Baby stuff – 10 essentials
If you are expecting your first baby it can be very difficult to know what you need to buy, and what you don’t! Here are the ten things I think you really can’t do without.
Don’t forget that there is nothing wrong with second hand items, provided you check for cleanliness, wear and tear. The exceptions to this are your car seat and mattress, both of which must be new. If at all possible all of your baby’s sheets, blankets and clothes should be 100% cotton, with some woollen hats and cardigans in winter. Natural fibres are more comfortable and cotton can be washed at high temperatures if necessary.
- A newborn car seat
- A moses basket
- A dim light
- A pram
- A soft play mat
- Quick and easy adult food
This is something you will want to have well in advance since you can’t leave hospital without it. Ask the shop staff to make sure it fits your car and show you how to fit it yourself, it’s rather embarrassing if your homecoming is delayed because you can’t strap the baby into the car!
You can use a cot from day one, but most people like to use a basket as well. Don’t forget that you will need sheets and blankets too, go for cotton jersey fitted sheets and waffle weave blankets.
Swaddles are shaped blankets with Velcro fastenings to make it easy to swaddle your baby. The summer weight is best since you can always put a blanket over the top when it’s chilly, and then take the blanket off if the baby gets too warm. Newborn babies really do sleep far better if they are swaddled, and you will want him to.
No matter how many you get, you will still manage to run out at some point!
Buy a dim light for your baby’s room, and another for the room your baby will have night feeds in, if that is different. It could be a dimmer switch on the main light, a dim bulb in the lamp or a night light. You want to avoid bright light at bedtime and for night feeds.
You will be needing a lot of nappies, and cotton wool, nappy sacks, a changing mat and possibly a nappy bin. If you want to use baby wipes instead of cotton wool I recommend Waterwipes as they are the closest thing to cotton wool and water.
Your baby will need something to wear but clothes are often given as gifts so stick with the basics to start with or you may end up with far too many. I would get short sleeved vests, babygrows, and two or three cardigans. You may also want some hats and mittens but do remember that your baby shouldn’t be wearing a hat indoors. You will need some socks or booties if the babygrows don’t have feet.
One which allows the baby to lie completely flat on a mattress is best. I like the old fashioned style since you can see the baby but any pram where they lie flat on a firm mattress is fine. Buy a sun shade and rain cover now, you will need them both eventually!
The kind that include a variety of toys such as mirrors, bells etc. are the most interesting. Even a very young baby will enjoy watching the toys swinging and it gives you a safe place to put them down when you need your hands for another job.
Make your life as easy as possible and stock up on things you can cook almost without thinking. You may want to have some nice biscuits on hand to offer visitors as well, but don’t feel you have to play hostess. This is one time you really can point guests towards the kitchen and ask them to put the kettle on!
Photography: Pat David @Flickr