So much to think about. So much to buy. So, where do you start?
There are thousands of things on the market to buy when you are having a baby. Some of them are brilliantly innovative and could be useful, many look like they could be but aren’t and others are essential. Below I have listed the things that I think every expectant mum needs. Having worked with babies since 1995, I have seen things come and go, and seen how they change and improve. There are some things that I love from back when I took my first nanny job, like “The Mothercare Box”, which I found useful to have in my living room with all the nappy change stuff in as well as a couple of changes of clothes. And there are other things that didn’t exist then but are brilliant now, like the compostable wipes and nappies.
The Basics for a Newborn:
Muslins – 10-30 depending on how sicky your baby is
Vests/bodysuits with poppers – 10-30 as above
Babygrows – 10-30 as above
Nappies – washables or disposables
Calendula nappy cream (Weleda is lovely)
A good sling – stretchy or clip but one that ensures the correct hip positioning (NOT the original Baby Bjorn)
A fixed car seat – this means that it stays in the car and doesn’t go on the pram wheels. Car seats are not good for babies’ healthy growth and development. They should only stay in them for as long as they are on a car journey. They should not be left to sleep in them unattended. There is a risk of positional asphyxiation.
A pram that can convert to a parent-facing pushchair
The Basics for the Nursery
Crib – ideally not attached to your bed
Undersheets – several
Cellular cotton blankets
Sound and movement monitor – with or without a video
Blackout blind AND blackout curtains
White noise machine if you’re in a noisy area or if your house is noisy
Bath support and anti-slip mat
The Extras for Around the House
A supported (bouncy) chair
Changing mat and basket for nappies and wipes in the living room
Bottles and steriliser if you will be bottle feeding
Breast pump if you’ll be pumping
A few toys including a baby gym or similar
Things You Really Don’t Need and Why
A nappy bin – they use lots of excess plastic and they STILL smell. You’re better off taking the dirty nappies to the outside bin twice a day.
A Moses Basket – many babies don’t like them and they usually only fit the baby for 10-14 weeks.
Sleep Positioners such as The Sleepyhead, Cocoonababy and many others that are potentially putting your baby at risk of SIDS.
Cot bumpers – dangerous as above. AND your baby really doesn’t care what their crib looks like. In all honesty, they would rather be sleeping ON you and no amount of jazzing up the crib is going to make it more appealing than your bosom!
Changing table – they are usually only safe for a short period of time and it is just as easy to put a changing mat on top of a chest of drawers, on the bed or on the floor.
Bubble bath, baby oil, baby lotion – your baby’s skin is very delicate and doesn’t need lots of chemicals on it. Just a gentle wash in warm water every day or so should keep them clean.
Rocking nursing chair – they are lovely and relaxing but can lead to far from ideal sleep habits.
Lots of comforters – they are dangerous to have in the cot with a newborn.
I could go on and on about all the things you just don’t need, but I will stop here for now.