There is so much baby paraphernalia available, and as a new parent it is hard to sift through what is a waste of money and what isn’t. It can be really overwhelming, and my advice would be to do lots of research, think about the type of lifestyle you lead and don’t buy everything before the baby arrives – other than the absolute essentials. There really is no rush – babies don’t need much in those first few weeks. I’ve been slowly adding to this list over the last few weeks, but I think I have finally decided on the items I would like to share, and here they are:
- Moby wrap – These can be used as soon as your baby is a certain weight, which shouldn’t be a problem if your baby is born full term. If your baby is having a fussy day, but you need to get things done in the house – they are perfect. My biggest regret was not owning one of these when I had Winston – I could have gone shopping with two free hands, walked with no buggy and prevented lots of faffing about with a car seat. I always tied it before I got in the car, so I could just slip the baby in when we arrived. Neither Win or Ru suffered with colic or reflux, but I’ve heard they can really help. I bought mine from ebay and I think it was £12.
- Weleda or Burts Bees nappy cream – Both of these are wonderful. Neither of my boys suffered with nappy rash unless they were teething, but these are two that definitely do the job. Usually available from Boots and you only need to use a tiny bit.
- Heimess baby gym – I was surprised how soon after birth that babies start taking an interest in things. I love the Heimess baby gym because it can be used when the baby is lying down and sitting up, then to practice standing and walking. It’s robust, but it is a toy that needs looking after.
- Floor cushion – Really handy for when the baby is either asleep or awake and you need to get things done around the house. Easier to transport around the house (or when visiting friends) than a moses basket or bed.
- Breast pump – My sister told me to buy a Medela Swing breast pump and it is something I could not have lived without. Long car journeys and going out for a few hours were all made much easier because of a breast pump. I’m not someone who has a lot of spare milk, but I always saved even the tiniest bit of excess and put it in the freezer. I would sometimes express just before the next feed was due if my nipples were sore. They seem expensive but are worth every penny if you use it regularly. I don’t really know how women breastfeed without one!
- Baby Bjorn bouncer – These can be used from birth and are also brilliant for when weaning begins. Win couldn’t fully sit up by 6 months, which meant he looked so uncomfortable in a high chair even with lots of padding. They are easy to lay flat and keep under the sofa for when they’re not being used. They are also good for when you are showering, cooking, cleaning or in the garden and don’t want to leave the baby unattended. We always took it on holiday with us because you don’t always know what the set up will be. I was kindly given one by one of my sister in laws.
- Breast feeding cover – This really depends on how comfortable you feel feeding in different environments, but I got one so it wouldn’t ever be an issue. You can get brightly coloured ones, but I opted for black so it was discreet and didn’t advertise the fact I was breastfeeding.
- Muslin cloths – Perhaps this should have been grouped together with the ‘obvious’ items, but muslin cloths are so essential that I didn’t want to miss them out. There are the normal sized ones, and then the larger swaddle size ones. I would recommend getting a few of both. They can be used for anything and everything – wiping up sick, a play mat and as a blanket or sunshade.
- Baby bath – I think borrowing a baby bath for the first few weeks is a good idea, particularly if you are new parents. After a few weeks, we would then just lie the baby down in the normal bath with a couple of inches of water, so they could have a good kick around.
- Baby carrier – For when babies are getting too heavy for a wrap, which I found to be about 7 or 8 months. I bought an Ergobaby from ebay for £55 and I really cannot fault it. I only stopped using it for Ru when I feel pregnant. Holidays, days out, doing lots of walking and using public transport are made so much easier.
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