New parents often have many questions about what they really need for a new baby. Do you need a cot or crib right away? What about a stroller? and Are baby monitors necessary?
Another baby sales catalogue has arrived in our letterbox. The range of baby gear is overwhelming, let alone new or prospective parents: what is necessary? What could we do without? What might be really helpful? What should l be buying for baby?
If I buy this fabulous looking cradle, swing, baby seat, high-chair, play-gym, change table, stroller, walker, playpen, portacot (whatever), will it turn out to be a waste of money?
A recent survey of parents showed that some are spending up to seven thousand dollars on nursery items for their newborn ” before it has even been born! If you don’t believe that is possible, think again. There are prams that cost up to two thousand dollars and cots that are almost as expensive. Then there is the gorgeous linen to complement the swish nursery furniture and, of course, the impossibly irresistible baby outfits to fill the matching drawers and cupboards. Be warned, if this is your first baby, your nesting urge could rule your purse strings.
Buying for Baby
What baby gear do you need and what can you skip? Focus on the basics, then see what extras you end up needing. When preparing for a new baby, focus on the essentials.
A safe place for baby to sleep, Bottles or breastfeeding supplies depending on how you choose to feed. Nappies, wipes and nappy rash cream. A car seat for transportation and stroller or sling for getting out and about.
While it’s exciting to buy cute outfits and toys, in those early days the essentials are really all you need. The rest can honestly wait. New parents have enough to figure out without feeling overwhelmed by excess baby gear. Keep it simple—you’ll be glad you did!
For new mothers, buying essentials for your baby and yourself can feel overwhelming. Skip the excess ‘stuff’ marketed to new parents. Your baby needs your love and bonding more than the latest gadgets. Keep your home calm and avoid overstimulation. Trust your instincts.
Preparing to bring your baby home
Preparing to welcome your baby is a rite of passage and, of course, it is your right to choose which equipment will best suit your needs. However, before you part with all that money, it might be worth considering how devastated you could feel if your little cherub doesn’t share your enthusiasm for designer baby gear (the most expensive cot in the catalogue won’t guarantee a better night’s sleep).
Or that, rather than make your baby feel loved and precious because they have the best gear money can buy, a lot of baby equipment is not only completely unnecessary but it could actually make your baby feel less loved: due to the pressure that goes with designer labels, you may feel you need to ‘get your money’s worth’ by making the most of your swish nursery furniture. Sadly, this can unintentionally separate your baby from you ” the person she most wants to be close to.
Few modern parents could bear to imagine living without a pram, flash or basic, but American psychologist and author of ‘The Vital Touch‘, Dr Sharon Heller reminds us that most of the world’s babies receive much more sensory stimulation than our own as they are held and transported in a loving pair of arms rather than being wheeled at arm’s length. Dr Heller says, “carried, infants experience body warmth, frequent position change, deep pressure touch, containment, and rocking, to say nothing of the opportunities to balance her head, upright her posture, or use her muscles for clinging.”
Consider also that, when you carry your baby, they hear your voice as you chatter to them; they feel your touch as you stroke their face and their delicious little body; they smell your familiar odours and feel the textures of your clothing or your bare skin and hair; their view of the world is the same as yours (not just bums and legs or the dark inside of a pram hood). Another concern is that few strollers or prams are designed so babies can see their mothers. According to Dr Heller, “if also unable to feel or hear her mother, the baby may lose sense of her mother altogether and feel alone and, if we can’t see our baby’s faces, we lose moment-to-moment awareness of our baby’s well-being and cannot fine tune to her signals.”
Many baby products are very useful in small doses ” few isolated mums without other loving arms to share the load can manage to constantly carry their babies and nobody would argue that car seats are non essential or that a desperate mother should feel guilty when a few minutes in a swing can buy her a quick shower ” but overuse or inappropriate use of ‘baby containers’ can hinder infant development as they restrict movement and sensory stimulation and some, such as baby walkers can be potentially dangerous as well.
So, rather than feel guilty if you haven’t spent your entire baby bonus on nursery gear, hold your little one close, look into those dark grey eyes and remind yourself that the best baby play-gym is a clean floor and very best ‘product’ for her well-being and development is ” you! As the Beatles sang, money can’t buy love.
7 Must-Have Baby Essentials: What You Really Need
When preparing for a new baby, focus on the essentials. The must-haves are:
- Nappies, wipes and rash cream to keep baby clean and comfortable.
- A safe place to sleep like a crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet.
- Weather-appropriate clothing like onesies, sleepers, socks and hats.
- A car seat properly installed before heading home from the hospital.
- Baby toiletries like mild soap, lotion and a soft brush.
- Bottles and a breast pump for feeding, burp cloths and bibs.
- A stroller, baby carrier or sling for getting out and about.
With these basics covered, you’ll feel ready to bring your bundle of joy home and into the world!
5 Items Your Baby Can Do Without
A cot/crib seems like an obvious must-have for a new baby, but it is not necessary. Here are a few other things you can do without:
- Nappy Bucket – For the first little while, you’ll be changing nappies so often that odors won’t have time to build up. A regular rubbish bin with a lid will suffice.
- Baby monitor – Unless you live in a large home, you can easily hear a newborn crying from anywhere. Save your money for now.
- Baby bath – A sink or regular tub with a non-slip mat works great for bathing a tiny baby. You can buy a baby tub when your little one starts sitting up.
- Baby books – Recording memories is important but not urgent. Focus on bonding with your new baby rather than scrambling to fill in every detail.
- Burping cloths – Receiving blankets make perfect burp cloths. No need to buy special cloths unless you want to.
Newborns need so little to get started. Focus on the basics and don’t feel pressured into buying for baby any more than you need. Your baby will thrive with your love, not with the amount of stuff you accumulate.
To find out more about baby products, you can read BellyBelly’s articles: