Three new mothers from Bournemouth have told The Rock that they spent less than £600 to prepare for their babies, which goes against recent research.
NetMums.com and Guardian Money showed that the average spending of a mother expecting her first child is £1,000, and one in twenty mothers spend as much as £3000.
The research also suggested that several mums felt pressured to buy expensive equipment for their unborn children and that a lot of mothers were blowing their budgets.
Sandra Cummins, Hollie Whitby and Becky Miskin all met in a yoga maternity class and had their children seven and eight months ago respectively. They still keep in touch and bring their kids to places like Yummy Mummy on Wimborne Road, to catch up and let their kids play.
Becky said she didn’t spend more than a couple of hundred pounds to prepare for the birth of her daughter Pheobe.
She said: “All you really need, if you go completely back to basics, is breasts, clothes and a bed. There are so many pressure points giving you the impression that if you don’t buy every gadget you are not a good mum, but that is just not true”.
The new mum said she got most of her clothes and equipment second-hand, and accepted gifts from friends and family.
She said there are a lot of websites where mothers can buy and sell equipment, clothes and toys, such as Gumtree and eBay, and the three mothers kept in touch during the preparation months to give each other tips on where to go and what to buy.
Sandra said she would have had to spend three times more if she had bought everything new for her son Teo, and that the decision to save money by buying second-hand was a choice, not a necessity.
“How much money you spend depends on how you think about it. I know some people who bought separate washing machines for their baby’s clothes because they did not want the germs to mix. I would never spend money on that. My husband and I both work and we could afford to buy everything new, but we would much rather save it for the future to pay for nursery and school than spend it all on expensive clothes that he is going to grow out of in a few months’ time,” said Sandra.
Hollie, mother of eight-month-old George, also said that she consciously chose to save money on her newborn baby.
“Even if we had twice the amount of money we have now we would not have spent any more. The future is unpredictable and we would much rather be prepared for anything that could happen,” she said.
Hollie also said that she knows mothers with very different attitudes who would never dream of having anything second-hand and buy pushchairs for as much as £1,000.
She suggested that since the three mothers met in a yoga class, their values are centred around other factors than having the most expensive clothes and equipment, such as trips and experiences with their kids.
The other mothers agreed to this, and Becky said: “If you ask a mother in an environment where they are focused on brands and expensive stuff, they will not say that they felt pressured to buy it but that they had to. It matters to them and their lifestyle.”
You can also save money by making your own baby food, or using voucher codes with the help of the My Favourite Voucher Codes app, which sits on your browser and lets you know if there is a promotional code you can use on the site as you look at it.
Update: One of the quotes has received a slight semantic edit to clarify the point being made.