Most of us mothers have done it; walked around baby superstores rubbing our growing bellies and admiring all the adorable, lovely, ‘useful’ baby things that surrounded us.
We’ve made a list of what the ‘essential’ must have baby products for bringing home bubs and we’ve started to picture how all these wonderful goodies would fit into our home.
But what really is helpful in day to day living with a baby and what products turn out to be not so great after all?
The Must Haves:
- Microwave bottle sterilser
This is hands down one of the most used baby purchases we made. The day after I melted two bottles on the cook top in my post baby haze, my husband went straight out and purchased one. Formula fed or not, it’s always handy to have a baby bottle around and this thing cleans them up a treat. Top of any baby wish list for sure!
2. Porta cot
Another must with multiple uses! Initially purchased so our daughter could sleep in the air conditioned living room during a heatwave, our porta cot instantly became part of the furniture and remained that way until she was about 15 months old. It doubled as a play pen and a safe place for her to be when I had to leave the room for a while. We more than got our money’s worth! There are so many types on the market so go forth and buy one!
3. Bouncy chair
Ahhhh the bouncy chair. Need a shower? No problem, put baby in the bouncy chair and take them with you while you clean the baby sick out your hair. Want a quiet cup of tea? Put baby in the bouncy chair and attach the spinning, rattle that comes with it and you should manage to grab some time out. Three words; awesome, handy and awesome!
4. Muslin cloths
My mum gave me a pack of these a few days before my daughter was born. I looked at them perplexed. “You’ll find a use for these very quickly…you’ll see” she said. She wasn’t wrong! Burp cloth, cleaning up spit ups, sun shade on the stroller, vomit protector on both change table and bassinet…yup…these things are amazing. I had lots of them in various sizes and they all had a use. You will use these…. trust me!
5. Baby sleeping bags
My nieces slept in these so I got a few hand me downs and I have to say, I liked them! Not only did it stop my little one from kicking off her blankets, it also gave me peace of mind as well as becoming part of the bedtime routine; pyjamas on, sleeping bag on, drink milk! Voila! Bedtime! My daughter was in these from three months old (when she went into a cot) to two years old. Safe, warm, practical (and very cute), these are well worth the money.
The ‘You can live without’:
- Nappy Bin
As I waddled into the baby shop at eight months pregnant, I was dazzled by an amazing contraption that shrunk soiled nappies in a space age looking shiny bin. I then saw the price tag (and that of the refills), swore quietly then waddled off. Baby fills a nappy; nappy gets disposed of. Is it really necessary to add an expensive bin to this process? I think not. The old fashioned way seems quite sufficient.
2. Nappy stacker
Some people like these but personally, I don’t see a need for it, in fact, it’s just something else to spend money on that takes up room that doesn’t need to be there. What’s wrong with a drawer, a shelf or a box? Okay so a box won’t necessarily match your coordinated nursery décor but hey…at least it’s one less thing to a) buy and b) clean!
3. Bottle warmer
A friend of mine used this but it didn’t seem to heat milk up any quicker than a jug of boiling water would. No time saved, just something else to sit on the kitchen bench to take up room. I wasn’t impressed. I survived formula feeding without it so I’m sure you can too.
4. Shampoo rinse cup
Given most people have a spare plastic cup or jug in their cupboard, is there really a need to splash out on a shampoo rinse jug for your precious bundle? Short answer…no. Enough said!
5. Baby shoes
I’ll admit that a teeny, tiny pair of baby shoes or bootees look pretty cute but when it comes to practicality they’re more of a pain in the backside than anything else. They get pulled off, they fall off, they get sucked and chewed and at the end of the day are they really worth the hassle? You decide.
In short, people have survived for years without the colourful, shiny gadgets that are available to us today so do we really need to purchase half the shop? Probably not, but sometimes we just want stuff and that’s okay! It’s all about personal choice.
There’s no doubt that certain products and modern inventions have made bringing up baby a lot easier, so embrace that and enjoy life with your new bundle of joy…. just make sure you have a muslin cloth on hand to clean up the baby vomit!