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Stuff you couldn't live without... and stuff you really didn't need

(47 Posts)
humanfraggle Fri 16-Oct-09 10:40:42

I'm 23 weeks with my first, and found out last week that we're on Team Pink grin

After your baby was born, which items did you find you couldn't possibly live without, and what did you use only once then relegate to the loft?!


angel1976 Fri 16-Oct-09 11:04:14

Cannot do without for first six months:

Baby swing (DS slept for hours in it!)
Cloth sling

Cannot do without still:

Lots of sleepsuits and vests

Relegated to loft:

Bouncer chair (DS hated it, keeping for the next one just in case...)
Diaper bag (Just don't bother... Get a changing mat you can roll up)

morethemerrier Fri 16-Oct-09 14:11:01

Couldn't live without :

Medela swing electric breastpump
muslin squares great for mopping up just about anything!
Lipgloss! Even when I was too tired/no time just a quick slick and I almost felt human!!!!

Oh and a door bouncer when they are old enough was invaluable, portable and they loved it!

Relegated items include:

nappy wrapper bin don't bother!!!

My very expensive quinny buzz pram, did not use it half as much as I should have as found it quite heavy to get out of the car!

Washable nappies, good intentions never quite got the hang of them!

CornishKK Fri 16-Oct-09 14:18:43

Definitely couldn't do without the sling - has been an absolute life saver, PFB loves it, it helps with colic and is FAR easier to get about on public transport. Only ever really use the pram for downstairs naps!

Bouncy chair is on the landing waiting to go loft bound - PFB hates it, glad I bought a cheap one.

Everyone I know who bought washable nappies gave up on them almost immediately.

FifiForgot Fri 16-Oct-09 14:19:57

I second muslin squares - so useful for just about anything.

We also had a doomoo for DD, basically an egg shaped bean bag with zip on covers, one with a harness to strap baby in and one without for use when baby is toddling. DD spent hours and hours asleep in hers, she hated the bouncy chair that SiL gave us (not that I am surprised!!) but would happily spend hours in the doomoo - very comfy and I have often wished they did adult sized ones! She still uses it now, often curling up on it in the evenings and using it for her baby. We are expecting No2 in January and we broached the subject of perhaps her baby brother/sister using the doomoo. It didn't go down well at all, so I think we are going to have to buy another one!

Cakesandale Fri 16-Oct-09 14:25:51

I second the nappy wrapper bin and the heavy posh pram - too heavy to keep folding and unfolding, you'll end up not bothering to go out.

Also a waste of time for us - mobiles, baby monitor (God, you can hear them just fine, believe me!), most of the baby toys you can think of. They take up huge amounts of space, cost a fortune, and babies really DON'T play with them.

Absolute godsend - grobags and disposable nappies. And wine grin

Iklboo Fri 16-Oct-09 14:29:22

A wind up baby swing. Utterly invaluable to us. DS loved it and would fall asleep in in - so I could have a nap too

reikizen Fri 16-Oct-09 14:35:23

a dummy and a sling were lifesavers with dd1, didn't use either with dd2.
Don't buy one of those nappy changing stations, the floor & a cheap mat is fine. Don't buy a 'changing bag' buy a bag you like and is big enough for stuff.
Deffo buy muslin squares, still use mine and the youngest is 3!
Both mine loved bouncy chairs, meant I could pop them down to watch me (lucky them!)
Don't spend a lot on a pram, get a nice good one second hand from ebay.
Baby toys pointless, nappy wrapper even worse.

chachachachacha Fri 16-Oct-09 14:39:44

my life saver was this, a sling and a bouncy chair - a cheap one that we could boing with our feet or for ds to do himself.

Oh and grobags!

BarakObamasTransitVan Fri 16-Oct-09 14:40:21

reikizen have to disagree on the changing table thing - although that's because I had a CS. This time around I will absolutely be getting one (secondhand) to save my back (pretty certain this will be a CS too).
I don't think I ever used the nappy wrapper after the first cartridges ran out.

DorotheaPlentighoul Fri 16-Oct-09 14:50:15

Just to give another opinion, we had a Quinny Buzz and we did find it invaluable, but then I don't drive so it was not an issue getting it in and out of car. I walked everywhere in all weathers, went on city buses etc, and DS had lovely long, comfy, satisfying sleeps in it when out and about -- I always felt glad of it when I looked down at him all snuggly and reclined. So it was worth the money IME -- just depends on your lifestyle. I kept using it for ages and ages before switching to a lightweight.

Muslins -- we had about 30 and it never seemed like too many. Used 'em for impromptu bibs, change mat covers etc as well as usual possetting and whatnot.

This has also proved worthwhile even though it was expensive: We still use it now actually, just as a "base" on the big bed where DS gets his post-bath drying/pyjamas on and story. Will use again with DC2 for sleeping/night feeds in the early months -- I leak loads of milk when BFing and it is a godsend for absorbing that and keeping us dry and comfy. And the bolster bit is handy on is own ... and it may also come in useful as a sort of safety barrier when DS transfers to a bed ... etc etc.

Didn't use: Baby Bjorn sling, at least not much. I had an emergency CS so couldn't use it in the early days. It had a little light use after that, but soon DS grew so big and heavy that it wasn't practical to use for more than a super-quick trip to corner shop. He never liked it much, either -- he seemed a bit squished tbh. (He was 100th percentile height & weight from the word go so this is prob not typical, but just shows you never know.)

DorotheaPlentighoul Fri 16-Oct-09 14:50:51

Oh yes -- another vote for grobags! Grobags grobags grobags.

humanfraggle Mon 19-Oct-09 11:14:43

Thanks everyone for your input.

As we live in a farily small house we're trying not to clutter the place up with unnecessary things.

What's your opionion on changing units / the ones you put over the cot / ones you put onto the floor?

Do you think we'd be better off with a small wardrobe for clothes than a changing unit we've been given, which takes up about the same amount of space in the (very small!) nursery?


SpookyAlice Mon 19-Oct-09 11:31:41


My mum insisted i got a bottle steriliser and a few bottles. I was going to breastfeed and was not interested, but gave in and i am so glad i did!

Really don't bother with little outfits, other people will buy them for her. Get plenty of babygrows, and don't bother with scratch mitts, use socks instead as they stay on better. If due in the winter, get 2 snowsuits, they need washing a lot!

Get a baby bag/changing bag that you like. Doesn't matter if it matches the pram, when they are a toddler you will end up carrying it around because it is a useful size and sturdy.

If i had the room and money, i would get a chair and footstool that was comfy and supportive for late pregnancy and feeding.

With the next one, i will make sure i get an electric breast pump as i had to do lots of expressing with DD.

I would definitely get a monitor too. I know someone has said not to bother, but i still use it now and DD is nearly 2. Invaluable when they are poorly, even just to put your mind to rest. Doesn't need to be expensive.

Good luck smile

alana39 Mon 19-Oct-09 11:36:49

Humanfraggle I've never owned a changing unit, we have a tiny room as well so went for a small wardrobe instead with lots of shelves / drawers. Put the changing mat on the floor instead - I had intermittent back problems and a dodgy knee, but didn't find it a problem. I found the worst thing to do was to put the changing mat on our bed, because then you end up sitting twisted round. Storage is soooo much more useful.

And second the idea about just getting lots of babygros - you'll be given nice ones, so I'd just get plain ones. And no separates - pointless when they're tiny and they don't hold nappies in place like all in ones. Get the ones with fold over ends then you won't need scratch mits.

If you want a carrier get a wrap not a babybjorn type thing IMO - cheaper, and if the baby is big you may struggle for carry them for long anyway which makes more expensive carriers a waste of money.

SpookyAlice Mon 19-Oct-09 11:38:23

Just realised i sounded really bossy blush

Feel free to ignore, just my reccomendations, wouldn't suit everyone grin

Also, with the nappy wrapper bin, we found it very useful in the first 6 months. But the top ups are very expensive and now we just use nappy bags that are 99p for 400 from savers!

Another very good bit of advice (even if i do say so myself wink) Make the most of being child free for the remaining months, enjoy days out, lie ins, long soaks in the bath, having time to pamper and enjoy being pg smile

carrielou2007 Mon 19-Oct-09 11:49:39

Another vote for electric breast pump when I went back to work, meant although I had to buy yukky (no offence intended yukky for me only) bottles and steriliser dd was still breastfed by me and express fed by CM.

Muslim cloths fabbi, I used mine after for cleaning the house blush

I used a big proper pram as we walked everywhere and bought a stroller for my CM to use as she was in and out of the car it suited her needs as the pram did for me.

I always used a changing mat on the floor or when she was tiny changed her on my lap. I don't really see why I would go upstairs to change her when I could just do it in the lounge??

humanfraggle Mon 19-Oct-09 12:02:53

Alice you don't sound bossy at all! I love the last bit of your advice, pampering sounds like heaven smile.

I'm due beginning of February so the snowsuits sound like a great idea. We've decided that apart from the few babygrows we have bought when they've been on sale, we're not buying any other clothes as our families will spoil her rotten. My SiL is a manager at H&M so I know we'll do just fine for clothes grin.

The changing unit is the big question at the moment... SiL has given us one but we're not massively keen on it and it takes up about half of the nursery, so we're thinking of politely 'giving it back' and getting a small wardrobe instead.

Re: electric breast pump - I'm planning on expressing and have bought a manual one, I think I'd feel too much like a cow being 'milked' if i was hooked up to an electric one!! hmm

alana39 Mon 19-Oct-09 12:11:29

And as Carrielou says you will want to be able to change downstairs - you can get those big changing boxes for keeping supplies in downstairs, but not essential. I got a kind of wicker basket and kept a stash of nappies / wipes / bags etc in the living room and it became a toy box later. Better than having a glorified plastic tool box to throw way after.

SpookyAlice Mon 19-Oct-09 12:18:39

I struggled to feed DD so had to express. First i did it by hand for a few days and then got the Tommee Tippee hand pump. They are good because small and portable but i got through 2 of them in the 6 months that i was expressing. If you can make it to Asda in their Baby Event they are only £10.

I know i will not have the time (or energy!) to express by hand next time so want an electric one. You can hire them though.

I wouldn't have the changing unit tbh if you haven't the room, we have a changing mat that lives behind the sofa that we get out as we need it.

Ikea are very good for baby/childrens furniture. They do a slimline wardrobe for £30 that we are going to get our DD next time we are there.

carrielou2007 Mon 19-Oct-09 12:36:46

OP you will still feel like daisy the cow at milking time blush. The TT s good but you still have to hold it on and the other hand to pump - I've only got tiny hands and they got really tired and you can't do anything else at the same time. With electric I used to catch up on email and queries at work at the same time (not very glamourous grin)

We still have the wicker chest in the lounge as someone else mentioned that was for nappies etc now is full of dd's toys and will do same thing for next one due in 2 and a half months.

lola0109 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:08:09

I'm going to agree with most people on here, bouncer waste of time, DD didn't like it.

I didn't have changing unit as I was happy with storing stuff for nappy changes both downstairs and up (luckily we were given a lot of stuff so I didn't buy doubles). My sister however didn't have a huge flat and she had invested in a lovely mamas and papas oak changing unit with shelving and wicker baskets that seemed to co ordinate really well with her living room furniture. It was a god send for her in the flat. she has since moved into a house and now has no need for it as plenty of starage space!

My baby carrier was great for DD especially for quick walks to shops etc and I think it will be much more useful this time round especially as I'll also be chasing after an 18 month old!

I had a manual pump first time round but took an awful long time to express a decent amount (i couldn't express well) but I could sit and relax and express while DD was settled. This time I will most certainly be investing in an electric one as I can't see me being able to sit down for 45 minutes to express.

I agree with the Asda baby event (also keep an eye on other supermarkets) as you get greal deals on almost everything!

humanfraggle Tue 20-Oct-09 14:48:19

For those of you with experience of them - what's your opinion on baby baths?

Do you need a whole seperate unit, or is something in your own bath better?

There's so many to choose from, from pieces of foam to special bouncy chairs for the bath... I haven't a clue where to start! blush

OOOOOOOOOOOpsacoconut Tue 20-Oct-09 14:56:23

Don't bother with the seperate bath, pop her in with you or get one of those baby shaped sponges (tesco and mothercare do them) in the bottom of the bath. DD regularly got bathed in the kitchen sink. Babies don't need bathing that much in the early days just a wipe over with a wet cloth in the milk collecting places.

lola0109 Wed 21-Oct-09 10:03:20

I had the whole seperate bath first time round and although I'll probably use it for a couple of weeks this time I'll get one of the wee seats, just as soon as I know that DD1 won't drown the new baby

But if space is an issue then don't bother with a seperate bath!

I don't know why, but I liked bathing DD in her own wee bath in the warm living room. But maybe that's something you can hint at as a present from someone?

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