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Could you please add to my list of must-haves for my yet-to-be born DC?

(153 Posts)
1charlie1 Sat 16-Nov-13 19:50:17

Following on from my 'best vests for newborns' thread, I would so appreciate your ideas of what DH and I need to add to our current purchases for our DC (due in April, but will be a Winter baby, because we'll be in Oz by then. And in Melbourne, so it's chilly. Not as chilly as Winter here, but pretty darn cold all the same.)

We currently have:

2 x 1-2 month old popper long-sleeved vests

2 x 2-4 month old popper long-sleeved vests. I know this isn't enough vests, but have no idea of the amount needed for each age group, so stopped there until I'd sought advice from Mumsnet!

2 x slings (Kangas)

1 x Ergo baby carrier with newborn insert

12 x packets Waterwipes [they were £2.25 each from NCT, and are $7.58 from the only supermarket chain in Oz which sells them - so expensive in Oz! How long does a packet last, in general? Debating whether to get loads more to put in our shipping container...but again, not sure how many we need until the baby can go on to regular baby wipes?]

That's it so far! I guess we'll need a change mat, and a car seat (will be bought in Oz, as UK car seats are illegal to fit in Australian vehicles.) Going to try to be pram free, and see how that goes. But I have no idea the amount of basics we need, or how long babies take to grow out of things. I want to buy as much as possible in the UK, because Oz is great if you're earning dollars, but pretty dire if you're spending pounds, which we will be for at least a while. Any suggestions much appreciated!

hazchem Sat 07-Dec-13 05:53:51

One final thing I'd really recommended getting in the UK is dental work! It's free while your pregnant and eye wateringly expensive in Australia. I love my consultant here but to see him is just shy of $300 and that isn't any work being done.

Scrumptiousboy Thu 05-Dec-13 21:25:06

Very extensive lists, but my favourites have been:
Baby Bjorn bouncer - I could not have had a shower/lunch/tea without it, my LO still loves the sound of the shower and happily sits in it at 11m when I get ready in the mornings
Merino Kids sleeping bags - great for winter and summer and have handy wholes so can easily transport baby from car/carrier/home. They go from NB to 24M in single bag so you save in the long run any money you may have to pay extra to start with.
Bug in a rug fleece wraps - they do them also in extreme weather version, which I used this winter and was fine and they do a UV version for summer. Handy
Video monitor - once baba starts to sleep in a different room, I find it essential to keep an eye on him and helps me not to rush in to let him settle himself
GAP socks - my DS is mobile and they never come off. They are also at the same time not too tight, which I have found with many others brands
Sophie teething toy - the noise is a great distractor! And all babies love them
Teething dummy - RazBerry - you get them on Amazon
My smartphone - for shopping and keeping in touch with the outside world and all those photos/little videos
DVD box sets and my kindle - for when you we glued to the sofa feeding your baba
Slip on shoes - forget laces when you have small kids!
Tommee tippee essentials pack - the nose snot cleaner and nail clippers have been a life saver
Breast pump, pads, storage bags and calma bottles have meant that I've managed extra sleep when DH was able to look after baba
A nursing scarf - doesn't need to be a special scarf, but even if you don't mind feeding in public you may need it to get your baby to focus on feeding when they get to about 4 months.
I used the Munchkin microwave steriliser bags - handy and quick
Sterilising wipes (dettol or similar) for dirty surfaces - you won't believe the state of some changing tables - and hand wipes
Snack bars
Nappy cream

I'm sure there's more, but those come to mind now - over and above the vests and sleep suits. You may find that there is a local Facebook group for selling nearly new kids toys and clothes where you can bag a quality bargain - you can always post to say what you are looking for.

Congratulations! You've never known happiness like it

ladygagoo Tue 03-Dec-13 21:20:44

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned these but Nelsons Teetha teething granules are fabulous, particularly from about 12 weeks when the teeth start moving around in their gums and they are forever chewing their fists. Totally homeopathic they cost roughly £5 for 24 sachets. My baby massage teacher recommended them and they were (and still are at 15 months) a godsend. For tiny babies you can stick a clean finger in their mouth to wet it then dab your finger in the powder and gently rub it into their gums. Really really helps to calm them down rather than medicate.
Sometimes boots do them 3for 2

1charlie1 Tue 03-Dec-13 20:37:56

Thanks again for great tips! Right, so I now have 2 pairs of sock ons 0-6 months, and 2 pairs for 6-12 months. I assume this will be enough?

Weemee, we're going to buy a cheap canvas haversack for use as a nappy bag, with a good wetbag inside for carting around the yucky bits we'll accumulate. I think we'll be using reusable wipes for nappy changes - again, like the cloth nappies, not something I'd even thought about until reading this thread. I've never seen reusable wipes for sale anywhere, whereas there are shelves of disposable everythings... handy on occasions, but I would like to not create a huge mound of garbage, if we can cope with using reusables.

Hazchem, thanks. We're being pretty paranoid about customs, and our shippers have already warned us that customs will scan the barcodes of everything in boxes to check if it is less than a year old. If so, tax will be payable. So nothing will be in its original packaging, and the baby's clothes will simply be mixed in with ours. And really pleased you think Oz charity shops are cheap! Looking forward to fossicking...

Thanks so much to all the posters who type out long lists. I love reading through them, and seeing which items appear again and again. It's really helped me get my head around the vast marketing machine that is aimed at the new parent. Katienana, I also think cups of tea and a good washing machine will feature heavily on my list of 'must haves'...

Teacherwith2kids, your suggestion re knickers and maternity pads is not bizarre! It's really helpful, and has reminded me to pop a couple of packets in my suitcase. Sanitary products in Oz are another thing which are very expensive, and I can't imagine maternity pads are any cheaper. Someone upthread mentioned the Tesco own brand ones as being great, so I'll see if I can grab some.

Weemee Tue 03-Dec-13 17:58:31

Mother ease one size washables with Rikki and airflow wraps. Bombproof and can be picked up second hand. Also washable breast pads esp once mill supply settles down. Much comfier and cheaper. Instead of wipes we use supermarket value facecloths and water, sometimes even when out and about. Saves a fortune! Just buy a certain colour and those are for bums only! If youre planning on slinging and no pram a good babywearing bag or I use a rucksack. Good luck!

sonlypuppyfat Mon 02-Dec-13 15:16:57

gimme did you mean to type muslims?

Katienana Mon 02-Dec-13 14:53:28

Short sleeve vests x12 size 0-3
Sleepsuits x12 size 0-3
1 pramsuit 0-3
2 pramsuits 3-6 months (my reason for this is that you won't go out as much anyway when baby is in smaller size, and if they are sick on the smaller size one you can get one of the bigger ones out)

Then it depends how fast baby grows and how you feel about clothes. I would want to have about 6 vests and 6 sleepsuits as a minimum so I wasn't too under pressure to get a wash on constantly. DS went into pyjamas at about 10 months but he was already in 18-24months clothes by then as he is so huge.

Fleece blankets x2 cot size, x2 moses basket/pram size
3 fitted cot sheets
3-4 moses basket sheets
6 pack of muslins
Bottles, sterilizer, breast pump (if you want to breast feed and express, otherwise you won't need the breast pump)
Breast pads
Maternity pads
Cotton wool (for nappy changes up to 6 weeks when you can swap to wipes)
Top & tail bowl (or you can just use a washing up bowl!!)
Changing mat (I'm on my second one with a 14 month old, was £3.50 in Tesco)
Changing bag with mat
Nappy sacks
Sudocrem - huge tub, and smaller tub to go in change bag
Lansinoh for sore nipples
Nursing bras, comfy pjs, dressing gown, stretchy vest tops
Sleeping bags for baby

Big stuff
Moses basket & stand
Travel system - I know you want to be pram free but honestly I couldn't have managed, I was very weak after the birth and couldn't actually safely stand up and carry DS.
Bouncy chair (goes on the floor, ours had a vibrating function that DS liked! We used to pop him in it while we ate and it kept him happy)
Travel cot - can also be used as a playpen
Safety gate

Fun stuff
Lamaze toys - cute toys with different surfaces on to amuse baby
Loopy links - plastic loops that link together and string across car seat, you can hang toys from them and they are also teething rings
Pop-up/lift the flap books
V Tech baby walker - The singing will drive you mad but it has been such good value, DS must have played with this for 100s of hours. He can walk now but still likes pushing it.
Kindle or smartphone - for you, will keep you sane during night feeds etc

Medical stuff
Calpol, nurofen, snot sucker, saline drops, vapouriser plug, baby Olbas oil, Vicks, nail scissors/clippers, lavender oil, tee tree oil (for you post birth)

Everyone's list of 'essentials' will be different because all babies are different and so are all mums! I also couldn't have done without Yorkshire Tea, coffee machine, lots of cake and a good washing machine!

HazleNutt Mon 02-Dec-13 13:28:52

as an alternative, DS does not keep normal socks on, but knee-highs stay on nicely.

Instead of nursing bras, I always recommend getting a conversion kit for normal bras and doing your own. Saved my sanity, I was starting to hate my figure and none of my clothes fitted - of course they didn't as long as I had this cone-shaped sweaty uniboob thanks to nursing bras. Now have non-wobbly boobs back under my chin where they belong.

principalitygirl Mon 02-Dec-13 13:02:07

definitely sock ons!! multiple pairs. my little one kicked his legs constantly from early on and we couldn't have managed without sock ons!

hazchem Mon 02-Dec-13 02:07:28

Just to quickly mention you might want to check import regulations when buying new stuff as you don;t want to be hit with 10% GST on everything you bring in. From my understanding you are not allowed to buy stuff new just before you travel. Please check it out first it would suck if you then get hit with massive GST bill.

Also check with liquids for shipping too. I can't remember but i think there are regulations around them too.

Also how much earlier then due date are you coming to Australia? You don't want to have everything in shipping.

Oh and if you are happy with second hand charity shops are loads cheaper here then in the UK.

Pollaidh Sun 01-Dec-13 14:35:10

Sleeping bags and sock-ons. I don't think you can get sock-ons easily outside the UK but they are great for keeping baby's socks on (otherwise you will lose tons of socks and have to end trips because their feet are cold).

You can now get little newborn sleeping bags (e.g. at JoJo Maman Bebe) and from about 6 weeks or so (depending on size of baby) sleeping bags (0-6 month size) are invaluable. We generally have 2 of each size and tog rating (2.5 tog UK winter, 1.5 or 1 tog for summer months). However we do sometimes have to do a quick wash and tumble dry, so if you don't have a dryer it might be worth getting an extra bag.

Bouncer seat, preferably with a bar across with toys dangling, and a play mat. They will play with these from about 5 weeks, or even earlier.

teacherwith2kids Sun 01-Dec-13 13:29:03


We moved to the US when DS was about 6 weeks old, and had to take everything that he needed with us in the plane - so a little bit similar to your situation, though we did do a 'foldable pushchair suitable from birth' as well.

- Vests (at least 6, possibly more as in the early days it is quite possible to need a vest per nappy change)
- Babygros (as above)
- Hat
- A slightly warmer layer - cardigan? Probably 2 or 3 of those
- You might want to get a few pairs of socks in case you get given 'outfits' when your child is born, as these tend to come without socks.

Looks like you are already sorted for nappies.

- Sleeping bag
- A couple of cellular blankets. Although these aren't so useful for actual sleeping, they can come in really handy for general 'wrapping a tired baby'
- Somewhere to put your baby to sleep during the day. If you plan to co-sleep, and don't have a pushchair that lies flat to put them down in, it is useful to have somewhere safe to put them when they sleep in the day [well, mine didn't sleep at all during the day but I understand that most babies do....]. We went for a Moses basket, but tbh we also used a large firm floor cushion that we already had in those early days.

Bathing / Changing
- We had a foldable changing mat that was fabulous and kept going for years.
- Some soft new towels are nice as used ones tend to feel quite 'sandpapery' against your baby's skin
- Muslins
- Something wipey - cotton wool or washable wipes

- Nursing bras
- Breast pads
- Microwave steam steriliser. I didn't think that I would need one, but in the end it turned out to be invaluable. It doesn't use an electricity supply, so can be used abroad. It contains 1 starter bottle, which I found useful for expressed milk etc, and if you are a little ingenious it can be used to sterilise all sorts of things - different bottles, all kinds of stuff.

- Baby thermometer + Calpol. DS was ill quite soon after we arrived abroad, and I was so relieved to be able to put my hand out for 'known' medication rather than having to work out new brand names, strengths, recommended ages etc.
- Also, not to pack but to find out: spend time Googling all the support networkd that you might need - breast feeding, mother and baby groups, health visitors or equivalent, etc etc. I don't know what support network you will have over there, but I found identifying who I needed to get in touch with and the type of help they gave quite tricky.

Bizarre suggestion - a huge multipack of pants for you, and lots of maternity sanitary pads. It may well be that you won't want to be finding such things just after

I had an emergency C-section, which made it hard for me to lift and meant that I added some extra stuff to my list, including a Moses basket stand and a V-cushion to fit on my lap and balance DS on while feeding.

Good luck!

MrsMarigold Sun 01-Dec-13 10:55:01

Maternity bras wish I'd bought loads more!
Baby bouncer vital.
Good breastfeeding tops.

People buy loads for the baby but not so much for the mum!

girliefriend Sat 30-Nov-13 18:46:17

If this is your first baby you will almost definately get given loads of stuff!!

My friends and family more or less kitted out dd for the first 6 months of her life!

I had minimal amounts of stuff for dd and she survived, half the things op are telling you are essential I have never even heard of grin

I would say a few packets of vests and sleepsuits, you will prob need newborn and 0-3 months unless you have a big baby.

A few little cardigans.

All in one sleep suit.

A few little hats


A moses basket (even if you are thinking of co-sleeping I would still have one just in case plus they are handy for putting newborns in when they are asleep in the day)

Some nice cosy blankets

A sling

I actually agree with you about not getting a pram, that is my one regret with dd - I wasted so much money on a pram that she only used for 3 months until I got fed up with how cumbersome it was and got a maclaren buggy!!

Abzs Sat 30-Nov-13 17:17:01

The gendered colours problem is why we had the tesco packs of 5 suits - they do them in white and primary colours.

I have found the cloth nappies mean DS is in body/sleep suits a size bigger than his other clothes for the length under the bum. So you might want bigger ones sooner.

1charlie1 Sat 30-Nov-13 14:19:50

perfectstorm, that link is fab, what a shame there's nothing coming up until after we leave! Someone mentioned NCT sales earlier in the thread, but when I googled, I didn't see this calendar confused Oh well... all is not lost, I will try the freecycle stuff instead (am going to look right now peanutbutter, thanks.) Went charity shopping thismorning, and found nothing in about 4 stores that looked salvagable - again, so gendered, and nothing for really little ones.

1charlie1 Sat 30-Nov-13 14:09:18

Haha! Clearly not! Right, will try again...

1charlie1 Sat 30-Nov-13 14:08:49

Hi voldemortified, I've never sent a pm before, so just checking this works...

peanutbutterandbanana Sat 30-Nov-13 13:08:04

1charlie1 do try freecycle in your area - put up a request for what you want and I bet there'll be someone who will be happy to move what their DC has outgrown onto you. Newborns move up in size very quickly so you collect all the kit you think you need, turn your head for a minute and .....boom ...... they need the next size up! Freecylce is great almostasgoodasmumsnet.

perfectstorm Sat 30-Nov-13 08:43:15

You don't need to be a member of the NCT to buy things from their Nearly New sales. Quality is usually very high as the cost of the classes means a middle-class demographic (in fairness, the NCT are concerned about that so they're now offering a free or vastly reduced cost option to lower income families) but people set their own prices, so it can range from daftly more than new from a supermarket to absolute bargain territory! We got some great outdoor play equipment from ours.

Sorry if you already know about them. grin

Voldemortified Sat 30-Nov-13 08:26:13

1Charlie1, pm me and let's see if we can sort something out. I will be in hampshire before xmas. smile

1charlie1 Fri 29-Nov-13 22:39:09

Voldemortified, that is really very kind, thank you very much. We're in Bucks, moving Hampshire way mid-December (leaving the UK New Years). We would LOVE your DD's nappies, if it's logistically possible! thanks
I love Bonds baby clothes. Really cute. We'll definitely feel better about paying Oz prices when we're earning Oz wages.
Thanks earlgrey, it's not obvious at all. It seems logical that you'd want to put the softest cloth possible on your baby's bum, but I have read that fabric softener messes with the absorbency.

earlgray Fri 29-Nov-13 21:36:33

Might be obvious but don't use fabric softener on your nappies as it makes fabrics less absorbent!

Voldemortified Fri 29-Nov-13 21:14:21

Hi, haven't had time to read all the posts, but I am Australian, living in the UK for the last eleventybillion years, and I can vouch for the fact that everything in Australia is extremely expensive these days. Especially nappies - I could not believe how much they were last time we were there.

That said, when you do feel up to buying stuff there, Bonds (Australian brand) is wonderful for babies - babygros and singlets (vests).

Where are you OP? I have a big stash of washable nappies that I had from DD1 (shapes ones with poppers, not origami style ones). Very happy to give them away. smile

Surya Fri 29-Nov-13 20:46:20

puggle, the website has a detailed questionnaire based on which she suggests nappies. Plus, she also sells taster packs, and many local councils do them free or v. cheaply too.

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