Archive for August, 2011
We have been asked quite frequently lately what “stuff” we have found useful, essential, stupid and unnecessary with regards to all things kid-related. Granted, we have only been in this gig for 13 months, but there is a lot of “advice” out there about what you really “need” to buy or have for a baby.
Well, we found a lot of it to be absolute rubbish. We went with the philosophy that we would buy only the absolute essentials to start with, and then if we found we were missing something, we would buy it only if and when we needed it. And when I say “buy”, I mean buy the cheapest (but safest) option available, or better still, borrow one from a trusted source.
So I thought I would put together a post about the baby stuff that we found useful, and what we could live without, in the hopes that it might serve as a guide of sorts to other parents-to-be, especially if you are working on a modest budget (as we were and are). Please bear in mind that these suggestions are just that – suggestions – and by no means are we saying that anyone would be a better/worse parent for having/not having any of this stuff. It is purely our opinion, based on our own personal experience.
Firstly, what did we make sure to have before the Widg arrived? The absolute essentials only. This means cot (and mattress and cot sheets), nappies and wipes, change mat (no, not a whole change table), baby bath, clothes, blankets, car seat, pram, sling, bibs, cloths for catching/wiping spit-up, and something for white noise (we use a small battery-powered radio tuned to static).
We did get a bassinet with the pram, which we did actually use. The Widg slept in it in our room for the first couple of months or so, and it was quite useful to take with us as his bed when we went away (until he grew out of it). I wouldn’t have bought the bassinet separately, but I’m glad we had it.
With the nappies, we did have the Peapods prepared before he was born, but his little butt didn’t fit them for the first months, so we did use disposables until then. Oh, and here is a link to our previous post about setting up the Widg’s room, which includes more details about the cot, change table, etc. I mentioned a sling (baby carrier), and this is the one we used:
We loved our sling. Noah loved our sling. For a little while there, he hated the pram, so the sling was awesome. It was easy to carry him around, he was guaranteed to fall asleep in it. We even ended up with 2 of them, which was great, as we could have one in the wash, or one in the car and one in the house. I have only recently stopped using it, because he is starting to get too heavy (at 12 months and 9kg).
Things we ended up getting later, as we needed them: dummy, high chair, rocker (although the Widg only used it a handful of times, but I got it second hand for about $15), nappy bag (although we only used this for about the first month, and then only for long trips, and then not at all. And we bought the cheapest one we could, $30 from Target), toys, portacot (we were graciously given one by friends who’s little ones had outgrown it).
I wasn’t too convinced on the necessity of a playmat (like the one below) and wasn’t planning on getting one. But then I saw how much the Widg enjoyed using his friends’ ones, and I buckled. It ended up being the best toy for him from about 1 month old until he could sit up. I distinctly remember watching him one day figure out that he cold control the use of his own arm when he reached for the monkey and batted at it. That monkey served as the perfect motivation to teach him how to reach and grab and pull and learn those all important motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Of course, he would have learned those skills without a playmat, but it was also a great place to put him down and keep him entertained while I put on a load of washing or something like that (until he learned to roll that is).
We bought a Kinderkot as a portable bed to take on trips. It was recommended to us from a friend, and it was great at first. Light weight, folds up to the size of a large satchel bag. But lately the Widg has stopped reliably sleeping in it, so we haven’t used it in a while. I’m not ruling out using it again as he gets older.
The only thing we bought that I wouldn’t buy again (if we could go back in our time machine and do it again. What? You don’t have a time machine?) would be the nappy bag. Really, any bag would have been fine, a large satchel would have been perfect. I think it really depends how much “stuff” you carry around with you, and that really depends on the parent. I’ve survived pretty well so far with just my huge nanna handbag.
Things we were told to buy, but never needed: bottles, formula, sterilising equipment (breastfeeding worked out really well for us. I know it doesn’t work out for everyone, and I am very grateful that it did for us), various bedding/linen for the cot (pillows, quilts, top sheets, bumpers, etc. Most of this stuff isn’t recommended as it can increase the risk of SIDS), dedicated changing table, bath stand, nappy stacker, and a bunch of other stuff that I can’t even think of. Put it this way: when we were pregnant, we went to a (insert name of well known baby-gear chain here) store, and we were handed a list by the salesperson. An A4 page, double sided, full of “new baby essentials”. We politely smiled, cut a lap of the store, and left empty handed.
Granted, I’m a complete nerd when it comes to researching, planning and preparing before an event, so I had a fairly decent idea of what we did and didn’t need before we went shopping. Some people might find it incredibly helpful to have the salesperson give them advice and lists and things.
So that’s our rundown. Hope you found it useful/interesting/not-completely-chew-your-arm-off-boring.6 comments
Sorry for the break in transmission folks, it’s been a little busy here at the Box lately. Nothing too exciting going on, just life in general. Birthdays and visitors and car repairs and all of us catching the cold and sharing it around.
I have been doing a little bit of sewing (just more pants for Noah really), but I have heaps of ideas for new projects and never enough time to try them all out. Now that the Widg is crawling I can really only sew when he’s sleeping. But I usually find a bazillion other things that need doing when he’s sleeping (like cooking, cleaning, showering), so sewing gets put to the bottom of a long list. Bummer.
I wanted to share this little gem with you: the lovely and sweet hubster gave me these very cute tea towels as part of my Mothers Day present (yes, way back in May).
But before you get all “he bought you tea towels?“, his words as he handed them to me were “I thought you could sew something nice out of these”. He knows me well.
I really love the colours and the prints, but I have no idea what to turn them into. Thoughts? Ideas? C’mon people, I need your help!11 comments