Monday, 28 September 2015

Ten Essential Baby Buys

If you are expecting your first baby it can be very difficult to know what you need to buy, and what you don't! Here are the ten things I think you really do need.

Don’t forget that there is nothing wrong with second hand items, provided you check for cleanliness, wear and tear.  The exceptions to this are your car seat and mattress, both of which must be new. If at all possible all of your baby’s sheets, blankets and clothes should be 100% cotton, with some woollen hats and cardigans in winter. Natural fibres are more comfortable than synthetic, and cotton can be washed at high temperatures if necessary.

1) A newborn car seat.

This is something you will want to have well in advance since you can't leave hospital without it. Ask the shop staff to make sure it fits your car and show you how to fit it yourself. You might like to practice that one, it's rather embarrassing if your homecoming is delayed because you can't strap the baby into the car!

2) A Moses basket, crib, co-sleeper or cot.

You can use a cot from day one, but most people like to use a basket as well.  Don't forget that you will need sheets and blankets too, go for cotton jersey fitted sheets and waffle weave blankets. If you plan to have baby in your bed at night do consider whether you will want somewhere for them to have daytime naps (bouncy chairs and swings are not safe for sleeping), and make sure you prepare your bed for safe bedsharing.

3) Swaddles

Get proper swaddles, shaped jersey wraps that do up with velcro. They are much easier to use and are also much safer than a large muslin or simple blanket.  Jersey (t-shirt fabric) may look thin but it is the best thing to use since you can always put a blanket over the top when it's chilly, and then take the blanket off if the baby gets too warm. Newborn babies really do sleep far better if they are swaddled, and you will want him to sleep well between feeds!

4) Muslins.

No matter how many you get, you will still manage to run out at some point. Muslins are great for so many things, catching dribbles during feeds, protecting your clothes from vomit, spreading over a changing mat, making an impromptu sun shade, the sky's the limit!

5) A dim light

You will need one for your baby’s room, and another for the room your baby will have night feeds in, if that's different. It could be a dimmer switch on the main light, a dim bulb in the lamp or a night light. You want to avoid bright lights at bedtime and for night feeds.

6) Nappies.

You will be needing a lot of nappies (washable or disposable), and cotton wool, nappy sacks, a changing mat and possibly a nappy bin. If you want to use baby wipes with a newborn I recommend waterwipes as they are the closest thing to water (you can get them from Amazon or Ocado.)

7) Clothes

Your baby will need something to wear but clothes are often given as gifts so stick with the basics to start with or you may end up with far too many. I would get short sleeved vests, babygrows, and two or three cardigans. You may also want some hats and mittens but do remember that your baby shouldn't be wearing a hat indoors. You will need some socks or booties if the babygrows don't have feet.

8) Transport

If you want to wear your baby then I suggest you go to your nearest sling library, where you will get lots of friendly advice and the chance to try out different types of sling before you decide to buy.

If you want to use a pram look for one which allows the baby to lie completely flat on a mattress. I like the old fashioned style since you can see the baby but any pram where they lie flat on a firm mattress is fine. Avoid using a car seat or other shaped surface on a pram base, except very briefly. Do get the sun shade and rain cover now, you will need them both eventually!

9) A soft play mat with hanging toys

The kind that include a variety of toys such as mirrors, bells etc. are the most interesting. Even a very young baby will enjoy watching the toys swinging and it gives you a safe place to put them down when you need your hands for another job.

10) Some quick and easy adult food.

Make your life as easy as possible and stock up on things you can cook almost without thinking. You may want to have some nice biscuits on hand to offer visitors as well, but don't feel you have to play hostess. This is one time you really can point guests towards the kitchen and ask them to put the kettle on!