Going through pregnancy there is normally less than 9 months to prepare yourself and your home for the new addition to your family. There are a number of things that you should buy in advance which are either necessary or could just make your life easier when you return home after birth.
Items To Buy
1. Somewhere for the baby to sleep.
This could be a cot, carrycot or crib. A lightweight and portable bed is often seen as best during the first few weeks as your baby will be sleeping a lot and it will help if you can move the sleeping place from room to room. You will normally need to buy a cot by around 6 months depending on how quickly your baby grows.
2. A Pram.
A pram or pushchair is one of the most expensive purchases in the first year. Full size traditional prams are very hard wearing and warm and comfortable. They are usually at the more expensive end of the range but seem to keep their value well when sold on. Many parents opt for a pram in 2 parts; a fold down frame and a top which can be used as a carrycot with handles. Things to bear in mind with this are that escalators can be difficult as well as travel on buses. You need to decide how you will be travelling, where your destinations will be and then choose the systems that suit you best.
3. Car Seat
If travelling by car you should always use a car seat and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fitting. The car seat should be the correct type of seat for the stage of your baby. This is one item that you should definitely buy new as you won’t know if a second-hand seat has been damaged. Learn how to fit and use your car seat properly.
Most first time parents go a little overboard when buying for their first child. Buy what you need as a minimum and spend the money on clothing for a slightly older age when your baby is born. Here’s what you need:
2 shawls or wraps
4 stretch suits
1 snowsuit or similar
3 pairs of socks (unless all clothing has feet)
1 pair of mittens
5. Changing Equipment
There’s a lot of debate at the moment as to the choice of disposable or terry nappies/diapers. The choice is yours but most people opt for disposable nappies/diapers. New babies will get through at least 6 nappies/diapers a day so stock up!
Baby lotion/cotton wool balls or baby wipes
– Normal advice is to use water and cotton wool initially and then use olive oil as a moisturiser on a newborn baby
6. Feeding Equipment
If you are going to breastfeed then make sure that you know what you need to know – see the bottom of this article for a free breastfeeding guide.
For bottle feeding you will need:
Bottles (I would recommend 6)
A sterilizing kit
7. Baby chair/Bouncer
Choose one that supports the baby’s head if you plan to use this from birth. Your baby will love to see what’s going on but you shouldn’t put the chair or bouncer on a raised surface. The arrival of your first child is a magical time and preparation for this special time can lead you to ‘spoil’ your child before it is born by buying loads of clothing and equipment. Your baby will grow out of its’ clothing after 3-4 months and it won’t really ever get the clothes that dirty.
You can save a lot of money by using second hand clothing and equipment and if you are on a budget or are just conscious watching what you spend you can certainly go down this route with confidence. If buying equipment stay away from really old equipment and check for any signs of damage. Operate any moving parts and ensure that the equipment is fit for purpose. As stated, always buy a new car seat.
Good luck with the birth and your new arrival.