First Time Mother, my beautiful daughter 'Quinn' born in September 2019.
Free Samples For You and Your Baby
From pregnancy onward, having babies can be cost a small fortune. But the expense doesn't have to start right away. A lot of companies offer free samples of their products. This is especially handy not just because they're free but also, they offer an opportunity to find which brand you like the best for you and your baby. We'll go through some of the necessities for Mother and Child that are available to test drive.
Nappies are one thing you can get loads of nappy samples of for free. This is especially great to see for yourself the quality and features of different varieties. And learn which ones have the features that you find important. For instance do they have a wetness indicator? Do they have up to 12 hours absorbency? You can go directly to each brand's website and request asample be sent.
Nappies for you Mamma! Adult nappies are so much easier and more efficient than maternity pads, particularly in the first few days of postpartum care. The good news is you won't need to buy any. Just the same as baby nappies you can order free samples from different companies. Be sure to measure your hips to fit your size. And you will be able to get enough to get through the first two days or so, before downgrading to maternity pads.
Pads and liners can be necessary for the first 6-8 weeks of the postpartum period. Whilst you will need to purchase some of your own, you can get free samples. Unfortunately some brands don't let you dictate what product you get to sample. So some websites might automatically allocate you liners you can't use for a while. But they're still free and you will get back to wearing liners eventually so why not?
You can get sachets of baby formula as samples as well. Baby formula comes in a huge variety so this is convenient to see which one you and baby prefer. Some brands, like with pads and liners will only send you what they want. So you might get a sachet or two of toddler formula but again it's something you'll use eventually and formula has a pretty long shelf life.
What about sachets for Mamma? Proper nutrition and self care get harder to accomplish toward the end of pregnancy and then some once you have a baby to contend with. So obtaining free samples of protein shakes and nutritional supplements for yourself will be awesome to have in the cupboard.
Online Support Groups
There are free and accessible support groups available online. Whilst your local health district typically may offer face to face support groups, you can also find a variety of support groups and pages on social media that offer the advantage of being a 24/7 lifeline. And there's no limit to how many you join.
Groups vary from first time pregnancy specific to due date age ranges. There are also groups devoted to discussing particular topics like breastfeeding, car seat safety and sleep training. And what's more beautiful is groups and pages specific to parents of special needs children, that have medical conditions and premature babes.
These online support groups can be wonderful platforms to ask questions, swap experiences and celebrate milestones. They're great places to share and learn tips, Mum hacks and product finds. The friendships and solidarity that can be built within these groups can make such a difference to your experience as a parent. Sometimes all you need is like minded women who will validate your feelings and reassure you when you need it.
Have a Baby Shower
Baby showers are a bit of effort to organise but can seriously haul in the loot. Their whole purpose is to celebrate the pending new arrival by bestowing gifts on the mother (and sometimes father) to be. The more people you invite, the more gifts you'll receive.
Gift registries can be used to specify what products from which store you want or let your friends and family wing it. You can also request books for baby instead of cards to build a small collection of kids reads. And you can have a nappy raffle to stock up on nappies in multiple sizes.
There are loads of helpful articles and blogs online that offer advice on throwing baby showers. Including my piece How to Throw a Fuss Free and Affordable Baby Shower.
Competitions and Baby Bundles
Participating in competitions is a great way to have some fun and hopefully win some prizes. Keep an eye out particularly online for baby related competitions. Often you can be entered into monthly draws for merely subscribing to magazines or websites. For example, I got won The monthly draw on the Mums n Grubs website April 2019.
Free bundles for you and baby such as Bounty Bags are often made available at pharmacies and community health clinics. These can have product samples and baby magazines, coupons and freebies. Be sure to ask your pharmacist and midwife if they have any bundles on offer. In New South Wales, Australia new mothers even receive a government endorsed bag full of necessities for baby as the leave the birth suite.
Watch YouTube and Browse Blogs
No need to learn everything the hard way! And you don't have to swallow the entirity of What to Expect the First Year!
The internet has an abundance of free information and advice from experienced Mums and professionals. Take advantage of this and educate yourself on a manner of subjects as early as possible. But don't forget you can rely on this tactic at any interval during your journey. They're fantastic resources.
You can listen to hours of podcasts from Doulas, Midwife's and Obgyn's. Get experience and advice from breastfeeding and sleep training coaches. Subscribe to YouTube Mamma's and watch the nursery tours, the product reviews. Accumulate as much knowledge as possible. After all knowledge is power!
© 2020 Stephanie Purser