Frugally Preparing for Baby


frugally prepare for the arrival of your baby
In January 2019 the husb and I completed on our first house purchase and moved in on 18th. The month prior we found out we would be expecting our first baby. 2019 was an expensive (and very exciting) year!

The house was in desperate need of a deep clean and a redecoration. It hadn’t been decorated in a long time, and everything was filthy and nicotine stained. Thankfully we had bought paint and carpets before moving in and we already had all the furniture we needed from when we were renting, so we didn’t have to wait too long to be able to start buying things in preparation for the baby arrival.

We chose to keep the gender a surprise, so throughout my pregnancy we referred to our little one as Spark.

Preparing frugally for baby 

  1. Sleep Arrangements 
    There is no end of sleeping places you can buy for a baby. Moses baskets, cots, space saver cots, cotbeds, next2me cribs, sleepy heads, travel cots… and a whole host of bed accessories you can splash the cash on from a multitude of cot bumpers (studies suggest to avoid cot bumpers to reduce the chance of SIDS) to canopies and nests.
    Before you buy any beds/cots for baby consider where baby will be sleeping. I knew I wanted Spark in our room with us for the first 6 months, before being transferred into his own room. I also thought that for the first couple months I’d probably want him to have his daytime naps in the living room.
    Therefore I decided to buy a next2me cot and a cotbed. Instead of forking out on a moses basket for the downstairs daytime naps, I decided I would just use the bassinet from the pushchair.  Babies grow out of moses baskets very quickly, so much so most parents I know who bought one say that in hindsight they wouldn’t have bothered getting one.
    Cots, cotbeds and next2me cots are easily bought second hand in very good condition. I bought a Chicco next2me cot secondhand off Facebook Marketplace for £80 and a secondhand Mamas&Papas cotbed for £50 off Facebook Marketplace. A cotbed is a better investment than a cot, as cots are small and only last a year or two at most, whereas a cotbed has various heights for the base of the bed and the sides can be removed to turn it into a toddler bed, meaning your cotbed will take you from newborn to about 4 years old.
  2. Baby Monitor
    With hindsight I wouldn’t buy a baby monitor at all. Unless you live in a big house, or your little on will be sleeping on a different floor of the house to you, a baby monitor may be unnecessary. I live in a two bed semi. Irrelevant of where I am in the house, or where my son is, I can hear him when he stirs/cries. Even now he is sleeping in his cotbed in his own room, I wake up to the sound of him stirring/crying. If you do choose to buy a baby monitor, definitely consider purchasing a second hand one, or alternatively, look for a dog monitor. We bought a dog/pet monitor. It does what most baby monitors do, but was quite a bit cheaper!
  3. Nearly New Baby Sales
    Scope out your local nearly new baby sales to find everything from clothes and toys, to baby monitors, carriers/slings and highchairs. Little Pickles Markets happen every month across the south of England. I went to two Little Pickles Markets whilst pregnant where I picked up a baby carrier, some newborn clothes and a play mat (for £4) among others things.

As well as everything above, the quick tips I would give are to write a list and stick to it. It is easy to get suckered in to buying a lot of stuff you do not need when browsing online and walking around the shops. Buy what you think you will definitely need in preparation for your babies arrival. Other things can be bought once baby is born. Wait for baby events, such as the Asda baby event when lots of essential items are reduced to stock up on things like wetwipes.

All your baby really needs is you and to be warm, dry and fed. Everything else is a bonus.

 

Baby Led Weaning


Weaning using the Baby Led Method

30th December brought my husband and I’s decision to offer solids to Russell for the first time. I knew I wanted to follow the baby led weaning method, but as R was showing weaning readiness before 6 months I started with some purees. However to test his readiness the first thing I gave him was a rusk. He handled the rusk very well so the next day I soaked the rusk in some milk and spoon fed him it.

The NHS recommends that you start weaning from 6 months. However, all babies are different, some may not be ready at 6 months and others may be ready a little before 6 months. Your baby may be ready for weaning if they can sit up with minimal support, can hold their head confidently and have the coordination to pick objects up and put them to their mouth. Even if your baby is able to do all these things it doesn’t mean they are ready. You know your baby best, and weaning should be led by your baby.

starting baby led weaning

Baby led weaning - starting the journey

I have so far borrowed three books from the library on weaning and the one I’ve found most helpful and informative on baby led weaning is ‘Baby Led Weaning : Helping your baby to love good food’ by Gill Rapley & Tracey Murkett. I’d recommend this book as it goes through chapter by chapter everything you need to know about the baby led weaning method, meaning you will feel confident to pursue this method.

Nearly everything that R has had so far has been home prepped by myself. It’s so easy and cheap to make food for your baby, there really is no need to shell out on the expensive ready made pouches and jars in the baby isle.

After rusk, we went onto fruit and vegetables. In the first full week of weaning R had Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Banana and butternut squash. I peeled, chopped, cooked and mashed the parsnip and sweet potato and butternut squash then stored the excess in the freezer. You can use pots or ice cube trays. 1 large sweet potato made 8 portions for R! The banana I simply mushed before giving it to him. The important thing is, that even if you are spoon feeding purees, your baby should choose how much they eat. Do not try to force or encourage your baby to eat more than they want to. Your baby will show you when they have had enough by closing their mouth, turning their head away, and showing a lack of interest in food. Until 1 year old, milk is still your babies main food and nutrition source so there is no need to stress about how much they eat. I let R guide my hand with his own and even gave him a loaded spoon for him to practice feeding himself.

freezer stash for baby led weaning

After a couple weeks giving R purees I decided he was ready to start real solids as per the baby led method. I was very prepared to buy a second hand high chair as there always seems to be high chairs for sale on Facebook Marketplace, but a friend offered to buy the highchair as R’s Christmas present which was lovely. With baby led weaning you don’t need any weaning spoons or bowels etc as you can just place the food directly on the high chair tray. My parents did buy a bamboo weaning set for R as a Christmas gift, so we have used the bowel and spoon when giving R sloppy foods as R hasn’t mastered the skill of dipping yet to feed himself sloppy foods.

Baby Led Weaning is great for weaning on a budget as with some adaptions you can feed your baby what you’re eating.

Here is everything R has had so far with a brief description of how I served it.

our first month of weaning

Since I got Married – an update


Millennial Struggle

I got married on 8th October 2016. Since then life hasn’t exactly panned out the way I expected it to. The Husb and I went to Fuerteventura on Honeymoon for a week directly after our wedding, which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever written a post about my honeymoon… [find post here]

Once married, the Husb and I carried on living in the rented house we had together until June 2017. Basically, my Sister and her boyfriend had bought a house together and moved into it in February 2017, they got on the property ladder! Which was really great and a big achievement in the times we’re living in. But they were feeling the pinch of first time home ownership, and were considering getting a lodger. We gave them our spare double bed from our spare room to put in their spare room as it is much easier to get a lodger for a furnished room, and they started to advertise for a lodger, but weren’t having the best of luck in getting someone. The husb and I had really started to be very determined to get on the property ladder ourselves, but the miniscule amount we were My life - an updateable to save each month whilst private renting meant it was dawning on us we may be fighting a loosing battle.

This lead us to asking my sister and her boyf to consider having us as their lodgers. It took quite a lot of consideration on both sides, as my sister and I hadn’t lived together since we were teenagers and as we are rather close, we didn’t want to end up having a big fall out. None of us wanted to out the good relationship we have with each other on the line. However we deemed it was a safer option for all of us, and mutually beneficial.

Eventually, we moved in to their home in June 2017 and have now been living with them for a year! A whole freaking year! and we don’t yet have our deposit saved! The story about our deposit I will publish in a separate post as it is quite long.

So yea, at 29 (husb is 33) I am married, but not  on the property ladder, and the joy of parenthood feels like a distant unattainable dream. This is not where I thought I would be in life at 29. I try to keep a realistic and positive mind-set. I have friends my age, who look at what I have and wish they had a serious, committed and loving relationship with someone. But that doesn’t stop me looking at my friends who are married, on the property ladder and have started a family already and feel like I am behind the curve.