16 freebies for parents and new mums including nappies, baby wipes and Lego magazines
BEING a parent is expensive, but there are plenty of freebies available if you know where to look including nappies and baby wipes.
We also explain your rights to free childcare, prescriptions and Healthy Start vouchers.
Families are more financially stretched than ever due to the coronavirus crisis, so it makes sense to cut back where you can.
It comes as latest figures from the Child Poverty Action Group show the total cost of raising a child until the age of 18 is £152,747 for couples.
This rises to an eye-watering £185,413 – an increase of £33,000 – for single parents.
To help you save money, we've teamed up with bargain hunters at Magic Freebies and self-confessed coupon queen Holly Smith to find the best deals for parents.
Money saving tips for parents
WE’VE put together six top tips to cut costs, nab freebies and to make sure you’re not fined.
- Free prescriptions and dental care – Prescriptions cost £9.15 a pop in England, while NHS dental costs vary by location. You can get both for free while you're pregnant and for 12 months after your baby's due date. Ask your doctor or midwife for a maternity exemption certificate (MATEX) to claim the free care.
- Free milk, infant formula, vitamins or fruit and veg – Under the Healthy Start programme, you may be entitled to the freebies if you're at least 10 weeks pregnant or you have a child under four and you're on certain benefits, such as Universal Credit.
- £500 free grant – In England, Northern Ireland and Wales you may be entitled to a Sure Start grant of £500 if you're on certain benefits and expecting your first child or expecting more than one baby – such as twins.To claim, you need to fill out the following form on Gov.uk and get your doctor or midwife to sign it.
- Register the birth in time or face a £200 fine – You need to register the birth within 42 days of your baby being born with your local registry office. This costs £11 in England and Wales.
- Update a will or update it – If you don't have a will, in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where one parent dies, children will only inherit cash if the estate is worth more than £250,000 – otherwise all the money will go to the surviving spouse. If you don't want that to happen, you need to get a will stating your wishes.
- Consider getting life insurance – No-one likes to think about death but if something happened to you, could the family survive without your salary? If not, you many want to consider life insurance. Use a comparison service to find not only the cheapest, but the most suitable cover for your needs.
Alice Gerwat, senior content editor at Magic Freebies, told The Sun: "Baby product companies always have freebies on offer to make it cheaper and easier to try before you buy.
"We always have at least a couple of baby freebies on the site, and we've seen everything from free baby grows and nappies, to free food, baby wipes, nappy rash creams and plenty more."
Holly, who is pregnant with her fourth child, added: "Baby freebies are extremely easy to find online – I’ve have never had to purchase nappy cream as I have so many samples!
"It’s also worth emailing baby brands asking for free samples. I’ve been writing to nappy brands and have enough new-born nappies to last me two months."
1. Free "Pull-Up" nappies from Huggies
For older tots, you can also get a free Pull-Ups sample from Huggies.
Again, the tester could be a good way to try out the pants before buying a whole pack.
It comes as part of a "Big Kid Game Pack" which also includes free stickers for your little one to play with.
You'll need to fill out a form on the Pull-Ups website to register for your freebie.
When you're filling in your details, you'll be able to choose from nine to 18 month, 18 month to three years, or two to four year pants.
We're checking with Huggies on how long delivery takes.
2. Free baby wipes from Pura
If you're looking to be more sustainable, Pura is giving away a free 24-pack of its 100% biodegradable baby wipes.
You also get two disposable bags made from potatoes as part of the sample pack.
To get the freebie, sign up to the Pura website – this is free to do – and simply add it to your basket.
You will, however, still pay 99p for delivery.
Pura usually sells a box of 28 packs of 24 baby wipes for £22.10.
3. Free baby grow from Cow & Gate
Register for the Cow & Gate loyalty club – known as the C&G Baby Club – and you'll get a free baby grow.
The C&G Baby Club is free to sign up to and you'll be able to pick what size baby grow you get.
Sizes include newborn to six months or six to 12 months.
However, the freebie is limited to the first 15,000 people who sign up.
4. Free magazines from Lego
Lego fans can get a free magazine subscription, with a new edition released four times a year.
To get the deal, you’ll need to sign up on LEGO’s website, sharing details including your child’s name and date of birth, your email and your home address.
You won’t have to pay to get the mag delivered as shipping is free too, and the mag will come every three months.
The next issue is due in February but you can download the latest magazine from November 2020 from the website.
What help is available for parents for childcard costs?
CHILDCARE can be a costly business but here is how you can get help:
- 30 hours free childcare – Parents of three and four-year-olds can apply for 30 hours free childcare a week. To qualify you must work at least 16 hours a week at the national living or minimum wage and earn less than £100,000 a year.
- Tax credits – For children under 20, some families can get help with childcare costs.
- Tax-free childcare – Available to working families and the self-employed, for every £8 you put in the government will add an extra £2.
5. Free height chart from Bear Paws
If you like to keep track of how quickly your child is growing, get a free height chart from Bear Paws.
The height chart is free, but you'll need to upload a photo of a recent receipt showing a Bear Paws purchase to get it.
Bear Paws sell fruit snacks for kids, with packs costing around £2.45 from Asda.
Once you've uploaded your receipt, enter your details including your name and address.
We're checking how long delivery takes and we'll be updating this article.
6. Free pyjama nappies from Dry Nites
Dry Nites let your little one test out a free sample through its website before you buy a whole pack.
Choose from pants that are for ages three to five years, four to seven years, or eight to 15 years.
Like with other samples, you'll need to register with your name, address and age of your child.
Dry Nites says your freebie should arrive in seven working days.
Packs of nine Dry Nites pants typically sell for £5 in the supermarkets.
7. Free book from Little Dish
Lockdown means more time for reading, and you can get a free book for your little one by joining the Little Dish Book Club.
It's free to join – you'll need to register your name and address – and you'll get a £1 voucher off your next Little Dish purchase as part of your welcome pack.
You can also download a free height chart through the club.
Again, we're checking how long it takes for your freebie to arrive.
8. Free pregnancy pack from Emma's Diary
Mums-to-be can sign up for free pregnancy packs via Emma's Diary.
There are four different packs available for different stages of pregnancy and when your baby arrives.
With each one, you'll get samples of different products like vitamins, nappy cream and baby wipes.
To get the freebies, you need to register with Emma's Diary and either download its free app, or download vouchers from its website.
Once you've got your vouchers, or if you're using the app, you can pick up your baby packs in Boots or Argos.
9. Free baby food from Ella's Kitchen
Sign up to Ella's Kitchen and you'll be sent a free weaning pack with vouchers and other goodies.
The vouchers can be redeemed for free pouches of Ella's Kitchen food, and you'll also be given a weaning chart so you can track the progress of your baby's development.
A single pouch from Ella's Kitchen typically costs £1.10 from Tesco.
To sign up, you'll need to provide your name, address and details about your little one.
10. Free toys from YoungPlanet
Money-saving app YoungPlanet lets parents collect FREE toys from nearby families.
It works by letting mums and dads list unwanted items – including toys, clothes, books and baby equipment – for other families to have for free.
You can download the app, which is free to do via the App Store or Google Play, and simply browse for nearby stuff that other families are getting rid of.
The app will ask for your postcode when you register, and it’ll use this to see what is available near you.
11. Free baby clubs from Asda, Boots and more
Holly recommends mums-to-be join free baby clubs for discounts and offers that are tailored to parents.
With the Asda baby club, you can enter competitions to win free products as well as exclusive offers for parents.
Shoppers will also be notified first for when a baby sale is due to hit stores.
Boots' baby club lets you earn eight points for every £1 spent on baby products, plus it offers free gifts at key stages of your baby's development.
You'll also get parenting offers via the Boots app.
Other baby clubs to sign up for include SMA, Piccolo and Aptamil.
Tesco used to have a stand-alone baby club but it's now part of its Clubcard scheme.
If Clubcard holders make a lot of baby-related purchases, they'll be offered specific parenting vouchers depending on what they usually buy.
12. Free prescriptions and dental care
You can get both prescriptions and NHS dental care for free while you're pregnant, as well as for 12 months after your baby is born.
Prescriptions in England currently cost £9.15, while NHS dental costs vary by location.
To claim the free care, ask your doctor or midwife for a maternity exemption certificate (MATEX).
13. Free milk, infant formula, vitamins or fruit and veg
Look out for Healthy Start vouchers, which allow you to claim free fruit, vegetables and milk.
They can also be spent on vitamins for mums-to-be or babies.
They’re currently available to mums who are at least 10 weeks pregnant, or have a child under four, and get income support or other benefits.
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any benefits.
Most eligible parents get one voucher per week, except those with children under one who get two vouchers per week.
To apply for the scheme, you'll need to fill out a form on the Healthy Start website.
Am I eligible for the Healthy Start scheme?
YOU must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old to be eligible for the scheme.
You must also receive one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Child Tax Credit with a family income of £16,190 or less per year
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit with a total earned income of £408 or less per month for the family
You also qualify if you are under 18 and pregnant, even if you don’t get any of the above benefits.
We explain how to apply below.
14. Free £500 Sure Start grant
You may be entitled to a Sure Start grant of £500 if you're on certain benefits and expecting your first child, or expecting more than one baby.
To claim, you need to fill out the following form on Gov.uk and get your doctor or midwife to sign it.
The one-off payment doesn't need to be paid back and it won't reduce your monthly Universal Credit payment or tax credits.
The Sure Start grant is available to parents in England, Northern Ireland and Wales who are expecting their first child.
In Scotland, you may be able to claim up to £600 under the similar Pregnancy and Baby Payment.
15. Free 30 hours of childcare
Parents of three and four-year-olds can apply for up to 30 hours free childcare a week.
To qualify you must work 16 hours a week on average at the national living or minimum wage and earn less than £100,000 a year.
But keep in mind you'll need to reconfirm your eligibility every three months.
This is in case your circumstances, such as your income or living situation, have changed.
You can register by creating a childcare account on the Gov.uk website.
16. Tax-free childcare
You may also be eligible to get up to £500 every three months – or £2,000 a year – through the government tax-free childcare scheme.
The scheme sees parents get £2 for every £8 paid toward childcare for kids under 11 – and you can claim this on top of your 30 hours free childcare.
You can apply online via Gov.uk.
Parents who work 16 hours a week on average on the national minimum wage or living wage, and with less than £100,000 each, should be eligible.
To claim, kids need to be 11 or under or 16 and under if they're disabled.
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