A handy guide of what to buy for the first year

Little Treasures - - CONTENTS -

It can be dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine how much you will spend in those first 12 months; even the best bud­gets will for­get to in­clude some sim­ple ne­ces­si­ties. Of course, there are the ba­sic costs that stand out – pram, car seat, cot, high chair – but there are many less ob­vi­ous pur­chases that con­tinue to crop up dur­ing the first year. Over the next few pages, we have com­piled a list of im­por­tant items that you might like to con­sider be­fore they catch you by sur­prise...


There’s no way round the fact that your baby is go­ing to be busy fill­ing nap­pies as fast as you can change them in the first few months of life (and be­yond). With this in mind, a good way to save money is to buy in bulk when nap­pies are at a good price. If you can’t face the prospect of lug­ging sev­eral boxes home from the su­per­mar­ket at once, look into do­ing your shop­ping on­line – that way they’ll be de­liv­ered di­rectly to your door (see trea­sures.co.nz). NAP­PIES Dis­pos­ables start at around 40c per nappy and in­crease to 50-60c as they get big­ger, so $750-$1000 for the year

WIPES $120-$200 for the year CHANG­ING TA­BLE $90-$500, or mat: $20 NAPPY RASH CREAM $10-$30 each


A top-of-the-range pram with all the ac­ces­sories might be your most ex­pen­sive pur­chase but if you’re hop­ing to go jog­ging with baby in the early months, or know you’ll be out and about a lot and want your baby to be able to sleep eas­ily while away from home, it might be worth mak­ing this in­vest­ment. If you keep it in good nick, there is al­ways the op­tion to re­sell it af­ter­wards. If you think you’ll only be go­ing short dis­tances, or like the idea of keep­ing baby close in the first few months, a front pack or sling might be all you need. As baby gets big­ger, a light­weight stroller will be fine for short dis­tances where you’re not ex­pect­ing your child to sleep. An in­fant cap­sule is usu­ally only needed for the first few months so it might be a good op­tion to hire one. Some of the more ex­pen­sive mod­els con­vert from cap­sule to car seat so will last through the first few years. This may be a bet­ter in­vest­ment if you don’t mind spend­ing the cash up front. CAR SEAT $60-$700 PRAM from $200-$1000+ FRONT PACK $50-$180


Bot­tles only need to be ster­ilised for the first few months of baby’s life and this can be done by boil­ing them so you might de­cide not to spend the money on a ster­iliser. On the other hand, a mi­crowave ster­iliser ($70) might be worth hav­ing in those hec­tic early weeks. If you’ve got the time and in­cli­na­tion then you can make your own puréed fruit and veg­gies in bulk, but even with the best of in­ten­tions this can fall by the way­side, so bud­get­ing for some pack­aged food is a good plan. FOR­MULA $900-$1500 for the first year, if ex­clu­sively for­mula feed­ing

BOT­TLES $10 each

TEETS $10 for two (th­ese need to be up­dated as baby grows)

STER­ILISER $70-$200. Breast pump: from $100 (man­ual) up to $800 (dou­ble, elec­tric)

BABY FOOD $1-$3 per jar HIGHCHAIR $90-$300


It is il­le­gal to sell a cot, new or sec­ond-hand, that doesn’t meet the Aus­tralian and New Zealand safety stan­dard (see sids.org.nz and search un­der cot safety for more de­tails). How much you spend is re­ally a mat­ter of how you want it to look. Bassinets are only needed for the first few months for many ba­bies, de­pend­ing on how fast they grow. If you de­cide to save money by buy­ing a sec­ond-hand one, be sure to check that the mat­tress is clean and has not been stored in a damp place or be­come mouldy. If you pur­chase a new mat­tress (this is rec­om­mended), en­sure it is the cor­rect fit for your cot or bassinet. BASSINET/MOSES BAS­KET $99-$350

COT $200-$800 (de­signer ver­sions cost over $1000) MAT­TRESS $80-$200


When first born, your baby’s sight won’t be fully de­vel­oped so he will only be able to de­tect light, shapes and move­ment, and it will all be pretty fuzzy. Your face will be all the en­ter­tain­ment he needs, so spend lots of time star­ing at each other. In the next few months your baby will be­gin to en­joy bright colours and high-con­trast images but you don’t need to spend money on par­tic­u­lar toys – it can just be a piece of pat­terned fab­ric or a pic­ture. Once they are ready to start play­ing with toys there are so many things on of­fer. Go for sturdy toys that will stand up to be­ing sucked, thrown and sat on. Don’t for­get that pots, pans, wooden spoons and other safe house­hold ob­jects pro­vide great en­ter­tain­ment. BOUNCINETTES can range from $45 for a ba­sic model to $400 for a leather baby lounger AC­TIV­ITY MAT/GYM $100-$150

TOYS $2 for bub­ble mix­ture – the sky is the limit!


Com­fort­able, well-fit­ted bras and a top that you find it easy to breast­feed in, es­pe­cially out in pub­lic, are def­i­nitely worth the money. Gro­cery bills may in­crease slightly as breast­feed­ing moth­ers need plenty of healthy sus­te­nance. As well as the es­sen­tials, it’s worth in­vest­ing in a good hand mois­turiser at this time, as you’ll find you are wash­ing your hands more fre­quently, which can be very dry­ing. NIPPLE CREAM $12-$30 each MA­TER­NITY BRAS $35-$80 MA­TER­NITY TOPS $30-$80 HAND MOIS­TURISER $10-$80

BREAST PADS $25 (cot­ton/wash­able), $15 (dis­pos­able)



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