What I would buy if I was doing it all again…

A lovely pregnant friend has asked what I would and wouldn’t buy from a nursery checklist so I thought I would write my own list! This is just my opinion of course and you don’t NEED quite a lot of it…

Sleeping

The single best thing I had for the first 4 months was a Bednest – this let me have the baby right next to me and even open onto the bed for the first 4 months. You certainly don’t need it, but I loved it.

You do need a cot too. I bought this one from Incy Interiors – but if I had loads of money I would buy the Leander that goes from baby to bed. This is one of those things that you should spend as much money as you have to spare. I don’t think you need to go crazy (hence I didn’t actually buy the Leander…) but you will be living with it (possibly in your bedroom) for quite a while so make sure you like the look of it. We have discovered that the kid sticks her arms and legs out of the bars and gets stuck so something with a bit less space might be useful…

You need at least 3 sheets (bottom sheets only) and a couple of mattress protectors. They will vomit and poo and wee on it and you will have to change it in the middle of the night. I have seen that Aden & Anais now do cot sheets in Bamboo – that would be great for winter as they are so outrageously soft and delicious. I think I will buy some now.

We had a sound monitor as we planned to keep her in our room till 6 months at least. At 4 months she moved into her own room as we were waking her up and she slept much better. I was worried that she was still so little so I bought a video monitor and it is the best thing. I would probably buy a video monitor straight up. If you are not a worrier then sound is probably fine 🙂

We swaddled Leila for the first few months (until she could flip onto her tummy). We swaddled her with blankets to start with and then moved into zip swaddles. Next time round I would skip the blanket phase – it is really hard too! Get them straight into those little worm suits. Woombies are nice and tight for the early days, and Ergo Baby and Love to Dream are great for babies a bit older who you want to get used to unswaddling their arms. After that use sleeping bags. Aden & Anais have great ones! 

I would say though that every baby seems to be different in preference – you might need to try a few – you can often buy second hand on some of the Facebook baby gear sell/swap sites.

Nappy changing

Some people think you don’t need a change table but I reckon you do – but I have a dodgy back. We have one that we are borrowing from my sister in law and it is great. If i had loads of money I would get the one that matches the Leander cot, but I think that the Ikea ones would be just fine for this.

Stock up on nappies before the baby is born, but don’t buy too many newborn ones, we had a box leftover when we had to change to infant ones. Red hot tip – if you are getting lots of overflow/poonami explosions, try a size up! Get some wipes too. Be careful of the loads out there that have fragrance which is quite irritating. I had this great idea that I would use cotton wool balls and water, but it turns out I am even more lazy than I thought. Wipes are fine! Expensive (buy the big boxes), but fine. If you are doing cloth nappies I have nothing but admiration for you. See comment about me being lazy. 

A lovely friend gave us her nappy bucket thing and we have used it so much! This is a thing that you don’t need but makes life easier. The refills are extortionately expensive though so you weigh up convenience and cost I guess. Bags would do the job!

Oh – and Sudocrem! Nappy rash is yucky but easily avoided with frequent changing and a bit of cream here and there.

Bath

This really depends on your house. We have a small apartment with an enormous bath (renovating mistake number 1). To start with we used a baby bath with a plug in the kitchen. That was fine as we have a tap that extended. When she got too big we got this bath seat that was honestly the best thing ever. This means we can use our big bath and she is really stable. You could use this for pretty tiny babies I think.

You need a few flannels but you don’t really need any bath products. We used olive oil after the bath as Leila was born with really dry skin and we put QV oil in the bath. No shampoos or wash or anything. Again – avoid fragrances, particularly for delicate baby skin!

You don’t NEED a baby towel that has little ears on it, but it is really cute 🙂

One tip for newies – put the towel in the dryer during the bath so it is warm when the baby gets out – that stops it being such a shock and you can avoid a bit of the post-bath trauma!

You might be good at estimating bath temperatures but I am really sh*t at it – this thing from Avent is great.  

Wear

You will get loads of clothes, buy as few as you can manage. It is really hard though as baby clothes are adorable.

I think singlets suck – get these guys instead.

We tried loads of different pajama options that allowed for easy nappy changing in the middle of the night. The answer is a two way zip. Bonds ones are ace and they have fold over feet so your baby can grow a bit and still bit in. Pure baby ones are also lovely but a bit more expensive.

Play

Not sure it counts as play, but at about the 8 week mark we bought a baby swing. It was awesome. It allowed us to eat dinner. Nuff said. I got this one for $100 from floor stock at Baby Bunting and resold it for $50 when she gave up on it about 8 weeks later. Try and get a second hand one and let it put your baby to sleep or just chill out… You don’t need it, but there will come a point when you weigh up money and space in your apartment versus 10 minutes to eat with your loved one. 

In the first few weeks there is no playing really. But get an activity mat as they will love to look at the toys and eventually hit them and then eventually grab them and try and eat them and rip them off. 

An expensive buy if you can afford it – a Bubba Mat! Many mums in my mothers group have this and we all have the same one that has the least offensive pattern. Nice and soft for babies who are rolling off their activity mats and starting to crawl!

You will give in and get Sophie the Giraffe. Embrace it. Sophie will cop a lot of punishment. You will probably get it as a gift anyway 🙂

Feeding

I breast fed for the first 4 months exclusively and then started solids and formula for one feed a day. You don’t need anything really if you are breast feeding but a good supportive chair is great. I could never feed in bed because of my dodgy back but loads of people do. Some can even do it laying down. Not me – way too uncoordinated. 

I didn’t get a feeding pillow but have heard good recommendations for My Breast Friend. 

I wish I had started expressing and trying to get Leila to take a bottle occasionally earlier than I did (maybe at the 2 month point?) – I used the Avent pump and I found it excellent. Lots of people recommend the Medela swing which is a lot pricier. We tried LITERALLY every single bottle when we tried to get her to take it. That is another story but in the end we had success with Pigeon bottles, and also Nuk ones from Target.

Also, your boobs will leak when the baby sleeps longer than anticipated or your hear it cry, or you think about it. You can get disposable breast pads but I bought reusable ones that you wash. I think they felt nicer and a bit less waste can’t be a bad thing.

Get fitted for maternity/feeding bras about a month before you are due. I have 5 and have only just started wearing anything else. Myer in the CBD did a great job fitting me as they knew exactly how big I would get. Bonds feeding singlets are great too. And then you can wear a t-shirt over the top.

Travel – car

You have to get a car seat and you can choose between a capsule and then a car seat, or one that converts. We have the convertible option which is fine, but I would probably go for a capsule next time and get the attachment for the pram. For those pregnant now, Australia is in the process of approving the Isofix system. That is heaps better than the current system but we don’t have exact dates. So I would get a capsule so that when the baby moves to a bigger seat Isofix should be approved and you can get one of those.

You should also get a cover for the window as sun in the eyes is another reason the baby will hate being in the car. A mirror on the back of the seat so they can see you will eventually help. A bit. 

Travel – walking

Get a good pram! I love our Mountain Buggy Swift – the bassinet was great when she was tiny and she loves the seat now. It is really compact and fits easily into shops. Check whether it will fit in your car boot! The Baby Jogger prams are also great as they have a one handed fold and the pram folds in half – we have a Baby Jogger running stroller which is pretty awesome. 

Get a stroller caddy also – it helps! Just FYI, none of the drink holders will hold a coffee without spilling it everywhere. You will just get used to pushing the pram with one hand.

Baby wearing

I think baby carriers are a must! I have had 4 through combination of gifts, loans and purchases – the baby bjorn original, the hugabub wrap, the ergo, and the baby bjorn One. 

If I could only buy one it would be the Baby Bjorn One as Leila only likes facing out now and the Ergo and the Hugabub don’t allow that and it is better back support than Baby Bjorn original. I do think that the Hugabub is awesome for tiny babies though. If you have any intention of travelling I would invest in baby carriers for sure. Also it is still earning its keep for us in the witching hour from 5 – 6… Or any grizzly period really.

Baby Bags

Baby bags are crap. They fit almost nothing in them and they are horrible to get things in and out of. Unless you have a Marc Jacobs one of course – they look great! I use a beach bag! 

In your baby bag should be a sub bag of nappy related accoutrement (nappies, bags, wipes, hand sanitiser). I’m currently using this one by Socreate. 

Miscellaneous

You don’t really need to buy wraps as you will get thousands of them – but the bamboo ones from Aden & Anais are all I would buy if I had another crack.

A few cloth nappies are great for wiping up ‘stuff’ (stuff – poo, vomit, wee..).

Get breast feeding friendly clothes and a few things to wear post baby tummy before you have the baby. I was so grateful I did this as I would have rather gouged my eyes out than go to try clothes on with a tiny baby. 

I couldn’t use nail clippers, I ended up biting her nails.

Have a dummy just in case – you will literally do anything at 2am when you are up for the 4th time and the baby is pissed off at being awake/the way you looked at it/the view.

 

Wow – that was epic! Those of you with bubbas – what would you add/change/remove?

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4 thoughts on “What I would buy if I was doing it all again…

  1. Totally agree with all your points, but on cots, I’d go for one with a one-hand drop down side, ie boori or king-parrot. I adore the look of the incy cots, but the sides don’t drop, and once you have to have the mattress on the lowest setting and are trying to lower a sleeping toddler in (say if they’ve nodded off in the car), it’s much easier on the back if the side drops, and you need to be able to do it one handed! Also never thought I’d go for flannelette sheets but they’re great in winter – don’t get that crisp coldness that the cotton ones do.

    • Drop down side sounds like such a good idea – I think we are about to have to drop the mattress down as she can almost pull up. My back is already crying, as well as my sanity as no way can I put her down asleep even now and have her stay that way! I am going to buy flannelette sheets right now! Thanks for the tips!

  2. I finally got to read your post! Things I never thought I needed (but really did) were;

    * Bath Thermometer – essential for a relaxing evening – no one needs a frozen screaming baby on their hands

    * Lil’ Fraser wraps – in my opinion about a gazillion times better than bamboo or muslin. They’re really big and cotton jersey, so they are super stretchy – they literally (well…not literally) suck the baby up and hold them tight – just what you, and they, want!

    * Hooks for the pram so you can hang all your bags of shopping (probably just more baby clothes that you really need!) off the handles

    * Mirror so you can see your backwards facing baby in your rear vision mirror – you will keep stopping to check on them if you don’t have one!

    * Activity Centre/Exersaucer – I love it, Otto loves it. 15 mins of quiet time.. Priceless

    * I make my own wipes. I put one squirt of baby wash (no detergent) and some baby oil in a plastic container and then add chux – lasts about a week per roll. We also use Weleda Calendula nappy cream, it’s a good barrier cream and very effective on nappy rash (or any other rash in the fat rolls!) I highly recommend it and would buy this for friends having a baby!

    Other things – Breast pump (I have a Medela Swing after I blew up an Avant – don’t ask); play mat; a good sun hat for you both; we used a capsule for the first 5 1/2 months – thoroughly recommend for apartments with lots of stairs & definitely get one compatible with your pram.

    I’m sure there is more but I can’t remember – how quickly 6 months goes!

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