Top money saving tips for new mums by Dr Carol Cooper in London Mums’ five minute chat
- Mums Tips
- Baby & Toddlers
- Published on Friday, 27 January 2017 13:30
- Last Updated on 04 January 2023
- Monica Costa
- 0 Comments
I have caught up with Dr Carol Cooper to find out her top money saving tips for new mums.
1. Having everything ready for when your new-born arrives can be expensive what are your top money saving tips when buying baby essentials?
CC: You don’t have to buy everything before your baby arrives. It’s better to wait before you invest in masses of clothing, for instance, because new-borns aren’t always the size you expect them to be. Pregnancy is a good time to save up, and to identify best buys. My best money-saving tip is to stock up whenever there are special offers, especially on nappies because you’ll get through hundreds. Supermarkets often do great promotions, like the buy-one-get-one free Pampers offer at Tesco that’s on now until the 1st February. Keep an eye out and stock up when you see them! Think also about stocking up on household essentials like washing powder or detergent, because you’ll be using more of them too.
2. Worrying about a loss of income as parent and worrying about your children is one of the hardest things about being a parent, what steps do you take to keep worrying to a minimum?
CC: Every parent worries. It’s practically in the job description. New research commissioned by Tesco Baby Club reveals parents spend 1,212 hours a year worrying about their children – equivalent to 50 full 24-hour days. My advice is to stop and think about what really matters. Make sure you do the best you can for your baby’s health and development, because that’s obviously at the top of the list. Think ahead about sources of info and support. For health queries, there’s your GP and health visitor, of course, but your pharmacist is also a good source of info, especially on minor illnesses. Put other matters lower down the list of priorities and for things like redecorating the home, maybe learn to let go.
3. New parents have so much to think about, which can sometimes be exhausting and feel overwhelming. Do you have any advice on how to deal with this?
CC: I have two pieces of advice. One is to make lists. A list is a good way of saving yourself from having to remember things. If you’re anything like I was when my first son arrived, you’ll remember very little. Writing things down can also be a way of debriefing: once it’s written down, you’ve unburdened. The other tip is to accept any practical sources of help. There are no medals given out for doing everything on your own and running yourself into the ground. So, if anyone offers to give you a hand, whether it’s a bit of shopping, or looking after your baby for an hour while you put your feet up or have a leisurely bath, say yes.
4. If I want to give my baby the best possible advantage in life how do I choose the best toys, that are both entertaining and educational?
CC: Babies need playthings that help them make use of their new skills. A simple rattle, for instance, helps grip, hand-eye coordination, and the ability to locate sound. The best toys are the ones that are right for your baby’s stage of development. There’s no point choosing toys that are too complicated. The other important thing to remember is that toys should stimulate a baby or child’s imagination. If a toy ‘does’ a lot of whizz-bang things with minimal input from the child, it’s the toy designer who’s used his imagination, not the child. And that’s why building blocks, and even empty boxes, are such great playthings. Finally, the toy needs to be durable, and made in accordance with safety standards.
5. If you could turn back the clocks and give your pregnant-self some advice, what would it be?
CC: I would tell myself to worry less, and to enjoy the baby more. No new parent ever believes people who say babies grow up so quickly. The time can seem endless on a rainy day, or in the night with a crying baby, but your baby will grow up before you know it.
6. Babies don’t come with a manual and are all so very different. In the ocean of baby books, are there any really useful ‘manuals’ out there to prepare yourself for your first baby?
CC: Well, as the author of several parenting guides, my answer in terms of books may be predictable, especially if you have twins…Nowadays, there are some excellent websites too, but always make sure it’s a reliable source of info. I think NHS Choices is excellent. You’ll also find lots of good advice on a huge range of pregnancy and baby topics on Tesco Baby Club and it’s all practical and beautifully presented. Tesco is hosting a Baby Event in hundreds of stores across the country until the 1st February. The event will include great deals on baby essentials, from nappies and wipes, to toys and clothing.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums