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Please help me decide what baby crap to buy!

(25 Posts)
helpmebuystuff Tue 28-Jul-15 09:31:49

Clueless first time mum-to-be here. There just seems to be so much crap to buy. DH's DB and SIL have just had their first and they seem to cart loads of stuff with them everywhere including travel cot even when not staying overnight, breastfeeding chair (I didn't even know there was such a thing as a breastfeeding chair, please excuse my ignorance), bouncy chair, sling, buggy, massive changing bag, changing table with wheels...


1) What are absolute must haves? Obviously buggy, car seat, crib, but what else? Do I, for example, need a baby monitor considering we live in a tiny 2 bed flat?

2) What pram should I buy? I have looked all over the internet but there is so much to choose from and we're both finding it quite overwhelming. My requirements are: something not hideously complex to fold away as I am not great at things like that, something not heavy as I am a massive weakling, something that doesn't cost a bloody fortune (so not a bugaboo or icandy or stokke). Need something that will last though. More than happy to buy secondhand but need ideas!

3) I plan to breast feed (plan to, anyway) but would quite like the option of DH being able feed baby too occasionally through a bottle, hence I will need a breast pump. Any recommendations? I'm well aware baby might not take to a bottle and this might be a total waste of money.

4) Clothes wise, what do I bother buying? It seems to me that when people have babies they get bought so many clothes it's not really worth it buying loads beforehand, am I right?

5) Crib wise, I have pretty much settled on the Snuzpod for the first six months ( but if anyone has it and hates it, please feel free to recommend something else!

Please wise mumsnetters, help me sad

BaguetteMaid Tue 28-Jul-15 09:43:49

Hi helpmebuystuff,
My DD is ten months old- I too was a bit overwhelmed with what we needed to buy. Your list sounds good.

In terms of a buggy, do you want the option of being able to convert it into a 'travel system'- so the car seat connects onto the pram if you're out for the day in the pram? We found that really usefull.

I would also highly recommend a thing called a 'sleepyhead' which is a cot insert to keep your LO cosy and secure. We found DD slept for longer at night and was generally more settled. It's bloody expensive but worth it IMO.

I had problems BFing (due to tongue tie that the midwives didn't spot) so had to pump out of necessity as I was in so much pain. I had the medela hand pump which is about £12 I think. I soon became an exclusive pumper due to latch issues so upgraded to an electric pump, but if you're only occasionally pumping then the hand ones are fine.

Make sure you stock up on nappies, nipple pads and food in your freezer for you smile

I've heard lots of mums recommend a sling for BFing and for baby to sleep on you while doing stuff. Next baby I'll get one.

Congratulations! It goes so quickly- enjoy! flowers

helpmebuystuff Tue 28-Jul-15 09:46:38

funny you should mention the sleepy head, I was just looking at that on the JL website. Would it go in something smaller like a snuzpod or would it mainly be for a cot? We won't buy a cot until we move out of our flat when baby is about 3 months old (and who knows when we will start to use it, DH is very tall so have a feeling baby may be very long!)

Yes a travel system would, I think, be the best option for us. that will mean we'll have to buy new though, as can't get a secondhand car seat.

thank you!

ohthegoats Tue 28-Jul-15 10:08:37

I had a Sleepyhead, and we've just bought the next size up too. I think it's probably been the best investment in our sanity to be honest. I had a side-car cot that I made by hacksawing the side off the £35 crib from Mothercare. If we'd had more room I'd have just used a normal cot with one side off.

I had a stretchy sling which I used from the first hour I brought her home. Just strapped her on and got on with stuff. I had a buggy, but I didn't use it until she was about 4 months old - until that point I just carried her everywhere. I used it now for running to the supermarket, or for her to sleep in if we're out for the day, but I still pretty much carry her everywhere (in a Little Lives rucksack or a hip carry ring sling).

I think that if breastfeeding works for you, then a small tablet (something like a Samsung 7 inch) is a brilliant thing - you can read one handed, it's a light during the night that's not too bright, it's useful for the internet.

I had a hand pump for £12 for the first few weeks, which was fine. We introduced a bottle for one expressed feed at around 2 weeks, and all was fine. I know that this was lucky. At around 6 weeks I bought an electric Medela swing pump which was brilliant - I expressed for one feed a day so boyfriend could do it.

I didn't have any special chairs or pillows, but an ordinary V reading pillow is good in bed just because it's comfy.

We didn't use our monitor until she moved into her own room at 5 and a half months, so no need for one of those yet.

Clothes-wise I had 5 x coloured short sleeved vests, 5 x white ones, 5 x coloured sleep suits, 5 x white ones, 2 x cardigans and 2 x hats. I think that was it - she was in those clothes until she was 3 months old I think!!

Keepsmiling1 Tue 28-Jul-15 10:35:16

Just regarding the snuzpod. We have one but DD outgrew it by the time she was 11 weeks. She is a long baby but it definitely wouldn't have lasted 6 months. Just worth thinking about!

karigan Tue 28-Jul-15 10:36:22

I bought most of her clothes from ebay in bundles. That way it worked our at about 50p per item.

I love slings- really enabled me to just crack on with my day. I've never bought one- I just our local slING library and pay £5 rental every month (the sling I am currently borrowing is £290 new so i'm saving a ton of money)

I've stopped bothering with baby monitors- we live in a very narrow but very tall terrace and I can hear her when she wakes up from her nap on the top floor when I'm in the kitchen which is three floors down.

I found the local fb selling pages/free cycle really helpful. You can pick up things like bouncers for £5 and if your baby doesn't like it just whack it back on the same group.

Keepsmiling1 Tue 28-Jul-15 10:37:14

Also, she didn't go in it for the first 4 weeks. She slept in the carrycot part of her pram as it was cosier (same as DD1) So we only got about 8 weeks use out of it! Going to sell it as DD2 is our last!

bumblebeebboi Tue 28-Jul-15 10:41:51

oh god keep, that is my worry about the snuzpod as I really think the baby is going to be tall! Do you think I should also buy a pre-emptive cot as well in that case? I wasn't going to bother until we've moved out of the flat.

when people talk about slings, do you just mean a standard baby sling like the baby bjorn, or something else?

karigan thanks for tips about facebook, I'd not considered that.

The reason I thought about getting a baby monitor is I'm massively anxious and thought that might make me feel more reassured, but maybe it will make me worry more?

Hellion7433 Tue 28-Jul-15 10:42:28

Must haves for me

Sling (used tons!!)
Macclaren buggy (one flat from newborn but small and folds compactly)
Good rear facing car seat
Blanket for floor, to put baby down
A good high chair that can be used from 6 months to 5 years.

No cot/modes basket/bottles/baby toys/bouncers etc for me.

Hellion7433 Tue 28-Jul-15 10:44:51

Couldn't get on with Bjorne slings for to back ache. I had a material wrap for my new borns and used an ergo when slightly older

RiverTam Tue 28-Jul-15 10:48:55

If you have a John Lewis near you it might be worth making an appointment with their nursery dept to discuss all the different options.

RattleAndRoll Tue 28-Jul-15 10:55:48

Grace evo is a good cheap travel system imo. Parent facing or outward facing.
You can get a carry cot top if you wanted, we didn't bother, just used the normal stroller top but laid flat until he was older. Then you have the car seat that clicks onto pram. We bought the car seat base which made life much easier, no need to mess about with seat belts everyone.

Clothes I'd just get say 10 newborn vests, 10 newborn sleep suits, then a few of each in 0-3 incase you have a gigantic baby who goes straight into 0-3 as too big for newborn like I did
You're right, people will buy you loads, but even if they don't, you can buy more. I bought far too many, then got bought far too many so DS hardly wore them.

Sling we used a close caboo at first then around 6 months changed to a structured type carrier, front or back etc just a mothercare one.

Sorry can't help with breastfeeding pumps/chairs as I didn't breast feed.

Must haves for me were a sponge bath support. Basically a large sponge with grooves to keep baby in it, just laid flat on bottom of your bath. Instead of buying baby bath etc.
Bath thermometer. Get stock of medicines, so you have them when you need them rather than in the middle of the night realising they have a temperature and you haven't got anything (obviously check ages some not suitable from birth).

We didn't use a changing table, just a change mat on floor, coffee table etc.

QforCucumber Tue 28-Jul-15 10:57:15

I'm a first timer too, early days yet though, not due until March - I've been looking at the Chicco Urban Travel System, found it online for under £400. Just need to buy the isofix base separately but it's not a necessity.

Worth looking at maybe?
I've also joined some facebook groups and a few friends have said I won't need half of the things you're told you'll need. Baby doesn't need anything but warmth and foods and nappies really. The rest is for your own convenience.

We plan to leave a travel cot at my parents and one at DP's and won't be carting one everywhere we go that sounds like far too much effort.
I've also been advised that people buy you lots of 'nice' clothes, dungarees, dresses, jeans etc and nothing really practical so will be investing in vests, socks etc

RattleAndRoll Tue 28-Jul-15 10:59:37

We bought a swinging crib from mothercare. DS loved it, slept really well in it, and we didn't always have to rock it. Now we can put him in his cot with his blanket and dummy and he goes to sleep every nap time / bedtime without fuss and by himself. I thought having the swinging type would mean he wouldn't ever settle on his own but he has no problems.
Next baby i'd possibly go straight for a cotbed as he grew out of the crib quite fast, although don't know if that will work, it might feel too big for him.

We bought a basic bouncy chair and playmat from mamas and papas which was fine. Nothing fancy but did the job.

RattleAndRoll Tue 28-Jul-15 11:01:02

And if your travel system has a carrycot top you can use this for naps and occasional overnight stays, depending on how often you'd sleep elsewhere.

pourmeanotherglass Tue 28-Jul-15 11:15:57

Sounds like you're on the right tracks with not over-buying before the birth, then working out what you actually need. If you're ina 2 bed flat, you won't have space for loads of stuff. You won't need a baby monitor if they are in with you to start with.

darlingbudsofjuly Tue 28-Jul-15 11:25:53

1. kari-me sling
2. Maclaren Techno XT buggy (lays almost flat, and you can sling up till then) - practically indestructible, will do two/three children. Nothing beats it.
3. Some sort of bath support thing so they can lie in the bath/baby bath and kick without you breaking your back
4. 8 babygros

That's about it. We did have a monitor - got it after the baby was born though, as we'd thought we'd be able to hear him and couldn't (tall thin house).

At my antenatal class the woman running it said: REMEMBER THE SHOPS WILL STILL BE OPEN AFTER THE BABY COMES! It's fantastic advice. Don't buy on spec unless you have money to burn. You can get whatever you need afterwards.

Teeste Tue 28-Jul-15 11:44:46

Remember there will still be shops after the birth! I was so tempted to get everything before DS came along but had to rein myself back in. You really don't know what size they're going to come out or what they'll hate or love.

My 6 week old loves his Amawrap sling, Sleepyhead, Poddle Pod, Ewan the dream sheep (although also any white noise apps) and anything with black and white patterns on it. We've made good use of muslins, cellular blankets, the travel system (Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip XT - love it), Perfect Prep machine, MAM bottles and steriliser (if FF). DS hates his baby swing and bouncer and is not interested in toys, baby gym or books yet.

Outfits with pants/separates are a PITA when it comes to nappy changes so you may want to stick to basic gros and sleepsuits for a while. DS has gone from 7lb7 to 10lb11 in 6 weeks and has outgrown everything newborn size already! So don't bother spending a fortune on fancy bits.

We just got a rocker crib/moses basket thing from Argos for around £40 for our bedroom, he's quite happy with that. Obviously depends on your room and bed etc. but could be just as easy as a sidecar crib jobbie.

For changing, we got an inflatable mat from Ikea for around a fiver and put it on a table, job done! Aldi nappies are great and amazingly cheap, as are their wipes. Sainsbo's also do nappy sacks for 25p. The main thing you'll need is extra bin space grin

TeaAndCake Tue 28-Jul-15 12:08:44

Your list looks good. We didn't bother with a monitor, we live in a tiny house and found no need.

A good Group 0 (rear facing) car seat. Matching base (Isofix or belted) is worth it's weight in gold. It makes getting in and out of the car so much quicker and the fit is correct every time.

A bog standard V shaped cushion was vital for breastfeeding. I borrowed a fancy 'breastfeeding' cushion from a friend with DC3 but really didn't like it. I was able to keep one upstairs and one downstairs which meant I didn't have to keep trailing a cushion about the house but the fancy one was about 6 times the price of my one and I'm glad I didn't spend out on it. It also made a comfy place (with the ends put together IYSWIM) to put babies on the floor under the baby gym (or whatever). No need for a bouncy chair for a while.

Braun ear thermometer has been worth every penny us. DC1 has always be prone to throwing some spectacular temperatures and it helps monitor things. It was reassuring when we were anxious PFB parents but it is still in use all the time now we have 3!

A buggy with a proper carrycot gives you an extra bed for the first 6 months. No need to cart a travel cot around with you anyway but you'll have your pram with you regardless. Uppa Baby Vista comes with a very generously sized carrycot in the price (which isn't Bugaboo or iCandy price either). Not too heavy but lovely to push and well built.

To be honest, if got their bed, transport and feeding sorted with a few vests, baby grows and nappies everything else is surplus and if you really need it you can get it later.

karigan Tue 28-Jul-15 14:09:10

If it makes you feel better then get a monitor- you never know you might end up with a quiet baby! Unlike mine who sounds like a foghorn. :p

The slings I used when she was a newborn was a stretchy Caboo (really soft material it was lovely) then I switched to a mei tai when she was a few months old and now she's 10 months I use a ring sling (she basically sits on my hip) when she's awake and a woven wrap (the long hippy style ones) when she's tired/asleep.

I cannot recommend sling libraries enough (I did a Google and fb one for my nearest one) I've rented 6 different slings since she was 2 weeks old at a grand total of £50. If I had bought these they would have coSt me in the region of £1300

ch1134 Tue 28-Jul-15 14:43:43

A lot of things you don't need straight away, you'll work it out as you go along.
My essential list is:
Pram. We went for a travel system with carseat, carrycot and buggy. Used it every day for 18 months.
Change mat, nappies, cotton wool pleats. Bin with lid.
Any chair will do for breastfeeding. But I needed a low light lamp for night feeds, muslins, and nice clothes to feed in. I got so sick of the vest/baggy t-shirt combo. Look out for tops or dresses with zips/ buttons. They don't need to be marketed as 'breastfeeding'.
A beanbag and/ or bouncy chair.
Moses basket, sheets and blankets until the age of 3 months when we used a cot.
Lots of vests and sleepsuits, some trousers and jumpers, a snowsuit.
Baby gym.
Everything else was non-essential.

ch1134 Tue 28-Jul-15 14:46:04

Oh, also a bath support and glass nail file. I'll stop now. Hope that's helpful.

superbfairywren Tue 28-Jul-15 15:45:02

We got a cheap crib and secondhand cot (bought new mattresses). There are so many on eBay and they are normally in great condition. I loved the look and idea of snuzpods before I had dd but now I am so glad I didn't get one as I tried having the crib next to the bed and I just couldn't sleep with it there, I worried too much and just lay there watching her. When we moved it to by the door I could relax much better.

We got an oyster travel system mainly because it didn't cost ridiculous amounts but still did most things the expensive ones do, and it fit the car seat we had already decided on, britax baby safe plus shr. The car seat is fab, and I also got a belted base to make it easy to get in and out of the car. The pushchair itself was great for the first 5months or so using the carrycot but since moving on to the pushchair seat I have fallen out of love with it. I have realised that when we went shopping I only really paid attention to how easy it was to fold and how comfy the carrycot looked for her to sleep in! I would say think about how long you will be using the pushchair and how your needs will change. I now have an out n about nipper and as I'm out walking a dog every day it would have made much more sense to have got this from the get go! For 200odd quid new I cannot fault the nipper, it's amazing! I now have 4 pushchairs(2 we're given to us) and still haven't spent as much as most of my friends did on their one expensive travel system.

We mostly had secondhand little baby clothes, but I made sure we had a few vests and a few sleepsuits in varying sizes to take to the hospital Then I sent my mum out to buy what we needed. We were given lots of clothes as presents too. I would recommend wrap vests from h and m or mothercare(h&m always have them) as they are really easy for those first few weeks when you're still frightened of breaking them!

I'm still breastfeeding at 8months in and although I have expressed a bit, I haven't pumped anywhere near as much as I thought I would. Its so much hassle if you don't need to but really handy to be able to get some freedom. I have an ameda lactaline electric pump(can be bought secondhand as is a closed system and you can buy new sterile parts) and a Tommie tippee manual pump and I can get just as much out with the manual, just hurts your hand after a while. I think the advice is to wait until your supply has established and the baby is feeding well before you introduce a bottle so you can wait until the little one arrives before thinking about a pump I imagine. There are always deals on in mothercare argos etc..

I had a close caboo sling for the first few months and loved it but I find my connecta much more comfortable so if I had another I would use that from newborn.
Good luck with it all, pp had it right when they said the shops aren't going anywhere, best thing to do is be underprepared and you can go out and get stuff when you need it.

RiverTam Tue 28-Jul-15 15:47:27

Monitors are handy if you think you'll be visiting or going on holiday with the baby. There's no way I could have heard DD in my mum's house, for example.

I found every bit of kit I had very handy, including loads of stuff that's usually dismissed on MN as being useless - baby bath, top and tail bowl, changing table.

KikiShack Wed 29-Jul-15 10:58:34

I found the monitor very useful in my small 2 bed flat- we got a video one (motorola) and it meant we could check on baby without leaving the sofa!
Also wouldn't be without a sling, so good for being able to get on with stuff while keeping baby close and snuggly. I recommend finding your local sling library to test some out . Many baby carrier experts think the Bjorn is not good for developing hips, I never looked into the evidence in detail but there are loads of options which are less controversial - Mandela and Ergobaby are two of the most popular ones which claim to be better alternatives to the Bjorn.
My personal experience was with a Bjorn for the first ~8 weeks (I wasn't really aware of the issues and alternatives early on) then when my daughter grew at a rate of knots into a gigantic baby she was no longer comfortable so I visited a sling library and then got a manduca which I can still carry her in now as a gigantic 2 year old.
Breast pads and lansinoh were essential for successful bf, also lots of boxsets and cushions! No need for special shaped ones IMO.
Have some clothes in the next size up as they can grow so bloody quickly! We were in 9-12 month clothes by about 3 months old so had gone through new baby, 0-3, 3-6, 6-9. That's a lot of shopping to do while you're sleep deprived and still trying to work out what to do with the baby. Don't bother with more than 1 cute outfit per age, complete waste of money and not as comfortable as sheepskins. Whoever invented newborn jeans should be shot...

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