As soon as that positive line appears on the pregnancy test the overwhelming urge to make a mad dash to Mothercare kicks in as quickly as your pregnancy hormones do! However, it can be so easy to take one look at all the cutesy items, the cuddly toys and matching nursery furniture and suddenly your credit card is taking a battering that it doesn’t necessarily need. What very few people tell you is how little you actually need for a newborn and how you can easily get by for those first few months without all the flashy gadgets and ‘essentials’ that the adverts portray.
You will need blankets but my goodness you can end up with so many that you will never use them all and instead they will end up taking up so much valuable storage space. You see, blankets are cute, they can be made and there are so many different styles and you will find that it is a gift that you will probably receive from quite a few people. I was even gifted a knitted blanket from the hospital. Gro-bags are also a more practical item and it is worth buying these over multiple blankets, so hold back on that urge to buy every super soft blankie you come across.
When I asked a group of Mum’s what item they didn’t need or use the baby bath came up time and time again. This is because:
a.) it doesn’t last the baby long
b.) the bath is just as easy to lean over into
and c.) the sink is a great option to begin with!
Steriliser and Bottle Warmer
This will completely depend on how you plan to feed your baby and whether you think a steriliser is worth it over using tablets/solution or even the simple kettle option. I saw a steriliser on offer when I was pregnant with Jake and without thinking, I purchased it as a ‘just in case’ option. I saw it as forward planning because if I couldn’t breastfeed I wouldn’t need to go back out to the shops to buy what I needed. It turned out that I breastfed him for 9 months and only used the steriliser a handful of times when he went onto follow on milk. It was just as easy to boil a kettle and pop everything into a bowl. It has spent more time sitting in a cupboard than being used and I wish I had saved my money now. The same can also be said for bottle warmers as a kettle and a jug can also do the job.
Oh, this seems like such a great idea… let’s get this bin and then I will reduce the amount of time I will be going to the main bin. Yeah, except do you really want a bin full of used nappies sat around the nursery or in your living room?! I didn’t and much preferred to pop them straight into our main bin in the kitchen or out at the wheely bin.
Scratch Mits and Hats
I seemed to have an abundance of these when Jake was a new born. I spent more time organising them in the drawers and trying to make space for vests than using them! Scratch mits are all well and good if you can get your baby to keep them on and as for hats, how many does one newborn need?! They also seem to come as a standard item with lots of outfits and sets so you will receive lots as gifts. There is no need to buy extras.
Baby Shoes and Booties
These literally serve no purpose. They can be a struggle to get on, you then spend most of your time picking them up when you are out and socks do the same job. Also, most baby grows etc will have the feet included so to add another layer is mostly just for look and not much use.
Lots of Products
It can be so tempting to buy every baby product going because they say how good they are for babies skin but in reality, you may not even use end up using it. Baby shampoo goes a long way and you don’t need much to begin with… especially if they have no hair for a while! Bubble bath isn’t recommended for a newborn and water is enough to keep them clean. Lotions again aren’t a necessity and unless you have a baby who is prone to dry skin you will probably find that you won’t need much and you certainly don’t need one from every brand… even if they do try and pull you in with their organic, eco, best for baby taglines! Wait and see how you get on before heading down that bathing aisle.
Now, this one isn’t my personal opinion but I’ve included it because the group of very helpful Mum’s who gave me feedback mostly said this. Jake liked his because it was enclosed and made him feel safe and warm but most women told me that their babies weren’t in it for long enough to justify the price and that the close sides would cause their babies to wake if they hit themselves as they moved. There are many other options out there and you need to take into consideration how long you think your baby will be in your room with you and whether or not you plan to co-sleep.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with this list? And is there anything else you would add?