Looking back, nearly a year ago now, there are a lot of things I wish I hadn't bought! It's funny, you download the CHECKLIST from every other baby website which tells you all the things you MUST have before you bring your Little Miss or Little Mister through the door. As a couple, you dutifully head off to the nearest Baby Warehouse with clipboard in hand and start piling things into your trolley. It's rather exciting really but there are soooooo many things that you really don't need! So, here's a few from me- feel free to comment and add your own!
1) Pushchair/Stroller/Travel System Extraordinaire:
There are so many TRAVEL SYSTEMS out there that run into the many £ or $ and very well may be the priciest items on your list. You know what...you don't really need it! Yes, of course, you need a car seat and you need a push chair/stroller but does it all really have to come in one SYSTEM??? NO!!! My travel system has been sitting in our garage for the last 7 months (my daughter is 11months). Of course it was useful but it was also GIANT and HEAVY and barely fit into the boot/trunk of our car without having to pop the wheels off. My humble recommendation is to get a Group 0+ car seat, preferably with an ISO-fix base (for ease of snapping in and out and not having to fumble with the seat belt. Purchase a pushchair separately that FITS YOUR NEEDS! Most pushchairs have the ability to fully recline which is important for newborns so find something LIGHTWEIGHT, fully collapsable, stylish and sturdy. PERSONALLY, our second pushchair purchase was the Baby Jogger City Mini (in green if you must know). Our Little Miss was 5 months old when we began using it and it's been a godsend. It weight 17 lbs, folds with a pull of one strap and one hand and is really comfortable (so says Little Miss). I highly recommend them! Again, a travel system is most definitely useful- we have used everything in ours- BUT, it has been sitting unused for the last 7 months, gathering dust and taking up space in a very cluttered garage.
2) Reusable Nappies:
I was going to be Wonder Eco-Mom! I didn't want to add to the overfull landfills, did I? We could manage doing the laundry every single night and drying nappies for ages, couldn't we? Well...it turns out we couldn't. Well, in fairness, I couldn't but I was changing 90% of the nappies anyway, wasn't I? Our Little Miss was not very little when she was born but she was still too little for the nappies. And, her belly button took quite a while to totally heal/dry up (6 weeks). When I tried the reusable nappies one day on her I was amazed. She doubled in size in the bum region and I found it difficult to fit her clothes on her giant padded bum! The absorbancy of the nappies was so great that I couldn't tell when she'd done a poo (the smell never got to me!) so she sat in one for longer than I like! It wasn't nice! And, she was WET, WET, WET! There's no WICKING with reusables. I didn't want my baby's bum wet like that every time she did a wee! So, the £140 paid was a waste. Yes, I could have persevered and I am sure other better mummies will tell me so, BUT, it was far easier, Little Miss was far more comfortable and isn't that what we all long for in a newborn's life. Realise that you don't have to be Wonder Mum...it's OK to break down and use disposables. My daughter's generation can hate me for it but I imagine they'll be doing the same.
3) Nursery Accessories:
Cot Bumpers...no need for them and in fact, they can be a hazard particularly when your child is able to pull themselves up in their crib. They'll use them as a launching step!
Bedding...really, with the popularity of Gro-Bags/Sleeping Bags, the only REAL necessity is a fitted sheet for your mattress. A light-weight blanket is good when it's particularly chilly but having lots of sheets and duvets/comforters/blankets/pillows is not necessary. Children won't need proper sheets/blankets/duvets until they are in a BIG KID bed and are over the age of 2. It's pretty and lovely and matchy-matchy but it's an expense you don't really need!
I do recommend investing in a good mobile that attaches to the crib. There are models that have remote controls which is good for middle of the night/early morning wakers. Our Little Miss would stare happily at hers for a long time. It had characters that rotated, a changing light source and lullabies which played. I didn't really care for the lullabies as they were rather "tinkly" but it's something that your baby might like.
4) Swings and Things:
Some babies like 'em and some babies don't! It would be rather unfortunate if you invested a fair whack into an all-seeing, all-juggling baby swing and then after putting Little Miss/Mister in it, find out he/she hates it! Not every baby wants to be rocked, vibrated and sung to. Try a simple bouncy chair! No bells, no whistles, just one he/she is strapped into and maybe has a toy bar...you'd be amazed how much enjoyment they get out of just gently bouncing under their own power. I could put my Little Miss in hers and put it next to my bath in the mornings...she'd happily sit there while I had 10 minutes to make myself human. I was lucky to have it!
If you're investing in an activity gym, aim for one that "grows" with them. It would be adjustable as they grow and change and need more tummy time or even sitting time! Not everything has to be educational...just fun and interesting does the trick most of the time!
My Little Miss has awoken from the longest nap of her life so I must go tend to her. Please feel free to add or subtract from the list above. I hope it helps and maybe lightens your load in your trolley at your next visit to the Baby Warehouse-a-Rama! Good luck!
Cheers for now!
2 days ago