It’s easy to get overwhelmed when stocking up for your new arrival. From buggies and car seats to maternity briefs and muslin squares, there’s suddenly going to be a lot of new stuff around the house.
But what equipment is truly essential, and what’s a waste of time? We spoke to mummy blogger and Good Living’s parenting expert Zena Goldman to save you from cluttering the cupboards with gadgets and gizmos that might not even make it out the box….
Somewhere to sleep
While your newborn will need somewhere to rest its tiny head, Zena says don’t worry about splashing out on a cot straight away.
"You don’t need to run out and buy a cot as soon as you bring your baby home," she says. "Small babies sleep a lot and you’ll want to keep them nearby in those precious newborn days. A Moses basket is ideal for small babies as they can be easily moved around the house as and when."
Prams, slings, car seats… There are a dozen ways to transport your little one, but Zena recommends taking the time to think about what will work best for your lifestyle.
"Think about how you’re going to transport your baby day-to-day. If 'baby-wearing' appeals to you, you might want to invest in a sling or baby carrier before you start looking at buying a pram or travel system. If you drive or have a car, a car seat is going to be essential from the moment you leave the hospital," advises Zena.
For Zena, muslin squares are a no-brainer.
"Many parents swear by muslin squares, and I’m one of them. They’re probably one of the most versatile bits of baby equipment you’ll own and will prove to be a lifesaver in so many situations. You can place them over your shoulder when winding your baby, as well as any other times when baby decides some milk just needs to come back out."
Although you might think bibs will only be necessary once your baby is of highchair age, Zena begs to differ.
"Bibs are essential from the moment baby arrives and can save you from having to change their clothes constantly throughout the day. Bibs come in hundreds of great designs and colours, so they make a cool accessory as well as a practical item.
"Bandana teether bibs are soft, comfortable and soak up a multitude of sins — especially if baby is dribbling a lot while teething. If your little one is prone to pulling off their bib, then a popover design is great for making sure they stay put when you need them most."
Maternity pants and briefs
Your nappy bag will have to contain a few bits for mum, too. "Maternity pads and briefs are an absolute nappy bag essential," says Zena.
"These disposable sanitary products will be a lifesaver in the early days when you’re still recovering from labour."
ANTI-BACTERIAL CLEANING WIPES
As well as the long list of products specifically for the baby, Zena recommends investing in time-saving hacks so other areas of your life — like housework — don’t suffer while you’re getting back on your feet.
She says, "Time is a huge luxury once the baby arrives, so expect cleaning to take a backseat in your list of priorities. Anti-bacterial cleaning wipes helped me keep on top of essential cleaning around the house."
It may be worth stocking up the freezer, too, so that you can throw lunch or dinner together easily.
Microwave sterilising bags
If you’re short on space or new to sterilising bottles, Zena says, "Microwavable sterilising bags are a great product to have on hand.
"All you need is a sterilising bag, a microwave and some water. Pop your bottles or baby feeding equipment in and microwave for a minute or two for equipment that’s sterile and safe to use no matter where you are."
Refillable water bottle
A refillable water bottle is a great purchase for breastfeeding mums, according to Zena.
She says, "You’ll become really thirsty, and having a refillable water bottle to hand at home and in your changing bag will mean you never get caught short."
"I never thought I’d need a breastfeeding pillow, but it ended up helping me with some of the difficulties I experienced with both my girls," says Zena.
"Many breastfeeding issues can be quickly resolved by changing up your position to make sure you’re both comfortable. I’d really recommend adding one of these to your list of essential items — especially if you’re a new mum and new to breastfeeding."