Most new parents are faced with huge bills for new baby equipment and worry when they see the day to day costs of having a baby mount up. With some modest changes to the amount of effort expended in the home, significant savings can be made with added benefits for the environment and even your family's health.

A major on-going cost is that of nappies. Most babies require at least 8 nappies a day in the early weeks, and although this reduces to 4-5 later on, this works out to be around 5000 nappies over two and a half years, at a cost of more than £750 for a typical branded disposable. If you were prepared to switch to washable nappies, then you would save in excess of £350 even allowing for washing costs. If you also consider the landfill required to store the disposables that last up to 500 years, and that some babies experience fewer rashes and discomfort in washables, this option really does make sense if you can do it. You may want to try out washable nappies before you buy them, as they can cost up to £250 for sufficient to use them full time if you want fancy ones, which can in itself be a major investment. A trial service offers a convenient way to check if they suit your lifestyle

From the age of 6 months, most babies can start to eat solid foods and there are significant costs involved if you choose to purchase ready-made baby food all the time. As an alternative, you can easily make your own. Depending on your approach to weaning, you will either choose to give your baby the same as the rest of the family (without added salt and sugar) or puree special meals for them. Although most parents will welcome the convenience of a ready-made baby meal from time to time, switching to home-made will save you a lot of money, particularly if you would normally buy the premium brands of organic baby food. The focus you will naturally put on providing a healthy and varied diet for your baby will positively influence what the rest of the family eat, with health benefits for all. Reduced packaging, processing, and the opportunity to buy local produce will be positive impacts on the environment as well.