Baby start-up costs
With gifts and common sense you can kit out your baby for less.
I have had four babies, and discovered that you really don’t need to break the bank to make a baby comfortable. With the gifts I received at stork teas, there wasn’t much left for me to have to buy.

One of the best gifts I ever received was a steam sterilizer with my first pregnancy. It costs about R250 and works like a dream. Wash the bottles, put it in the sterilizer, add some water and pop it in the microwave.

You can get along with 6 bottles, 3 small and 3 big, you’ll just have to wash regularly. Bottles are fairly expensive these days. I realised this when I went looking for a new bottle for my 2-month-old daughter. The best deal that I could find was a Baby Club wide neck bottle for R40 at Baby City. The other makes range from R60 to R115 per bottle.

I got a lot of clothes at the stork teas. And because babies grow so fast, you get a lot of second hand clothes that look brand new. Our church gave me two big bags of clothes as a gift and my baby girl now has enough clothes until she is 2 years old. What I also do, is to go to every single Jet or Pep sale. Their baby clothes are very affordable, beautiful and great quality. When you find something cheap, buy in all the available sizes.

Soap, shampoo and other cleaning things I received enough at the stork teas to last for the first six months. The only things you use on a daily basis is cotton wool, shampoo, soap and cream. A roll of cotton wool lasts for two months, a small bottle of shampoo for 4 months, soap 3 months, cream 6 months.

Now my solution for those big cost items like a pram, cot, feeding chair… borrow. For those things that you don’t need to buy new. The only thing I would advise you to get new is a car seat and the secret here is…make sure it’s SABS approved and buy the cheapest there is. It’s necessary for safety, not gadgets.

One cost I have to plan to pay was for private inoculations. They mostly have less side effects, but this comes at a price. The three private inoculations that I would advise parents to add to their inoculation schedule is a) the MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella) @ R153, b) the chicken pox inoculation @ R286 and c) the Hepatitis A @ R180 x 2 inoculations. Luckily the state now subsidises the Pneumococcal and Rotavirus vaccines.

You will want to spoil your child, and if you can afford it, do it. But remember, the only thing your child actually needs is love.

Find out how much it costs per month to maintain a baby.

What else would you recommend is worth investing in when kitting out a baby?
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