I’ve been meaning to write this article for a while but it’s REALLY very hard to write a decent self-authored piece between diaper changes, a screaming baby and trying to hold down 2 jobs. Therefore – Sorry about the delay.
*I owe it to my readers*
There are plenty of articles about the cost of hospitals and the ever-elusive topic of gynaes and paeds (for the daddies or soon-to-be-fathers: gyanes are for the ‘before’ and paeds are for the ‘after’) But this will be an article about the ‘equipment’.
Expo and markets are dedicated to trying to convince you to buy stuff while you’re caught up in the moment of expecting your child. It’s like going grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you will definitely buy something you don’t need.
I was inspired to write this after talking to some friends who appeared to be hesitant about having children due to the cost-inhibition. Everyone wants the best for the child but that doesn’t mean buying them the #1 of everything. Sometimes the #1-brand is not even cost-justified. Just a fancy brand maybe?
The best way of going about this, is therefore simply buying what you need, and not what you want.
HAVE SOME SELF CONTROL PEOPLE. GEEZUS!
This is a half-article and also a note-to-self when #2 comes around. At the start, this is what you’ll need:
1. Breast Pump – Budget $400 – Buy it new. You don’t really want to be using someones old lactating equipment; simply for hygiene reasons.
2. Bottles – Budget $100 – Pick a brand and make sure the bottle fits with your breast pump and get at least 8 bottles. It will make your nights easier since you’ll only need to wash & sterilize bottles once a day. Buy them as loose bottles from warehouse sales. Why? Cos you’ll throw the boxes away ANYWAY. We started on Medela, tried Tommy Tippy, tried Nuk, tried Pigeon but Dr Browns seems to be awesome for us right now. (btw, we’re only at 5 months). I hope these guys stay around even though they are grumpy as … https://www.facebook.com/babyexpo88/
3. Rompers and onesies – Budget $50 – Buy the 3-packs from Marks & Spencer or online, or just get handmedowns. Worst case, jump on carousell and get them. We got many of ours from friends and they were totally fine.
4. Cot / Playpen – Budget $400 – CHOOSE ONE. no need to have both unless you live in a gigantic house too big for logic. We have a cot because we feel it’s more stable and can be adjusted later as he gets bigger. Playpens are nice too if they’ve got the 3 in one functions like playpen, daybed, and changing station. Don’t forget a good firm mattress. Also can buy used for about $100 on carousell.
5. Swaddles / Blankets – $50 – 3 swaddles is more than sufficient. You’ll reuse them over the week or at least 4-5 days and then wash. Blankets are only used at night so we wash them once a week – get 2, just in case there’s an emergency.
6. Sterilizer – $50 or less – get in the combi pack with your bottles.
7. Milk bags for storage – $15 for 50 – Buy 2 packs first. From Lanisoh – http://www.pupsikstudio.com/lansinoh-breastmilk-storage-bags-50pcs.html
8. Baby Bag – $20 – if you must… we all know that you can use any other bag you’ve already got but if you insist… then buy a new one. This is the ‘in style’ one now… http://list.qoo10.sg/item/JAPAN-ANELLO-BUY-2-FREE-SHIPPING-JAPAN-ANELLO-BACKPACK-ORIGINAL-ANELLO-SERIES/414622953
9. Towels – $30 – buy 3 from anywhere. Cuteness comes at a premium and is unnecessary because the baby won’t care about the towels. Only YOU appreciate them.
10. Bath tub – $10 – it will be a LONG time before your baby fills up a baby tub. A simple plastic tub (XL) from the provision store will suffice for at least 3 months.
11. Bath Soaps and Bottle Soaps – $50 – Babies smell like Kodomo so just buy Kodomo. That way everyone can love the baby smell but we all know that they actually smell like pee and vomit. Any bottle soap is fine – just make sure it’s meant for baby bottles.
12. Laundry Detergent – $20 – They can’t use the detergent for grown ups so gotta use Kodomo again.
13. Lots of baby wipes – $40 – get one carton. Qoo10 ones work fine too.
14. Diapers – There’s no right or wrong brand. Just buy from the cheapest source based on babies weight. The only brand I prefer is Merries for travelling because they’re REALLY compact.
Things you may need:
1. Baby carrier – Difficult to use for at least 4 months because you’ll need an infant insert. But if you don’t have a choice, get a popular brand because it’s easy to resell. Maybe even get one used and wash it in hot water. It will be all the same after 2-3 outings. Expect this to be about $150-200. About 60-70% of that price if you get them used.
2. Stroller – newborns don’t really fit in strollers. So if you want to do this stroller thing, you’ll need an infant adapter and that cost more money. Expect $400 w/ infant adapter. Used ones can be a fraction of this price. If you don’t mind, get a used one, and steam clean it.
3. Car seat – if you drive, please get one. Don’t be a hero and hand carry your newborn. There are nice ones and simple ones. This is what we’re using now – http://mistermum.com/2016/08/05/admit-it-you-missed-me-we-bought-a-fedora-c1-organic/
Things that you DON’T need at the start:
You’re going to be overwhelmed with a new person in the house who will basically need 24/7 supervision. Don’t leave unnecessary stuff around that may complicate your life.
– Food processor (solids start around 6 months)
– Baby Chair / High Chair (it’s going to be a while)
– Toys (yep. gonna be a while. just enjoy the crying for now)
– exercise gyms etc (not till 3 or 4 months)
– play mats (same as above)
– bottle warmer (just use a hot-water dispenser and a cup: it’s much faster)
– Bumbos / swings / pottys / seats (not gonna be used for 5 months+)
All in all, for people starting from scratch (i.e. your first child) I think you can get all the equipment for about $1,000. Very reasonable. Of course this excludes personal preference stuff like nursing bras, and covers, new clothes, etc. This can sky rocket if you want to buy fancy stuff, and this can also be halved if you don’t mind taking used stuff and cleaning it.
Don’t forget the mass amount of stuff that will probably get handed down to you suddenly. That saves you money too. You could SHAMELESSLY go around and ask first – then just buy what you need afterward?
What I felt that was most ‘EXPENSIVE’ was running around to get all this stuff and arranging it in a logical way. That took a while so just enjoy the process.
Doctors visits are $100 at polyclinics and the jabs etc for about 6 months. But if you don’t like the queue, then go private for $200-300 at the same frequency – monthly, for 6 months.
$3k of the baby bonus goes to offset these expenses and the other $3k that is put into the Child Development Account can be used for medical expenses and selected child-related stuff. CDA accounts match you $1 for $1 you put in but there’s a cap so ‘save wisely’ for what you need.