No doubt having a tiny human of your own can make your pocket a little (read: A LOT) lighter. Living in the luxurious silver platter which is Dubai where just about anything comes wrapped up and delivered to your door within hours can make it rather difficult to save. Applying a few small changes here and there without compromising too much can make a big difference later on down the line.
1. Buy pre-loved
Check popular classifieds websites such as Dubizzle regularly for great bargains on used baby items from strollers and car seats to safety gates and sterillizers. Although few and far between, you may even find brand new unwanted gifts that go for a fraction of the retail price. Another option is Facebook groups. “Little Baby Souq” and “Moms in Dubai”are two, plus have a look at your community group for other moms in the area that may be having a clear out. If you are looking for something specific, don’t be afraid to ask family or friends that have older children and may be storing just what you need.
2. Shop online
If you are going to buy new, ditch the mall trawl for a click of the mouse. Buying online is a much more simple and efficient option and you are able to do it from the comfort of your PJ’s. Mumzworld is an online shop that has over 120 000 products available with a best price guaranteed. They have sales all year round so check back often for featured products. I am lucky enough to be on their Mumz Panel so if you want to see what my essential picks of the lot are, log onto my Mumzworld profile here and use my discount code KATHERINE10 to score yourself an extra 10% off!
3. Wait for the sales
The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) runs from 26 December 2016 to 28 January 2017. With discounts offered emirate wide, find your favourite retailers offering bargain buys throughout DSF. Major malls also host fun events and competitions during this time (luxury car, anyone?) so if you were planning to splurge, now is the time! If you miss out on DSF, wait for the Holy month of Ramadan and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) where many product prices are slashed down once again.
4. Doing double duty
Choose products that have all in one status. Although it may be a slightly more expensive initially, you will be saving in the future. Travel systems that consist of a car seat and bassinet/stroller combo means that you are able to transition from one to the other over the years instead of having to buy separately once your baby has outgrown them. Changing table dressers are also a space and money-saving must. Some even have a baby bath integrated within them.
5. Sign up for ‘freebies’
Marhababy offers a box full of baby products and gift vouchers delivered straight to your door – all for absolutely zilch, nada, nothing! They have three options to choose from; the pregnancy box, baby box and toddler box which contain different essential items for new and expecting moms alike. It’s perfect for being introduced to different options without investing in the full-sized product which you may or may not like. Another way to try them out is to keep your eyes peeled for free samples at promotion stalls, in magazines and at your pediatrician’s office. Many clinics and hospitals in Dubai have affiliate companies offering sample products from vitamins to baby creams and formula – which brings me to my next point…
6. Breast vs. Bottle
I’m not going to add to the debate of which is best for your bubs (personal opinion: as long as they are fed, happy and healthy I couldn’t be bothered) but one thing that stands true regardless is that breastfeeding does work out a heck of a lot cheaper than formula. The average formula buying mama will spend between AED 200 – AED 500 per month on formula alone! So if you are able to breastfeed, try to stick to it as long as possible for the benefit of your baby and your pocket. Side note – keep in mind that with breastfeeding, other additional costs creep in such as breast pads, nursing bras, covers and a breast pump with storage pouches or bottles if you choose to do so.
7. Make homemade
Your baby should start being introduced to solid foods at around the 6 month mark; some before that but experts advise not earlier than 17 weeks of age. Store bought baby foods are a lot more convenient, especially for on the go moms but at around AED 5 to AED 10 a pop, the numbers can add up pretty quickly! Even if it is just every so often, making your own baby puree is not as difficult as it sounds – it can be as easy as mashing half a banana – and is much healthier and tastier than options on the shelf.
8. Think BIG
Only a mother can tell you how exponentially quickly babies grow. I learned it the hard way with Adam and was left with piles of small nappies and gorgeous outfits that he wore just once or twice at most. When in doubt, buy a size bigger. Try to look for clothes with a slight stretch (100% cotton is always best) and once your little one starts wearing shoes, opt for pure leather that will naturally shape with their feet and last for months. Anna (All Natural – Natural Africa) has some stunning designs in stock (for mommy and baby) so be sure to have a look! Top tip for baby clothes: buy only a few key high quality outfits for occasions and outings while the rest should be cheap enough to throw away in a nappy blowout situation (who has time to scrub poo stains anyway?).