What do you really need to wash, clothe, feed and get your new-born to sleep with? To help you get a clearer picture, amidst all the childcare accessories invented for our modern world, we have compiled a list of what is TRULY essential according to the following 3 pieces of criteria:
- Items that can be reused in order to avoid continuous buying
- Items that are compact/easy to handle in order to save on space
- Items that fall under a reasonable price range (as far as possible)
The crib - Perfect for sweet dreams
If you don’t want to keep buying more beds as the months go by, a crib (that meets standard requirements) will be perfectly suitable for an infant - provided that the mattress is brand new, firm and tailored to the size of the bed (for this, opt for one that is the same make as the bed), complete with the right-size fitted sheets and that the baby sleeps in a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag would replace the blanket. Choose one that’s the right size! Not too big and not too small. If you are looking to buy one that lasts a long time, you should know that some fold away and are very compact.
Precautions to take into account
It is recommended that you sleep close to your baby for the first 6 months. When buying a brand-new bed, you are advised to take it out of the box 2 months before you first use it in order to get rid of any toxic substances that might be contained within the packaging. You can of course buy a second-hand one but you should make sure it meets standard requirements and give it a thorough clean.
You might have heard of it
A co-sleeping bed? It’s very handy especially when you’re breastfeeding but can be used for more than 6 months. Be careful it doesn’t break your budget though.
Baby-rocker and play mat
It could be a simple blanket or a big bedsheet draped over a mat to cushion it. The baby will then be safe on the floor. Just as it is important to change the baby’s position regularly, don’t be afraid to get a baby rocker. It will prove particularly useful for babies that suffer from reflux.
Going out with your baby
You can purchase a second-hand one as long as you take care checking once again whether it meets standard requirements and of course give it a bit of a clean. The buggy should be able to go into a complete horizontal position, which is essential for the first 3 to 6 months. It should also be able to position in such a way that the baby is facing the parents and not the road.
You may have heard of them:
- At less than 300 dollars: the Compact Metro City stroller, Ergobaby up until the age of 4 years, 300 dollars + 130 dollars for the metro new-born kit, Weight of buggy: 6.3kg
- Cybex, Eezy S Twist: Up until the age of 3-4 years (clip-on with the branded car seat), 300 dollars, Weight of buggy: 8.3kg
If you’re driving this is what you'll need
Child car seat
Check to find a model that meets standard requirements and is compatible with your buggy. Watch out: Unless you are 100% confident in the person giving or selling you the child car seat, we would strongly advise against choosing a second-hand car seat, because even if it you drive over slightly rough ground the car seat might get damaged.
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Dressing and washing your baby
They may have to wait a bit for fashion week, but as soon as your baby is born, they should have a wardrobe filled with basics. It’s actually good to plan for a few size 0 outfits and pyjamas. A fun outfit is allowed too of course.
Opt for clothing that can be done up from the front. You will greatly appreciate this during difficult nights. Zips on pyjamas might also save you precious time.
In terms of size, start planning for size 3 months, as the baby might need this quite soon. Your family and friends will definitely want to spoil the baby by giving them really cute tiny outfits that are hard to resist. But at first baby will be very comfortable in pyjamas and will grow very fast. Also, don’t be afraid, if you are asked, to put them into slightly over-sized clothing (1 year, 18 months, 2 years…)
You will definitely have to wait a bit before putting the baby in these clothes, but when the time comes, you’ll be happy to have them in the wardrobe and will be able to make use of them for a bit longer.
Should you wrap your baby up at first?
In summer, don’t over-cover them as baby may get dehydrated. They will be much more comfortable in clothing than in layers of blankets. In winter, in comparison to an adult’s clothing, it’s recommended you add another layer because the baby won’t move, or not very much, and so can’t keep themselves warm. Nevertheless, don’t wrap baby up too much.
It’s one of the most nerve-wracking steps for most parents, but it might reassure you to know that you don’t have to wash your baby every day. Every 2-3 days will suffice.
Is a specific type of bathtub required?
No, but… at first, if you have a classic bathtub you can wash baby by holding them in your arms, but you risk quickly hurting your back. You could, if it helps, purchase a baby bath that you can dip your baby into whilst you continue to hold them.
If you have a suitable sink that is quite deep, that might very well do the job. But be careful that the sides are not too cold. Otherwise, you could opt for small baby bathtubs for the first few months. When baby is bigger, you can use a bathtub reducer that divides up the space in the bath. Doing this can also reassure the child, who might feel a bit lost in a big bathtub.
It’s environmentally friendly as less water is being used. You can wash two children of different ages, even if the eldest has been playing in the mud because the bathtub reducer will keep the water clean in the space allocated for the baby.
You may have heard:
With baby bathtubs, make sure there is space to drain the water away. The chair bathtub, more compact (6 months +, but also suitable for new-borns if you hold them upright). If you really don’t have much space: consider getting fold-away bathtubs. Stokke’s Flexi Bath folds away very easily and can be taken anywhere. It could even be used as a little swimming pool in the summer.
Smart advice: remember to put a thermometer in the bath.
The “Sofalange” changing mat is very handy as it can be put down anywhere and can even tilt. Depending on how much space you have, you could purchase an all-in-one; bathtub, changing table and storage.
Feeding your baby
It’s not you who’ll have the last word, it’s your baby who will choose their baby bottle and pacifier. Remember not to buy loads of duplicates. As soon as you identify the best one, get a set of 3-4 baby bottles, for outings, nannies etc…
- Easy to clean
- Material: plastic, glass or stainless steel
- Special bonus advice for parents: Fill your fridge and freezer shortly before the big day because afterwards you’ll have other things to think about 😊
The baby’s safety and comfort are paramount! Don’t feel guilty about whether you’re doing enough, but remember that each baby is unique and what is really important to one mum might not be that important to you. Before buying more things to make your baby feel comfortable, wait to get to know your baby in order to see what they really need.
Whilst baby may just want to be in your arms and feel your love, you are also entitled to purchase accessories that reassure you and make your life easier. A huge baby monitor…why not? If that reassures you, then that’s ok! So now tell us, what has been essential to you, and in what circumstances? Share your experiences with us.
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