If you are a new mum on a budget DON’T BORROW..

If you are a new mum on a budget  reading a post saying ‘don’t borrow’ on a baby budgeting website must feel like a wacky heading. I don’tmean don’t borrow at all I mean here is a list of items not to borrow. Borrowing is of course one of the cheapest of options as no one charges you but because you borrow with good will you do feel if you wreck break or lose something you need to replace it with new. With your own stuff you may well not bother, particularly if that stage and phase is drawing to a close.

I once borrowed a booster seat and when done with it stored it in the shed to give back to our firneds. Somehow the straps got all mouldy and manky I’m not sure why. Perhaps we didn’t clean them properly before we stored them? or perhaps the shed was the wrong place. Whatever we should have been more careful. To buy the exact same seat cost me £30. When I gave it back they were embarrassed I’d felt I should replace it. Oh dear we both lost with that borrow.

My list of don’t borrows would include

  • A car seat (everywhere will advise you on this as it may not be safe enough or it may  have been involved in a crash)
  • A christening gown (can you imagine if it got ruined! However if its a family heirloom I would say thats different- any stains can be put down to family history and a mark of its years.)
  • Any newborn white clothing (not always easy to clean)
  • Any clothes at all when going through the weaning puree stage (Mango and blackberry does NOT come out)

messy baby

Photo Credit: Neeta Lind

  • A pram/pushchair (unless it is a bit battered to start with) Some neighbours borrowed one of mine for a weekend away and it came back looking VERY well used and the hood was bent. I was so upset they had devalued it greatly and I was about to sell it too.
  • If you borrow a cot it is advised you buy a new matress and these can be expensive. You will also want to have a cot for a number of years (so what about if the lenders have another baby?)
  • Highchairs also easily get in a bad way and taking them apart to clean can be complicated, Only borrow entirely plastic ones without straps. Ikea do a neat little one for less than £20 which has been perfect for my two and which I have lent out many times.

Being given items that you can keep is entirely differnt. That is just brilliant and you should say a big yes please and a thank you. Borrowing can incur costs, guilt, worry whilst the item is being used and having to be over cautious and protective. it is much better to be able to relax around your baby and let them make a mess.

Rather than borrow the above items if you are o anew mum on a budget and need stuff for free I would advise you check out your local netmums board for free stuff or take alook at freecycle.





  1. Elaine
    May 14, 2012 / 7:32 am

    NCT nearly new sales are also great for mums on a budget (and raise money for charity at the same time) I know a friend sold her baby dan playpen at the weekend for £20 – she bought it for £20 three years ago at a NNS and the person she bought it from had bought it from the NNS before that! So with some things you can almost get your money back when you’ve finished with them!

  2. Becky
    May 14, 2012 / 11:17 am

    Your right and thats a BARGAIN!

  3. May 14, 2012 / 12:35 pm

    Brilliant post, if people are giving things away its fine, but if they want it back you’ve got to be careful

  4. May 14, 2012 / 2:56 pm

    Yes I’m with you on this one. Sometimes I am very kindly lent something whichI haven’t asked for. I always put it away and don’t use it. It’s not worth upsetting someone. If I give people anything I always tell them I don’t want it back. If makes it easier. The only exception is Moses baskets. Is definitely recommend borrowing them with a new mattress, they’re stupidly expensive otherwise.

  5. Frugal Queen
    May 21, 2012 / 9:44 pm

    Hi Becky – another nice post. My youngest is 19 but I remember those baby days so well. Both of mine had everything second hand, I found that most mums wanted new for every baby so I did well and had a pram, buggy, car seat, high chair, toys, clothes in fact everything I needed at a tiny cost. I agree, don’t borrow, buy second hand or get what you need from Freecycle or from your friend who has to have everything new.

  6. Becky
    May 21, 2012 / 10:04 pm

    Thank you for your comments jane so good to know how opther peeps do it!

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