Like most people, if I had my time over again I would do some things differently, and the same would be said about preparing for when baby arrives. For my first, I spent a small fortune on baby items that I hardly used. Googling check list after check list, searching for the best deal, and not really understanding what I needed it for.
My necessities list quickly turned into a niceties list, and I bought because I thought I MAY need it, and often I didn’t. I can’t be too hard on myself though, becoming a new mum or dad is such an important time in your life, so it’s natural to want to be prepared.
Oh and of course I did enjoy myself, this girl loves to shop, and what better guise than “it’s for the baby, not me!”. However, never forget all your baby item purchases must go somewhere, and rather it be the must have baby product, it often quickly turns into another piece of crap taking up space.
So, armed with the beauty of hindsight and a wealth of experience my approach to buying my essentials would be slightly different. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would only buy the ABSOLUTE essentials and put everything else on a ‘save for later’ which I will refer to as the ‘Calm Down’ list, which must be said in a scouse accent (and if you say it twice you really get the maximum effect)! The ‘Calm Down’ list is for the stuff you can worry about AFTER baby is born and don’t need to rush out and buy and it will save you money, time and energy, were rest is much needed, before the big day.
When you think about it, there’s countless benefits of having an ‘Essential’ and a ‘Calm Down’ list. The obvious being, the ‘Essential’ ensures you’re set up for the arrival of baby, whereas the ‘Calm Down’ list allows you time to adapt, get to know your baby, and understand what baby and you ACTUALLY need and not what you THINK you need.
Another bonus of the ‘Calm Down’ list (besides getting to practice your best scouse accent and have a chuckle), is it gives you a great opportunity to start venturing out the house for a few hours, which is an absolute MUST before cabin fever sets in.
Check out what would be on my ‘Essential’ and ‘Calm Down’ lists below. Hopefully there will be some handy tips for mums and dads to be!
- Clothes – 10 body suits or vest/10 sleep suits/2-3 seasonal outfits/ socks/mittens/hats
- Baby Bag – Don’t spend a fortune on this, trust me it will be trashed!! 🙂
- Pram – Choose a pram that folds down well and doesn’t take too much boot space/one you can attach the car seat to for those mad dashes to the shops.
- Car Seat – Always go for a well padded/safe (obvs), comfortable car seat, baby will let you know otherwise.
- Chicco ‘Next To Me’ Beside Sleeper – Some may think it’s an extravagant buy, because they are quite pricey, but it pays dividends when feeding through the night, which is why it makes my essentials list.
- Bedding – 2 x Baby sleeping bags/fitted cot sheets/mattress protectors/cellular blanket
- Toiletries – Baby wipes/nappy cream (metanium for those angrier rashes)/nasal aspirator/baby bath and top and toe bowl/changing mat/nappies/cotton wool (for bathing). No bath emollients just plane warm water is all baby needs.
- Digital Ear Thermometer – For the most accurate reading of your babies temperature
- Feeding – Nipple cream/baby bottles and steriliser with size 2 teat if you decide to bottle feed instead of breast feed. Or if you opt for combination feed, size 2 is the best match to the flow of your breast milk/bibs/muslin cloth.
- Feeding pillow – whether breast or bottle feeding its essential to be comfortable.
Calm Down List
- Start planning your nursery – For the first six months baby will be sleeping in your room, so there’s no rush for this to happen before the baby arrives
- Buy your nursery furniture – Again this can be done after baby is born. Clothing can be kept in a spare drawer in your room for the interim period until the nursery is set up. NB. When planning the nursery, allocate a space for all your nappies, and baby grooming products to be stored, preferably handy enough to reach when changing baby. But of course, don’t forget to, calm down!! Everything will come together eventually.
- Chose a baby rocker – Something with sound and vibration works extremely well when wanting to settle a restless baby.
- Baby monitor – Always check the distance and battery life if it’s a digital monitor. Nothing worse than spending a lot of money on something that has a short battery and signal reach. After experiencing this, I bought a Logitech Circle, which isn’t always advertised as a baby monitor, but works perfectly for what I want and in my opinion is far better.
- Baby carrier or Sling – Depending on how you like to get about, it can be a nice thing to have, but personally I preferred having my pram, because you always have a large bag when travelling about with baby. You may decide it’s not right for you and baby so this is why it makes the ‘Calm Down’ list.
- High Chair – You’ll have 6 months before you think about this, so no need rush out to get one. Calm down!
- Feeding spoons, bowls, wipe clean bibs – Again a good few months before purchasing… deep breathes
- Jumperoo / baby snug with activity table – Expensive to buy new, especially when baby will only be in it for a few months, so always try to buy second hand from a social media selling group or ebay. What’s great is they do hold their value and you can almost guarantee selling it on for the same price you paid.
- Toys – Nothing annoys me more than a new born with a string of toys all over them, not necessary. Baby needs you, nothing more at this stage.
- Travel Cot – Only needed if you’re planning on staying over at grandparents or friends house. Quite often when this happened I just took my ‘next to me’, which folded flat and came with a fold up bag.
NB. Don’t forget, many of you will get lots of presents from family, friends, work colleagues etc so always factor that in when your doing your list, you’ll be amazed on how much you’ll be gifted – everyone loves a new baba!
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