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Opinion sought: Newborn - what do I really need

(32 Posts)
ScarletteOTara Wed 10-Oct-12 20:51:43

Evening mumnetters!

Its my first post, so please excuse any terrible faux pas!

Firstborn is due on Christmas Eve. So far I own zero baby shizz. Starting to think my laidback attitude might be a little foolish at this stage!!

I've found all the product reviews etc on here super helpful but I have a question - I'm sure someone else has probably asked this before so sorry if I'm being annoying and duplicating another thread.

What are the ABSOLUTE ESSENTIALS where furniture is concerned. I'm thinking

Cot (Secondhand Stokke Sleepi)
Bouncer (considering Baby Bjorn or Bloom Coco)
Highchair (considering Tripp Trapp or Antilope)

MN seems to be a big advocate of the Ikea Antilope and Stokke Tripp Trapp. Working in architecture, I'm a total sucker for form over function so I'm tempted by a (secondhand) Tripp Trapp plus the newborn kit. Might get an Antilope as a cheapy backup cos Tripp Trapps seem pretty easy to shift on eBay if it doesn't work out. You lot have put me off a Bloom Fresco as all the reviews say its difficult to clean - which means a secondhand one from eBay is probs going to be grubby at best.

But my question is this - did you use a highchair from newborn? Shall I just pop DC in a bouncer or similar on the table while we eat? I'm a bit clueless. Or will DC just be hanging out in their crib or on my knee?

Thanks in advance for your help! smile


The3Bears Fri 19-Oct-12 11:35:32

I have the Tripp Trapp with newborn seat onit for ds2 who is 9 weeks now, he loves to sit in it and watch me do the dishes etc so it's good for that he sometimes goes in it at meal times but not as much as I thought. I liked it because it's high up and I would recommend it.

mummysmellsofsick Tue 16-Oct-12 08:06:47

Re co sleeping we had a babybay which was useful as a safety barrier, though ds would only sleep if right cuddled up to me, so didn't ever sleep in it. After he became mobile we stopped using it and just got rid of the bed and we all sleep on a kingsize mattress on the floor. We'd have done that from the beginning if I hadn't thought babies were supposed to sleep in cots

mummysmellsofsick Tue 16-Oct-12 07:44:25

Hello, if you really want to talk essentials I'm your woman...

Yes you can get away without a pram/ buggy. You need a good sling (not the one with initials BB) find out where your local sling meet or library is for more info... I'm still carrying DS (nearly 1 yo) everywhere. I have a beco Gemini and a wrap (wrap most comfy, beco most convenient and still very comfy)

Then, cloth nappies... We used disposables for the first month then got size 2 washables. You can get loads of info on those in the nappy section on here

Our DS loved the baby bjorn bouncer chair and I still use it to restrain him while I'm in the shower still uses it now. That was a great eBay purchase.

Other essentials have been vests and sleep suits, bamboo wipes, muslins, car seat and that's it. We never needed a baby bath, pram, cot, Moses basket, steriliser, and all manner of other 'essentials'. After 6 months I bought a manual breast pump and some bottles so I could do pt work. I just boil them in a saucepan to sterilise.

We do use a highchair although with hindsight I'd have bought the antilop. They sit up so well in it and it's much easier to clean than our lovely east coast wooden one. I'd say it's a design masterpiece grin

Toys- I guess they need some stuff that's safe to play with but real life stuff (wooden spoons, empty milk cartons etc) are often more attractive to them than toys anyway.

blushingmare Mon 15-Oct-12 19:27:36

Thanks Iwish - that's just the thing! (logs information away for DC2...) wink

BertieBotts Mon 15-Oct-12 19:25:03

Oh and my only other must-have for newborns is to get a cot which you can convert into a co-sleeper. Any of the ikea cots which are designed to stand up with 3 sides are perfect, as is any cotbed. Or you can buy an expensive one which is designed for the purpose, to save yourself having to drill holes etc, but it's really simple to convert one.

Even if you don't want to co sleep it can be a lifesaver to have the cot as a seamless, safe extension of your bed for the first few months, and then because they're used to the space it's easy to transition them into the cot when the night wakings become less frequent.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Oct-12 19:22:08

The bjorn bouncer is unique because it's stable to use once they can sit unassisted as well - normal bouncers just become unstable once the baby tries to sit up by themself with too much force!

Saying that I got a £2 one from an NCT sale and it was fab - literally just what looked like a giant folded coathanger with a bit of material hung over it and a crotch strap grin - worked great for us and by the time he could sit DS mainly wanted to be crawling about or in his jumperoo anyway. (He did the crawling/sitting thing back to front!)

As highchairs go I'd go for the antilop or what I got was a booster seat thing with a tray - the fisher price "healthy care" one. There are a few cute designs of it and some of them come with a play tray. This is useful if you have a small kitchen as it just straps to a normal chair so doesn't take up any extra room. It does take up a chair, though - and your chairs might end up encrusted with food! I agree there is no point at all to a high chair when they're a newborn, only once they get to about 4/5 months and can sit with support and want to see what's going on.

My friend had a nice rocker for her baby which was at about waist height, it was a funny thing, useful for her second child, as the toddler couldn't reach the baby to poke it! I can't remember what it was called though, but it's an idea for something different. Really when they're under 4 months they don't need to be high up though, they want to be able to see and focus on you and they can't see very far, so a bouncer if you're sitting down and a sling if you're moving about are perfect. I liked stretchy wrap slings for the newborn phase and then moved onto a soft structured carrier for toddler back carries, but Mei Tais look nice too, I think I'd have liked one of those if I'd got the hang of it.

notMarlene Mon 15-Oct-12 19:16:43

Sounds like the babybjorn nance! I'd definitely have gone for a cheaper version but am not in the UK and the babybjorn was the only proper old school bouncer to found.

nancerama Mon 15-Oct-12 19:14:24

DS turned his nose up at the lovely fancy bouncers and rockers. The only one he would tolerate was the cheaply mothercare one that looks like a pillowcase stretched over a coat hanger! Babies know not what you spend on anything!

notMarlene Mon 15-Oct-12 19:10:29

The BabyBjorn bouncer is fantastic. Both DC loved ours, had to use a chicco thing a few times and it was hellish. Is well worth the price.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 15-Oct-12 19:02:54

Blushingmare. You need one of these

Available from your nearest outdoor shop!

blushingmare Mon 15-Oct-12 18:58:40

Erm, my sling is made of bamboo and cotton, not bottom! blush

blushingmare Mon 15-Oct-12 18:57:13

You can get a newborn set for the Tripp Trapp, which seems an excellent idea in principle, but if your's is anything like mine, they will scream blue murder if you dare try to put them down while you eat. So practice eating one handed now! In fact a useful bit of kit would be a fork with a serrated edge so you can cut and shovel with one hand, if such a thing exists!

Bouncy/rocking chair - we've got a Chicco (£10 from NCT nearly new sale), which has been great. But if you're planning on going away with LO during the first few months I'd also recommend getting a v basic one (we got bog standard mother are one) that disassembles down flat so you can take it with you easily. I found it really helpful to have somewhere to put her down when staying at other people's houses/B&Bs etc.

Sling - my stretchy wrap (got a Hana Baby bamboo and bottom one because had a summer baby) has been my number one piece of kit. I honestly could not have survived without it! It's been the only way I can get dd to sleep during the day and has given me hands back with my super clingy baby! I was dubious at first because of the tying, but went and got help at a sling library and haven't looked back. People do use them fully in place of a buggy, but I prefer to have the option of putting her down too and having a personal shopping trolley, but I do do short journeys with just the sling and we did a full day at the Olympics with only the sling, so it's perfectly possible.


ScarletteOTara Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:16

Do we think Chicco is better than the Baby Bjorn Babysitter then?

The babysitter bouncer seems to be listed as best seller all over the place but some Mums Netters seem to think they're a bit pants. Oh and the funny speedo trunks shaped strap on the front of the babysitter chair really disturbs me!

tangledupinpoo Wed 10-Oct-12 22:30:56

Another vote for a Chicco chair here - good handles for carrying (although they say you're not supposed to, you always do), Good padding, easy one-handed way to switch it between sitting up a bit and lying more flat (so your baby can look around or sleep, or later, for feeding), just well designed and effortless to use.

Agree you definitely don't need to think about high chairs yet, but when you do, think about the £15 ikea one (not sure if that's the one you mentioned or if they do a smarter one too). We bought a normal highchair, then ended up buying the ikea one after using it at my mum's. Was brilliant: dead easy to clean, easy to take apart to travel with, robust. Did three children and still going. When DD was a toddler, we then just bought the tripp trapp without baby stuff. That's been great too, but for a baby rather than toddler, I think the ikea one is better than the tripp trapp with baby kit.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:51

Ooh, real nappies. There's a board for that too...

ScarletteOTara Wed 10-Oct-12 22:18:25

TeaandHobNobs that's most reassuring! My work colleagues were a bit horrified when I told them I didn't even own a single babygrow yet!

I had no idea there was such a thing as baby sling events. But of course there is. Its a whole new world! Signed myself up for a Nappuccino this morning. A year ago I was enjoying London Cocktail Week to the full and now its all slings and real nappies - WTF!

TeaandHobnobs Wed 10-Oct-12 22:12:46

Google for your nearest sling library or sling meet, where you can try out various slings before you commit to forking out for one (and subsequently discover it doesn't suit)

A lot of people are put off stretchy wraps (or other wrap slings) as they think they are too complicated to use, but with practice they become very easy, and are extremely versatile and brilliant for babies when they are very little. Otherwise there are good Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) options like the Ergo or Manduca (I think you can get a newborn insert for the Ergo?). Now DS is a bit bigger (12lb+) we've also tried a Mei-Tai type sling which was great for us - more structured than the stretchy wrap (so DH felt more comfortable with it) but still very adjustable because you tie the straps to fit you.
There are a lot of strong opinions about the Baby Bjorn, but my personal opinion is that they don't carry the baby in the optimum position of knees above bum height, they don't snuggle baby into your chest and therefore a lot of the weight is carried on your shoulders rather than distributed across your shoulders, back and waist, and it's not good for babies to face outwards for long periods as they have no way of shutting out the world if it all becomes a bit much (when facing you, they can hide their face in your chest). A bit of research will find you a really good sling which suits you.

And on the original point - a friend has the newborn set for the Tripp Trapp (and I have been coveting a TT ever since I saw it at hers) but I honestly think you don't need to buy any kind of chair until they are ready to be weaned, and instead if you want to buy something for them to sit/lie in, I would say get something like a bouncy chair that will at least hopefully entertain them a bit!

DS would either be feeding while I ate (table?! What's that?!) or in his Moses basket, and later his bouncy chair (when I could finally eat at the table). Now he isn't quite ready to sit up in a highchair, so he is mostly perched on my lap while I eat.

Don't worry about not having anything yet! We only had the crib when DS decided to make an early appearance, and managed to get everything else we needed in the two weeks before he came home (which gave us no time for dithering over choices!)

<apologies for essay>

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 10-Oct-12 22:08:13

Damn. Got strike out wrong on phone.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 10-Oct-12 22:07:34

Ah yes. Women with a depth of -obsession- love to put me to shame. What they do not know is not worth knowing.

ScarletteOTara Wed 10-Oct-12 22:04:49

Ahh: there's a slings board! Will go and swot up over there, thanks!

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 10-Oct-12 22:02:21

Get over to the sling board for experts! But are you open to tying? I love our didymos. Or a carrier like Ego or Manducca. Bjorns not generally well regarded despite their popularity.

ScarletteOTara Wed 10-Oct-12 21:55:34

Thanks ladies - this is all really good info. I'm determined to buy sensibly/sustainably and try and be less-is-more so all of your comments are much appreciated.

BTW I'm intending to get everything off eBay - seems a bit mental to buy this stuff new when it costs a bloody fortune and secondhand will do just as well smile

A sling is most definitely on the list. In fact my BF keeps asking me if we can just make do with a sling and not bother with a pram.

Any sling tips while I've got your attention?

NellyBluth Wed 10-Oct-12 21:23:39

The Bloom Coco looks awful! Sorry. Well, I mean it looks nice and all, but completely impractical. You need something light, easily portable, and that will lie flat.

However, I wouldn't spend too much money on the bouncer. DD really didn't ever take to hers, she wanted to be held or to lie on the floor. If you can borrow one or buy one slightly cheaper that might be better. Its the only one of the 'essentials' that I've heard newborns can really not like (they have far less choice on liking or not liking a pram!)

Thelobsterswife Wed 10-Oct-12 21:15:19

Fwiw, I got a cheapo secondhand 'newborn' type highchair which has proved invaluable for DD2, but I bottle fed her so didn't have to feed her all evening long like I did with DD1.

Thelobsterswife Wed 10-Oct-12 21:11:55

You can actually get high chairs from birth nowadays, some of which have toy bars and are very padded / recline like a bouncer etc. I think these are quite a good idea, in that you can have baby up at the table with you when you eat and in the kitchen with you when you ar doing chores rather than on a bouncer or swing on the floor. However, they are usually hideous plastic affairs which would be a nightmare to clean once weaning starts. I don't know about the newborn kit for the Stokke, but I like the Stokke chair and think it is a good investment. We have a cheaper version which is fab for my pre schooler.
However, if you are planning to breastfeed, you may find that most meals are eaten on the sofa one handed with a baby hanging off your boobs, in which case having a highchair for baby to sit becomes a bit irrelevant.

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