When you’re amassing all the gear you’ll need for a baby, it can seem like the costs just keep mounting up. The key is to arm yourself with knowledge about the cost of baby supplies – and then you can prepare your budget. We’ve created a guide to help you work out how much your baby supplies will cost – from prams and cots, to high chairs and car seats. Of course, the wide variety of baby products available attracts a wide range of price points. It’s always a good idea to shop around for the best possible prices.
And remember – it is possible to have a baby on a budget if you manage your expectations and don’t splurge on every single item!
There are many decisions to make with a pram – three or four-wheeler? Stroller or jogger? Can you lift it in and out of the car? Will it suit your baby from birth to pre-schooler stage? Can you work out how to fold it without an instruction manual on hand? What is your budget? You can pick up a stroller for between R300-R1000 second-hand, depending on where you shop – just remember to make sure that it’s still fully functional and not damaged.
If you plan on using the stroller a lot, you may find you are replacing it sooner rather than later, and often strollers don’t lie completely flat to accommodate a newborn.
Some moms are happy to shell out R15 000 for the latest designer pram, though it seems that for R500 and under you will be able to buy a sturdy, reliable pram, with as many features as most babies need.
Don’t forget to check the price of the pram accessories like rain covers, boot covers, bottle holders, mosquito nets, and pumps for pneumatic tires. They all cost money and you may be surprised just how much.
This is one area where it’s best not to scrimp. Many couples ask to receive the car seat as a major baby gift from one set of grandparents or the other, and for good reason. A top of the line seat that will take you from newborn baby to four can cost upwards of R1 700 – though good deals can be found on the internet. Check out the Arrive Alive website to find out how long your child will need to remain in the car seat.
This is one area where parents will often be offered a second-hand option. By all means take it up, but check that the cot in question suits current SABS safety standards and be sure to buy a new, well-fitting mattress for the cot. If you’re buying new, consider a cot that converts into a “big kid” bed.
Otherwise, if you foresee having more children in the future who will need the cot, a simple, drop-sided cot that meets SABS safety standards will set you back between R2 000 – R3 000 depending on where you shop. Bedding will be extra, of course.
High chairs come in a range of designs. The thing that should never be compromised is safety. Look for a five-point harness to ensure your child can’t stand up in the chair when your back is turned. Ensure that it comes apart for easy cleaning and don’t forget to measure it – high chairs can take up a surprising amount of space in your house and you need to make sure it will fit! They will set you back between R1 500 – R2 500, depending on where you shop.
Other Baby Accessories
While it may seem that you can’t live without the specialised carry bag, the bassinette and the play mat, it’s a good idea to step away from the baby accessories and really think about what you’re going to use. Even when it comes to children’s toys, it’s worth remembering that they will play with the box before they play with the toy. Save your money, hold fire, shop around and splash out only if you can really see a need for the item.
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