When you’re expecting, it’s so easy to go OTT with all the baby paraphernalia out there. Obviously – you want the best for your lil’ bun, and of course, everything bambino is Just. So. CUTE.
But for most of us, budget and space is tight; and prepping a nursery can squeeze both resources dry fast. Also, as any been-there-done-that mum will confirm, most gadgets, gizmos, and furnishings marketed as ‘must-haves’ will end up on Gumtree, totally untouched.
If you want to avoid getting suckered into splashing cash on things specifically geared to exploit your gushy hormones and bank balance, check out this list of the real baby furniture and soft stuff essentials you’ll need for your bundle (for what smaller bits ‘n’ bobs not to get, see HERE:
1. Cradle, crib, or bassinet
The safety standard for cribs changes frequently, so buy new or a second-hand that’s no more than a couple of years old.
2. Bedding and sheets
You should own at least two sets of sheets, plus a waterproof cover.
3. Crib mattress
Crib mattresses should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width between the edges of the mattress and the crib side. Look for a firm mattress that’ll hold its shape and stay flat.
4. Nappy supplies
If you’re going the cloth route, you’ll need three dozen nappies, five waterproof nappy covers, and a nappy pail with a close-fitting lid. For disposables, don’t go overboard with bulk buying; babies grow faster than you realise. But also bear in mind that newborns poop at a rate of knots. Amazon has an especially handy nappy subscription service that will deliver straight to your door, when you need ’em.
5. Baby monitor
One clever tip is to invest in a monitor with two receivers so you can keep one in your bedroom for nighttime, and another in the kitchen, living room, or home office for the day.
6. Changing table or table-top changer
Changing tables seem ridiculously expensive, but they do save your back. An alternative to shelling out the big bucks is to put a changing pad on baby’s dresser — just make sure the pad has elevated sides and a waist-strap for escape artists.
7. Burp cloths
There’ll be plenty bodily excretions, explosions and projectile emissions to mop up, so stock up on cheap muslin cloths (forget cutesy).
Inside the womb, soft light filtered through mum’s skin, so babies will often find the glow of a nightlight comforting. Plus, when you’re having to do night feeds and bum changes, harsh overhead light can stimulate little ones and confuse the establishment of circadian rhythms, which, at 2am, is no fun for anyone.
Reading to your tot from the get-go is imperative if you want to foster a love of books. Build up a personal library and have the stories in plain sight; even though babes won’t understand the written word just yet, storytime, with its exciting colours, shapes, and the soothing cadence of mum ‘n’ dad’s voice, should be a familiar and positive thing from the earliest days.
You’ll spend plenty hours in the seated position, so make sure you’ve got a comfy spot to recline during feeds and settling to sleep.
11. Baby clothes
An obvious necessity, but here you’ve got full permission to go a little crazy on the cute factor – after all, they’re only teensy once, right? Just remember that newborns super-size crazy fast, so purchase those adorable onesies in a range of ages.
12. Storage baskets
Tiny humans accumulate unexpectedly vast amounts of detritus; a couple cheap storage boxes within easy reach means minimal effort for retrieval and tidying up (especially at 2am).