In episode 28 of Next of Kin Parents Podcast I run you through 10 items which I thought were essential to buy when pregnant and I later found out I didn't need. There are plenty of lists for newborn baby essential purchases online which include these items, so I want to offer a different perspective, based on my own findings as a new first time Mum.
I pulled this list together in preparation for a recent podcast I recorded as a guest with Shelina from Decluttr ME, we had such a fun chat, I didn't even get onto this list. Keep an eye on my instagram to hear about when that episode is live.
Before we get into the list I have a few caveats:
A) This is based on my experience with my baby who, temperament-wise, is a velcro or high needs baby. Everyone is likely to give you a varied 'essentials' list based on their experience. I'd love to hear in the comments which items you thought would be essential but weren't so that I can create the ultimate de-influencing list!
B) Buying baby items is a really special part for a lot of us when pregnant. It isn't an entirely rational process, there are a lot of emotions involved. For example I really imagined myself with my little baby in the baby bjorn bouncer, luckily I bought it second hand because Bonnie was not interested in it at all!
So let's get into my list:
1. Baby food maker. If you have a steamer and a blender, then you don't need a baby food maker. If you don't have these items then get them instead because you will use a baby food maker for such a short space of time, especially if baby led weaning, compared to the use you can get out of a steamer and blender
2. Breast pump. I ended up buying so many, and I felt pressure to have a freezer stash of milk, when in reality Bonnie refused to drink it so I was left wondering what to do with a whole draw full of frozen milk. I also made the mistake of blindly buying 2 pumps without measuring my nipples, turned out when a lactation consultant finally measured them for me that I really needed to buy a whole new brand. My advice is to hold off purchasing one, a lot of people, me included, can find pumping not as easy as you would think, and really quite soul destroying
3. Newborn bath supports. They're ok, but not essential. We still covered ours in a towel to make it more cosy so next time I would just use towels to make our own little support in a sink or shallow bath
4. A fancy steriliser. *disclaimer: I breastfed* But some of these sterilisers are so expensive! And again only used for 6 months or so! The most convenient and quick way I found of sterilising was in the microwave, and that's super cheap.
5. A high chair which is not Ikea or Stokke. Just decide whether you're on an Ikea or Stokke budget and stick to one of those. We went for an in between-ly priced one which looked nice with our decor but I curse it after every meal time when I am trying to clean it
6. A changing table. Just put the changing mat on a chest of drawers. After 2 months we were having to change her on the floor anyway because she was so wriggly, so what a waste a changing table would have been
7. A bassinet/dockatot/bouncer/crib/moses basket etc. Basically anything designed to put your baby down in. My baby did not want to be put down, yet we are constantly marketed to as pregnant ladies so many must haves to put your baby down
8. Baby shoes. Pointless, they just fall off
9. Expensive baby monitor. There are so many on the market that assess their breathing etc but I think you need to be realistic with yourself on whether that will appease or increase your anxiety levels. For me, it was just too much.
10. A pram. In know, controversial! But honestly, Bonnie just wanted to be on me, so we just needed a baby carrier, and we live in the manicured streets of Dubai so there was no need for a top of the range stroller, we bought a travel stroller and even that has spent most of the time folded away and forgotten about. Now I know this is probably pretty unique to me, most the Mums I know had babies who liked their prams, but I just want to put my experience out there, maybe it's best to hold off on a big purchase like this until your baby is here so that you can be sure it will get used.
So there is my list, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the list and also your own experience in the comments.
My main advice is actually to buy second hand or research whilst pregnant and hold off on big purchases until you actually need them. We live in a world of same and next day delivery after all, and you might find you end up not needing quite a lot of items that you had researched.