I have divided many of the common baby items people buy into 2 categories; necessities and optional. You may agree or disagree with me, but either way I hope you get some ideas for what you might need or want for your baby. These lists are by no means exhaustive.
1. Cot and linen
I have listed this under necessary because unless you want to co-sleep in your bed until the baby is old enough for it’s own bed, you will need some sort of bedding. There is a lot of debate about co-sleeping because of the supposed risk of SIDS. Although the official stance of SIDS and Kids NSW is that baby should sleep in a cot next to your bed until 6-12 months of age, there is also a lot of research to show that co-sleeping is safer than cot sleeping, in some circumstances. Click here to go to an informative website with co-sleeping research and facts.
If you don’t want to co-sleep, there are a few different options for babies to sleep in. There are cradles, cribs, bassinets, baby hammocks and cots. As SIDS recommends room-sharing with your baby, you may be pushed for space and opt for a crib, cradle, bassinet or baby hammock, until your baby outgrows them and needs a cot. This can be an unnecessary expense though and if you can fit it, there is absolutely no reason why a baby can’t go into a cot from their very first night. I am using a wooden rocking cradle only because it was loaned to me for free, it has sentimental value and it’s small. Though I made sure I bought a new, well-fitting mattress for it, as SIDS recommends.
Whichever you choose, make sure you have no bumpers, pillows, loose fitting mattresses, ribbons or cords that could strangle or suffocate the baby. Always choose appropriate linen (ie. sleeping bags or lightweight blankets that you can tuck under the cot and add or remove according to the room temperature) and keep the baby’s face and head uncovered during sleep, as this is how they moderate their temperature.
2. Car seat
Again there are many options available, from removable capsules to car seat/pram travel systems to convertible car seats (rearward facing until the baby is 6 months then converts to forward facing). The travel systems seem like a great invention, being able to move the seat from the car to click into the pram without disturbing the baby. The downfall I can see using this type of system is that you are then limited by the brand you choose. Either the pram or car seat might not have all the safety features or options you would like if your were to buy a separate car seat and pram.
With my first child I used a convertible car seat. This was great for us and he generally transferred out of it without too much disturbance. We borrowed a travel system (without the pram part because she’s still using it) from my sister for number two because number one is still using his car seat 2 years down the track. I must admit I love being able to take the capsule out and carry it so bub can stay asleep. It is also handy when both boys fall asleep in the car so I can carry heavy number one in one arm and the capsule in the other arm. He will however still need a new seat by six months of age so the capsule option is more expensive.
To make it cheaper you can also hire baby capsules and other products from Hire for Baby or other baby hire shops.
If you are planning on exclusively baby wearing, like in many other cultures, then you may not need a pram. Though I think the vast majority of people in today’s society will use a pram.
There are a plethora of prams available so I won’t presume to know your needs and desires. I will however, prompt you to think about whether you will have more than one baby and how close together you are planning on having them. Of course life doesn’t always go to plan but if you are planning on having children close together, you might like to think about buying a pram that can convert to a double. Have a look at my double pram review post.
Of course clothes are a necessity, but you really only need a few basics before the baby is born because afterwards you will undoubtedly be inundated with gifts of clothes. People love buying baby clothes! It is hard to find many unisex clothes so if you don’t know the sex of your baby, you might find it easier to wait until after it’s born.
Here’s a list of things you might like to have prior to bub’s arrival:
- 6 singlets in each sizes 0000 and 000 (even my 3965g baby wore 0000 for a few weeks)
- 3-4 bonds suits in each sizes 0000 and 000
- 4 pairs of socks/booties
- 1 hat
- 2 pairs of mittens
After you’ve sorted out the gifts you’ve received, you can then go out and buy whatever you require that’s missing. Ebay, garage sales and thrift or op shops are good places to look for second hand clothes as babies outgrow clothes so quickly that they are often still in great condition. Big department stores have baby sales every other week so don’t buy full priced items unless you have to!
Click here to see my post on baby wrapping.
The cloth vs disposable nappy debate is alive and well, though most will choose disposable, at least for the first few weeks. There are many great websites dedicated to highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each style of nappy. Here is just one of many, for your perusal.
The “Choice” product review website (mentioned in a link above) has also road tested different brands of disposable nappies, and surprise surprise, “huggies” soared far above the rest. My personal experience is that the “Aldi” supermarket home brand nappies come quite close for daytime wear, but nothing compares to “huggies” overnight.
There are a small selection of Eco disposable nappies for those wanting the convenience of disposables, whilst still caring for the environment. Here are a few I’ve come across:
I have personally only used the Moltex brand. They were ok but the fit wasn’t great and they gave my baby a rash.
There are now many modern cloth nappies, very different from the old terry toweling squares (though these can still be bought and used and are the cheapest nappying system). Here are a few brands:
Many people (myself included) will consider these items necessities as they make life so much easier but you really can live without them if need be. I won’t go into detail because I’ve already written too much, but please write a comment about any of the following and I’ll tell you what I think about them!
Rocker/Swing (only discovered the swing with bub number 2, if there is one luxury item you should give yourself THIS IS IT!!!)
Good luck and happy shopping! Remember to comment for any further inquiries or information on any of these items.