I have said before, parenting is not about the ‘things’ it is about the love. But still, having a baby involved buying some stuff. We haven’t set up a baby room and we don’t have every gadget and toy ever invented by man and sold to woman (on the basis that without said object or tool one is clearly a bad mother)… But we have acquired some new kit. A fair amount, even. Here is a breakdown of what I would buy again and what I wouldn’t, given the choice. I may add to this over time.
– My kangaroo sling: super cozy and sure to get Anya to sleep every time, sometimes for 2 or 3 hours, while I go for a walk. Bliss.
– Endless cloth diapers (for all sorts of non-diaper related activities)
– Portable diaper changing station/cadie – love it! Ours in from JJ Cole Collections.
– Bouncy baby chair – great for when I am in the shower. Baby comes into the bathroom and has a ‘steam bath’ with me. I also use the chair when I am eating and other times she is up for just relaxing and reaching for her toys.
– Burt’s Bees baby massage oil. This isn’t quite the level of detail I meant to go down to… but I really love this oil, so thought I’d plug it here.
– Swaddle blankets, particularly the kind with easy wrap tabs. If you want to double the stretch of time your baby remains asleep for: swaddle!
– Oxo Bright from Earth Friendly Products. Just soak poo-covered baby clothes in a bowl with some of that for some hours and the stains disappear completely – no need to scrub!
– Re-usable breast pads. I started off using the disposable ones, but the cotton ones are sooooooo much better and much comfier, too. Although, not all pads are alike I have tried several kinds (including organic ones) and it turned out that by far the most absorbent were the cotton ones from Motherhood (the store). No leakage now.
– Yoga Ball. Love it. We bought ours when I was pregnant. At that point it was great for back stretches – my back was in a fair amount of pain by then. During labout the ball can be used to lean on and help with all differerent labouring positions. It is great since having the baby at home, too. She needs bouncing and rocking quite a lot and when my back and legs give out, I sit on the ball and continue bouncing there. Priceless.
Didn’t want, but ended up getting, using and being grateful for:
– Pacifier. Yeah I hate them… but bought one when I couldn’t think of any other way of comforting Anya when she is on the back seat of the car. Mind you she doesn’t like it much and she really only gets it in the car.
– Babygym: we got the Baby Einstein Baby Neptune adventure and Anya loves it. It gives me time to chill without having to actively entertain her, also.
– Stroller: hey, babies get heavy. This is actually quite useful.
– All kinds of toys. I thought I wanted all wooden, organic, Waldorf style toys… but I find Anya likes the colourful, lightweight, rubber and plastic toys. You live and you learn.
Have not used very much, if at all:
– Breastfeeding pillow: really?! I got one and used it for about a week until I realised my arms and body did just as good, nay a better job
– Cribs and craddles: as co-sleepers, we have not found too much use for our basinet or craddle. If I could I would have got an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper, which lies on the same level and adjacent to your bed. My bed is a funny height and that just wouldn’t work! As it is she uses the basket for occasional naps and at the start of the night, so not a complete bust… and perhaps she will use her crib even more. We’ll see.
– Baby swing: never got one. This particular ode to mechanical mothering is not one we succumbed to… but I will say I have gained great empathy for those who do. If you are taking care of your baby yourself all day and there isn’t a village there to support you and hold them for a while, to give you a break, it makes total sense to get some electric arms to do the rocking, so to speak. We are glad we didn’t… but there but for the grace of God, go I.
– Baby changing station. As I said, we got a changing caddie which we just take anywhere in the house and lay the matt down on the floor or bed (especially good for those mid-night changes)
– Diaper pale/nappy bin – fwot?! Our bathroom bin does just fine, thank you very much. We just empty it once a day and bob’s your uncle. No need for special white bins! And because we are exclusively breastfeeding her poop doesn’t smell that much anyway. I guess it would be different if we were bottle feeding and/or we were using re-usable diapers that hung around for a week until the service came to collect them to wash them (yeah, no way I would hand wash them all myself. Trust me I have enough work on my hands, as it is).
– Bottles and Pumps. I decided to go au naturel with this. I mean, once I ascertained I could and that I did have enough milk (phew) then the idea of using a bottle, even with my own milk in it didn’t quite feel right. Hey, I know lots of people do it and it works for them… and goodness knows there have been times I could really have done with a break and sometime for myself. Still, for me, I wanted to follow my instinct on this and the outcome was to feed only at the breast (so far at least). So, no bottles, pumps or sterylisers or bottle warmers for me. That also makes it much easier both for outings and for in the middle of the night: just turn and place boob in mouth, no need to get up to warm milk up.
– Baby Bathtub: we were generously gifted a especially designed baby bath tub and we do use it but not as much as just taking Anya into the shower or bath with us. Mmmm… This might be another of those things we get to use more as she grows up!
– Baby Monitor: nope, no intercoms in our house. ‘Hey, you sleep together anyway’ you may say. Well actually Anya goes to bed now a good few hours before we join her in the family bed and in that time we trust that we will hear if she calls for us. Then again our flat is very small! I can imagine using one if I were in a bigger house, perhaps.
Of course, wherever possible buy second hand. Babies just grow out of things so quickly!!
**Disclaimer: Just in case there is any doubt, I do not receive payment to endorse ANY product.**