Peace be upon all you sisters out there!
Those of you who have been following my blog, would know that I'm expecting my first child in a few weeks time (actually, on the first day of Ramadan, inshaallah!).
Many of my girlfriends are currently pregnant or have given birth earlier this year or last year and the one thing that I've noticed is that many people go over board with the whole first baby buy out. You know what I mean...new cots, change tables, breast pumps, branded clothes, little swings, toys and the list goes on and on!
So I'm going to give sisters who are currently expecting or are planning a family some simple advice on how to get what you need without spending thousands of dollars and sweating all the small stuff.
1) Buy what is essential but only buy AFTER your baby shower. Believe me, your friends will give you just about anything and everything! Brand new and hand me downs. I've had friends from Perth (Western Australia), Singapore and Adelaide (South Australia, where I am now) send me stuff. I've hardly had to buy ANY clothes at all!
The basics you should buy for the baby are:
- Enough diapers to last the first few weeks (either disposable, cloth diapers or a cloth diaper service). I have a friend who was gifted 6 weeks worth of cloth diaper service from her Mum and she said it was the best gift because she didn't have to think about diaper washing for those 6 weeks after the birth, she just had to concentrate on her little baby and sleep!
- Baby wipes...get ready for those explosive poos.
- At least 15-20 jumpsuits (depends on the weather at the time and the type of jumpsuits you need, buy according to the season) and other little outfits that people will give you...there will be heaps!
- Mittens and booties (weather permitting)
- Lots of burping cloths (you can never get enough of them!)
- Swaddle clothes (the babe needs to feel nice and secure)
- Cot or bassinet (co-sleeping in the same bed is NOT encouraged with infants due to the risk of rolling onto the baby or suffocation. However, co-sleeping in the same room for the first 3-6 months is encouraged)
- Blankets, cot sheets, bassinet sheets
- Car seat/capsule to bring the baby home in
- Small bath tub (or if you don't mind bathing the bubs in the kitchen sink, then go right ahead!)
- Change mat or change table (My mother has always used a plastic lined change mat on the bed or floor)
- Bottles (if you're going to be bottle feeding)
- Bottle serilizer (if you are using bottles)
- Nursing bra (3-4 to start with, your boobies may get bigger later on when the milk comes in)
- Breast pads (for leakages!)
- The other little nick nacks your hospital will advise you to get for your hospital bag.
2) Get familiar with eBay, Gumtree and Craig's List for awesome 2nd hand bargains. Why pay $500 for a brand new cot when the same one that's been gently used for $250? I bought my stroller off eBay at the most awesome price ever! Don't be afraid of 2nd hand goods, babies grow so fast that most things have been used only a few times. Also, keep an eye on your local baby markets, you can get great bargains there too. A lot of the items in section one can be bought 2nd hand.
3) Don't get caught up with all the little gadgets, you won't use most of them. For example, I know a girl who bought a baby wipes warmer (so her baby's bottom wouldn't get a shock because the wipes were too cold), she used it s couple of times and, well, you know the rest of the story...on to eBay it went!
Every time I'm tempted to purchase something for the baby, I think back to when my Mum had my 3 younger sisters and how she coped with having 3 kids, all one year apart. She kept it simple and that's what I keep reminding myself. I'm pretty sure my mother didn't need that spectacular diaper bin that reduces the smell of the bin if you don't empty it for a while...seriously, just go and put the dirty diaper is the outside bin and don't be so lazy! :)
Save your pennies for when the baby has arrived rather than spending it on items you're not sure you actually need. You never know if your child needs extra time in the hospital.
So, what were your essential baby items you couldn't live without?