From the moment you become ‘approved’ adopters you mentally start shopping. You’re thinking about what you may need and what you need to do to ready yourself for the arrival of your child – the only thing is, you don’t know how old they will be, what size they are, or when they will actually come home. You are mentally preparing for a hypothetical event until it becomes a reality, and when it becomes a reality you don’t have 40 weeks to prepare, you have a few weeks or days to get ‘ready’. You then fall into the panic shopper and buy things that you think you may need but have no clue if you actually need it category.
So, I thought I would compile a shopping list of stuff that was invaluable to us when our teeny wee human came home… Our teeny wee human came home at 9 weeks old, we had days to prepare ourselves, and we were 100% clueless.
Here it goes…
Metanium white & Metanium yellow (https://www.metanium.co.uk/)
- Use for nappy rash – white for prevention and yellow for cure
- You can buy it from most supermarkets
- Use sparingly – a little goes a long way
- The butt cream of all butt creams
- Not to be mistake for anusol – completely different things
- For teething: the liquid is more effective that the gel in our experience
Baby Dove 2-in-1 showergel and moisturiser (https://www.dove.com/uk/baby/skin-care/newborn-skin.html)
MAM Bottles (https://www.mambaby.co.uk/collections/baby-bottles
Oue teeny wee human used MAM bottles when she was in hospital and when she was at home with her fabulous foster carer, so we just continued with the same make. That being said, we have found them very user friendly with a teeny wee human with chronic reflux (GERDs).
Snuza Hero MD (https://www.snuza.com/product/hero-md/)
A breathing monitor that clips to the baby’s nappy: a genuine life-saver! Our teeny wee human was home only two weeks when the alarm went off and I had to revive her in the car. It is expensive, but it is 100% worth it!
We used this until she was about 16 months old, especially at night and in the car.
Joie 360 spin (https://uk.joiebaby.com/)
- car seat
- Spins so it allows both rear and forward facing orientation with ease.
Once you have the baby-stuff (creams and potions), car seat and travel system of champions (no doubt you will have checked the suspension, tyres – of course you’ve gone for solid ones to prevent punctures – and have done the weight test, the boot test and the ‘how easy is this to use’ test) – remember that you only need an infant carrier for the first 6 months-ish, so don’t invest in one if you don’t need to because those things are expensive.
Nursery furniture is a huge investment – make sure that you shop around. We got ours from ‘The Baby Room’ but we have also had stuff from Precious Little Ones. But, also don’t be afraid to have a look on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or Ebay – you can find bargains and there is no reason to spend £100s if you don’t need to.
Clothes are the continuous parent cost, and the cost that we find ourselves spending probably more frequently that we care to admit (I am a secret shop-a-holic for clothes for the teeny wee toddler) and anything that means we save money or get cashback can only be a winner. Here are my teeny wee human clothe shopping go-to places:
- H&M: we get loads from H&M: they wear really well and the cost is reasonable. PLUS, you can donate old clothes to be recycled and you can buy sustainable clothing there too.(https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/hm-sustainability/lets-change.html/close-the-loop)
- Pat-Pat: I came across this on a facebook advert, and I was dubious about quality due to the price – but I was genuinely impressed. They have quirky items, are cheap and wear well. (https://uk.patpat.com/)
- Sainsbury’s TU Clothing: The handiest thing about Sainsbury’s clothing is that you can pick something up whilst doing your food shopping. They wear really well and are sized well too. (https://tuclothing.sainsburys.co.uk/)
- Asda is really good for baby-gros and muslin cloths
- Clarkes: Great for your first pair of shoes and for your winter boots, but they also offer you a voucher for your second pair of shoes (Or they did when we bought our first pair of boots) – (https://www.clarks.co.uk/)
Finding those ‘money-saving’ wins is always a delightful thing for any parent, but I think because as an adopter you have to submit your financial records, bank statements, etc. when you go through the process, you can become really concerned about spending too much, too little, not having enough money, not providing enough opportunity, someone may to a money spot-check before you ger your Adoption Order (they don’t) you can worry about the pennies (a lot) even when you don’t need to. These little gems helped to save us a penny or two over the last couple of years:
- Quidco (cashback website)
- Pampers Club (https://www.pampers.co.uk)
- Your Baby Club (https://club.yourbabyclub.co.uk/) I didn’t use this one, so can’t actually give my opinion but it looks good.
- Cow & Gate Club – we got a free cuddley cow toy (https://www.cgbabyclub.co.uk/)
- Tastecard (https://www.tastecard.co.uk/) – currently offering a free 60-day trial – can be used at Pizza Express for example: super family friendly
- Nectar (https://www.nectar.com/) really helpful: collect points and then use them to buy nappies or formula from time to time.
- Kidstart (https://www.kidstart.co.uk/) I didn’t use this one, but I have just set up an account: it looks like a cashback site that puts the cashback into a savings account for your child.
- Boots Parenting Club (https://www.boots.com/parenting-club) – 8 points per £1
- Chip (https://www.getchip.uk/) stealth saving. I am terrible at saving money, especially when I set a goal – because this is done stealthily I find I have been able to save 100s of pounds.
Baby First Aid is so very important: as I mentioned before, I had to revive our teeny wee human within a couple of weeks of her being home. Fortunately, we did paediactric first aid for our previous job, and even though it was out of date, the knowledge came in very handy. (https://email.sja.org.uk/sjalz//WebCapture.aspx?pID=5066&t=0)
I am a little bit addicted to Martin Lewis ‘The Money Saving Expert’ (https://www.moneysavingexpert.com) – I am not the best with money, but I am determined to make sure that our teeny wee human has a positive and healthy relationship with money: we talk about it, we get her to engage with it (putting money into her Piggy Bank) amd we try to find cashback deals, deals and freebies where we can: we also look to sell the stuff she no longer needs so that we can put it into her savings account, spend it on something she needs or put it towards a family activity.
I thought I would end here by sharing a couple of my favourite ‘treat’ retailers or self-care hacks.
Little Flowers by Sligo – One of my husband’s oldest friend’s wife is the talent behind this gem. She produces beautiful pieces of artwork (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LittleFlowersBySligo)
Junior Bambinos – we bought our teeny wee human’s first birthday present from here. It is a lovely family run business and they do alsorts of things, from nursery furniture to gifts to garden toys, and more. (https://juniorbambinos.com/)
Raff and Ella – They made our teeny wee human’s memory blanket: it is a fabulous piece of crafting and captures a range of memories and moments for us (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RaffandElla)
Treat yourself to a coffee and cake when you can. Get a Starbucks/ Costa/ Cafe Nero card so you can use the loyalty scheme – free coffee every few cups. You can always ask your nearest and dearest to top it up for you when they ask what you need.
I treat myself to a massage at home every month (in a non-covid world): it is my montly treat. I found her on our local village facebook page.
I also bought an ‘Asana Mat’ and pop the meditation tunes on spotify to relax to. It is worthwhile to spend 20 minutes on yourself so that you can be the Wonder Parent you know you are!
I hope that this has been helpful – even if you take one things away from it, then that is a bit brilliant. You will find your own saving hacks and tricks along the way – make sure that you pay it forward to your parenting friends. We are by no means islands in this parenting lark, eve though it may feel like it at times – paying it foward makes the island a little less remote.