Your baby budget will get blown

Babies produce unforeseen expenses. Some are crucial, some are unavoidable, and some turn out to be a waste of money. Two significant purchases we made occurred in the early weeks of V’s arrival.

My wife had made the commitment to breastfeed our daughter but both of them were finding it hard. And we gave in and bought formula. We hadn’t planned on that one. It bought us some peace of mind and some time. So we then invested in breastfeeding books and, once, a single page downloadable guide that proved to contain one useful bit of advice. But the published advice didn’t quite help us with our particular problems.

Those breastfeeding issues remained and we finally decided to hire a breastfeeding adviser. This was a Really Big Expense for us. My wife found her online and she visited our flat. She turned out to be the final piece of the puzzle that allowed my wife to make breastfeeding work for her and our daughter. She gave a lot of great advice and while that purchase was born out of desperation, it turned out to be money well spent.

Our next unforeseen expense came at the same time and was an even bigger investment. When V.’s skin started to react badly to disposable nappies, my wife quickly pushed for cloth nappies. As usual, she’d been thorough with her research and had found the best type at the best price. I was reluctant because we were looking at nearly £18 for each nappy. Plus additional items like storage bags and special washing detergent. Not to mention the costs of washing and drying the things at home. It’s claimed by the makers of reusable nappies that one of their advantages is economy: they’re cheaper than disposables. I don’t have the inclination to calculate how much each wash costs, but I can say that the initial outlay did hurt and made a dent to our budget. But over the year, the nappies have worked well, and been used time and time again.

However some of the unforeseen expenses haven’t worked for us. These include swaddling blankets, three types of nappy rash cream, a baby bath support, disposable nappies and the first brand of formula we tried. Either our daughter didn’t get on with them or her parents didn’t.

I can’t think how these expenses could have been avoided. We had to try them out to see if they worked and I suggest that you should view these kind of purchases as a learning experience. And keep the receipt.