Money Saving Tips to Welcoming Your Newborn

Welcoming your little bundle can cost you a big hole in the pocket. As every dollar saved counts, here are some tips on the what you can save so you do not blow your budget.

  • Ask for samples – This include items like wet wipes, diapers, shampoo/soap as well as milk formula. Most of these items can be obtained whenever there is an upcoming baby fair. Apart from the fact that samples are free, you really would not know what your baby need until he/she arrives. Take for example, diapers. I got some newborn and small sized ones because I did not know how big my baby was going to be so I did not purchase a whole new pack of diapers until the baby is here. In any case, you will be at the hospital for at least 2 days after birth which means diapers will be provided for by the hospital. There will still be some time to get the right size.

If you do not visit the baby fair, another great place to ask for samples will be at your gynaecologist’s clinic.

  • Make full use of discount codes / vouchers – Most of the discount vouchers given to me were either from surveys I have participated in or after making a purchase. Usually the items that are of a higher value will give you more vouchers. I signed up with Cordlife and had discount vouchers for diapers, baby’s photoshoot and post natal massage services.
  • Pre-Order / Early Bird discounts – Before the baby fair, there is usually an early bird discount if you shop online. All you need to do is purchase the item once the online sale is on and collect it at the baby fair on the day of the fair. The deals are usually quite good as I managed to save more than 50% off the regular prices of the items.
  • Newborn Clothings – You will be amazed at the speed the baby grows. Our second child was born very tiny but he outgrew his newborn sized clothings in just 2 weeks. It is always better to buy a size up so it can be worn longer. Hand me downs are great since these clothings won’t be worn for very long. I only put on mittens during my babies’ first 2 months because I wanted them to start feeling the different textures as soon as they stop scratching their own faces.
  • Baby Shoes – Nice to look at but there is really no use for it until they start learning to walk. Until then, they are more comfortable in their socks / booties.
  • Bedding sets – Don’t rush into getting pillows and bolsters. Babies are encouraged to sleep on firm and flat surfaces until they are 1 year of age. This is to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Milk Bottles – We tried about 5 different brands of milk bottles for our first born until we found the one that was suitable for him. So before you go buying too many bottles from a particular brand based on your own research, try getting 1 or 2 (if you have to) first. Instead of getting the 150ml sized bottles, consider going for the bottles with more capacity. It works the same as long as you get the nipples with slower flow.
  • Food Processor – Unless there is a specific function about the food processor that you like, I really think that the food processor works the same as a blender. So if you already have a blender at home, there is really no need for a separate food processor for your baby.
  • Stroller – A good stroller does not mean that it has to be expensive. Some strollers that are meant for newborns may look stylish but it is not really practical as your child will outgrow it very quickly. Always look for a stroller that can still be used even when your child is a few years of age and as long as it can function according to your lifestyle and is within your means, it is the perfect stroller for you.
  • Diaper Bag – We got ourselves a diaper bag (at a huge discount) only to find it totally pointless. All we had to do was get a bigger and comfortable bag, compartmentalise it ourselves by using the bag organizer and there we have our own “diaper bag”. It can even be used when you no longer need the “diaper bag”.
  • Baby Floor Seat – I consider this a waste of money because my baby’s thighs were too big for him to use the floor seat. Tried it once and when I lifted him up, up came the floor seat as well. :p
  • Infant bath tub – We welcomed our 2 boys in 2 different hospitals and were given a bath tub to bring home. Due to hygiene purposes, the hospitals do not reuse your baby’s bath tub with another child. You can check with the hospital you are delivering in just to be sure.
  • Milestone Cards – Unless there is a specific design that you like, there are a few sets of milestone cards that we got (free) from the hospital. These are all sponsored by service providers that we may potentially engage in future (like food catering for our child’s milestones). I got at least 5 different sets with extremely adorable designs.

The above are some of the items that I can think of at the moment. Just to be clear, I am not saying that you should stay away from all of the above. It really depends on what you need (or what you can afford for some). Most of the time, making a list of whatever you must have and what your budget is actually helps. Also, before making any purchase, you can ask yourself what I always ask myself now – “Do I really need this?”.

Encouraging Your Child to Eat – Parenting Hack

For those who have little picky eaters at
home, you are not alone. Our little one is quite consistent with his preference of food. Daily meals consist of either porridge or rice accompanied by soup and a steamed dish. Not that we taught him to eat this way, it is just the way he is. Yes, like an old man, I know. How then do we encourage him to try something out of the ordinary (for him at least)?

We let him help out with preparing his own meal.

This may seem like a simple action but the result of it is satisfying. That sense of pride Isaac had in preparing his own meal was really beyond words. It was like how he prepared his own burger when we visited Kidzania. He felt that his burger tasted nicer than the other burgers he had eaten before. This is really just the same logic. That being said, it really depends how ready your child is and how comfortable you are with letting them help. If you are afraid of letting your child near the stove, you can let them help with the washing of rice/noodles.

I picked a simple to cook recipe so there is less mess – Spaghetti with meatballs. I did not let him help with the frying in case the oil splattered onto him. This was how it went after I stir fried the beef balls and onions. 

We prepared the tomato sauce with beef balls

Washed the spaghetti

Put the spaghetti to boil

After which, I cooked the spaghetti in the sauce for a bit so it can soak up the flavour of the sauce.

Someone was so proud of the spaghetti he had helped with and finished the whole portion that was given to him. He even asked that we saved some of his cooking for daddy. 🙂 

When I asked him what shall we have for lunch tomorrow, he answered “Spaghetti and meatballs because I can cook it and it is so yummy in my tummy!”.