5 Saving Tips For Expecting Mothers In The UAE
Having a baby is expensive, although I tried to be as minimalistic as possible not wanting to buy things that I would not use I ended up sending thousands of dirhams on baby stuff. In this post I have put together 5 tips on how to successfully save money as an expecting mother in the UAE.
1. Starting to research and buying baby items early in pregnancy.
I started buying baby items very late in pregnancy as I do a lot of research prior to purchasing a new product. I always look for the most environmental friendly and toxin-free alternative possible and that turned out to be a little frustrating in the UAE, so I never got into the baby shopping mood. There are so many baby products out there and I did not want to waste money on anything that I won’t end up using. However next time I will be starting to buy things in my second trimester, which will give me half a year of getting good bargains with the many sales going on in the UAE. This time around I made lists with must have items, which were very simple things: car seat, breastfeeding pump, co-sleeping bed and mattress, baby nest, travel cot, diaper bag, diapers, wet wipes, pacifier, organic towels. Once my son was born I realized I needed many more things: bottle warmer, baby swing, stroller, ergo baby carrier, glass bottles, bath tub, more wet wipes, more diapers and more muslin cloths. Although I tried being a minimalistic mum it simply did not work for me. There are many items that are not necessary, however some really do make life a little easier, just like the nuna leaf baby swing. Another issue is that shops may run out of particular items for months. I bought an ergo baby baby carrier, however I was unable to find the organic infant insert in any of the shops in the UAE, so it took me some time to find one second hand. I kept up to date with all the sales going on in the baby shops in UAE. I singed up for newsletters of baby shops I like like mumzworld, my organic baby shop, Noah’s garden, Youmah and just kidding.
2. Second hand items.
Buying second hand is an amazing way to save a lot of money. Second hand is often associated with old items or bad quality, but this is definitely not the case. Especially in the UAE, where families are constantly leaving the country you can easily purchase high quality second hand items. Babies outgrow their clothes, crib and stroller so quickly that it’s hardly worth buying them new. An additional benefit is that the baby items were already aired out so most of the toxic chemicals have disappeared. Buying all organic baby clothes can get very expensive, so the next best thing is to buy second hand clothes where the toxic dyes have already been washed out. It is also a great idea to buy unisex styles so the clothes can be handed down to the next child.
Dubizzle has a great selection of baby items, I also highly recommend joining Facebook groups, such as Bumps and Babes for Abu Dhabi and Preloved Baby Stuff Dubai. In Dubai there is a monthly baby bazaar, to find out the exact dates click here. For more second hand items download an app on your phone called Melltoo, use code 499284 to get 20 dirhams free credit.
I think that second hand buying is great when it comes to most items, however when it comes to car seats I would definitely not take the risk. Any car seat that has been involved in an accident needs to be replaced, and when buying it second hand it is not possible to know the full history. Another important note is that car seats do have expiration dates which need to be checked. The second thing I would not buy second hand are mattresses, which may labour bacteria and germs. A lot of the baby shops have promotions and sales, so it is a great idea to regularly check their websites and sign up for their newsletter.
3. Wish lists and baby showers.
Friends and family will most likely want to buy you gifts. Instead of getting things that I would have most likely returned I made a wish list. It is also possible to make an online baby registry with the UAE online shops, so friends from abroad can get gifts delivered directly to your door step. I did not have a baby shower, however it is a great way to celebrate the new addition with friends and family. There are lots of entertaining baby shower activities on pinterest. A baby shower is also an opportunity to stock up on baby essentials, just make sure to let everyone know what you would like to have for your baby so you don’t get things twice.
4. Maternity clothing.
When it comes to maternity clothing it is good to wait until you actually need them. I ended up wearing my normal clothes, including leggings until I gave birth and did not buy any maternity clothes at all. If you do need them asking friends if they have some that you could borrow or buy second hand, which will save a lot of money. Maternity clothes are only needed for a few months and for that they are very pricey. Most women also need new bras when they are pregnant, so instead of buying larger sized bras I bought nursing bras with a little extra room so they would fit me after giving birth. Most women go up two sizes after the milk comes in.
5. Buying baby things abroad and possibly getting tax back.
Living costs in the UAE is extremely high, and so is the price of most baby items. My most expensive, suitcase-sized baby items like my breast pump, baby monitor and even organic baby clothing cost me less than half of what I would have paid in the UAE. Upon leaving Europe, I am also able to get tax-back at the airport which is an additional way to save some money.