A few months ago a blogger on Twitter asked her followers how many babygro’s she needed for her newborn and the response was a little all over the place. Some tweeted back their enthusiasm for the common white babygro, others mentioned other things, whilst the rest simply just responded in the excitement that she soon was to be a new mum. When it comes to planning what you need for your new arrival, every magazine, news outlet, Tina, Donna and Harriet will tell you different. Friends, acquaintances and parents will give their different views from the best to the most expensive. Whilst you may have the basics from your list ticked off, there are some things you’ll definitely use, some you’ll use lots and some you won’t use at all. Whatever advice anyone gives, even with this post, you’ll probably ignore this anyway and buy everything for those just-in-case moments. Just remember not to go too much overboard with what you buy. Raising a child is one of the most expensive things you’ll pay for in your lifetime, so be wise. So what do you really need for when your baby arrives?
It’s good to know, granted that I’ve not had more than one child, but I know from my little experience and that of others, what’s the most important. Last January, I wrote the importance of some products when your little ones arrive, you can see it here, Now with Emily at 14 months old, hopefully, the little experience I do have can help you when you in some shape or form.
Babygro’s aka sleepsuits
First off get your sizings right. Emily was predicted at a weight of about 8lbs 6oz and came out 6lbs 9oz, so all the ‘up to 1-month’ sleep suits we bought, she couldn’t wear for about 6 weeks. It depends on how quick your little one stays in ‘newborn’ sizes too so it’s good to have a few sizes too. It’s good to know that each shop says the same size but they all come up different. Next, M&S and Mothercare do great sizes (material and patterns too) but can be expensive if buying often, Primark comes up small, so whatever you buy, if you don’t mind cheap and cheerful, go to Primark. I’d say you’d need at least 15 babygro’s in total. You’ll change your baby so often and try to avoid white because they won’t stay white for long!
Or muzzies as I call them. These handy little thin material squares are very handy when your baby is little especially when feeding. Babies puke, they spit up milk and liquid comes out at moments when you least expect it and tissues no matter how soft won’t compare to muzzies, trust me.
You can buy these anyway from a few pounds.
Travel System not just a buggy and a car seat
Of course, you’ll need the buggy and the car seat, and you can buy a stroller when they’re a little older, but to save cash, buying a whole travel system would make more sense as your little one doesn’t stay in the carrycot for long. Not only is a travel system good value for money, you’ll get more mileage and use out of it. It doesn’t matter how much you spend or what brand to get, travel systems range in price from a couple of hundred pounds brand new (less if you buy second hand) to a couple of thousand pounds. You need something that gets you from A to B. We decided on the Silver Cross Wayfarer travel system, which originally I wrote a great review about but nearly a year on, I don’t have the same views. It’s not a terrible pram, but there are a few things it could have to be, well better.
You can buy the Hauck Rapid 4 SND travel system, available for £154.99 (RRP £229.99), the iSafe 3-in-1 travel system is currently £249.95 down from £789.95 on the Baby Travel UK website, the BabyStyle Oyster Max 3-in-1 with Maxi-Cosi car seat is £569 on Baby Baby Online and much more are available from various retail outlets online.
No joke, hands aside, your body will thank you for your baby having something else to chew on rather than you. There are loads of teething toys available out there and cost so little or borderline ridiculous. But easing your baby’s teething pains is essential in their development and the product will miraculously keep your baby, happy, quiet and less dribbly around you. Make sure you buy something that is easy for your baby to hold.
Check out my blog post on the best teething toys for some great ideas.
When you become a mum, gone are the days where you can bring out your adult bag or purse and just carry on with life. No, it’s now all about how many nappies you have, nappy rash cream, dummies, bottles & formula (if you don’t breastfeed), muslin cloths, teethers, gosh you name it you need it, on top of your house keys, car keys, purse, spare clothes (for you and baby if any accidents) and whatever else you can fit in it. Your bag needs to keep everything stored in one place and it can be as large as you want it. Think Mary Poppins just with less. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, just as long as it carries all you and your babies stuff, that’s all that matters. I got mine with the Silver Cross travel system we bought but it fell apart after 10 months and since Sam has bought me a lovely Cath Kidston one.
Some say get a baby swing others say a baby bouncer, but whatever you decide to get, make sure you get one because they are so worth it. We got our baby bouncer from our friend Cathy and her husband Bez when Emily was born and it was a lifesaver. We loved it, Emily loved it, it became a staple in our everyday lives. It had a vibrating mechanism and 3 admittedly irritating tunes, but the whole chair secured Emily in and made her feel so relaxed and happy. I mean it did bring out that kicky little foot that terrorised my insides when I was pregnant. Admittedly when she was really small we had to use towels, blankets, tea towels or anything we could find to support her upright in it as she kept slipping to the sides, making a break for the floor. If you do buy a baby bouncer, you should consider this but if you don’t mind towels as a backup support, this baby bouncer was a lifesaver. It’s also an absolute godsend when you’re trying to do a million and one things and need to keep your little one entertained.
You can buy baby bouncers from £29.99 from most retail outlets to a couple of hundred quid for the more designer egg-shaped pods. Currently, this colourful baby bouncer is on offer at Smyth’s for £19.99 with free delivery on orders over £20.
Emily was in a very clingy mood when she was little. Only wanted mummy at all moments of the day. So instead of breaking my back carrying her everywhere and achieving very little, I bought a baby carrier. And I’m so pleased I did. She was always close to me and my back didn’t feel like it was going to cave in. It’s so much easier to carry your baby around in one of these than in your arms. And it’s comfortable which definitely helps. You need to find one that has easily adjustable straps on your shoulders and hips so you can evenly distribute the weight. I bought mine secondhand from a lady in Cliftonville on Facebook’s marketplace for a fiver and it was well worth the money.
You can buy these brand new from most retailers, eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
A few different dummies
Whilst your health visitor will be dead against dummies, if your baby needs something to soothe them, a dummy works wonders. But what might suit one child, won’t the next, so make sure if you are going down the dummy route, have a few different styles just in case. Emily loves the Avent dummies which cost about a fiver for 2 and Tommee Tippee dummies which are currently on offer at £3 for 2 for ages 6-12 months. Check out Tesco’s own brand dummies at just £1.10, or MAM dummies are £4.60 down from £5.15 at Superdrug .
I only breastfed for a few weeks, but whether you do or don’t, your nips can be a little uncomfortable. Many of us have suffered from sore, painful and cracked nipples in the first few weeks and sometimes because of this pain, the NHS says this is the reason why many switch to bottle feeding instead. Some women are lucky to not experience it, but it’s good to know there are creams out there that can help soothe the pain. Bonus, most creams don’t have to be used before breastfeeding.
I’d highly recommend Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin is the safest, purest nipple cream and completely hypoallergenic. It has been specially developed to help soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples in breastfeeding mothers. It’s pricey at £10.49 but well worth it.
These can be the bog standard ones from Poundland or the neckchiefs with funky patterns on, whichever one you use, they do the trick, especially when you have a dribbly baby with milk, food, or dribble. Godsend, trust me. Baby bibs cost anything from a pound. Asda does a 10-pack of plain or assorted colour bibs for £3.25, Tomee Tippee Feeding bibs cost about £4.42 at Pharmacy First, Mothercare’s newborn bibs cost £9.99 but still have a sale on, so check their website out before it’s too late.
The fleece is lovely and thick and keeps her feet and lower body warm in the winter. Excellent value for money comes in a variety of designs, Emily’s is red with white stars. It keeps Emily nice and snug in the cold winter especially down by the sea. We bought ours from Mothercare who have a range on offer at the moment. Check out their sale here.
I praise this product all day long and so worth the £19.99 we paid for. There are other products similar to this but nowhere near as good, that meets the reviews or standards that this one does. If you have a baby that sleeps, wherever you are, out and about, whatever the weather, get the SnoozeShade, your future self will thank you. Not only does it let your little one sleep in darkness, it also blocks 99% of UV.
What you don’t need
- Scratch mitts – None of them wherever you buy them fit your baby’s hands unless they have super chubby fists. Waste of money. Instead, stick with socks around their little hands instead.
- Baby powder – no one uses it, I think the bottle we have is still upstairs unopened in the bathroom.
- Changing table – we bought this when we bought her cot bed and have used it maybe three times. Useful for storing crap and nothing else. Save yourself the expense and buy a changing mat instead.
- Designer clothes – your baby may look super cool rocking a pair of Timberland booties or a quilted Ralph Lauren jacket but I kid you not, they don’t stay clean or in them for long. We bought a few pairs of Converse as I love the brand and only wore one out of the five pairs that I bought because her feet were too chubby! When they’re a little bigger, spend the dosh then, it does make sense!
- A bassinet – you may think you need one, but you really don’t. so many friends have said they spent so much cash buying one and then never used it. Save your money for the cot instead. When Emily came home for the first time, she was too small for the gorgeous crib my mum bought her, instead, she spent the first 2 months of her little life sleeping in the carrycot we used for the pram. When she turned 6 months she was too long for the crib and we moved her into the cot.
- Baby food maker – They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and cost anything from a tenner upwards but really there is no need buying one. If you already have a blender, make a batch of food for your little one with it and store it in ice cube trays in the freezer.
- Bottle sterilizers – we got ours from my friend Emma but it was too big to fit in our microwave. It also didn’t keep the bottles in one place. You can use a large tub with a lid, warm water and your bottle steriliser. It works just as well.
- Sound machine – everyone will say different, but spending lots of dough on a sound machine is madness. Instead, invest in a good baby monitor that plays tunes as well as monitors them when they’re napping and you’re somewhere else in the house.
Of course, everything that I’ve recommended above will differ to your own individual needs. This is just a guideline and if you want to buy everything and learn from your own experiences, then do. You will spend so much money on nappies, clothes and toiletries, that spending too much dosh on other things will seem mad if you don’t use it. Enjoy your little one when they arrive, try and get as much sleep as you can when you have the time and congratulations on your soon-to-be-new-arrival.