With the jaw dropping array of equipment options and overwhelming variety of products and so on, I am sure that I am not the first mother-to-be who is feeling completely lost with regards to what is needed and what isn't.
So, new mums, tell me... if you were to start it all from scratch again, what wouldn't you do without? What was nice to have, but not essential? And what was a complete waste of time and space?
I'm really hoping that I (and other expecting first-timers) can learn from your wisdom!
For a new baby, I'd go with intercoms, car seat, about three cellular blankets, vests and baby gros, a hat or two, nappies, thermometer.
I found I used a bouncer a lot. I got a bean bag as a gift and while it was lovely, it was rarely used apart from the first week or two.
As regards bathing, I didn't bother with a baby bath second time round. I just used the kitchen sink for the first couple of weeks and then a friend gave me a seat that goes into the main bath from when she was about a month old. You don't need any body wash etc - just plain water will do.
If you're planning on bottle feeding I'd have about six bottles, bottle brush and steriliser. Don't buy in formula until the the baby is born as it sometimes it can take a while before a baby settles on a particular type.
Oh and always have a camera nearby!
A Tummy Tub! Everyone thinks I'm mad with my 'bucket' but it makes bath times so easy. You fill the 'bucket' up to the line, pop the baby in it and they can kick away, while you sit on the toilet (erm as a chair I mean ) so you're not breaking your back. Plus when they get older the bottom transforms into a step for reaching the sink etc when getting washed.
The buggy! If you're on your first have a real think about the buggy. The last thing you want is in a couple of years to have to get rid of the pram/buggy you only got one use of. Ones like the Phil and Teds that can be easily converted into a double buggy (especially if you can get a second hand one on line) are worth their weight in gold!
i would leave as much as possible until after your baby was born!
we bought loads of things only to end up with duplicates as gifts, and then we bought somethings and discovered afterwards they weren't suitable for our daughter (for example: we bought avent bottles and ended up replacing them with Dr. browns after she developed wind issues)
get the essentials/stuff you'll use, nappies..etc
sleep suits are a god send for the first few months especially with your first baby as you might not be confident enough with the floppy head to try on baby clothes for the first month or so. ( i know i was more comfortable just using sleep suits for the first 3 months)
teddies/toys you will get hundreds of them don't buy any yourself. even if you think people wont buy them teddies/toys they will always accumulate anyway.
we never used the changing table, high chair or anything like that.
we couldn't have lived without the buggy/car seat/cot.
For me essentials were:
- Buggy or sling (whichever you choose)
- Muslin Cloths
- Fitted sheets, Flat sheets, cellular blankets x 2 sets
- Good fleecy blanket or footmuff when outdoors
- Baby monitor
- Digital Ear thermometer
- Vests and Sleepsuits size 0-3 x7
- Microwave steraliser
- travel cot can be very handy if away and also used as a play pen when they're a bit older
If you are bottle feeding a Milk powder dispenser and formula scoop are really handy too.
I wouldn't bother with:
- A moses basket
- bedding sets (bumper etc.)
- Changing table
- Cot divider
- baby bath (just use your own/ washing basin)
Talking about absolute essentials...
A car seat,
A place for baby to sleep (A travel cot with a bassinet)
A buggy that lies flat or a sling.
7 vests and 7 baby gros
A few pairs of socks
nappies and wipes
2 cellular blankets.
See, I knew people would have some great advice!
And... that I would need it!
I have never even heard of a sleep bag or a cellular blanket!
I definitely couldn't do without the co-sleeper bed (baby-bay, on loan from a friend) or the changing table (back problems, if I had to bend over to change the monster on the bed or couch, I'd be in constant agony...)
Moses basket is dead-handy too for naps in the living room - but we got ours as a present, wouldn't go out and buy one either.
We've only just bought the baby monitor, defo didnt need it up to now (baby is 14 weeks old).
Muslin cloths are essential though Also a mattress protector sheet comes in handy if you want to reuse the mattress again at some point.
help , take every bit you can and if it's offered hold those that offer it to their word. baby clothes, they're very expensive again if offered take them and even the hand that offers them while your at it.
Obviously the buggy and car seat. Though i've a small 3 door car, so the isofix base for the car seat has been a god send, saves me messing with the seat belts.
I live in an apartment so the sangenic nappy bin has been great, saves me going up and down to the dumpster every day.
I did buy a beech wood changing unit, with drawers and a cupboard underneath, so once the baby outgrows the changing bit, the plinth can be removed and you're left a piece of furniture.
The cot mobile has been great for the baby, she loves it, keeps her entertained whilst i'm in the shower and for bed time.
What's a cot divider? *blush*
One of these. I bought one and never used it once, must stick it up on adverts actually lol
this is it , handy for twins or making cot smaller.. we didn't buy one, I made one similar to it cheaper... looks good might take a pic and post some time to show....
tummy tub FTW! loved it. used one for all 3 of mine, when the older one was in the bath i put the tummy tub and younger one in with them, great times. only think is i only got about 6/7 mths out of it each time as they got too big and wanted to stand up.
If you are planning more then one, i would invest in a tripp trapp highchair - expensive, but takes up no space, grows with the child(ren), can be used for adults afterwards, and helps, IMO, with their back strength.
I would also invest in a phil and teds from day one if I were to do over, a second hand one is fine, but will be used again and again and again - the one i have I have used for the past 3 yrs, and it was 3 yrs old when i got it, battered but in perfect working order and so versatile.
Digital thermometer - unfortunately essential
Other then that, a few vests, a few nappies, some cotton wool, a few baby grows and a cardigan.
Boobs, nipple cream and a carrier.
some good tea, biccies and pre-made dinners also useful.
Cot, probably, but again if i were to start again, i would not bother until they are older and just co-sleep, sooooo much easier in the short and mid term will get back to you on the long-term. and a proven way for mom to get more sleep.
I agree with moonbeam and as others said a changing table. My husband thought they were a gimmick but a sore back after a few days of changing our son on the kitchen table soon changed his mind. Thankfully we got one second hand from friends.
Definitely take all offers including clothes. There'll be plenty of time to buy nice clothes etc but newborns only need vests, baby gros and cellular blankets for the first few weeks.
I'd also say don't go running out buying things like bouncy chairs etc just yet. Little babies don't need bouncy chairs, cot mobiles, playmats etc so you've got 2-3 months to decide what you need.
Don't buy too many nappies especially newborn or size 1 as they grow out of them very quickly.