As I write this, I am almost 19 weeks pregnant with my first child. So I know how you feel. Even for someone super organised, who loves spending hours doing research, Excel tables comparing the pros and cons, it is overwhelming.
And if I was given $1 for everytime someone well-meaning told me “you have to get this type of pram, you can’t call them that or you must do this”, my unborn child would have a very healthy trust fund. I know how irritating it can be, so this list is not meant to be a list of must-dos, more inspiration to get you started.
There are of course many items that will tempt you in Baby Bunting, Baby Kingdom and the like, but a newborn doesn’t need much in their first year really, except for somewhere comfortable to sleep, food, and of course lots of snuggles and love.
Here is my top 10 things to buy before the baby is born (and most of these are optional) in alphabetical order:
- Baby Carrier. Even if you have a pram, these are great as they allow you to have two hands free, whilst snuggling up with the baby. Most carriers come with an optional insert for newborns. Many mums recommend Ego Carriers as they last the distance, but a body sling is a similar option.
- Baby Monitor – with or without video?
- Bouncer/rocker/baby swing/baby gym and/or playmat. They are all a great way to entertain your child, whilst you do a few crucial chores (e.g. – eat, have a shower, finish the cuppa tea you made 5 hours ago). Not technically essential, but they could save your sanity!
- Breast Pump – electric or manual? Single or double? These decisions will largely depend on if you are going to mainly breastfeed or not, so perhaps wait until after the baby is born.
- Car Seat to bring your baby home is the number one essential item – do you want one which can attach to your pram, so you can (theoretically) transfer a sleeping baby from a car to their cot and vice versa? Either way, make sure it meets current Australian safety standards of course. Some car seats convert from rear-facing baby seat to child seat then booster seat.
- Chest of Drawers with a change pad on top (e.g. – http://www.leander.com/nursing/changing-matty) or a change table with a mat. And change mat covers.
- Cot and Mattress, including sheets and waterproof mattress protectors. Pillows, blankets and bumpers may seem like a good idea, but they are not recommended for small babies.
- Muslin Wraps/Swaddles are perfect to wrap your baby in the first few months, so they feel secure (the same way they did whilst in the womb). They are designed to keep the baby safe, not warm, so choose a lightweight breathable fabric. They are also useful as a lightweight cover for your baby in hot weather, as a buggy or cot sunshade, as a breastfeeding cover and as a changing table cover.
- Newborn Nappies – cloth or disposable? Or in between (they combine a disposable or washable nappy liner with a nappy shell made from soft cotton or bamboo and a pretty cover). Good brands include Aldi, Thank You and Huggies. The latter don’t leak and have a colour strip so you can see how much the baby has peed.
- Pram. Choosing a pram/stroller can, at first glance, be more overwhelming than choosing a new car. But important features to consider include: with or without parent facing option (the latter is said to promote child-parent interaction and language development, for toddlers as well as babies); the option to add a seat for second child later; lies flat for newborns; lightweight and size of wheels for different terrain. Some prams come with useful accessories (e.g. cup holder, rain cover and UV cover, bassinet & bassinet mattress protector), whereas with others you will need to buy them as extra if you decide you need them.