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First Timers September 17, 2011

Filed under: Short Advice — The Anonymous Mum @ 11:37 am
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Whether you’re a first time mum, or are buying a gift for a bub for the first time hopefully this can help you out.

Ive luckily got an online group of awesome mums who helped pitch in suggestions on what to buy, what not to buy, and things to be cautious about.

So here are some tips for gift buyers or first time mums on things you definitely should look at:

Cot/Bassinet Sheets and waterproofing – Baby will always be excreeting liquid whether that be dribbling, pooping, peeing or throwing up so having extra sheets and waterproofing to protect babies mattress will come in handy
Blankets –  always good to have a few for warmth during bottle feedings/pram/cot –  just make sure they’re machine washable –  you don’t wanna be handwashing anything if you can help it!
Wipes/Muslins –  My mum made me about 20 little muslin wipes, and 5 burp clothes and I have to wash them every 2-3 days because of how much we use them
Bibs – same as the muslins.. once you’re feeding bubs more than once a day, you’ll be amazed how quickly you go through them(especially when bubs is teething and dribbling constantly) When buying though I highly suggest checking how they go on –  i’ve had quite a few bibs that have crap Velcro and have scratched poor mr’s neck to buggary! check to see if the Velcro is sewing under fabric so there are no corners to it –  or even better, get one with a buttonclasp
Plastic Spoons, Containers, Plastic cups and bowls – these may not come in hand right away but they can be used for everything(bath time, distractions during nappy changes, playtime, food)
Baby safe/sensitive laundry powder/liquid – always good to have on hand
Nappies –  before stocking up massively on ‘newborn’ size… be cautious that your bub might not even fit them-   you can always stock up up on the next size up
Baby sleep bags and Baby wraps –  you can use Muslins for this as well at the start, but you will find that bubs will wiggle his way out of it/it will be annoying to re-wrap at 2am so the baby wraps are specially designed to not unwrap easily
Wall Decals –  quick and easy way to decorate babies room without damaging the wall(fantastic for renters!)
Camera –  you will never get this time back again.. and even though it might be an effort to take shots/get someone to take shots of you and your bub, you will cherish the pictures later in life massively!
Onesies –  these will ALWAYS come in handy… bedtime, day time, chuck in the baby bag for accidents while out, and they wont ride up like plain tshirts will, and they also double as extra protection for poo explosions

The following have mixed feelings among ladies and it totally comes down to how you live/what you have already/approach with caution:

Baby Baths – If you already have a bath and have a good back you will most likely not need this..but if you have a bad back(cant hold bubs while in the shower for too long) and don’t have a bath this is definitely a goer –  just see if you can fill this up/use it in the shower box to save any carrying
Baby Carriers/Slings – very mixed feelings on this –  I think if you live in your car and use your pram a lot when you get to places, you’ll probably find you wont use this at all. We don’t have a car and pram everywhere, and we find it easier just to put our wee one in it once we get to places
Baby Bouncers and bumbos(chairs) – fantastic if there is no one else around to help you, you can put your bub in it while you have a shower or cook –  but then can only really be used for the first 6 months.
Baby Jumpers – great fun if your bub likes it.. not so great if they scream constantly for the duration of their time in it
Changing Table – not needed in all honesty… unless you have a bad back and changing bub while standing up is easier for you.. and once they start moving change time becomes SO much harder anyway! I had one person mention that their change table converted to a shelf unit afterward.. if you do wanna buy one, see if you can do this so it can get a second life and isn’t just a piece of furniture to put in the garage
Baby Monitors – sometimes not needed… if you’re confident enough that you can hear your wee one from all the other rooms in your house you don’t need it. I have really bad tinnitus(ear ringing) and dont feel confident enough that I would hear bub.. so we have one, but these days we mainly use it for its melodies during the night time when bubs is unsettled.
High chairs –  expensive chairs aren’t always good..  Make sure it is safe/approved.. but also make sure its very basic/not many nooks and crannys… you don’t wanna be finding left over pumpkin stuck down a hole behind a fluffy pillow a couple weeks later. Ive got a $40 Ikea high chair and I could pretty much just hose it down
Breast Pumps – Breast feeding itself is a very sensitive subject – if you’re wanting to try breast feeding, then look into renting an electric one from the hospital.. and if you like it/it works for you, then have a hunt around. I have a manual one which I loved as it felt more natural to me.. but the electric ones are far more efficient
Baby Mobiles – good for like the first 3 months… then they tend to get in the way.. if you get one, see if you can hang it from the ceiling so bubs isn’t trying to grab it constantly.. and sometimes over the top of where you change your bubs is good for a distraction
Bath Seats – good if you are bathing more than one child in the same bath
Sterlizers – Mainly for bottle fed babies. If you can afford one/have the bench space for it/don’t mind using it all the time then go for it – otherwise on the stove top is fine..but you don’t need to sterilize bottles for that long – I think NZ says 6 months and various states around AU say 4-8 months
Bottle Warmers – probably not worth it.. quick zap in the microwave or a soak in hot water is fine.. but then again you only really need to do that if you keep your water/BM chilled or its winter.
Soft Toys – o so cute.. and o so annoying for any parent…they only need a few… after that you’ll be finding places to put them/always cleaning them up –  get a few ‘special’ ones
Breast Feeding Pillows – you don’t need specialised breast feeding pillows.. normal pillows like maternity pillows or tri pillows do they same trick.

When it comes to food and solids time.. you don’t NEED to buy all the baby food that the supermarkets put out for $2 a sachet, when you can buy a quarter pumpkin for $3 and make 10x the amount of what one sachet produces. And if you dont have a microwave already you don’t need it badly… as you can do everything on the stove top. Nearly 9 months on here and I think they only luxury I would get out of having a microwave would be heating up my coffee after it goes cold ten thousand times.

Prepepped foods for yourself and baby are the best –  make a big batch of something and freeze it down.. you will love yourself for it when your scrambling for something to fill you up so you can deal with the screaming teething baby who’s dribbling enough to fill a small paddling pool.

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