Babies/Children; essential items for a new baby
A lot of friends have had bubbas recently or are pregnant so it got me thinking… when you are pregnant with your first baby it can be quite daunting to work out what you need. The stores have these ridiculous lists of what you “need” but you really do not need every item on the list. Looking at that list just gave me anxiety and I crossed off a lot of items straight away that were just unnecessary and excessive.
So I thought I’d come up with a list of what I think are essential/helpful items and where to focus:
1. SIDS safe (read the guidelines here: http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping/making-up-babys-cot/ ) Cot and cot mattress
2. Fitted cot sheets; I prefer 100% cotton so they don’t cause the baby to overheat and/or sweat
3. Cot blankets; again I prefer 100% cotton or bamboo. You will need quite a few layers as they are thinner, however the good thing is you can easy add/remove layers away this way with the change of temperature in the night.
4. Room thermometer (although this is shown on most baby monitors).
5. Change table or a change mat to put on top of a safe surface as a dedicated nappy change area.
6. “Puppy pads” I think you can buy disposable change table mats, however I found that I could buy “puppy pads” (for toilet training puppies) from the cheap shops such as the reject shop where you get a huge pack for about $15. I found these were great as babies like to pee, poo and spew often on the change mat and this helps save you a tonne of washing!
7. Old school cloth nappy pack; these are GREAT for burp cloths, again you get a 20 pack for like $20 from memory from Big W or Kmart, you can never have enough of these around in the early days
8. Pram; a pram is something you should really invest in, it is the car for your baby, it is something that you rely on 100%. You do not want to be out at the shops with a pram loaded with groceries only to find the pram breaks. You also want one that is relatively light, easy to manoeuvre, compact and easy to fold.
I have had two prams, the Bugaboo Bee for Bethenny and then the Bugaboo Donkey for when Brooklyn came along. I have absolutely loved these prams because I can count on them 100%. No issues whatsoever. The donkey is bulkier obviously than the bee, but it has been great for two children. These days I don’t often use it in the duo (two seat mode) but it’s easy to click over to a double pram if and when I need it. When I’m just using it in mono mode, I absolutely love the side basket for additional shopping space.
I love as well that you can personalise it with various hoods.
9. Pram rain cover.
10. Nappy bag.
11. Baby carrier; absolutely essential ! Especially for early days and witching hour, if you want to try and cook dinner or get stuff done. You never know when you’ll need it.
12. Clothing; of course you will buy adorable outfits, but essential items are bodysuits and “onesies” for babies so that they are comfy and warm enough. Again, my preference is 100% cotton like Marquise, purebaby, but also if you go to Next (http://au.nextdirect.com/en/?utm_campaign=redirect&utm_medium=localurl&utm_source=next.com.au) they have some great packs of baby rompers that are 100% cotton for a really decent price and it’s free, quick shipping to Australia
13. Nappies; It’s not a bad idea to buy a couple of boxes in advance, but I would recommend not to buy many in the newborn size, it’s better if you buy the next size up in case your bubba is a larger bubba. Brooklyn fit the newborn nappies for about two weeks from memory! He was born at 4.5kilos however.
14. Baby wipes; To be honest, I wouldn’t go overboard in stocking up as you may find your bub sensitive to one type or another. So maybe just try a few out before going crazy and stocking up.
15. Barrier cream (nappy cream); I think sudacrem is the best!
16. Face cloths to cover bubba’s chest in the bath.
17. A baby nail kit; I would even pack these in your hospital bag as babies often come out with really long and sharp nails and then scratch their face. Or you can opt for mittens I guess… personal choice.
18. Bath thermometer; the ideal temp is apparently 37 degrees for a newborn bath so a bath thermometer helps you achieve this
19. Bath products.
20. Bath towels.
21. Baby bath insert; I had this one and found it great as it’s lightweight to sit in the bath and the water goes straight through it: http://www.toysrus.com.au/angelcare-bath-support-aqua_10486288/
22. Baby monitor; we have the Angelcare movement and sound monitor which I found so reassuring to put bubs into their own room as it monitors and shows you that the baby is breathing and also has a built in alarm. (The time as to when you move your bubba into their own room is a choice for you, be sure to look into the guidelines). https://www.babybunting.com.au/angelcare-ac1100-video-monitor.html
23. Newborn car seat; there are a couple of different options; 0-6months, 0-4 years, see below my preference.
24. Mirror for the car; so you can safely check on the baby in the backseat.
25. If breastfeeding, I recommend you pack in your hospital bag: lanolin nipple cream, rite aid nursing pads and rite aid hydrogel discs.. the cool discs you will sing hallelujah when you stick them on during day 3 after baby has been at you all night trying to get your milk to come in! And the nursing pads will help keep your tops and bras milk free when you begin leaking at the sound of other babies crying or other high pitched noises (bahaha.. Mum life ).
Another tip once bubs comes – for assistance with breastfeeding I highly recommend the Australian Breastfeeding Association; their website and their free telephone service, they’re amazing!!
26. Breastfeeding pillow; makes it so much more comfortable, I would recommend you take it to the hospital too.
27. GRANNY PANTS; highly recommended “in case” you have a c-section, these are highly attractive 😉 but it means the seam does not sit on the incision which can be quite painful, plus they are kinda like hideous shapewear for those early days you can tuck your belly in hehehe..
28. Tummy time mat/play gym see SIDs article regarding tummy time recommendations: http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping/tummy-time/
29. Digital thermometer, especially before bub’s first 6/8 week vaccinations.
30. Swaddles; you may not know exactly which one your baby likes until you try them so it’s not a bad idea to have a few different styles. I have used the love to dream swaddles but also found the save our sleep wrap in wrap really good (BRB loved it!) https://shop.saveoursleep.com.au/product/2412/79979/.
31. Baby swing; I would use for the bubba’s afternoon nap or sometimes just to get free hands for a minute.
32. Nappies with water poured into them and frozen can be a godsave as well for engorged breasts once in the early days. I have also heard that doing the same but using pads and freezing them works really well for a natural birth to sit in your underwear.
Optional but I preferred to use:
1. Bassinette; We used a bassinette for when we first brought our bubs home from hospital and whilst they were quite tiny and still feeding a bit through the night so that I had quick and easy access to them, this is a personal choice however
2. Baby car capsule; we did not have a capsule with Bethenny however I decided to hire one with Brooklyn and it was absolutely wonderful. It meant I could easily run errands whilst he was asleep and transport him in and out of the car to the pram (certain prams have adaptors to insert the capsule – be sure to look into this when buying your pram if you would like to go down this road). I don’t know how I survived without one for BCB.
3. Sangenic nappy system; these are handy to store all the nappies in a way that preserves the smell and means you don’t have to take the bin out every 2 seconds. The cartridges aren’t exactly cheap but you don’t go through them that quick so if you can swing this item you probably would want to
Worry about later:
1. Portacot (unless absolutely required early on)
2. High chair
3. Grobags, these are more for around six months +
5. Teething items
6. Bouncers/jumpers etc
7. Baby gates
8. Play pen
9. Baby proofing items
Best wishes on the arrival of your beautiful new baby.
If anyone has any questions please contact me or if anyone has another other fabulous suggestions please let me know!