There’s no doubt the impending new royal arrival, like his or her cousins George, Charlotte and Louis, won't be missing a single thing in the royal nursery. We're sure the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have it all sorted as they baby-prep their new home in Windsor.
Mums to be of non-royal babies are no different. Granted, most of us don’t live in a palace with designer baby items filling the bespoke nursery…
Luckily, with some nursery know-how and savvy shopping, you can get organised without a regal budget.
Nearly new sales
Babies grow so fast, they are on to the next bit of kit before you can say nap! Check out local, second-hand baby sales for what can be pricey things like Moses baskets, baby bouncers and even prams at much-discounted prices.
Clothes for free
If you have a baby shower, it’s likely ALL your friends will choose to buy you tiny outfits for either 3-6 or 6-9 months. So aside from a few new-born babygros for when he first arrives, save your cash and rely on friends and family.
All the major supermarkets offer baby ranges that frequently win awards, whether for nappies or clothing. Keep an eye out for their baby and toddler offers. Many of them offer safety and travel equipment too so you can snap up boring but vital kit like a baby monitor with loyalty card points!
No need for a changing table
We’re shown so many stock images of the perfect nursery, but spending a fortune on things like changing tables doesn’t make sense for the short life cycle they have in your home. A regular chest of drawers with a grip mat and a changing mat on top does the same job but will be useful once he’s no longer in nappies. Just remember to never leave a baby unattended on a changing mat!
There’s something lovely about borrowing expensive bits of kit that have housed your friends and relatives’ kids... Maybe a pram or a cot, high chair or car seat that is not currently needed and taking up space in a garage or spare room could be yours for a few months.
Do your research
Whether you are looking to invest in a pram or a baby gym, it’ll soon become clear that there are a few different price points. Don’t assume the most expensive will be the best for you and your family. A few stores offer a service to talk you through the available baby-related goods – with no obligation to buy – which can be a useful exercise before you are totally overwhelmed with just how many types of travel system there are on the market (clue: a lot!)
Staycation vs babymoon
Yes, Meghan and Harry will probably have a plush babymoon, like many other rich and famous parents to be. But if you lack a celebrity budget, you can get your own babymoon vibes for a fraction of the cost: have a pedicure or get your hair done; finish that book you have been meaning to read; put your feet up and watch the telly. Take a staycation!
While you have probably eyed up sterilisers, prep machines and 400 different kinds of baby bottle, leave that potential cost until baby is here and you have settled on how you feed him. One added perk of breastfeeding is that it won’t cost you a penny!
Don’t knock the knitters
You can spend a fortune on bespoke baby knitwear – which will fit your growing baby for about three weeks. But there’s a high chance that while you are growing your baby, your mum, auntie or grandma are knitting furiously. With any luck, baby blankets, cardigans, mittens and hats will be sorted, ensuring a toasty winter wardrobe whenever he is born!
Keep it simple
The world of baby groups and classes can be daunting for new parents. Before you sign up to a crazy week of massage, yoga, sensory, messy play and swimming classes, and spend a fortune in the process, try to work out how jam-packed you want your days to be. Factor in disturbed nights, the fact you might want a couple of quiet days, any commitments you already have and go from there.
Facebook Marketplace is your friend
Fairly soon you’ll be pricing up stairgates, jumperoos, baby walkers and maybe a playpen. All things that are incredibly useful for a short term. There is a great market in second hand baby-proofing and baby-entertaining equipment on Facebook. You might need something that the seller really wants out of their home. Everyone is a winner!
There’s no doubt that when you reach the weaning stages, pouches of pureed fruit and baby meals are invaluable, especially when you are travelling or going out. But making your own stash of freezable food is super cheap and leaves you with plenty of meal options.
Black and white
It’s tempting to buy every single Lamaze sensory toy going but you’ll find your little one will have his own favourite toys. And often the cheapest and most basic toys are the most popular! Experts reckon black and white are the first colours babies can focus on - so no need for several tonnes of bright plastic in your front room…yet!
As a freelance writer, Jo covers parenting, health and lifestyle with the odd opinion-based rant and celebrity interview thrown in.
Before freelancing (and juggling journalism with two young sons), Jo was on staff at Good Housekeeping, Bella, Woman and The Mail on Sunday. When not typing furiously or refereeing the kids, Jo can be found pulling on her trainers for a gentle run or baking up a storm in her quest to produce the perfect brownie batch.
Our panel of no-nonsense mums put popular baby products through (very!) vigorous testing, meaning you can spend money on the things that really work and have extra time to watch EastEnders with a cuppa tea!