Having a baby on a budget.

Posted on Posted in How to

Over the weekend I went to visit a friend. Her cousin and his wife were also visiting  and I met them having a heated argument.  His wife was pregnant and was demanding for N650,000 to enable her buy the needed baby items. The man was lamenting that the amount was more than 2ce his monthly salary and he could not afford such amount. His wife is an upcoming make up artist and she doesn’t earn so much from her business.

The man was obviously getting frustrated as both ladies (his wife and my friend (his cousin)) were putting him under a lot of pressure, telling him babies were so expensive and he had no choice but to provide that amount. I didn’t want to join the debate because I felt this was family matter but then he begged me to be sincere in my response to him on how much I spent when I had my first baby.

We had our first baby in 2012, my income was not stable then as my organization were having issues and salaries were being owed. We had also just gotten our 2nd car so cash flow was a bit tight. Let me also add at this point, that women please let’s not put our partners under unnecessary pressure, let us learn to run our homes based on what we can afford.

It is possible to have a baby on a budget. Having a baby should not put us in debt. Babies grow so fast and before you know it, you realize they did not even touch all those gadgets you bought for them. If you and your spouse can afford such luxuries please go for them, but if cash is tight please cut your expenses.

 I spent less than N145,000 when I had my first baby. Find below a breakdown of my baby costs and compare to Mrs X initial baby budget. I helped them to re-work their baby budget, Mr. X was very happy to have a budget of less than N180,000 but Mrs X was so sad that I busted her dreams of a having a very fanciful baby nursery.

Dear Mrs X, kindly forgive me. I am sure for your 2nd baby, your income would have increased and you can afford to spend on all the luxury that you want.

So what do you think about my list? Did you spend more or less?

  My Amount Mrs X Amount Comment
Hot water flask           5,500              8,000
Bottle & Teat brush              2,000  The Avent set of bottles I bought came with a free brush.
Bottle insulated bag           1,500                   –
Cereal/milk dispenser              2,000  I never used a cereal milk dispenser as I did not see the need for one. If going out, I scooped milk directly into their bottles and when they want to feed I simply mix straight with water.
Sterilizing set/Milton              750             12,000  I got a medium size transparent/white bowl and used the milton cold water sterilizing tablets. Power supply is unstable in Nigeria so this method works well and none of my babies ever got diarrhea.
Breast milk storage                –              5,000 I used the feeding bottles to store my expressed milk, buying milk storage bags are nice to have but it’s not a necessity.
Breast pump           9,000             55,000  I used Avent Manual Pump and it served me well for both my first & second. Buying a Medela Electric pump is nice to have, but don’t sweat if you cannot afford one. Also think of power supply.
Baby feeding bottles           6,000             15,000  I used Avent bottles for both my girls, this fits into my manual pump. None of my girls ever had colic issues. Buying Dr. Brown is nice to have, but other bottles also work well.
Burp cloths           1,000              2,000
Baby warmer                –              8,000  I did not see any need for this due to the erratic power supply we have in Nigeria. I warmed babies milk by simply placing the bottles in hot water for about 2 mins.
Baby cot                –             45,000 I wanted a baby cot, but we were not ready to cough out N35,000 for one since cash was tight. My MIL suggested I get these mobile baby bassinet/bed which I simply placed on the bed. Yes I co-slept with both my girls and this made night feeding less cumbersome.
Baby Cloth Hanger           5,500             12,000
Baby bed net           2,500                   –  This was what I used instead of a baby cot. Once my girls are 15-18 months, I transfer them to their own bed.
Drawer           6,000             40,000 I bought one of these regular Nigeria made plastic drawers, it served my first daughter well. For my second, I got a foreign drawer @ 35k and that was because we could afford to. If you cannot afford one, please do not sweat, the Nigerian one serves well.
Baby Diapers Huggies(box)           9,500             12,000
Baby wipes (box)           2,500              2,500
Change Bag           5,500             15,000  Yes I wanted a Chicco bag but could not afford one then, but my Bravo bag served me well. It was spacious and did not look cheap.
Changing mat              4,500  I did not see the need for one. I changed baby on the bed.
Diaper Nylon              500              1,000
Mother’s Need
Maternity towel packs              500              1,000
breast pad              700              2,500
Nursing bras           1,800              5,000  I got 2 nursing bras but honestly I did not like them. My normal bras worked well for me.
Disposable pants (set)           1,000                   –
Breast cream           1,000                   –
Nightwear for mum                –              8,000  I used my normal night wears. For some that had round neck, I cut open the neck into v-shape to enable easier night feeding.
 baby shawls           3,500              7,000
 hooded towels           3,000              5,000
 Baby flannel (set)           1,000              5,000
 Baby caps/mitten           1,000                   –
 Booties/soft shoes                –             20,000 Buying baby shoes are nice to have, but not a necessity. I got some as gifts and I rarely used them. Socks works well for babies. Mothers be patient, time will come for you to dress your prince & princess in designer shoes.
 Random Baby Cloths/socks         50,000           150,000 Hmm baby cloths, babies don’t need so much cloths, they are mostly indoors for the first 3 mths of their life, they are always even wrapped up in shawls. From 9 months you can start splurging on baby cloths but even at that, do not over do it because they out grow them so fast.
 Baby Sponge              500
 Finger toothbrush
 Brush & Comb set              250              1,500
  Dele Cotton wool              800
 Spirit              250
 Wash/face cloths              700
 Baby Bathset           1,500             12,000 I used the normal Nigerian bath set, I was amazed at the number of items that came in the set. They are so durable as I used same bath set for my second girl. Honestly, please save your money and patronize Naija made. But if you can afford it without sweating, go for the mother care set.
Baby toiletries (Aveeno)                –              7,000  I was advised to use black soap and shear butter for my kids. This has worked well for them till  now.
 Car seat           9,000             35,000 I wanted a Chicco /Graco car seat. Sadly cash was tight. I got a car seat with the brand name, ‘Happy’. I liked it a lot as it was light and it served both my daughters well.
 Baby on Board Sign                –              2,000
 Baby stroller           –                 50,000 Honestly if cash is tight, you don’t need one. This is Nigeria, unless you live in a very nice tarred road estate. Where do you want to be pushing baby stroller to? With all them crazy drivers and bike men?
Baby Bouncer           6,500 My daughter so liked her bouncer, it served both my girls well.
 Baby swing             45,000 We could not afford one for our first daughter, and I did not see the need for one when I had my second.
 Baby high seat             35,000 This again is a luxury and not a necessity. If you can afford it, then go for it. I never used one and both my girls started feeding themselves from age 16/17 months and sit with us on the dining table. For my younger one though,I prop her up with a throw pillow.
Baby gym mat           4,000             15,000 For my first, I got the normal ABC play mat that you can roll out on the flour, it was colorful and served the purpose for their tommy time.
 GRAND TOTAL         142,750           647,000 Yes I spent less than 150K for my baby needs, so assuming plus inflation rate of 20%, an average family can have a baby with less than 175k in 2016.

10 thoughts on “Having a baby on a budget.

  1. Just seeing this post. so I must confess I’m one of those women who like fancy things….but truth is, I still have a lot of stuff from my first whom I had over one year ago. So I’m going to go with you and say don’t sweat too much…use Naija made especially for the bath set and the drawers… Increased durability sef. I have a pretty wooden chest made for I think 30 or 40 k….termites or something started eating it before I could even put one onesie in it….. I cried so hard.

    1. @ bluey702 ,oh dear that wooden drawer eaten by termites is very painful. Enjoy ur fancy things So far u can afford them and not break a bank.

  2. Mehn! I love your blog so much already! You’re so good with your tips. I’m not married yet but will bookmark this page for when I start having my babies. I hope to get a colourful baby nursery though.

    1. Thank you Adaeze for such kind words. For first child, most parents dream and want a nicely made up nursery. By the time u are having a second, it will be a nice idea to set up the nursery but a lot of women are unable to because they’re so busy running after a toddler and pushing a pregnancy bump at same time. If having a third child like me, a lot of women, I inclusive are like. ‘ who cares about a nursery, just get me a bassinet, I will co-sleep with the baby’.

  3. U are a life saver. I have never bin so grateful for following u as I am now. I am currently preggy and I wAnt to go baby shopping on friday. This is the perfect list. Tank u soooo much. Kissess akagum


  4. Abeg,that lady is just trying to overdo the while thing. N600k for baby shopping? Na wa o. She want buy tokunbo golf car? I don’t have anything against her if the husband is well to do, but considering their financial state,let her use her brain. When I had my first child, I didn’t even spend up to N100k because we were on a budget and I also realized that most of those things were not necessary. I’m expecting another baby now and I know I wouldn’t spend close to what I spent for my first issue. Besides, like you said, babies quickly outgrow those things and you end up with extra load consuming space in the home.

    1. Lol@ wants to buy golf. Babe you tried,100k. That’s great. I respect women like you. Congrats on ur second baby and do invite us to come and eat rice.

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