When you have your first child, there is a huge temptation to really splash out on very expensive luxury items as obviously you want to be totally prepared and ready for the big day when baby arrives. The thing is though, babies don’t care about having expensive stuff, in fact they aren’t really bothered about what they have at all! All they are bothered about is eating and sleeping, and anything else to them is just hassle.
Since I am quite experienced in the art of shopping for babies, I’ve been able to come up with a list of “must haves” and “do nots” – though this of course is my personal opinion and you might totally disagree!
1) A really good baby car seat and base. This is probably the one thing you shouldn’t get second hand or scrimp on. Do some research about safety as standards change all the time, and make your selection. I really recommend a matching base so you can just pop the baby straight onto it – it’s safer too.
2) A cot with a good mattress. Again, not something to scrimp on, and I recommend getting a new mattress for each child you have. Remember, it’s safer for them and also, the more comfortable they are, the longer they will sleep! Room to grow have some lovely Nursery Cots to choose from, they are really good quality.
3) A pram or pushchair – but this can be second hand or from ebay. Do some research as to what works best for you – if you have to use public transport that’s a consideration. Do you plan to have another child quite quickly? It might be worth getting a double pushchair in advance to save on buying two lots second time around. How big is your car boot? What will fit in there? I also recommend one that folds in one motion rather than removing seats and carrycots. Picture yourself in the pouring rain with a screaming child that needs feeding – you’ll get my gist.
4) Clothes obviously! Don’t buy too much in advance though as people will buy you lots when baby is born! Don’t be scared to accept donations from friends and family, they will probably be glad to get rid!
5) Some sort of feeding device – whether that be bottles or you! If you are breastfeeding I recommend thinking about a breastpump especially if it’s your first baby as it doesn’t always run smoothly and you may need to stimulate milk production. I favour electric pumps but hand held pumps work just as well if you don’t mind pumping manually, and are much cheaper too. Again as long as they are sterilised, both can be bought or accepted second hand.
Waste of money
1) Baby toys. At least at first, babies are not at all interested in toys. Save your money to see what interests them before you buy loads of stuff. Again, second hand toys (clean ones!) are fine. Look out for local buying and selling groups on facebook too for this.
2) Baby baths! We bought one of these with child one and it just got mouldy and horrible. With child two we just used the normal bath and held his head. Much easier and less smelly.
3) Don’t buy loads of nappies in advance as babies outgrow them so quickly! Also consider cloth nappies as they will work out cheaper in the long run.
4) Expensive outfits and clothes. Babies are sick all the time so will need constantly changing. Sleep suits are fine for at least the first few months and much cheaper.
5) Lots of expensive electrical devices like monitors with camera devices! There are cheaper and simpler alternatives should you choose to use one.
Remember when the baby is born there is always internet shopping, and that way you will have a clearer idea about what you need. The first three weeks at least you will barely leave the house!
Written by our regular contributor Heather.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.