So the big world of buying for your impending arrival is a little daunting. I found that recommendations were the way to go. Myself and my other half were in M&S trying to figure out what we might need and a kind lady came up to us and told us to put half the stuff back as we “didn’t need all that”. The only problem for us was that our little baba came five-and-a-half weeks early, so all I had bought was three baby grows, a blanket, a nail scissors set…and I had just ordered my buggy.
I’ll do a more comprehensive list in the future but for this post I will stick to the big purchases that I have been using and found helpful. Borrowing items or buying them second hand will save you money. I borrowed cribs (bought my own mattresses), a car seat, clothes, travel cot etc. And the people who gave them to me were only delighted to have some space back in their house and to see other people getting use out of the products.
1: The biggest purchase for me was the buggy. I was willing to go second hand, and still think that’s a great option, but in the end we bought ours new. We went with the Joolz Geo as it could convert to a double buggy or you could add a buggy board. Sounds mad thinking that far ahead but I just thought there was no harm in getting a buggy that could convert if I needed it to. Also, the basket is huge on the Geo. I picked it because it folded up easily, was stylish (superficial but important when you are spending that much money) and had a handle bar that could be raised high as we are both tall. I also like that it can fit through doorways, which may sound silly but I’d had friends over whose buggies didn’t fit out my back door. I bought the changing bag but I wouldn’t do so again. The bag was too small for everything it has to carry and as a result the zipper broke ….. twice! If you buy your buggy new you are likely to get a two or three year guarantee, which is great, especially if the bag keeps busting open.
2: Isofix. This is where you just click your car seat in to a fixed base that is permanently placed in your car. It’s a docking system similar to a cordless kettle. It is just so simple and once you see the green markings on the side you know you have your seat correctly placed. There are different types of Isofixes and I found out this week that my one (Isofix easyfit) can only be used with the Maxi Cosi car seat and can’t move to the next stage.
3: Moses Basket. We used this for the first four months. It’s recommended that if you borrow a crib you should buy a fresh mattress.
4: Changing Table. At the moment we are using our table in the kitchen. Disgusting I know but we lost the will to keep going upstairs with a 20-pound-plus baby. That is soon going to change. I did buy a chest of drawers with a changing station on top as I wanted to minimise space being used for baby paraphernalia…but we didn’t use it much because he quickly outgrew it.
5: Carrier. I went through about three carriers (second hand and borrowed) before I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Ergobaby 360. We haven’t used it loads due to the fact Joseph had silent reflux (I’ll get to that another time). But I do find now that he is eight months old that I am starting to get more use out of it. You can use it from early infant age, with the insert, then placed inwards, outwards and eventually you can place them on your back. I just felt that it presented a lot of options and at eight months there is no way that Joseph would stay facing inwards.
6: Monitor: Motorola Video Monitor. The battery life isn’t great but it saves you time running up to check on the baby as you can just see them on the monitor. My sisters chipped in and I picked one that was on offer from Argos. It only uses the speakers when the baby starts to rustle or cry. We also used an app on our iPhones last weekend when we forgot to bring the monitor, it’s called Cloud Baby Monitor.
7: Breast Feeding Pump. I was one of the unfortunate mothers that had to pump on a daily basis as my baby was almost six weeks premature. I used the Medela hospital pump for two months and then ended up buying the Medela Swing (double pump – do it as it saves time) from adverts.ie. Initially the idea of owning a second-hand pump seemed disgusting, but then when you are in hospital and have to use their ones you soon realise that it’s all sterile and fine.
8: White Noise App: This was a Godsend when Joseph was going through his major reflux stage. It would put him to sleep for about an hour at a time. The CIA used white noise for torture (ahem, I mean ‘enhanced interrogation’) in Guantanamo Bay, but it has quite the opposite effect on babies. It’s thought this is because the womb is a very noisy place, and the white noise replicates this soothing environment for your new baby. We used the ‘pink noise’ option, and mixed in a little bit of the ‘heartbeat’ sound.
9: Steriliser: Tommee Tippee Steriliser. I’d no huge preference when it came to a steriliser, but we had the bottles already (thanks Amy!). The Tommee Tippee bottles are often available on offer, too, which makes them a sensible choice. I also bought a microwaveable steriliser for my mom’s house (€12 on sale in SuperValu).
10: Breast Feeding Pillow. Again, we went through about three of these. If I had my time again I would buy the ClevaMama one, below. The MyBrestFriend one was good, but the ClevaCushion can be used until the child is sitting up, which means more bang for your buck.