As mentioned previously, there’s a whoooole lot of this kind of list on the internet and you’ll probably get everyone and their mum trying to tell you what you need and don’t need. I like reading lists like this because I enjoy torturing myself about the things I will never be able to afford, so I decided to make a list of all the things that I have decided I need before Baby Bear decides to make his appearance. Although they might not be essentials, in all cases, it’s stuff I think I’d like to have to prevent me from going mad. This is only stuff I plan to buy before the baby and is probably not a definitive list, but it covers most of my major purchases so far, and those I have planned.
Something to Sleep In
Figured perhaps the floor wasn’t going to be an adequate sleeping arrangement.
Moses basket, cot, cardboard box…I bought a really snazzy rockable co-sleeper crib second hand from eBay for £25, and picked it up from its previous owner so no postage cost. It looks a bit like the one on the left (that particular one is available on Amazon for about £75) except they painted it a really funky bluey purple colour so my kid is going to be the coolest. They also included a mattress, bumper, and a super cute green sheep blanket. I liked the idea of co-sleeping, but felt better about having a little separate bed for him, partly to make the transition to a bigger cot easier. This style of crib can stand alone, or you can remove one side and use something like a couple of ratchet straps to secure it tightly to your bed. Ours has an adjustable base, so all we’ll need to do is make sure the mattresses are the same height and pushed snugly together (rolled up towels or pillows will probably be doing this job for me).
My younger sister’s daughter has just about grown out of her cot, which I believe is the SNIGLAR model from Ikea, available for £30, so this will be a hand-me-down affair once we grow out of the crib. I’m also likely to eventually invest in a travel cot, both for actual travelling and also for when he’s a bit bigger but not ready to move out of our bedroom yet, since it might be a pain to drag the ‘real’ cot around the house. This one is a favourite right now – its £34.99 (normally £59.99 but £25 off at Kiddicare), has a bassinet attachment for very small babies, looks cool and has good reviews.
Bedding and blankets – I’ve crocheted a small blanket myself and bought a few more, again Kiddicare has been my favourite for many different styles. I figure it’ll be hard to have too many blankets and they are so super cute. There’s good deals everywhere for cot sheets – these Jersey cotton sheets are a £8.99 from Amazon. I bought this bedding pack from Kiddicare for £11.99, mostly because it had a crocodile on it. Kiddicare also has the best deals I’ve been able to find on things like knitted blankets – this Chunky Knit pram blanket is just as nice as the Mamas & Papas or boutiquey type ones that sell for £30+, and is only £12.99. It’s also worth visiting the shop – I found an incredibly soft fleecey-type square blanket with a dinosaur print for less than £5.
Something to Sit In While Driving
They’re actually much bigger than you might expect
The baby won’t be driving, I hope, but apparently they still need something to sit in. Extremely fortunately for us, we bought a 5 door hatchback Renault Megane over Christmas to replace my tiny Daewoo Matiz (if you are not aware, this is basically a toy car and should only be driven by very small people who don’t expect to be able to carry luggage or passengers over about 50lbs in weight). This is great because the back seat actually has plenty of room for a nice reclining combination car seat. The one I chose was a Nania Cosmo SP, which are on Amazon for about £55 in various colours. This is a group 0-1 seat so suitable from birth to about 4-5 years (18kgs weight limit). It can be both rear-facing and forward facing. I found this on eBay for £39.99 with free P&P. The listing said it had ‘very minor fabric faults’, which I couldn’t find. It comes in a bunch of colours and I really really wanted the green one but Boyfriend said no 😦 Ours is a sort of coffee-and-chocolate combo which is OK I guess.
The downside of internet shopping is obviously that you can’t try it in your car before you make a decision. That does suck. Especially with the combination carseats, because in order to have them in the rear-facing position, they have to be reclined all the way, which means they do take up a lot of space. But, most places will let you return them, and you could always go to a shop and have a look at the model you’re thinking of buying, and maybe measure it or actually give it a go. It’s probably also worth keeping an eye out at places like Asda and Argos for any offers they may have – my sister has a similar Nania car seat which they bought from Asda for about £30.
Some Kind of Transport
I can see why it’s called ‘Jet’, it definitely looks like one.
I am not planning on buying a pram/stroller/buggy straight away, because when Bellydweller is small it seems to me that it will be easier to just carry him rather than a large, complex vehicle as well. I have done some stroller-weighing though, and my top contenders so far are the Kiddicare Jet Stroller for £34.99, or if I feel like splashing out a bit, one of these Chicco London Strollers for £54.99. The Kiddicare Jet is basic, only comes in two colours (red or blue) but a good price and they are really lightweight. The Chicco London ones are a similar kind of weight but look a bit more stylish and also come with those little leg holder things (which apparently is a good thing, maybe it stops them from falling out?) Both these are suitable from birth and up to about 3 years. Unless I can find a great deal on a second hand one from eBay, one of those is my plan. I did also look at the Obaby Strollers which look really nice and have a lot of colour options, and can also be found on Amazon for very reasonable prices, but they are so much heavier than strollers of a comparable size, and I think I would struggle. I’m a small person but I’m used to lifting and carrying quite a bit, and they were still difficult to lift for me – I can only imagine what they would be like with a baby in as well.
The paisley makes it more effective.
As a replacement for an immediate pram/stroller, I have been given a Mothercare Two Position Carrier (£19.99), a promise to borrow two Calin Bleu wrap slings (cheapest one £34.99), and plan to purchase one of these gorgeous Mei Tais from Daisy Baby. The Mothercare carrier is not the most stylish of things, and also has that annoying design thing where the crotch is really thin and the baby’s legs hang down and apparently that’s not great. I used it a few times with my niece and I remember it being quite a strain on my back. The wrap-style slings look awesome and I’ve heard really great things, but I want a structured carrier partly for ease of use, but also so that Boyfriend would also be able to easily use it (he was a bit worried about getting to grips with learning to use the wraps). The Daisy Baby mei tais come in about a million different patterns and they are so cute, and also only £22.99. They have really good reviews and lots of babywearing type online communities suggest this style as a sort of halfway point between a ‘proper’ wrap-type sling and one of those super controlling strapped up carriers.
Something to Wear
Dinosaurs. That is all.
I’ve bought various cutesy stuff but I’ve tried to buy the more expensive/nicer clothes in larger sizes so that he’ll actually get to wear them for more than a couple of weeks. It took a while, but I found a very reasonable 4 pack of newborn onesies for £5.65 on Amazon. 100% cotton and plain white – I’m considering dying them to make them a bit more exciting. I also found some second hand clothes at a Sue Ryder shop for 75p each, so got a couple of bodysuits, feetie pyjamas, a hoodie and a hat for about £2.50. If you can find them on offer, Boots does some very cute little clothing packs, some with hats. Most places seem to suggest at least 6 vests, 6 onesies, 6 sleepsuits, 4 daytime outfits and 1 or 2 hats. It’s worth bearing in mind that clothes are everybody’s favourite thing to buy for a new baby so you’re likely to receive a fair few outfits.
I also bought some of those cool bandana type neckscarves that act as bibs while looking more fashionable. These Funky Giraffe ones are £11 for a pack of 5 and are really cute – lots of styles available. If you can find somewhere that stocks the Nutmeg range by Morrisons they are even more reasonable, with packs of 2 for £2.00 (I bought just one pack and I’m regretting not buying lots more, because they are really nice, both in quality and design). I have not worried too much about socks because as far as I can tell they just fall off, so instead have focused on finding things that already have feet on them. Baby tights exist and I have no idea why they should just be for girls, I’m pretty sure he won’t know any different. I am also not bothering with scratch mitts, because in my experience all they seem to do is fall off.
Also for getting a tan on the beach.
Instead of an actual baby bath, on my mum’s advice I have gone for a little bath cradle instead. She said there’s nothing wrong with a baby bath, but filling them and carrying them around can be a pain, and the bath support/cradle/sun-lounger type things are a lot lighter, fit in any bath and some sinks, and mean you don’t necessarily have to wash the baby one-handed. They’re also supposed to be pretty good if your baby turns out to be very wriggly. This one can be found at Kiddicare for £8.99.
Owl Towel. Hoooo.
Hooded towels are also supposed to be pretty awesome for easy + fun bathtimes. This one is only £6.40 and has an elephant and a giraffe on it. This one has an owl face on it so although it’s £18.00 I will probably buy it because things with owl faces have an inexplicable draw to me. Baby toiletries and stuff are also pretty necessary, but there are a lot of packs that will come with samples of these and when the baby is super new I figure he won’t need much more than warm water and cotton wool. I like this temperature taking bath duck for £2.79, especially as Boyfriend is very concerned about getting bath temperatures right. Morrisons have stuff like Baby Lotion for 36p per 500ml – the Johnson’s equivalent is normally at least £2.00. This Healthcare Kit by Tommee Tippee is also on my list as it knocks off a whole bunch of stuff for just £10.00 – nail scissors, clippers, hairbrush, thermometer, toothbrush, aspirator, etc. Some of it won’t last, I’m sure, but at least I’ll have something for the first few weeks and I can always replace the stuff I feel I absolutely need with something more robust later on.
Things to Contain/Deal With/Dispose of the Poo
Shouldn’t this come with some kind of biohazard warning label?
So apparently, newborns shit a whole lot. The small person inside me won’t learn to control his excitement/excrement for quite possibly another 3 years at least. Therefore I’m in need of things to hold it, clean it up with, and throw it away in. The nappies I’ve chosen are Kiddicare’s Just4Bums (£35.00 for 2 packs of 196) mostly due to extreme good value (covered at length in the Baby Bargains post below). I’ll be buying a bin with a tight-fitting lid – possibly not one actually marketed as a ‘nappy bin’ since a lot of those seem overpriced, way too ‘cute’ (you’re not putting sunshine and rainbows in there) or actually not do the job I would imagine is intended, that is, containing the smell for at least a day or two. Instead, I’m considering heading to Wilko and trying out a few like this fun turquoise one for £6.00 to see which has the best lid. Nappy bags also seem a good idea for venturing out and about, but it’s likely I’ll just be using plastic bags to line the bin while at home.
For cleaning purposes, Morrisons Savers wipes are £5.52 for a box of 12 72-packs. That’s 864 wipes. That is a whole lot. (These can also be bought individually from Morrisons for 46p a pack, which works out the same). There seems to be mixed feelings on using wipes for newborns – for one thing that meconium stuff is meant to be so sticky that mere wipes couldn’t possibly cope – but I know I’ll need them at some point, so why not stock up now? For nappy rash cream, Amazon seems to be the best bet – Sudocrem is £5.70 for 400g and is my choice purely because my mum tells me it’s the best. I may experiment if I happen to see other brands on offer.
If I hadn’t got my free Boots Parenting Club changing bag, this 5pc Baby Changing Bag Set is £13.99, comes in a variety of colours, and has a whole bunch of stuff with it. Most changing bags come with a basic changing mat, but for home use I chose something similar to this Kiddicare Funky Friends changing mat for £6.39 (mine I think is slightly different but it’s the same style and was a similar price, and also from Kiddicare). My criteria for a home changing mat was one with nice deep sides to prevent rolling around, because then it will also be useful when the baby is small as a sort of bed bumper if he’s ever in my bed. For even cheaper options, try Asda or Morrisons – this Red Kite Baby Changing Mat is £5.00 from Asda, and at our local Morrisons a while back there was a plain but cute changing mat for a similar price.