Having a baby is one of the biggest life events for anyone. It is also one of the costliest activities in one's life: having another mouth to feed, body to dress and brain to educate can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars every year. Still, raising a child can also be extremely difficult and stressful, especially for first-time parents with a newborn. Here, we discuss a few items that could be life-changing for first time parents. While some of these can be rather costly compared to their traditional (and inconvenient) alternatives, there are also legitimately actionable ways of making them more affordable.
Baby Brezza Bottle Maker and Sterilizers
Feeding a baby is very difficult. First, you have to hold them in a certain way so that they feel cozy and comfortable. Then, you have to feed them the right stuff at the right temperature at the right times. If you ask anyone who has had a baby before, it becomes quite obvious just how difficult and mentally draining it can be to make a formula while your newborn is hungry and crying. Heating the water, measuring how much powder and water to mix, shaking the bottle and making sure it's not too hot while holding the baby in one arm can be a superbly frantic exercise. If you can afford to invest a few hundred dollars to alleviate this problem, it might be worth purchasing a Baby Brezza Formula Maker.
Costing around S$400 to S$500 on ecommerce sites in Singapore, this machine can simplify your parenthood immensely by providing a hassle free way of preparing your baby's formula. With a press of a button, you can get a well mixed baby formula without any air bubbles at an appropriate temperature in a matter of seconds.
We may love everything about our babies. But, it's a fact that everyone's bowel movements can and do stink. To that extent, getting a diaper pail can reduce the olfactory pain you may have to deal with on a daily basis. Compared to a normal trash can, a pail for diapers is can contain the odor and significantly reduce the smell. These are typically designed to create a tight seal, and some can even be used with normal trash bags instead of proprietary replacement parts. Diaper pails are available on online shopping sites for around S$100.
Baby Holding Assistants: swadlleMe, baby carrier and feeding pillow
These tools are particularly helpful for moms, dads and grandparents alike. Sometimes, babies just cry until they are held & hugged; some grandparents may just have the need to embrace their grandchildren for hours. Either way, holding a baby in a comfortable position for a long time can be huge drain physically and sometimes emotionally if they don't stop crying.
Items like baby carriers, swaddleMe and baby feeding pillows provide a very convenient solution to these problems. Carriers cost around S$20 online, and can help anyone to carry and hug a baby for hours without straining their backs or shoulders. SwaddleMe (costing around S$20) is a pre-made baby swaddle that can be easily wrapped around a baby with belcrows, and are excellent for helping babies sleep better. They can also be easily opened to replace diapers without waking up the baby. Feeding pillows can also be very useful in allowing babies and first-time mothers to comfortably enjoy each other's company during baby meals.
Baby Proofing Items: Mats, Corner Guards, Fences and Baby Cameras
Last but not least, it's important to get baby proofing the items to give yourself some peace of mind when babies are left alone (i.e. while you are cooking or are in the bathroom). For example, you can spend about S$100 to place soft mats, fences and corner guards in your living room to create a safe space for your newborn. Doing so can help you relax and not worry about your kid falling down or hurting herself while you are trying to take care of personal matters and are unable to invest 100% of your attention to your child.
How to Afford These Items More Easily
As with all things that are nice to have, some of these items may not be cheap enough for every parent. However, there are still ways to make them more affordable.
First, some of these items can easily be recycled through the family. If you have siblings or cousins who recently had a child before you, you could ask to borrow their items. For example, most babies won't need formulas for more than 12 to 18 months, and you can share the Brezza Baby formula maker when your cousin no longer needs it. Same can be said about baby carriers and diaper pails.
If you don't have any siblings or cousins who recently had a baby, you can still purchase used goods from various online sites like Carousell. This should be especially easy to do for electronics like Brezza Baby or baby cameras, which don't experience too much "wear & tear" and are only used for a year or two.
Lastly, you should consider getting an online shopping credit card. Many shopping credit cards come with automatic 10-20% discounts with major online shopping portals and can provide further savings through up to 10% cash rebate or 4 miles per S$1 spent. By utilising some of these rewards efficiently, you could easily reduce the net cost of your items by 15-30%.
This was first published at Value Penguin's website, "4 Purchases That Can Make New Parent's Life Easier".