Does baby REALLY need that? Here’s what not to get for a newborn…

Wed 2 Nov 16 | Lifestylish, Mummy Stuff | 12 comments

There are so many baby products and gadgets in the shops now to tempt a vulnerable new parent to spend their hard-earned cash.

But what is a real must-have? What’s an ‘in an ideal world’ product? And what’s a ‘don’t be ridiculous, what a waste of money’ purchase? This is completely my opinion of course – and I err on the thrifty side of things.

I’ve divided up some well-marketed products into three sections.

YES YES ABSOLUTELY

Buggy travel system – baby’s wheels of course. We’ve had the Mamas and Papas Sola buggy for 4 years now and love it. You need a buggy that can fold easily (so grandparents can work it too), has a decent basket underneath for shopping and that can ideally face forwards and backwards. Being able to click the car seat onto the frame too if baby is asleep is useful in the early days. See below re the Carrycot part – not completely necessary…

Change table. Unless you’re not a fan of your back, you really need one. They start from as little as £25 for this simple but sturdy one from Ikea up to hundreds for ones with integrated drawers.We’ve got this Mothercare one and it’s been fab. Once you’ve finished changing bottoms for good you can use the top for pictures, Lego, toys etc.

Change bag. You don’t need a bag that’s specific for baby stuff actually, but we’re a marketing person’s dream when it comes to motherhood AND bags aren’t we?  You just want something big, easy to carry and fit under the buggy, with plenty of pockets inside. A rucksack change bag is useful actually – especially if you’re running after a toddler as well. This Cath Kidston bag is really pretty.

Nappy bin. Vital if you don’t want more poo smells than absolutely necessary in the nursery/house. We’ve had the Angelcare nappy bin (on offer at the moment in Kiddicare) for over 3 years now and yes the cartridges are quite expensive, but they do last ages and it’s so worth it for your nostrils’ sake. And you can all laugh and gag in unison at the stuffed sausage of leaky nappies it spits out when you need to empty it.

Playmat/baby gym. Little P has lived on this since she was born. She’s had all kinds of different toys hang from it, and has gone from just lying there staring, to full on bashing and nearly rolling now to look at something else. A brilliant sick-catcher as they are almost all wipe clean and place to put baby down to crack on with life.

Bouncy chair. Something simple to sit baby in so she can see more, and be weaned in to start with is pretty important I think. We had a cheap and cheerful one like this from Mothercare one for both of ours and it was great.

ONLY IF YOU’RE FEELING FLUSH

Isofix car seat base. There really is no need for this. Yes it’s convenient and means you can snap the car seat into place with one click, but if you learn how to strap the seat in properly from the get go, it becomes second nature. You’ll save yourself over a hundred quid if you can do without. Some pros and cons for isofix vs seatbelt here from Maxi-Cosi.

‘Sleepyhead’. New version of a Moses basket. We borrowed a friend’s for Little P and despite being sceptical at first (we nicknamed it the dog bed), we loved it a week later. It’s brilliantly portable, well – not so much when the baby is actually asleep in it, but you can put it on the sofa, table, floor, bed, in the cot even to get baby used to it. It’s nice and snug for baby too. You need at least one extra set of covers for when one gets sicked on, or little baby hair is rubbed off onto it (ahhh) and it’s a mission to actually change them – it’s like sausage stuffing, and after a 3am nappy explosion it makes you want to cry. Fab for whacking in the car and taking to friends’ houses. Not cheap though. Here it is at John Lewis.

Jumparoo (a.k.a the Circle of Neglect) – I’m very excited to be inheriting one shortly for Little P. She’s tried one out and absolutely loves it. Next stage up from lying on the mat I guess, she’s vertical and has so much to play with, also able to see so much more. Not cheap, so I wouldn’t say an essential, but lovely if you can afford or pick one up second hand. Her current door bouncer is a nice and far cheaper equivalent.

DON’T BOTHER

Carrycot part of the buggy – we did without this for both babies and felt a bit smug as we saved a lot of money. Our babies were both born in Spring though, so I didn’t feel they needed to be quite as cosy as perhaps a winter baby. But our buggy lay flat so was suitable from birth and we bought a footmuff. Voilà!

Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep machine. Now I know lots of parents say they couldn’t live without theirs. But we borrowed one for a couple of months, and whilst it was useful I suppose, it really is just a glorified kettle! And so expensive. Don’t pay more than £70 if you do want one though, they’re generally always on offer somewhere… We pour out boiled kettle water into our bottles the night before, then when Little P needs a feed the next day, I boil again and just top up to the right amount and test. Formula in, ready to go. Just as quick as the Perfect Prep, as long as you get organised the night before. I’ve heard about some new health visitor guidelines though – something to do with sterilising the powder in a shot of boiling water first, which you can do with the Perfect Prep, but surely this is OTT?!

Toys/clothes sub 6 months. I don’t mean deprive your baby of all stimulation or warmth of course! But seriously, you hardly need to buy anything before they’re 6 months. People are generous and normally gift you dinky clothes, which they barely have time to wear before they’re too small, and toys, pffff. A couple of bright things you can take on and off the buggy and for a playmat is about all you need!

Posh Steriliser. We’ve been converted to using Milton tablets – old school! We soak our bottles in a big container with a tablet in which lasts 24 hours. SO cheap and doubles up as bottle storage – you just wash up and dunk. Then no rinsing required before next use. Simples.

I hope this has given you some ideas if you are expecting… There is so much to get your head around, n’est-ce pas? Feel free to share with any lucky peeps who have announced their big news recently.

Kimberly x

Two Tiny Hands
You Baby Me Mummy

12 Comments

  1. busyirishmammyblog

    Great List,Totally agree with you on the Jumperoo, we wouldn’t have made it through the first year without it and it has done the last two babies so it was money well spent. Love that changing bag too it’s adorable #FamilyFun

    Reply
  2. twotinyhands

    Ha ha everyone has different needs don’t they! I didn’t buy a Pram system at all. I carried him everywhere when he was little. I got most things free off friends too though! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Awesome! Sling cuddles are the best x

      Reply
  3. tammymum

    Yes to this. I was a big fan of the Milton tablets – so easy! Also the nappy bin was a god send. We didn’t have one for such a long time and our bin and surrounding area was vile it really was a great buy. And I got it on offer for £10. Money well spent I say. I must say though we did pay about £70 for a jumperoo but both my babies got a lot of use out of and bought me some hand free time – so to me it was money well spent lol. Thanks for sharing with us at #familyfun xx

    Reply
  4. imatwinmama

    I was totally with you until you stated that a nappy bin was a must-have! As a twin mama, I’ve dealt with my fair share of nappies and we have always put ours straight in the outside wheelie bin. We even inherited a nappy bin and got rid of it!

    My biggest tip for new parents would be to accept hand-me-downs and use eBay/charity shops wherever possible. I did that from day 1 and the twins have never gone without.

    Completely agree re: toys/clothes under 6 months. My friends think I’m a bit weird because for the last two years I haven’t got the twins anything for Christmas, but as they’re only two now, they have had no concept of Christmas and we don’t have much money!

    I think when new parents spend loads on equipment and needless things, they’re really gratifying their own needs not the baby’s, however well-intentioned the purchases. And it’s fine I guess, if you’ve got the money to spare, but I hate how much pressure people put on themselves and/or others to overspend and I particularly hate boastful attitudes.

    PS “the Circle of Neglect” – hilarious!!! (We didn’t have room or money for two so didn’t get any but might have if we just had one)

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Totally agree – we buy so much on our local FB page and 2nd hand stuff is normally amazing! You need so little really when you strip it back. I can’t imagine having to buy double everything!! Thanks for your brill comment x

      Reply
  5. lerikoen

    Such a great list! New parents are often overwhelmed with so many ‘must have items’, but this list is so accurate! #TheList

    Reply
  6. You Baby Me Mummy (@YouBabyMeMummy)

    Fab round up. We had the nappy bin to review but didn’t use it. I just popped them straight in the outside bin. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    Reply
  7. crummymummy1

    I’ve never bothered with a nappy bin, or a jumperoo, or a changing table…oops! #thelistlinky

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Much cheaper that way so well done!! ??

      Reply
  8. Lucy's Locket

    I’ve got a similar post to this in my drafts. It’s funny how everyone has different essential lists. I wouldn’t bother with a change table. We put a change mat on the chest of drawers, but even still, I usually change our daughter on the bed.
    We also don’t have a nappy bin and barely used the bouncer chair (although I think that’s cos we’ve hardly been home).
    I agree with the don’t bother list tho!!

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Funny isn’t it? Things like this end up being personal preference or determined by your house! X

      Reply

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