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Do I really need these things for a newborn? What could I use instead?

(26 Posts)
friedrice Sun 02-Oct-11 11:03:05


I could really do with some advice. I live in Vietnam, expecting No.1 and so DH and I have spent last two days trailing round the (high-end) baby shops in the capital city with our baby list (compiled thanks to mumsnet, UK-based baby books etc) to see what we can and cannot buy here. Grandparents-to-be will be coming over, so we will request certain items but I need to know what is really helpful and what is not!

So, things we don't appear to be able to buy here include:

*Moses basket - do we just go straight into a cot? We can buy a travel cot (a chicco one, with change mat thing and wheels, called a "play and nap".)

*Muslin squares - would small towels/facecloth type things work instead?

*breast-milk bags for expressed milk - I assume I can store breast milk in sterilized bottles.

*Baby bedding - I guess most mums here use old adult bedding cut to size. Has anyone done this?

Thank you!

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sun 02-Oct-11 11:07:00

Muslins were a must for me. I mopped up everythng with them, and they'll be faster drying than towels. Don't bother with a moses basket, I put both of mine straight into a cot. Travel cots will be difficult to bend down to, and not very comfy. Breast milk bags were useful for me purely because I didn't have enough bottles to store milk in, and they wouldn;t have fit in my freezer. I was building up a supply to take to nursery. If it's just a bottle a day I see no reason you can't store in a bottle in the fridge though. Baby bedding can just be cut down. But I found it just as easier to buy fitted sheets as they fit more snuggly and didn;t get rumpled with baby wiggled around. There's no need for bumpers or anything though. I just used Grobags with mine.

Allboxedin Sun 02-Oct-11 11:09:46

I wouldn't bother with a moses basket, I had one with dd1 but she was only in it for a couple of weeks. Crib or cot is fine.

As for muslins, you could use teatowels, clothes...anything really, it's just to clean up sick!

Not sure about the breast milk bags.

This time I am not actually buying new sheets for the crib, I will use some I had for dd1 and she already has some which are cut up single sheets which are just fine. Crib and cot sheets are pretty expensive and at the end of the day it's just cloth. Just make you cut the sheet big enough to tuck into the sides etc.


SurprisEs Sun 02-Oct-11 11:12:21

Muslin squares were a must for me. Thin enough for me to be able to use dozens per day and not have to worry about over loading the machine and them taking long to dry.

Moses was a must for me as I was pretty much petrified of leaving DD for a second at the start. Made life easier. Plus I had no space for a cot in my room.

Freezing bags were a must as my freezer compartement is too small for bottles.

I have 2 sets of bedding for my bed. One in use, one being cleaned. So it made sence to buy some for the baby.

But people have different lifestyles.

seasickgal Sun 02-Oct-11 11:14:21

I agree, I never needed a moses basket. Muslins are handy , you can even use them as sun shades! However towels are fine if you can't get them.
I used bottles to freeze breast milk, but you will need a few extra.
Fitted cot sheets are good, but you could make your own if you have the time.

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 11:14:36

Okay yes well congratulations first off smile

You will NEED muslins, trust us. They go on your shoulder, under the baby, they can be used every single day for a multitude of purposes. Get about twenty.

moses baskets, no need. I co slept with my babies anyway. A travel cot as FFFF said is awkward as it's so low.
Cot might be handy though if you're not going to co sleep - I kept ours in the kitchen (had a big kitchen!) for daytime naps and putting baby in when I was cooking etc. Brilliant.

I never expressed really so didn't store my milk. Sorry I can't help with that. You may find you don't need to express at all, I just fed on demand but I wasn't working so it was fine. I still bought a breast pump for some reason - thought I might need one! I never did.

Baby bedding is very easy to make from cut down sheets. Also people knitted us little blankets and I got them from charity shops as well.

I know a family whose baby slept in a large wooden drawer for a few months smile

ChunkyPickle Sun 02-Oct-11 11:14:51

No moses basket here, I used hand towels rather than muslins (more absorbant!), we also just had a pack and play (co-slept from 2 months), and I have most of a packet of breast milk bags because mine couldn't figure out what to do with a bottle and expressing never really worked for me.

We didn't use baby bedding - I used puppy pads and then an incontinence pad to protect the pack and play mattress/our mattress, and a towel on top to make it more comfortable. He kicked off blankets, so he tended to just sleep in those all in one pyjamas (hated sleeping bags too)

I was in Canada, and couldn't bring myself to pay the prices they wanted for things when I knew I'd be moving country again in a few months.

heggertyhaggerty Sun 02-Oct-11 11:17:03

One thing you might want if it's very hot is a little crib for outdoors - so like those sort of pop up ones you can get, that have a sun cover/hood incorporated, and handles to lift it easily.

I would have loved one of those for the garden on hot days so I could just take the baby out with me when I went to hang out the washing etc.

rumpleteaser Sun 02-Oct-11 11:17:35

Hi, I reckon small towels or flannels will work just fine and travel cot if it has a bassinet thing, check the mattress is suitable for newborns, I don't know if they have to have specific requirements. Ms ds never slept in his moses basket.

I've not used adult bedding cut down to size so don't know but I think proper baby bedding is a good idea as fitted sheets are much easier and baby blankets are supposed to be better for the baby.

Not a clue about freezing breastmilk, someone will come along with some advice I'm sure.

ChunkyPickle Sun 02-Oct-11 11:22:17

If you only get a pack and play, you can't use normal cot bedding anyhow, hence the towel/incontinence pads I used.

I didn't get one with a bassinette, but it did let you raise the bottom so you didn't have to bend all the way down. The wheels were very useful as I could bring it anywhere I was in the flat.

AnyoneButLulu Sun 02-Oct-11 11:30:42

Muslims are very useful, you could run them up yourself from the right sort of fabric, but it would be so easy for your relatives to shove a couple of packs in their suitcase that I'd ask them to do that.

Moses baskets are very useful if you have a large house and want to carry the baby around with you, less so if you're in a 4 room flat.

Breast milk bags are essential if you're going to freeze BM, otherwise irrelevant, maybe ask for one pack just in case, again it's an easy thing for them to pack.

AnyoneButLulu Sun 02-Oct-11 11:32:58

blush at making your own Muslims blush

IssyStark Sun 02-Oct-11 12:33:15

I agree with everyone else re muslins: very useful but you can probably pick up some muslin cloth at a market and cut your own up, otherwise getting a relative to post some or using facecloths would do.

Moses basket: unnecessary unless you want to be able to carry baby around the house when sleeping. I wouldn't bother with a travel cot - they are v. awkward to get baby in and out of.

Milk bags: if you are planning a big freezer stash because you are going back to work etc or you have a tiny freezer, then an absolute essential, otherwise extra bottles would do. I went back to work so needed a large stash and had a tiny freezer so milk bags were in constant use in our house (freezing them flat is a good tip to take up less space and also defrost quickly).

Bedding: you could make your own, just have plenty of excess to tucking in properly. If you can't get waterproof sheets/pads, ask a relative to buy and send one or two over as that will probably be cheaper than a new mattress after a wee accident.

harassedandherbug Sun 02-Oct-11 12:37:33

Preg with dc4 and only just bought my first ever Moses basket. Only due to layout of our house! Mine have gone straight into a cot or the pram I had was suitable for overnight sleeping. I have a friend who's ds is sleeping in a drawer! That's where they used to put the baby.

Muslins I have always found v useful. Not too bulky and easy to dry.

I do have proper cot sheets, second hand ones though. But have cut down sheets or used pillow cases in the pram before. Pillow cases are handy as you get two dudes before they need washing.

I've never managed to express to can't comment on the bags I'm afraid.

Congratulations, it'll be fine!

whackamole Sun 02-Oct-11 13:17:31

None of that is essential IMO, although we have a moses purely for ease. It can be taken downstairs easily and doesn't take up a lot of room in our room.

We had muslins but TBH I found teatowels and bibs better. Think it was the ickiness of sick seeping through onto my hand I didn't like!

I bought the milk bags. We used the Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles which are very wide, so we couldn't fit a lot of expressed milk in the fridge/freezer. Also you can't really label them. You could buy one pack and see if you use them.

Didn't think about cutting down full size bedding TBH, wish I had as I have about a million sheets and blankets for adults and babies now!

Harassed what a good idea to use pillow cases! I will do that!!

TopazMortmain Sun 02-Oct-11 14:33:24

You can buy breast milk bags in Saigon... Is that where you live? PM me if you want.

ninedragons Sun 02-Oct-11 14:45:21

Muslins are definitely useful in the heat. They're thin and light enough to keep the sun and mozzies off the baby without stifling it. I use them as sheets in the pram and bassinet.

In fact if I were in enchanting Vietnam with tailors everywhere, I would be tempted to download the pattern for a grobag and get someone to run me up about six in muslin or a lightweight cotton. That would be all you needed in the way of bedding, unless you have icy air con in your apartment.

YougreatPamplemousse Sun 02-Oct-11 15:08:04

Muslins are very useful in the heat, if you can get some giant sized ones they are prefect for swaddling newborns in the heat.

TryLikingClarity Sun 02-Oct-11 15:42:28

When I was pregnant with DS I too wrote out a big list of things we'd need and bought most of them. Out of all the things I bought I found muslins to be the most useless things ever. Ever ever.

I can understand in theory why they are handy, but I just found them fiddly and they are so thin. Found wet wipes, bibs and tea towels much better in place of muslins.

All other things on your list I agree with what other posters said smile

Congrats, OP!

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sun 02-Oct-11 15:54:05

Muslins seem to be the best material to use, yes, they essentially are for mopping up sick and spils, which any old cloth would do, however they can be washed on a high heat (removes stains) and quite often become a sort of comfoter for the baby, and are much softer for LO to cuddle up to. Make your own if you would like, but stick with Muslin as the material.

Baby can go straight into the Cot, if you want to avoid a moses basket/crib, but they are pretty big daunting spaces for little ones, so something like this might be better in the long run - a travel cot to use when travelling / playpen / has a basinette in the tp for LO to sleep in in the first few months.

Id recommend breast milk bags over bottles as they will store MUCH easier in the freezer...imagine plastic bottles in the freezer?

Agree with the baby bedding - single bed sheets can be cut and hemmed into two or more cot/crib sized sheets. Grobag for baby.

friedrice Mon 03-Oct-11 11:25:20

Thank you everyone! Really helpful advice... I shall be asking my mother for a jumbo pack of muslins then! I love the idea of getting a grobag copied by a tailor too. And as for the moses basket, if I can find someone selling one 2nd hand, great - otherwise we'll go for the cot. Only 21 weeks so plenty of time to sort it all out. thanks

SurprisEs Mon 03-Oct-11 11:30:58

You can get plain Moses baskets for as little as £25 - £30 I think. Buying second hand you're likely to need a new matters so might end up spendin the same amount of money.

MysticShed Mon 03-Oct-11 11:40:55

Muslins are a waste of money and I never used them. We used flannels....

JarethTheGoblinKing Mon 03-Oct-11 11:43:15

DS went straight into a travel cot in our room - one like this with a bassinet so it was easy to get him in and out. He slept in there at night (in our room), and in the cot in his own room during the day.

GreenMonkies Mon 03-Oct-11 11:47:17

I would imagine the reason you can't find a moses basket and baby bedding in vietnam is because everyone co-sleeps. So the answer to the question what can you use instead of these things is; your bed, next to you.

Any small towel or face cloth will be fine instead of muslins, and sterilised bottles will be fine for milk storage.

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