Pram, car seat, changing table, baby grows, toys, sterilising equipment, thousands of muslin squares - it is amazing how many things one small child needs, so when a baby comes along, it can be an expensive business.That's why getting hold of free baby stuff can really help out and there are lots of ways to do this if you know how. Here's what to look out for...
New mums will receive goody packs and vouchers in hospital from companies keen to win their future loyalty. While you might be busy looking after your newborn, try and take a moment to have a look at any of the mother and baby offers inside - you never know what free baby stuff you might be able to get your hands on.
Baby magazines and websites:
It is always worth scanning the baby magazines for vouchers or give-aways, but probably the best place to look is pregnancy websites where you can join for free and gets packs of samples and vouchers in return which can be used in stores across the UK to buy baby items and equipment.
Another great source is the websites of the manufacturers of baby products who often have free baby stuff to give away or at the very least have big discounts so mums can buy and try their products for less.
See if they are giving away free baby samples as this gives you the chance to try different products to see which you like the best before buying.
Friends and family:
If you are having no luck getting your hands on the mother and baby offers out there, family and friends are always on hand to help out and give, or lend, you things you might need.
This is particularly so with other parents, especially if their children are bigger than yours, who might well be only too happy to unload their unwanted baby clothes and equipment to free up space. Chatting to other mums can be helpful before splashing out and may even save you money by stopping you buying things you simply don't need. Forums on the baby websites can be a great source of advice for this.
Do your research:
Compare prices on some of the nursery equipment websites to get the best value. Even if you decide to order online, try to visit a nursery shop before you buy so you can see for yourself exactly what you are getting. Specialist stores have advisers who can help you select the products that are right for you.
Make a list:
If you are worried about getting everything your baby needs, especially in those first six weeks, sit down and make a list of what you think you need. Many baby websites carry this sort of information. But remember it doesn't matter if you can't afford everything on the list as babies don't need the best of everything or brand new stuff.