This is your ultimate baby registry – the things that should be on your baby list!
However, we can’t make a proper list without first eliminating a few things you definitely do not need to bother spending the money on while expecting a baby.
So let’s start with what you can ignore, and then we’ll look at what you really need for your baby!
1. Baby bath
I was suckered into this one with my first child. I thought it was cheap and therefore a really good idea.
But, the problem with them is that your baby grows out of it very rapidly, like crazy fast, and they take up so much space.
Plus you still have to crouch over the thing to support your baby in the water because otherwise they would just flop down underneath it and give you a heart attack.
2. Top and tail bowl
Similar to the above item. However while the above is a replacement for an actual bath, this one is a replacement for your sink, or a bowl from your kitchen. Yes, it only costs a few quid, but really there is no point. Just use a cereal bowl or similar to get water to sponge your baby.
3. Expensive baby bouncer
There are so many baby bouncers on the market. Don’t get me wrong, I do think they are a valuable product for a baby. They keep them entertained, which gives you some valuable time to yourself.
However, you can spend hundreds of pounds on baby bouncers, swings and jumparoos. These are all things that your baby will use for a matter of months. The bouncers especially have a short shelf life, because you can’t use them once your baby can sit up unaided.
Either go for a second-hand one from a friend (most will be in great condition because they won’t have been used for long), or go for a very simple Fisher Price or similar.
4. Moses basket
I had a Moses basket that I used for both girls. On the one hand, it gave me somewhere to pop them down to sleep anywhere I wanted to.
On the other hand, they grew out of it in about three months, and it cost more than £100 included fitted sheets.
I suggest buying something that is going to be expandable, or at least more adaptable to last a little longer. If you have space by your bed, go for a cot or cot bed (which is the best option as it lasts until they are a pre-schooler).
5. Cot bed bumpers
These are supposed to make the cot look pretty and stop your child banging their head in the night. The truth is they are actually dangerous, due to the risk of suffocation. The UK baby safety charity The Lullaby Trust recommends you avoid them.
6. Fancy clothes
Did you know that nappies do not contain the poo? The poo actually shoots out of the nappy, at all angles! That pretty white, lace dress is not going to survive long with a newborn. Go for onesies and simple cotton outfits that can be washed and dried easily.
7. Nappy bin
Although they promise to take away the stench of foul nappies, the truth is they become a bit of a pain in the bum because you have to keep refilling the cartridge to make sure it stays smelling sweet.
Instead, take your bin bag of dirty nappies outside to the bin every day.
8. Piles of toys
A newborn baby will enjoy some stimulation, but the truth is they can’t see particularly well in the early weeks.
They prefer black and white coloured objects and pictures, because they cannot distinguish colours when they are tiny. Go for a small number of simple toys. You don’t need to buy out the entire toy shop just yet.
Yes they are cute, so so cute. But your baby will not walk for a year, maybe even more if they are anything like my two who crawled for the first 16 months.
Save your pennies and stick to socks, or onesies!
10. Sleep aids
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the newborn weeks are rough on your sleep. I’m sure you are already well aware of that, and like me you may already be planning how you can avoid this horror.
The truth is, unless you get a miracle baby who sleeps 12 hours from day one, you will suffer less sleep until your baby is feeding less frequently.
Save your money until your baby is a little older. When they hit six months you can start to think about things like comforters. White noise machines can help signal it is bed time for babies of any age, but actually you can get white noise for free on YouTube and simply play it to your baby from your phone.
What you actually need
1. Breast pump
If you are planning to breastfeed then I suggest picking out a pump while you are still pregnant. It’s much better to have it to hand in the early days than have to worry about dashing out to the shops just after the baby has been born.
Research and see what would work best for you, but this one was an absolute lifesaver for me.
Not only can you use this when out and about, but it’s also handy if you have a baby who will only sleep on you at home. It means you can get things done around the house.
If you plan to breastfeed you may want a cover just to make it easier when you start going out and about in public. You may find you don’t need it at all, but I was a little nervous in the first few months.
This is particularly useful if you are expecting your second child. You can bathe both children without worrying about your youngest falling into the water.
If you speak to anyone over the age of 60 they will say don’t bother, but that’s because they didn’t have them available back in their day!
Honestly, they are so handy to have and you don’t have to spend more than around £50 to get a good one.
6. A roomy changing bag
You need something that’s wipe clean and will make your life easier when out and about. I recommend something like this.
Backpacks are a great idea, especially if you are expecting twins because they leave your hands free.
Do not bother with one that sticks under the armpit, because they take forever to get a reading and you’ll have to strip off all your child’s clothes to get there in the first place.
Choose a one-touch thermometer that takes the temperature via the ear. Your child will have sniffles and bugs in their first year, so it’s good to have something to hand that’s easy to use to make sure their fever does not get too high.
8. Fitted sheets
Get sheets that can wash at 60C, because your child is bound to vomit on them at some point and the high temp will keep them free of bugs.
I went for blankets that could be built up in layers. This made it easier to add or remove in the night in case the temperature changed dramatically.
10. Gro Egg
I’m sure some people would call the Gro Egg a waste of money but it really helped me and I still use mine with my two-year-old.
It tells you the temperature of the room, and indicates whether it is too hot or too cold by changing colour. It also acts as a night light, albeit a very dim one.
Your child will spit up, a lot. These have all manner of uses, from light blankets, to burp cloths to changing mat covers.
Check out this post for tips on shopping for your baby while pregnant and a longer list of nursery essentials.
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