – this too is not necessary in the first few weeks, particularly as it's not recommended you express milk for the first six weeks after starting to feed your baby. But after that you will probably wish to have one to hand.

Feeding – bottle feeding

  1. Bottles and teats – you will need at least 6 bottles if you are going to be bottle feeding full time.

  2. A brush to clean the bottles and teats.

  3. A steriliser – a microwave one will be the cheapest, otherwise you can get a free-standing steam steriliser.

  4. Infant formula tubs.


  1. A rear-facing car seat – it is recommended that you buy this new so as to ensure it complies with safety regulations. You may wish to buy one that fits on to the chassis of your pram or travel system.

  2. A pram or travel system – suitable from birth and allowing your baby to lie flat.

  3. A raincover or parasol – depending on the climate.

Things that are not necessary

  1. A moses basket or bassinet – although this is very useful for those first few weeks, it is not essential, as long as your baby has somewhere safe to sleep such as a cot.

  2. A baby bath – this is not essential, it may be easier to bath your baby in the kitchen sink at first, otherwise the normal adult bath is fine.

  3. A bottle warmer – these are slow and unnecessary. Running hot water from the tap over the bottle is the quickest way to warm it, or standing it in a jug of boiling water. Make sure you test the temperature.

  4. A baby swing or bouncer – these are very useful as somewhere to put your baby when he or she is awake during the day, but not essential if you're on a budget.

  5. Bubble bath or shampoo – products such as this are not recommended for delicate baby skin in the first few weeks. Bathing your baby in plain water is fine.

As your baby gets older, you will need to buy more things, such as a toothbrush when his or her first tooth starts to appear, safety equipment such as a stair gate when they become more mobile, and a second stage car seat when they outgrow the first.


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    • Ashantina profile image

      Ashantina 6 years ago

      Great tips!!

    • profile image

      KEN 6 years ago

      My blog has some similar & related tips feel free to link and share.Its based on experiences that might help new parents. My actual web site has baby essentials at discount pricing its at .I like your style keep up the good work.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Another helpful hub! I'm enjoying your baby and parenting hubs. Keep it coming. :) BTW, Welcome to hubpages.