When I found out that I was pregnant with Amy, there were two questions spooking around in my head. “How on earth am I going to tell my parents?” and “What do you need for a baby?”. My pregnancy took me completely by surprise. I hadn’t planned on having a baby for another couple of years, so when my grandad passed away and I found out I was expecting a baby within a couple of days, I was completely overwhelmed.
What do you need for a baby and what’s a waste of money?
After the initial shock, however, I got really excited. I had always known that I wanted to be a mum, so things were just happening a little earlier than expected. Amy’s name was a given right from the start but everything else was a big mystery to me. What do you need for a baby and what’s a waste of money? Do you buy new or secondhand and how much of everything do you need?
I discovered the world of Twitter, mum forums and conflicting advice. Everyone told me something told something different when I asked for baby must-buys and don’t buys and in the end, I just bought a bunch of stuff that was in equal parts absolutely necessary and completely useless.
If you’re pregnant and don’t know what you need for a newborn, here are my top 5 baby buys and don’t buys. I hope they give you an idea:
What do you need for a baby – the must haves:
Whether you drive or not, you will need a car seat for your baby at some point. We didn’t own a car when Amy was first born, but her car seat was an absolute must-buy for me. You’re bound to get a lift from friends and family or you might have to catch a taxi unexpectedly, so it’s always better to be prepared – especially when it concerns your baby’s safety.
Some parents might argue that a baby monitor is not a must, but for us it really was. Amy’s bedroom was on the second floor of our house, so if we wanted to ensure that she got some uninterrupted sleep in the evening, we had to take her upstairs. With our video monitor, we could check on her whenever we wanted, check the temperature of her bedroom, play soothing lullabies or speak to her. Plus, it was a really reassuring gadget to have for nervous first-time parents.
Pram / baby carrier
You’ll have to transport your baby some kind or the other when you’re out and about and both choices have their pros and cons. If you go for a pram or baby carrier is pretty much a matter of choice, budget and preference. We had both and used them for different scenarios, but let me give you one bit of advice: If you travel a lot, babywearing is the way forward!
This might be an obvious one, but I don’t even want to imagine the state of our carpets, sofa and bed had we not used a changing mat when tackling Amy’s nappies. Baby’s poos can be ridiculously explosive and go everywhere. You really don’t want that mess anywhere other than on baby’s changing mat.
Crib/Moses Basket or Co-Sleeper
During their first months, your baby will probably spend more time in their crib, moses basket or co-sleeper than anywhere else. Sleeping is their number 1 activity, so make sure to get a model that is safe and complying with safety standards in your country. If you’re on a budget, buying a second-hand crib, moses basket or co-sleeper is completely fine. Always make sure to buy a new mattress, though, as cot death is linked to used mattresses.
What do you need for a baby – the don’t buys:
We didn’t bother getting a changing table and simply got two changing mats. One that we kept upstairs in our bedroom and another one that we kept downstairs, behind the sofa. They cost about a fiver each and were completely sufficient. If you feel like you need a dedicated space for changing your baby, why not create a changing station on top of a dresser?
I have no idea why people get these. What’s the point in having a nappy bin that stinks up your baby’s nursery when you can just take the dirty nappy out with the rest of the rubbish? Complete waste of money in my eyes, especially as you spend a small fortune on refills, if you use them regularly.
Another absolutely pointless invention are wipe warmers. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed until a friend told me about them. I’ve not once warmed up Amy’s wipes and she’s fine. I mean why would your get your baby used to something that you won’t have handy all the time anyway? It’s not like you’d carry around your plug-in baby warmer with you on a day out, right?
They’re cute but let’s face it, babies really don’t need proper shoes until they actually start walking. When you’re outside and it’s cold, they’re usually snuggled up in their pram or in a warm snowsuit while being strapped in a baby carrier. If you feel your baby absolutely need baby shoes, buy a pair or two. Everything else is just excessive and a waste of your money.
Baby bouncer or swing
Some babies love them, some babies don’t. Amy belonged to the second group which is why I’m glad that we borrowed a swing instead of buying it. If you want to get a swing or baby bouncer wait until your baby is born so you can see if they actually like them. Even better, borrow one from friends or family with older babies, if you’re on a budget.
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