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Having a baby: Activites on a budget


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The recent post about having a baby in the public system got me thinking and I remember how daunting it was to move to a new country not having the local knowledge of how things work and what is available to you. Although I've been in Australia long enough to actually have that sought after little book, I am still learning about all things baby related as I am a first time mum. Unfortunately it was too late for me to utilise some of the things as I did not know about it soon enough. I'm based in FNQ and as usual things differ from state to state and even from town to town but you should have something similar in your community. If you know of any more programs please add them to the list as I am currently on maternity leave so saving $$$ is a must.

The things I love so far and most are free (all of this is based on my experiences so please keep that in mind):

Bounty Bags. These bags are by far the best promotional bags I have ever received. They have 3 different bags. Mother to be bag, New mother bag and the nest steps bag that is either for a boy or a girl. Just do a google search and you will find the distribution points. For me the 3rd bag is the best.

My local Community Health Centre. Some of the available weekly programs.

The new parents group. I absolutely loved this group. It is a 8 week program and you will cover topics about feeding, sleeping, oral hygiene. One week we had an occupational therapist talking and showing what you can do to help your baby's development. They also don't force their views on you. For instance when they covered feeding it was not all about breast is best. The most covered topic that week was actually solids, then formula and then breastfeeding. To be honest most of the time was spend socialising. You can join anytime but I would suggest to phone up and ask about the next start date. Our group still do weekly meet ups.

Newborn Drop In Clinic - I never used this as we had at home visits and my LO was a premmie so we also had hospital follow ups with a paediatrician.

Well Baby Drop in Clinic for baby 8 weeks and older - see note below

Immunisation Drop in Clinic - I have used this clinic once but I would suggest going to your local GP as it is on first come first serve bases and we waited for about 45 minutes. Even though the GP I used was not a bulk billing doctor I did not pay for this appointment.

Local Early Years Centre. Some of the available weekly programs.

ABC Music and Me - A program promoting early literacy

Play and Grow - Early learning play experiences

Infant Massage - 5 week program. I would have loved this but you have to book and I missed the latest one and for the next one my LO will be too old as the baby must be pre crawling

Move baby Move - Explore, grow and play

Bring your Baby to the Movies - for this one you must pay $10 but for me it is money well worth spending. Up here it is run by Event Cinemas. They show some of the latest block busters a few weeks after opening. The lights are only dimmed and the sound is not so loud. They even have a parking space for your pram.

Mumbalates. It is sponsored by our regional council. Its a free weekly workout event for mums and their bubs.

Local Library. They have weekly events but it is at a different library every week. We have the following at our closest local library once a month. Storytime, baby rhyme time, Lego mania.

Local play grounds. I am amazed by the variety and quality of the equipment

Swimming. A few schools have Water Familiarisation classes for young babies. It's a short class at a very reduced rate. At one of the schools it was actually free. Unfortunately I did not know about this and my LO was to old for the free class. I will start the normal swimming lessons next year.

Other money saving tips

I love a good pamper but sadly can not afford it any more. Look for training colleges. The service will be provided by a student but at a fraction of the cost. Our local beauty academy is open on a weekend and so is daddy daycare :)

All the big department stores have a clearance section. Bargain hunting is now a new hobby of mine.

I would love to hear your experiences and tips. At the moment my paid parental leave is finished and I only have to go back to work March next year but I am considering not going back at all and we are doing a test run to see how it goes with only one income and a child. So far so good but I still have some of my leave $$$ as we did not spend all of it each payment cycle.

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What a wonderful post for the new mums to be!

Thank you Duppies :ilikeit:

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Local Library Many city libraries lend out more than books. They also have toys - I KNOW!!! It was great to be able to borrow some of the larger things as they can be pricey and will only be used for a relatively short time. They have puzzles, ride on toys, lots of Fisher Price, you name it.

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Thanks for the info about the toys. We were just looking at some of the bigger items yesterday and some of it were so expensive.

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