The bare necessities: essentials for new babies and parents
Nappy bags, slings, cots, pushchairs – the list seems endless once you start shopping for baby buys. Supernanny cuts through the confusion to bring you a list of 10 essentials for the first few weeks of baby’s life, as chosen by mums. And to put your hard-earned cash to best use, we’ve also checked out a few options to get these items on a budget.
What’s she going to wear?
Between feeding and changing, you’ll need to have at least two baby grow for daytime, plus a slightly warmer one for night time (depending on the season). These can be quite expensive, so ask around friends and family for any baby clothes they’ve finished with. Alternatively, check out second-hand shops, ebay or National Childbirth Trust (NCT)’s Nearly New sales run nationwide and are a treasure trove of goodies (but get there early!).
And on her bottom?
Give re-usable nappies a try – the start-up costs aren’t too expensive and the long term savings could be hundreds of pounds. If you’re nervous, give yourself a time limit and review what you and your partner think of re-useables after a month. If you’re set on disposables, try the eco-friendly ones, and shop around for bulk deals. Use cotton wool and warm water or olive oil for cleaning and try bio-degradable nappy sacks.
What’s she going to eat?
Breastfeeding is best for your baby and best for you, so make sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet to make the best milk. It will also save you lots of money and time spent sterilising bottles and warming feeds! If you’re unable or choose not to breastfeed, or need to supplement your breastfeeding with bottle feeds, you’ll need the bottles, spare teats and a steriliser.
Where’s she going to sleep?
Moses baskets are popular for the very young baby, as they’re portable and cosy. But you probably won’t need it after about six weeks (once she starts wriggling a lot!), so see if you can borrow or buy one from a friend or at an NCT sale.
You can use a cot from day one, but there are lots of different things to consider when choosing one – size, what it’s made of, whether you want drop-down sides and so on. There are plenty of different models available at a huge range of costs, so use the internet to shop around. A cot might be more difficult to buy second-hand, but always remember to buy a new mattress if you do so.
Even inside the house, it’s handy to have a sling or carrier from very early on, to protect your back and give you two free hands! These can be quite expensive new, but again there’s a great variety so shop around, but don’t scrimp on quality here – your back will make you pay for it!
Once you’re ready to brave the outdoors, the choice of push chairs is phenomenal, and there are real bargains if you shop around. Again, make sure you have some basic criteria in mind – weight, size, whether you need a carseat/ travel system, and so on. Ask friends and family for their recommendations, and stick to your budget. You’ll also find plenty of second hand push chairs at NTC sales, in Loot or your local classified ads.
And for you…
Make sure you get some new house clothes (you’ll still be quite big, remember) before you go into hospital. Also, try and stock up on a few nutritious, frozen meals in the weeks before your baby comes – you’ll be too tired to cook and will thank yourself!