When it comes to buying everything you need for a baby, it can be completely overwhelming and mind boggling. I found blog posts and recommendations from other mums and mums to be extremely helpful so I thought I would do a post on what we have bought for Baby G so far (which is almost everything, shopaholic here!).
Nursery furniture: this one is a pretty easy one as they all do the same thing and it really is just a matter of preference and budget. We decided on the Mothercare Bloomsbury 3-piece set as the nursery has enough room for it and it’ll last us through to the toddler stage.
Travel system: now, travel systems and prams are one of those things that are totally overwhelming because there is just so much choice and a massive range to suit every budget. We decided we would be happy to go with a mid-high budget pram and we did consider a Bugaboo but decided that was just a little too much money to spend. We spotted the new Mamas & Papas Ocarro travel system on one of our many visits to the store to look at cute baby clothes, and we both loved the navy and brown leather look of the pram.
We looked at it in more detail during a personal shopping appointment and decided that it had everything we needed in a travel system and the 6 piece bundle was a reasonable price so we bought that. It includes a carrycot which some people think are a waste of money, but we will be out walking for at least an hour a day with the dog so I thought it was worth it for us. If you are looking to save money though, it is worth considering just buying the pushchair as most these days lay completely flat and are therefore suitable from birth.
The Ocarro travel system 6 piece bundle also comes with the Cybex Aton Q car seat and Isofix base. I had done some research into car seats and found out from another mum to be that Cybex is highly rated as a Which best buy, which means that the safety has been tested rigorously so they are made to a very high standard. We also bought another Isofix base so that we can have one in both cars and not have to mess about at all with seatbelt fastenings! Anything for an easier life with a newborn in my opinion!!
We also purchased a cold weather footmuff (or cosy toes as they are sometimes called) for when baby is in the pushchair. You can use the carry cot for the first 6 months so that’ll take us to around February time but we thought it best to have the footmuff attachment for the pram to use after that as it’ll still be quite nippy for Baby G!
Changing Bag: these can be another minefield of choices, sizes, colours, brands etc! I wasn’t really that bothered about a branded bag or what it really looked like, I saw the Parker Navy Tote changing bag on the M&Ps website and it looked like it would match our pram pretty nicely so we just ordered that! I didn’t even see it in store but it was on sale for £69, its actually quite roomy and comes with the usual bottle warmer and travel changing mat.
Crib/Moses basket: I had seen a lot about the Chicco Next2Me crib even before I got pregnant and I really liked the idea of bedside cribs, so after looking at a few other options (cheaper versions and more expensive ones like the Snuzpod) we decided to just go with it. Having a full sized cot in our bedroom wasn’t an option due to the layout/space available so this was perfect as it also fits in a Sleepyhead (more on that next) whereas a Moses basket doesn’t.
We also bought an Innovi Cocoon travel crib for downstairs as this also is a bit bigger than a Moses basket and has the addition of a net which can be zipped over the top, which I thought would be good if our dog Alfie was particularly curious about the baby!
Baby nest/Sleepyhead: again, another thing I heard a lot about (mainly from mummies on Insta) was the Sleepyhead baby nest. Luckily for us, my best friend who had a baby girl last September had one and her little one was just starting to outgrow it so she sold it to me for less than half the retail price. If you are after a baby nest but struggling with the idea of paying £110 for a Sleepyhead, there are other options like the Purflo nest but be aware that some of the alternatives aren’t safe for overnight sleeping. Another option is to just swaddle the baby instead, although I thought with having a summer baby that it might just be too uncomfortable for her to do that.
Baby carrier/sling: alongside having the pram for taking baby out and about, I thought it would be nice to have a carrier or sling as well, mainly for outdoor walks where it wouldn’t be easy to push the pram. Carriers or slings also come in handy if you have a fussy baby who doesn’t like being put down, so you can wear it around the house and still get stuff done! I had looked at a few options like the Ergobaby, BabyBjorn and Close Caboo as I’m not really confident that I could wear a totally unstructured sling type one correctly. As it happened, John Lewis had a sale on the other week and were selling the Close Caboo for half price so I snapped up this one for only £34.
Feeding equipment: I really want to breastfeed but would also like to be able to share feeds with Matt so I decided early on that I would buy a breast pump with the aim of expressing a few times a day after the first few weeks. Obviously how you get on with breastfeeding can never be assumed, its just one of those things. I thought at least if I had a pump then even if we had issues with latching or supply then I could use the pump to express. From my research around breast pumps, it seems that electric is most effective is you plan on expressing 1-2 times a day and the Medela Swing pump was rated consistently well. When I bought it, it had just gone down in price on Amazon to £99.99 and I also bought the Medela Store and Feed Set which included another teat, 2 large bottles, 2 standard bottles and some breast milk storage bags, all for around £25. The Medela teat itself sells for about £12 and packs of three standard bottles for around the same so the kit was quite good value for a mixture of different sized bottles. As we hope not to be using them for every feed, I hope that 2 teats and 5 bottles will be enough to get us through the first few months!
In terms of other feeding equipment/essentials, I also purchased lots of muslin cloths from Mothercare when they were half price in the sale, £4 for 6 so I bought 12. The packs of 12 are actually on sale on their website at the moment for £7.50 so grab them if you need them! Also for cleaning the breast pump and bottles I bought a microwave steriliser which is the Avent brand from Amazon for £13. I think for the small amount of bottles we will have, this should be perfect and the thing with microwave sterilisers is that they can be stored in the microwave itself so they’re not sitting on your worktops taking up valuable space!
Baby monitor: After looking at the millions of options available for baby monitors, I had originally decided that we would wait until Baby G was a few months old before buying one closer to the time when it would be needed. However I can’t resist a good deal and there was a discount code that came up for Babies R Us which got me £40 off anything over £100, which was just too good to pass up. I went with the Motorola MBP43S video monitor which was £100 so I got it for £60. I know a lot of first time mums prefer to have a movement/breathing monitor but I think by the time we move Baby G out of our room overnight or have her in a different room for naps, I will be satisfied with just seeing and hearing her on a monitor. It has two way communication, plays lullabies and has a remote pan/tilt function so for £60 I think it’s pretty good value.
Baby bath: when I first started looking at baby baths, I saw the AquaScale digital baby bath and I thought it was fantastic. However as time went on I couldn’t really justify spending so much on a baby bath that would probably only last us a few months! The AngelCare soft touch bath seats that are super popular also look really good, but we have terribly bad water pressure in our house and we rarely have baths because it takes too long to fill up the tub. That would be an issue with bathing baby in our bath because it would take ages just to get it to a decent level to cover baby up, we’d have to start running the bath about half an hour before it’s time to go in! In the end I decided to go with the TippiToes baby bath because it has the same support for baby as the AquaScale bath but just without the fancy features so that you don’t have to hold a newborn with one arm and try to wash them with the other as you do with the cheaper baby baths. Plus it was only £14 so not really much more to pay for a bit of convenience!
Baby swing: last but not least, mainly because we saw it in M&Ps and thought it was cute, we bought Baby G an electric baby swing. We got the Starlite Swing in grey (because who doesn’t love grey) since it’ll mainly be used in our front room. It’s an all singing, all dancing swing with lights and music etc, I think you can even plug in your own USB to play your own tunes… of course Baby G could completely hate it but that’s just one of those things. We can always sell it on for a decent price if it’s barely used or we can keep it for baby 2!
What are your top recommendations? Is there anything I’ve missed off my list which is a new mum’s must have?