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Stressed first time mum! What to buy?

(17 Posts)
BelliniButterfly Tue 30-Aug-16 11:01:36

Hi everyone

I am 30 weeks pregnant with my first baby and the only thing I have bought up until now is my pram! I've been dithering but now I really want to make decisions with the best buys on the following products so any advice from mums who have had experience of what to buy/not to buy would be greatly appreciated!

- Perfect prep machine? Hoping to breastfeed but would this still be useful to have if I'm expressing etc or bf doesn't go as well as planned?

- Steriliser and bottles. Which ones?? There are so many to choose from. Stay with TT since I'm thinking of the perfect prep or is there better out there? Is it worth getting the TT starter kit or buying separately?

- Cot! We will be staying in our 1 bed flat for the first year so need a space saving cot/cot bed/crib. Planning on using it with the cocoonababy does anyone have any recommendations?'don't want to get Chicco next to then have to buy something else after 6 months.

Other things I know I need to buy but would love recommendations for include:

- baby bath/bath seat
- bouncer (electric or not?)
- car seat! I have the oyster 2 so need something compatible with this that's also isofix. Maxi cosi seems the way to go but are there any other good value joie seats for example where the base will last longer than the infant seat?

I'm so confused and overwhelmed. I haven't even thought about clothes or what other general things I need. Then I need to think about my hospital bag!

Felling stressed!!

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 30-Aug-16 11:15:49

If you're planning on breastfeeding, don't buy a perfect prep machine, and I would say don't even buy bottles or a steriliser. You may never end up using them. The box of Dr Browns bottles I bought cost a bomb and were never used by either of my babies.

In hindsight, I'd have bought:
- a sling
- a car seat
- nappies
- a cheap backpack for a changing bag
- about 10 cheap sleepsuits
- a baby sleeping bag

And that is all. The cot was a total waste of money as neither of them would sleep in it - it was safely co-sleeping pressed up against me, or on me, or they didn't sleep at all. Both of them infinitely preferred to be carried than in a pram until they were past six months old. Even being put in a bouncer with bells and whistles was Not On. The vast majority of the stuff in baby shops are a total rort.

FuzzyOwl Tue 30-Aug-16 11:17:06

If you are planning on BF then I would worry about a Perfect Prep machine and steriliser at a later date because you may not need them. However, even if BF goes well, you might want a steriliser for bottles if you express. If BF doesn't work out for you, you can probably get to a 24 hour supermarket for ready made formula that come in pre sterilised bottles to tide you over and wait for next day delivery to bring you everything else. If you do FF though, I do recommend the Perfect Prep machine. As for a steriliser - do you want an electric one, microwave one or else there are Milton tablets for use in cold water. It basically comes down to how much space you have in your kitchen. I have MAM self sterilising anti colic bottles (they go in the microwave for a couple of mins) but used a Tommee Tippee electric steriliser anyway as I found it more convenient to store all the bottles in (and bottles are really hot when they first come out of the microwave).

We used a sleepyhead from birth and just went into a bigger size when DD was older so can't really recommend any specific cot. The sleepyhead is fantastic, but the smaller one does only last for eight months. Does your pram have a carry cot that doubles as a Moses basket for the first few months whilst you look at what suits you better?

We had a small baby bath (Tippitoes Mini Bath) that DD used until she was about one and it was great. Other people find baths don't work for them and their set up but it has been really useful for us.

DD disliked her bouncer which we only used a handful of times. I think they are also something some babies get on with and other ones don't. She was a sleepy baby though and preferred to be sleeping in arms or down flat than upright.

As for the car seat, do you have a Mothercare or similar nearby? You should be able to ask for advice there but don't feel pressured to buy if you want to research elsewhere. However, if you do want to buy ask if they have a baby event coming up as you will get an extra 10% off the car seat.

Good luck. Hope it all goes well.

babynugget Tue 30-Aug-16 11:17:07

Are you crazy! Shopping for baby stuff was the only thing that kept me sane when I was pregnant. Right here goes:
- Perfect prep - absolute godsend - don't care what anyone professional or otherwise says it is awesome.
- steriliser and bottles. I was all knitted out with TT bottles in lovely bright colours and all the accessories, storage kids, little pots that fit in them with formula powder for carrying round with you and the TT very basic cold water steriliser (can also be used in micro). DD hated them!!! Ended up changing to Nuk bottles very quickly. They still worked in the steriliser and fitted under the Perfect Prep.
- DD slept in the carry cot from her pram (Silver Cross Pioneer) for 5 months. She loved it. Moved to bug cot in her own room after that, which she hated. Tried travel cot in our room before that but she hated it too.
- baby bath. Tippitoes mini bath until she could sit up unaided. It was great and she always seemed really comfy in it. Once she was sitting we bought the bath seat/mat combo from Mothercare which had been fine.
- Bouncer. This I have to rave about as it saved my sanity. We had the Ingenuity convert me swing 2 seat. Flipping awesome piece of kit. Works with some sort of friction power so very easy in batteries- you give it a push to set it off and then it takes over so don't think it has a motor as such and is completely silent. Plays a variety of melodies or white noise which my DD loved. It has a separate vibrate function which an be used whilst they swing or stationary. It has an adjustable off timer and you can adjust the speed/height of the swinging motion. I was devastated when she didn't fit in it anymore but held its value when we sold it on.
- car seat. We got the maxi cosi pebble with two way isofix base. She then moved into the 2 way Pearl which uses the same base and can remain rear facing for as log as you want. We bought the adaptors to use the pebble with the Silver Cross chassis.

I'll come and be your pregnancy personal shopper if you like (there's and great idea for a business!). I had my hospital bag packed and re-packed dozens of time well before I needed too. Oh I'm excited just thinking about shopping for stuff - may actually consider another baby now!

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 30-Aug-16 11:23:56

Car seat - forget about using a base. All car seats seat belt in and are just as safe that way as with the base. They're an extra unnecessary expense. Seat-belting in and out I also found easier than pissing about with the car seat release on the bases. I used a Maxi Cosi seat.

ElspethFlashman Tue 30-Aug-16 11:33:37

You dont need a perfect prep. If all else fails and you go bottle feeding full time then theyre very easy to get at short notice. Right now ots a totally unneccessary expense. And they're not cheap.

Get a microwave steriliser. The cheapest one, they're all identical. Though measure the height of your microwave first before paying! Just get 6 bottles, you dont need all the faff that comes with the kits. Ive never used a bottle brush - these days the mouths of bottles are so wide that they're redundant. Brand doesnt matter one bit, they're all much of a muchness. (And down the road if you do buy a Perfect Prep, you can use anytning with it - even a mug!)

If you're stuck with space the Mothercare Apsley is probably the smallest regular cot out there. Again, check the dimensions on the website. I hadnt much room in our bedroom and found it was the only one that fit. And they do home deliveries which is handy. Realistically you'll probaby have the coccoonababy in bed with you shoved up between your two pillows for the first month anyway. Most people do.

Baby bath = historically the product people end up using the least. The babies often hate it and you end up just topping and toeing them, out of a bowl of water. And if they tolerate it, holding them in the kitchen sink with a towel folded flat underneath for comfort is just the same. And baby baths take up SO much space, my God!

Bouncer, get a battery one so you can bring it wherever you are without caring about cables or plugs. The batteries dont go down that fast. Tbh they tend not to be used for the first couple of months as baby has no interest.

ElspethFlashman Tue 30-Aug-16 11:39:00

I would say invest in a sleeping bag. A cheap one from a supermarket will do as they're all exactly the same - I think you can start them at 10lbs but check the label. Blankets and swaddles are a massive faff as even newborns move around a lot.

I also would buy a sling. Never underestimate the clingyness of a newborn. They squall like mad if you have the audacity to put them down. If I hadnt a sling I literally wouldnt even have been able to do the washing up during the day. But with the sling I could potter about with relative freedom - even go to the loo whenever I wanted!

KP86 Tue 30-Aug-16 11:41:45

Breastfed babies don't need bottles to be sterilised, if you are feeding them expressed milk. Washing in hot soapy water will be fine.

I wouldn't buy the perfect prep machine until you know you need it. Amazon have them with quick delivery I believe so it wouldn't be a long wait.

To buy:
- Cot, two sheet sets inc waterproofs, two sleeping bags. If you have a baby that vomits a lot you can double layer the bed: waterproof, fitted sheet, waterproof, fitted sheet so if it has to be replaced you can just pull off top layer and good to go. Also a waterproof for your bed to contain breast milk leaks, baby vomit etc.
- Comfortable maternity bras, inc stretchy for sleeping and washable breast pads. Don't even bother with disposables.
- More maternity pads than you think you'll need. I preferred without wings as easier to position/double up in first couple of days but up to you.
- Somewhere to put baby on the floor. Either a bouncer chair or play gym.
- At least 12 terry towelling nappies or muslins to use as burping cloths, under baby for changing, protecting carpet during tummy time.
- Nappy bucket with lid is handy for soaking dirty clothes
- 10 baby grows and sleeveless body suits for underneath. Primark ones are fine. Go for all in ones, socks on newborns suck.
- one light to medium cardigan for over the top on cooler days
- nappies, cotton balls or water wipes, nappy bags
- agree 1000% with backpack for baby bag
- a couple of dummies. Better to have one and throw it out than vice versa at 3am!
- a sling or carrier may be handy but I'd wait and go to a library once baby is born. We paid a lot for ours and hardly used it as DS wasn't a fan and it hurt our backs anyway.
- car seat. Capsule or multi-stage is up to you.

Don't worry about:
- Fancy outfits
- Toys
- Blankets
You'll be given heaps of all these as presents.
- baby washing powder. Just buy unscented regular stuff
- baby toiletries. Wash in warm water only, no soaps. You can use olive oil for baby massage if you do it.

Good luck!

SheepOrWine Tue 30-Aug-16 11:42:15

Oh I sympathise, I found it all confusing and stressful as well!

I would say...

Do stock up on a small box of pre-sterilised bottles of formula, even if you're planning to breastfeed. I know in theory you can run out to the nearest 24 hour supermarket and buy them if needed but (speaking as someone who had to send their DH to do just that) I'd really recommend that you avoid it with a 3 day old baby! I do not have good memories of that night!

If you do end up formula feeding then I highly recommend the perfect prep machine. We use a philips avent steriliser which does the job (I think we just bought the one which was on offer).

We use doctor brown bottles which are good but expensive. Don't get drawn into buying smaller bottles and larger bottles - just buy the larger ones and you can put a smaller amount of expressed milk/formula in them when the baby is small.

Some people seem to advise against using a baby bath which I find odd as we've used ours loads. Just get a cheap one - ours cost £7.99. So much easier than having to fill the big bath and lean over the side.

We didn't buy a sling beforehand, instead I took DD to a sling library at about 4 weeks old and tried out various ones there. I'm glad I did that because I ended up buying a completely different sling to the one I thought I wanted! If you want to buy one before birth I'd recommend something like the close caboo which is good from birth but also very easy to use (wrap slings are brilliant but a bit fiddly, I needed to get someone to show me how to use it).

Dixiechick17 Tue 30-Aug-16 12:38:37

Only buy a perfect prep if breastfeeding doesn't work out,no point in buying one just in case, plus you can use any bottles with them, I used Mam bottles on my friends perfect prep.

We used a glider crib, got it half price from Argos for 35 which the sleepyhead fit into nicely, then she moved to her cot at six months. We're in a flat and were tight for space.

I got a tommee tippee steriliser in the sale, as I occasionally expressed in the eight months I breastfed.

I loved our maxi cosi car seat, she's only just grown out of it at fifteen months, joie stages are meant to be good,we have the nuna rebl now which goes from birth to four years,but I would still use a maxi cosi for a new born, particularly to be able to pop on the chassis when out and about. I had a gracious car seat before my maxi cosi and wasn't a fan.

We loved the tommee tippee mini bath, had a built in seat and would easily fit on top of the toilet seat so we didn't have to bend down into the bath.

Bouncers for us were a waste of money,but every baby is different, my DD was quite clingy,so we benefitted more from a sling than a bouncer, I could then carry her around whilst getting on with things.

Dixiechick17 Tue 30-Aug-16 12:39:43

*graco not gracious hmm

thatsn0tmyname Tue 30-Aug-16 12:43:36

I would add muslins to your list and maybe some formula milk in case breast feeding gets off to a tricky start. I wanted to EBF but was stuck in hospital with no bottles etc. Aptimel to ready made formula cartons ( don:'t bother buying a huge pack of powdered formula as it costs a tenner and needs to be used up within a month of opening). Hopefully, you won't need formula but you never know.
After the birth I found it OK getting out to the shops- no need for pre- apocalyptic crazy batch cooking etc.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Tue 30-Aug-16 13:02:55

1. Perfect prep machine As pp have said- there's no need to buy this if you plan to breastfeed. I can understand the desire to have some bottles and formula on hand in case bf doesn't work out but the Perfect prep is not needed for making up a bottle so it would be an unnecessary outlay. If you do end up bottle feeding then you can consider if this product would be useful. Shops will still be open after the birth.

2. Steriliser and bottles Its hard to say which bottle as babies have individual preferences for teats. Just buy a couple of reasonably priced bottles to have on standby and see how your baby gets on with them.
I regret buying a steriliser. It was just a glorified Tupperware box. You can sterilise bottles with steam in the microwave. Just put some water in the bottom of a sealed plastic container- pop the bottle in there and then put it on to microwave for 10 mins. This is all commercial sterilisers are.

3.Cot I've not got any specific recommendations but do check that the mechanism for rolling the sides down and getting the baby inside. You want this to be as smooth and easy as possible when transferring a sleeping baby into the cot.
I used a moses basket for the first few months. This has the advantage of being portable so baby can sleep wherever you are. Its recommended that babies sleep in the same room as you for the first 6 months as a precaution against SIDS. It doesn't matter what type you buy- they are all pretty much the same but do be aware that if you buy second hand you need to get a new mattress.

3.*baby bath/bath seat* Baby baths are all basically the same- buy anything. I did buy some kind of baby support for my first one but never ended up using it.

4. bouncer (electric or not?) Similar to bottles- babies have individual preferences here. So I would hold back until you've met your baby. If you go to any mother and toddler groups, they usually have a few knocking about so you can try out there and see if yours likes it.

5. car seat Not a clue! Those things still confuse me.

Congratulations OP and good luck with the new baby!

Rubytuesday2980 Tue 30-Aug-16 13:50:41

Hi bellini, first time mum here too, 7 weeks in, here's my thoughts:

- Perfect prep will only be useful if you end up giving formula. You have no way of knowing this now! Be prepared to stay in hospital for an extra couple of nights for midwife support with breastfeeding, they're angels! And, if for any reason it doesn't work for you, order one from your hospital bed.

- Sterililising: I'm bfing with 1-2bts if expressed per day, because that works for me. It's not for everyone and if you exclusively bf, you won't be sterilising anything. Save yourself the money and if/when you need to, get a big Tupperware box and some Milton tablets, the two will cost under a tenner.

On the bottle subject, again IF you end up needing them, it's worth getting them at the same time as perfect prep/breast pump as not all are compatible. If you buy now, you could end up with a ton of useless kit. Again, my experience, but Medela pump and Calma teat have been brilliant, we used from 4 days old. Only good for breastmilk though, so no point buying until you know.

Cot - cotbed as are big, so if you won't be in the flat at the point of changeover from cot to bed, save the space and buy a small crib/cot.

Baby bath - again for space reasons, the Stokke folding one is great. Expensive new, but can be found on eBay/gumtree if willing to go secondhand. Newborn insert only necessary if not confident bathing without - DH has done every bath and he doesn't bother with it. Bear in mind that minimal baths necessary at the beginning, we're still only on 2/3 a week.

Bouncer - think space again and find one that folds up. Go simple, my DS literally sits in it and stares around the room, not all babies like the vibrating/rocking etc.

Car seat - Maxi cosi Familyfix Isofix base does first and second seats, plus their adapters for prams are easiest to find. You can save s shed load of money buying the adapters secondhand and these only come into contact with the seat/chassis.

Hospital bag-wise, pack toiletries and clothes as if you were going away for a lazy weekend. Take plenty of basic big black pants, maternity pads and nipple cream! And snacks, hospital food is awful.

Buy a few basic baby grows, short sleeved and sleeveless vests. You do not need very many Buy white for ease of washing. Most companies seem to think that babies come out massive btw, at 6lb 12 they were all falling off DS, so maybe buy some tiny baby size just in case, but leave them in the packaging so you can wash or exchange when you know whether you need them or not.

Hope that helps, you've got plenty of time and click & collect is a godsend in those early weeks! Good luck x

Showgirl109 Tue 30-Aug-16 14:01:52

Muslins! My DH thought I was bonkers buying so many when I was pregnant but he said they are the most useful thing. The Aden and anais ones are lovely the large ones are so good for everything and so so soft. They often have them in tk maxx.

We used the Angelcare bath support, she normally comes in the bath with me but this is so much better than a baby bath so easy to get them in and out of.

We also had a sleepyhead and it was great.

I also wouldn't bother with a perfect prep if you are going to breastfeed but we did buy and use the starter packs with everything all sterilised and ready to go.

I wish I had bought some outfits that were jersey (the same material as sleepsuits but not sleepsuits) she looks so uncomfortable in some things but it would be nice to not always put her in a grow.

Also breast pads and some stretchy crop tops (primark have loads) for nighttime feeding.

Good luck

Trifleorbust Tue 30-Aug-16 14:26:00

Am 25 weeks and have bought a reasonable amount. MN has been so helpful in terms of advice, and my sisters have babies and have been able to give me some guidance as well.

- About ten cheapish sleep suits, all in newborn, plus a couple in 0-3 just in case she's a big one (not expecting this based on all babies in our family being small)
- same number of body suits
- 3 cardigans (winter baby)
- pram suit
- 3 blankets
- sleeping bag
- cot sheets
- Moses basket and stand
- Muslins
- couple of hats and scratch mitts
- nappies - enough for the first week but will buy some more before she turns up
- baby wipes and cotton balls
- baby lotion
-'sudocrem
- nappy bags

Intend to buy:

- travel system including car seat, no base
- changing table with integrated bath off eBay (cheap and cheerful)
- nipple cream

Being given:
- sling
- high chair

needahugbug Tue 30-Aug-16 18:11:05

Place marking xx

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