Like most mums, newborn babies take my breath away. The sight of a new baby at the supermarket just puts a spring in my step and a smile on my face. I love meeting new mums with their newborns and this always makes me want another one, until I remember the work involved! If you are the mum of a newborn you might like some quick and nifty tips for making those first few years memorable, instead of workload full. Learn tips on baby accessories, bedroom decor tips, ideas for play and more. Whatever you need, this list will help you to enjoy all those precious moments more by giving you more time and sanity.
1. How to make baby wraps
Watch YouTUBE on creating your own baby wraps.
2. Watch out for buttons
Be careful putting a sleeping baby to bed in clothes in the day with large buttons. Always check buttons are secure on outfits.
3. Go retro
There are many cute retro outfits in second hand stores. You can match them with new items to make for cool baby outfits.
4. Accept hand-me-downs
Do not be too proud to accept second hand clothes. Babies grow so quickly that buying new becomes very expensive.
5. Buy bigger sizes
Get into the habit of buying the bigger size so that your baby will get more wear out of the purchase.
6. Stuff to buy new
A good rule of thumb is to buy singlets, socks and sleep suits new. To save money purchase tops, pants, shoes, skirts, dresses and jackets either secondhand and accept hand-me-downs. Buy a few special new items for your baby that you can put in a memorabilia box to hand down to your grandchildren.
7. Do not buy new
As a rule of thumb buy mainly second-hand clothes.
8, Go to market
Baby markets are full of mothers selling all their baby gear in one stall. They are really cheap as mothers generally just want to make room in their homes rather than make big money on their items. Look into which markets are held in your area and sign up to their newsletter which will tell you when the next market will be held.
9. Go to garage sales
You can pick up big boxes of baby clothes at garage sales for really cheap prices. Check out our classifieds too and find bargains in your area or on your street.
10. eBay for cheap gear
Try eBay for baby clothes going cheap. Always know the market price and have a budget when shopping at an auction site. Often, if many people are after the same item, the price will go higher than you would want to pay for it. Also factor in your time when buying on auction sites. They can be time consuming and a waste of time if you keep bidding and do not win the bid.
11. Get items for free
Check out www.freecycle.com for FREE items in your area. You can also check out our FREE section in classified as well to grab items you can pick up close to home.
12. Buy white clothes
Buy white clothes such as cheap Wondersuits and then dye them the pretty colours you like.
13. How to keep socks matched
Invest in a mesh laundry bag for little items like socks. Make sure they go straight into the bag when they are taken off.
14. Easy laundry system
Keep a different basket in each bedroom for laundry. Do a load of washing from one basket per room each day. Hang that load out and then bring it in. This way you will never have to sort washing. Items like socks will also come back together and will not get lost.
15. Labeling stuff to help your helpers
Label drawers or clothes containers so babysitters and partners can easily find items when you are not there or when you are taking a well deserved break.
16. Dresses for girls
Girls dresses are easy and pretty to make. Buy material on sale and make a bunch of dresses at once. Check out YouTUBE for some simple ideas.
17. Sew your own
If you have the time you can sew your own simple items like a breastfeeding pillow, cushions and curtains.
18. Savers for cheap clothes
Savers have an amazing amount of clothes at great prices and they are all colour coded.
19. Can you get it cheaper new?
Weigh up secondhand prices versus the cost of buying new. Lately I have been noticing that K-Mart is cheaper than buying items at the Salvation Army. Be weary of secondhand shops inflating their prices. Some secondhand shops are now franchises.
20. Organising hand-me-downs
When friends and family give you boxes of clothes go through them and create a box for each size. E.g. I have a box of size two and a box of size three waiting to be worn. Also have a box for your local op shop. That way it is easy to see what you need.
21. Buy generic gear
Try not to get sucked into buying branded items. Bonds is nice but expensive. Buy generic brands for items like Wondersults.
22. If you do not like pink for girls
When I had Coco I had trouble finding clothes in colours other than pink. If you have the time buy plain colours and dye outfits green or yellow or red. This can prove very cost effective and you will end up with a cute range of clothes.
23. How to make girls dresses quickly
Cut four pieces to make a dress shape. Sew the lining and patterned pieces together. Then sew those pieces together. You will have a gorgeous lined dress for minimal effort. Make sure there are no loose pieces of cotton that can come off your masterpiece.
24. Shop regionally
Op shopping is a lot cheaper in country towns. Next time you pass through a country town definitely stop for some op-shopping.
25. Get friendly with a mum behind you
Find a mum or friend with a baby smaller than yours and designate that mum for your hand-me-downs. Do not have one? Network on this website and find someone near you.
26. Get friendly with a mum ahead of you
Find a mum or friend with a baby a size bigger than yours and ask that mum for her hand-me-downs. Do not have one? Network on this website and find someone near you.
27. Express your needs
Tell people what you need and watch it appear. You will be amazed what comes through the door. Use this website to express your needs in our savings network.
28. Buy gear at school fairs
School fairs are full of mums selling their stuff for practically nothing. Investigate buying some gear at a school fair.
29. People are generous
Buy plain gear rather than colours. People will gift you the pretty and flamboyant outfits.
30. Longer baby wraps
When Coco was a baby the summer cotton wraps just did not seem long enough for my growing baby. So I jumped on my sewing machine and sewed two together. This wrap was so much better with more than enough room to keep Coco from coming out of the wrap because it just wasn’t quite long enough.
31. Cheap and good quality baby wraps
I bought two summer sarongs at Cotton On for $5 which were really stretchy and long. Great for wrapping baby and much better than a normal wrap you would buy in a baby store.
32. Baby dribbles
If baby dribbles on their clothes while out you can sprinkle a little baking soda on the garment to remove some other odour.
33. Buy plain coloured socks, all one colour
Only buy plain coloured socks for kids that are all the same colour. Boring yes? No. Matching socks is boring. I have better things to do. This way, you will never have to match your kids socks. Also if you lose one you will always have a match for the lost one. So cool. Win-win. Love it. Now I can watch Home and Away in peace.