Sunday, November 27, 2011

So... YOU'RE having a baby...

My sister Salad is pregnant with her first child and I keep promising to make a list of what we've found to be 'must haves' in our household.

It's really very daunting because every magazine/shop catalogue/television advertisement will tell you what you really MUST have. To be honest, there's not a lot that you need. I'll cover what we found we needed, but also what we found mighty bloody useful. 

Your hospital midwife/homebirth midwife/antenatal class/Dr/Obstetrician will probably hand you a very simple list of needs. Trust us, it seems like not enough stuff, but it really is.

This list is taken from my hospital book of what you need for bubs in hospital.
  1. 4-6 jumpsuits
  2. 4-6 singlets
  3. 4-6 light weight wraps
  4. Nappies
  5. Wet wipes/facewashers/cotton balls for changing.
  6. Socks/Mittens
  7. Hat
  8. Light weight blanket
Adding to that list of stuff for home is
  1. Somewhere to sleep the baby.
  2. Light weight wraps and blankets, bedding linen and towels.
  3. Jump suits, jackets, singlets, hats socks, mittens face washers and nappies.
Straightforward huh? So that's the 'Need' list, here's our 'useful' list.

Beginning with the business 'I've just had a BABY OH MY GOD' end...
  1. Breast pads. Buy many boxes. You will burn through them in the first week. I recommend Rite-Aid Nursing Pads ($7/box) or Pigeon Premium Breast Pads ($13ish/box).
  2. Breast Pump. I could write a weepingly long letter to Avent professing my thanks for their invention of the Avent IQ breast pump. The skinny (ha!) of it is my recommendation that if you're intending on breastfeeding, purchase a breast pump BEFORE you need one. You can always re-sell it - I was lucky enough to get mine second hand for a song, and then I found out how much it cost new.

    Basically if you're intending to give your bub an expressed milk bottle every now and then or going back to work and expressing bottles further down the track pony up whilst you've still got disposable income and purchase a good quality manual/electric breast pump. There's also the chance that like me, you'll need a breast pump for use before every feed for a really long time. So I recommend buying one before you need it because when and if you need it, you're possibly not going to be in the frame of mind to do research and compare prices. If you can, think of this expense as a bit like insurance... you may not need it, but by golly if you do, you'll be SO glad you've already got one.
  3. Disposable nappies. We use cloth during the day and disposables at night, and when it comes to disposable nappies I worship at the Huggies altar. Nothing contains everything like Huggies. And trust me, in the beginning the volume and velocity of poo is frightening. If you're going the disposable route in the first few weeks/months like we did, buy giant sized boxes. You won't find baby has suddenly outgrown them and you don't want ever to be caught short.
  4. Nappy Sacks. If you're using disposable nappies it's really useful to have disposable nappy sacks. There are heaps of brands available varying in price and eco-friendliness. Think scented. 
  5. Maternity pads. I don't really need to say this do I? But, buy more than you think you'll need, as you're probably not going to want to leave the house in the first week or two. And yes, they're exactly as you would imagine.
  6. Terry flat cloth nappies. We use two kinds. Dickies White flat squares ($20 for 12)for the business end of the change table, and Big Softies coloured squares ($20 for 8) for vomits, dribbles, peek a boo, everything else really. n.b. White for bums and Coloured for faces is a theme we continue through towels and facewashers. Just to be sure.
  7. Face washers. We have a dozen in constant rotation. Mr S uses them as baby wipes with water. I use them for baby distraction toys, wiping mouths etc.
  8. Baby Socks. Babies have sharp nails that don't need trimming immediately. Millie's just peeled off in the first week or so. However, they'll also try to scratch themselves a lot. Mittens are super useful but somewhat ugly. Let your newborn socks do double duty - they make awesome mittens. Poor Millie was still getting around with socks on her hands in winter, I didn't want to buy mittens that would fit for about three weeks as her meaty paws delicate little hands grew so quickly!
  9. Onesies. Jumpsuits. Whatever you call them. Lots of them. Millie had an ability to dirty a nappy, singlet, onesie and the carpet within minutes of having a fresh one on. Have lots on hand.
  10. Singlets. See #8. These are useful in a size bigger than you think you'll need. Babies grow super quickly and bigger singlets are so much easier to put on.
  11. Breastfeeding pillow. I had many problems breastfeeding and I finally caved and purchased a Tetra Nursing Wedge when M was about 7 weeks old. This was literally the only thing that kept me breastfeeding. Highly recommend. Worth every cent, and it was so much cheaper than other pillows.
  12. Bibs. I used a lot of bibs on Millie in the first month (again with the feeding problems) or so whilst I was feeding. I was a bit slow on the uptake and it was only after needing to change her onesie after every feed that I cottoned on to this.
  13. Carpet Spot Cleaner. Maybe your baby will never do anything anywhere near your carpet that will require cleaning. Maybe not. Have some on hand just in case. Trust us.
  14. An extra phone charger or two. I have an iPhone which chows through it's battery life quickly. I have a dock by my bed, a charger next to the couch and a charging cord plugged into my computer. When you can be (happily) pinned by a newborn for a couple of hours at a time it's nice to know that your phone is charged and Facebook, Twitter, email, pizza delivery is only a few clicks away.
  15. Lansinoh. Lanolin cream. It's the business for any newly breastfeeding mama. I still recall a Twitter conversation with Veggie Mama that was along the lines of 'Lansinoh. MY LORD AND SAVIOUR.' It's expensive but you'll probably only need the small tube. Pony up. You won't be sorry.
  16. Wrap Me Up swaddle. In the beginning we found Millie loved to be swaddled, but by golly swaddling the traditional way can be cumbersome. I waxed lyrical about these over here, so I won't do it again. But trust us, and buy one.
That's all I can think of right now. I know there was more, and I thought of it not three hours ago... but now it's 8pm and Millie's asleep and I've only had four hours sleep, so... vacant mind it is.

What can you add to this list for me?


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