- A pram/pushchair. With this you definitely get what you pay for. Buy one for £100 and you will soon be buying another one. The other thing is that if you go for a more luxurious brand, e.g. Bugaboo, Quinny, I Candy, it will be sell-on-able which is better for the environment and better for your pocket. Sure it might cost you (or Grandma) £600 initially but if you get £350 when you want to sell then actually it cost less than a Mamas and Papas Pliko Pramette (which no-one wants second hand believe me).
- Mattress. Save on the cot but splurge on the mattress. Think of it selfishly, the better the mattress, the more your little darling will want to sleep on it. Zzzzzzzzz. I wish we had bought a small Ikea cot. You will soon be thinking small when you see the amount of
rubbishuseful stuff you have accumulated. This one at £59.99 is adequate.
- Bedding. I actually like Babies R Us for this. They do some good deals too and if you register with them they send you loads of money off vouchers.
- Nursing bras. Might sound obvious but do NOT accept an offer of one from a friend. You will be wearing these probably through pregnancy and beyond if you decide to b-feed. Buy at least three, and it might sound grim but again if you buy branded you can sell them on ebay. I bought Hotmilk bras and sold them on ebay for half what I paid so they only actually cost me £10 each. You will be hard pushed to find a nursing bra in Mothercare for £10.
- Weaning stuff. Get cheap and colourful bowls and spoons either from Ikea if you have one locally or from Asda. In Asda bowls/spoons are about £1 a set especially if you go during their baby week.
- Car seat. The best one is Maxi Cosi. If you bide your time and look for discounts it is possible to get one for £70. Amazon and Boots seem to have the best deals.
Now I do realise that not everyone has people they can borrow from. I was in this position as I was the first of my friends to have children. However that is what ebay is for....use it to the fullest.
- Baby clothes. Buy them in bundles from ebay and go to advanced listings to find some locally to avoid paying the postage costs. I sold my bundles for £15 each and there were clothes in there that had never been worn. I estimate there was over £200 worth of clothes in each bundle. Bargain!
- Maternity clothes. I bought my maternity clothes from Topshop, Dotperk, H&M, Jojo and Isabella Oliver. The Isabella Oliver stuff I got on a 20% off day. I then sold it for nearly what I paid for it (on ebay) as it is desirable. Therefore it actually cost me in real terms less then the H&M stuff. I sold some M&S maternity jeans on ebay for £1.20. Lesson - buy cheap stuff (or borrow it) on ebay and treat yourself to a few nice bits from Isabella Oliver.
- Toys. Baby toys are expensive and pointless. Borrow from friends or go to nearly new sales.
- Baby mats/gyms. Again expensive and used for limited periods. But they are useful so get one. Again, borrow, use ebay or go to nearly new sales (NCT ones are best, use google). TK Maxx are also worth trying for this.
- Baby sleeping bags. A must especially in winter. Try TK Maxx for good deals or borrow/buy second hand. Everything can be washed!
- Breast pump. Some people are sniffy about this but bear in mind the best one to get is the Avent Isis electric one which is usually £80 (£60 in a sale if you are lucky). Your baby might not breast feed at all, or might not take a bottle, so you don't really know whether you will need one, it's a lot of money for something you might not use. Things like this can be easily sterilised and the Avent ones come with spare parts so they can be changed. I sold mine for £20 to a local lady. Bargain.
- Moses basket. Again your baby may refuse to sleep in this. Mine both did. Lots of people have these spare so ask a friend if you can borrow. You can always give it back.
- Nappies. It is more cost effective and environmentally friendly to use the cloth ones. These are easily available on ebay and I've also seen lots at the nearly new sales. Having said that, I used disposables, bad I know but I could barely cope as it was!
- Cosy toe for your pushchair. Buy a second hand sheepskin one. It will look stylish, be lovely and warm and best of all have resale value!
- Baby chair/swing. Ask a friend as these are always cluttering up houses. I would be glad if someone asked for ours, I'm sick of it!
- Highchair. Again ask around, people are always desperate to get rid of space stealers like these. Alternatively buy a nice small one in Ikea for £10.99. Bargain.
- Baby carrier. We bought a Baby Bjorn new and a Moby Wrap second hand. I bought the Moby Wrap for £18 and sold it for £15 so it cost me £3. The Baby Bjorn was £40 and sold it for £10. We also foolishly bought one of those huge baby/toddler backpacks for £100 brand new. These are extensively used by "jolly hockey sticks with a knapsack on my back, tra la li, tra la la!" mother types but not me in my heels. We have used it once in winter (baby cried as too cold) and once in summer (baby cried as too hot). It has since been in the cupboard under the stairs. I think it needs to be sold on!