One of the things nobody ever tells you (or maybe they did tell you but you were so abuzz with pre-baby joy that you didn’t listen) about having a baby is that they can cost you a fortune once you factor in all of the things they need and grow out of in a matter of weeks.

Although it doesn’t feel as though you can skimp when it comes to buying things for your baby, there are ways in which you can spend a little less and ease the pressure on your finances as much as possible. As when making other purchases, the secret is to shop smart and make a little go a bit further.

Decide what you definitely need

There will be things that you have to buy, no exceptions. For instance, a car seat is a legal requirement if you’re transporting an infant anywhere by car, and a cot will eventually have to be purchased even if you’re using a Moses basket first. Try and limit major purchases, at least, to lessen the hit your finances will take.

Buy second-hand items

If you’re happy to buy second-hand products then that will save a lot of money – most babies grow out of clothes and toys so quickly that there’s hardly any time for them to be used, so it’s practically like buying brand-new things.

For even greater savings, you could ask friends and relatives for hand-me-downs that won’t cost you anything and which you can then pass on when you no longer need them.

Buy budget brands

For every luxury item that costs a fortune, there is a more stripped-back version that doesn’t. If safety’s your concern, it’s worth remembering that products like these have to undergo the same rigorous safety tests that the more expensive versions do – if they weren’t safe, the EU wouldn’t allow them to be put on the market.

If you don’t think that they’ll look as good as the expensive versions, there’s nothing to stop you sprucing them up yourself.

Remember to sell old things on

While you might not be able to avoid buying certain items, you can make some or all (if you’re lucky) of your money back by selling them on once you no longer have any need for them. You can sell your baby products on specialist websites online, or post ads in the newspaper – there will always be people like you looking to buy baby products and pay less money to do so.

Other tips for saving money include:

  • Buying things like nappies in bulk whenever you see a good offer
  • Exchanging unwanted gifts for either cash or credit (as long as the shop sells baby products)
  • Creating a list of items for friends and family to buy as gifts if they want to
  • Converting things you already have to avoid buying new items (e.g. turning a washing up bowl into a baby bath)

If you think creatively, there are loads of things you can do to get all of the products your baby needs at every developmental stage without having to skimp on the quality or safety of them.