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. Take our ball park figures and 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? Price-wise, you can pick up a stroller for less than $100 – but if you plan on using it a lot, you may find you’re replacing it sooner rather than later and they often don’t lie completely flat to accommodate a newborn.
From that price range, it seems the sky’s the limit, with some mums happy to shell out $1200-$1500 for the latest Bugaboo, though it seems that the $400-$600 mark will buy you a sturdy, reliable pram, with as many features as most babies need.
Don’t forget to check the price of the pram accessories – raincovers, bootcovers, bottle holders, mosquito nets, 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, such as the Safe N Sound Meridian can cost upwards of $500 – though good deals can be found on the internet. Remember to check the current New Zealand restraint standards prior to purchasing. Many are only suitable to the age of four, after which you may need to purchase a separate booster seat to take your child through to the age of seven. You may wish to consider a seat such as the Infa Comfi Cruiser Convertible Booster Seat, which is suitable for children from six months to seven years. Plunket runs a Car Seat Rental Scheme offering a variety of affordable infant and child restraints available for short- and long-term hire. Prices vary depending on the area and a bond is usually charged in addition to the rental. This is an affordable option for a first child, but if you plan to have more in the future investing in your own may be cheaper in the longer term.
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 New Zealand 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 – such as the Boori New Classic Cot Bed. An initial cost of around $650 will see your child sleeping comfortably for many years.
Otherwise, and if you foresee more children coming along who will need the cot, a simple, drop-sided cot that meets safety standards will set you back between $400-$600. Bedding will be extra.
From a simple, wipe-clean plastic high chair from for under $60, to a comfy, padded model for around $400, high chairs come in a range of designs. What 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 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!
While it may seem that you can’t live without the specialised Mum 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 old adage that they will play with the box before they play with the toy. It’s true. Save your money, hold fire, shop around and splash out only if you can really see a need for the item.