Free stuff for Dubai families
From free support groups to the best places in the city to pick up bargains
From free support groups, to the best places in the city to pick up bargains, Time Out Kids has compiled an essential guide to saving money for mums and mum-to-be…
Get free breastfeeding support
Need some breastfeeding support? Hiring lactation consultants can be expensive, but the Mothers’ Support Group at Mediclinic City Hospital is completely free of charge. The meet-up takes place every month, with certified IBCLC lactation consultants on hand to offer advice. Meetings occasionally feature experts including paediatricians, physiotherapists and dieticians to offer their expertise, with the meeting ending with refreshments.
Free. Mediclinic City Hospital Dubai Healthcare City. For dates, email firstname.lastname@example.org (055 605 3005).
Get baby weighed for free
It’s important to get your baby registered with a doctor, but what about the appointments in between, which can really add up? This is where Love Parenting UAE’s free-of-charge Baby Café comes in, which runs every first and second Sunday of the month. Hosted by Debbie Williams, midwife at Cooper Health Clinic, you can get your baby weighed, ask questions, and enjoy a complimentary hot drink and snack. There are often free talks thrown in, such as First Aid, and it’s a great way to meet other mums with similarly-aged babies.
Free. Every first and second Sundays of each month, 10.30-12pm (confirm café is running before you head off). Horizon Kids Nursery, Safa. Email frontdesk@cooperhealthclinic for further details or visit www.facebook.com/loveparentinguae.
Snap up a bargain
Buying everything you need for your baby can be expensive, so mark the last Saturday of every month in your diary for the monthly Baby Bazaar Market at Times Square Mall. The market is packed with Dubai-based parents selling tables full of good quality pre-loved baby and toddler items, with prices less than half the price of what you would usually pay in the shops. You get to stock up on what you need for less – and when you need to clear some space at home, you can return to sell what you don’t need, making some spare cash in the process!
Free to attend. Last Saturday of every month. Times Square Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.babybazaar.org (050 553 2048).
Join a facebook group
Whether it’s buying or advertising baby items or simply logging on to ask a question about your baby or get some support from other mothers, Facebook is full of groups you can join. There are groups for mums in all areas of Dubai, such as Marina Mums, JLT Mums, and Arabian Ranches Mums. There are also support groups to join, including Breastfeeding Q&A Dubai, Twins Plus ME, Out of the Blues (for support with postnatal depression), and Small and Mighty Babies (for parents of premature babies in Dubai). All the groups are free, arrange regular meet-ups, and can provide much-needed support and advice.
Buy in bulk
The price of nappies, food, and formula can quickly add up, but it’s nearly always cheaper to buy in bulk to spread the cost. Visit website www.uae.souq.com for some great deals on megaboxes of disposable nappies (just bear in mind that your baby will quickly grow, so don’t buy too many in the same size). Always buy the larger tubs of milk powder in the supermarket if you are formula feeding as they nearly always carry a saving, and pick multipacks of baby wipes from the shelves. Also, when it comes to baby wipes, Boots (www.me.boots.com) often runs a promotion for four packs for Dhs25 so keep your eyes peeled in store.
Make the most of the great outdoors
It can be hard to get out the house with a baby, especially in the early days, but making the most of the perfect January weather is the ideal excuse to head outside for a stroll - and it costs nothing to do it. Al Barsha Pond Park is free to enter, with a running track running all the way around the pond – or if you wanted a beachside walk, Jumierah’s new Corniche or The Beach at JBR in Dubai Marina both offer a smooth surface for buggies and picturesque views for you to enjoy as you get some exercise.
Attend a free class
Attending classes is a lovely thing to do with your baby, but it doesn’t have to end up costing you a small fortune in term fees. The Change Initiative, located on Sheikh Zayed Road next to Al Zahra hospital, runs a free 45-minute class of songs and stories every Wednesday morning between 10.15 and 11am. Suitable for children up to five years old, it’s something you can start now and continue as they get older.
Free. Every Wednesday morning 10.15 to 11am (confirm time before you set off) The Change Initiative, Al Barsha 1, Sheikh Zayed Road www.thechangeinitiative.com (800 824).
Time Out Dubai,