20 December 2010

Do I Really Need to Buy All The Stuff Now? Part 1

So you've walked into the baby shop just to have a look. Everywhere you turn there are colours, shapes and interesting items you've never seen before. Lucky enough, most stores have a handy check list of all the things you'll need for baby. The problem is that the list is SO long and to purchase everything right now you'd need to stay at work for another 9 months just to save up. You ask yourself "Do I really need to buy all this stuff right now?"
Layla coming home from hospital......so little and cute!
In short the answer is NO. There is very little that you need right away when bubs arrives. I put together my basic list of things I think you need for the first few months that you should buy before bubs arrives. If you have time you may be able to hunt things down in sales or on Ebay in order to save a few dollars.
  • Sleeping :
    • Cot/bassinet - the choice of whether to have baby in a bassinet in with you or a cot in his/her own room is a very individual choice. If you go for a cot there are generally two sizes - standard and large;
    • Swaddles - whether it is muslin or a one of the new style wraps (Love Me Baby Wrap Me Up - see previous post), these are important;
    • Bedding - options include sheets, blankets and sleeping bags.
  • Changing:
    • Change table/mat - whether you chose a dedicated change table or a mat on top of a chest of drawers, having a place to change baby is important. Pay attention to the height of the change table as one that is the wrong height will place stress on your back as you spend significant time bending over. Also having a table with sides may be a bit safe as it will help prevent baby from rolling off the table;
    • Nappies/wipes/creams - very individual choice over disposable or reusable, which creams and wipes. You may change many times once bubby arrives.
  • Feeding:
    • Breast:
      • Breastfeeding pillow - while not essential can be very helpful. Make sure you take it to hospital with you when you're getting used to feeding;
      • Lansinoh - pure lanolin that you can use on your nipples while feeding without having to remove;
      • Breastpads - I like the Pidgeon disposable pads because they are thin and less noticeable under your clothes but again this is an individual choice;
      • One handed squeezable water bottle - really helpful to keep your fluids up while feeding;
      • Feeding bra - your breasts will change as your milk comes in. Initially chose a soft bra that you can feed and sleep in;
      • Feeding singlet - like one made by Loveable or Bonds are really helpful when you're in hospital and learning to feed.
    • Bottle:
      • Bottles/teats - very individual choice. I use the Tommee Tippee 'Close to Nature' range but I know many lactation consultants recommend the Pidgeon peristaltic nipples;
      • Formula - very hard to get any advice on which formula to chose. Speak to your friends and Doctor;
      • Sterilser - I have a microwave one but an electric sterilizer would be better if you regularly have to prepare bottles;
      • Bottle brush
  • Travelling
    • Car seat / capsule - I received a car seat from a friend but if you plan on having your newborn in and out of the car regularly I'd recommend a capsule. Layla hardly ever goes in the car so a car seat has been fine;
    • Pram - see my blog post. Such an individual choice depending on what and how you want to use it;
    • Nappy bag - can be expensive. I got mine online from the USA much cheaper. You can also use a large tote style bag with an organiser inside (http://www.bagorganiser.com.au/);
    • Clothes - you'll need clothes to bring baby home in. You may get clothes as gifts but if not start simple. They grown quickly and go through clothes very quickly. I preferred to have lots of white as it can be bleached very easily and always look nice. People told me not to buy 0000 clothes and go straight to 000. Problem was that Layla was a little baby who took quite some time to regain her birth weight. I think I even had a 00000 jumpsuit for the first month. Layla stayed in 0000 clothes for the first 8 weeks or so.
  • Home
    • Night light - available from hardware stores, these little lights turn on when it gets dark and are helpful for use in corridors when you're up at night. A nightlight like the Tot Spot (see earlier post) is also helpful;
    • Lamp with a dimmer switch - useful when tending to baby during the night;
    • Baby bath - I got mine off Ebay for a steal that had hardly been used. We use our bath every night as a part of our bedtime routine. Having a bath on a stand with a hose to empty the bath makes bath time easier;
    • Bath & room thermometer - Avent makes a great thermometer that can be used in the bath and also tells the room temperature. This ensures that baby is comfortable in the bath and bed;
    • Foot stool - A simple little stool from the kids department that is generally used for kids to stand on is handy to elevate your feet when feeding. I got mine from K-Mart for $10;
    • Baby towels - hooded towels are nice for babies but you can use just any towel;
    • Old fashioned cloth nappies - really helpful in cleaning up messes from nappy changes, to posset and spills;
    • Heating/Cooling - depending on the season and the temperature in your home, you may need a fan or heater to make sure your baby is comfortable;
    • Baby monitor - you only need one if your house layout is such that you can't hear the baby from other rooms;
    • Feeding chair - having the right chair to breastfeed in is really important. It is important that the back is upright, your knees are at 90 degrees and arm rests can also be important;
    • CD player - I got a cheap one with an iPod dock. It has been great to play nursery rhymes, lullabies and white noise in Layla's room right from the beginning;
    • Baby sling - my Mum bought me a sling and it became an invaluable piece of equipment to get Layla to settle on the days that seemed to never end. I'll do a post on slings soon!
I have another couple of posts in this series that I hope to put up this week. The next posts will detail what to take to hospital and some extra things to have at home when baby arrives home.

If I've forgotten anything, please feel free to add a comment to this post.

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