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Advice for new parents on what to buy (and what not to)

(25 Posts)
lmccrean Fri 18-Mar-05 20:14:40

I wrote this before, but when I posted it, it hasnt appeared

Anyway, was just thinking - we could pool all our knowledge about the mistakes we made when purchasing items for our kids - like a highchair with a fixed tray is a big no-no. And when buying a buggy make sure 1) the brakes are easy to put on 2) you can access the shopping basket, even when chair is laid back 3) it is easy to fold up when holding a baby! 4) it will fit in every boot that it will need to fit into (grandparents etc) and finally, most importantly, if you are thinking of buying a 3 wheeler, borrow a friends toddler and get them to climb into it. I have heard so many stories of kids climbing in and the buggy tipped over.

What were your most worthwhile purchases, and your most useless??

KoalaBear Fri 18-Mar-05 20:29:49

most worthwhile - metamium nappy rash cream, the babywhisperer book on sleep, a door bouncer

most useless - bedtime lamp which played a nursury rhyme while projecting little animals onto the ceiling (all it did was stimulate the little chap, rather than lulling him to sleep

kama Fri 18-Mar-05 20:38:16

Message withdrawn

tortoiseshell Fri 18-Mar-05 20:39:10

My advice would be to not buy anything you think will save your life! Eg - small nappy carrying device, to save carrying changing bag around. Result - small nappy carrying device is carried around in changing bag. Ear thermometer - has never worked, and is now lost. Snow suit - dd always hated it, and hardly ever wore it. Double buggy - nightmare in shop doorways, and hardly fitted in boot. Pushchair attachment that fits onto pram base - military exercise needed to put base in car, remember pushchair, assemble pushchair - result, bought a stroller.

However, there are some really useful things - non slip mat in the bath is one essential the books don't tell you. A wipe clean plastic bib with lip to catch the food has survived both my children, and saved me huge amounts of washing.

tortoiseshell Fri 18-Mar-05 20:40:05

Oh, the other TOTALLY essential thing is sleeping bags. Now they really did save my life, by getting both my children to sleep!

jane313 Fri 18-Mar-05 20:41:42

why is a high chair with a fixed tray a big no no? How do you mean fixed? The worst thing about my high chair is that the cover doesn't come off to wash.

The stupidest things I ever saw were a top and tail bowl (why pay so much for just a plastic bowl?). A baby wipe warmer! Just use warm water and cotton wool! And 3 ice cube trays for weaning that cost £8!

My most useless purchases were a cosy toes (in a sale luckily) cos I then got given a snow suit and he coudn't use both. But then I did get it out again this year when my son was a toddler and to started to snow. The other was those baby banz sunglasses, he never kept them on for more than a nanosecond.

We got given one of those lamps, when he was 8m. It didn't lull him to sleep but its a good signal that he has to sleep!

We got leant a baby bouncer, ti was fab. He was occupied for 40 mins at a time.

Bellie Fri 18-Mar-05 20:45:54

Best - sleeping bags - especially when they learn to roll over saves being wrapped up like a caterpillar in the sheets!
Playmat - can be taken anywhere and is instantly recognisable by dd
Worst - all the baby 'smellies' that grandparents bought - not used any of them!
Agree with the sling as well, although found useful for carrying dd in house if needed to do things (like put the shopping away) and she won't stop screaming!

pabla Fri 18-Mar-05 20:47:53

My pet hate are those sleep suits that don't have poppers all the way down the front - ie have to be pulled on over the head and then poppered at the legs and behind the neck. Or sleep suits that are footless.

I borrowed one of those rocking cradles for my first child, looks really cute but every time she moved the cradle moved too and woke her up!

Our family heirloom is a door bouncer, has been passed around nephews, nieces, friends, etc. A lifesaver when you need 10 minutes to eat your dinner.

My baby listener was very under-used. Therre was a thread on this recently...

lmccrean Fri 18-Mar-05 20:51:11

Most worthwhile:

Sleeping bags are high on my list to, along with baby einstein world animals and neighbourhood animals dvds.

I love my carrier, but only started using it when my dd was 2, so didnt have to worry about seating etc

CLOTH NAPPIES ! Save me a fortune so i can fritter away the savings on things I dont really need, but want anyway


hippychick hipseat - great idea, but very sweaty and arm ached holding dd towards me all the time, esp when she fell asleep.

A big toybox/toy chest - get a few smaller ones if you have the space, or you will "lose" toys at the bottom for months at a time.

vict17 Fri 18-Mar-05 20:51:13

Many people told us not to bother getting a baby bath but as we only have a shower it has been essential (it sits in the bottom of the shower) and we still use it a year on (and for £12 a pretty good buy!!). Never used the top and tail bowl, cot bumper, millions of cot sheets and blankets (used one and then changed to sleeping bag). Muslim cloths are brilliant for wiping up sick!!

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 18-Mar-05 20:54:02

grobags - brilliant

sangenic nappy bin - waste of money

albosmum Fri 18-Mar-05 20:57:25

their is so much baby stuff available now and it really is true that you hardly need any of it - - e.g silly outfits for young babies - sleep suits are all you really need, baby bottle warmers/coolers (flask/jug/kettle/fridge do the same thing), baby snack tubs (any tub with lid will do), baby bath ( sink or bath will do), I agree with the top and tail bowl being a waste.

Really useful are loads of vests and sleepsuits, bottles, breast pimps, plastic backed bibs, moses basket/carrycot, baby bouncer

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 21:02:00

Most useful things: cordless phone and a dishwasher

PuffTheMagicDragon Fri 18-Mar-05 21:04:56

tiny pair of nailclippers - still using them 4 years on, but nothing else from the set (eg thing you stick up the nose to squeeze snot out).

Frizbe Fri 18-Mar-05 21:19:26

Most useful: Baby size sponge (from mothercare) for bathing baby on in the large bath, great when she learn't to sit up, then we got a bath mat once she could stand. Gro bag for sleeping in (as per lots of other posts!) and I'll also second the dishwasher!

Most useless: Moses basket if you have a pram, as the top half of the pram will do baby nicely for sleeping in, until they get big enough for cot, just pop it inside the cot at night, so they get used to their bed surroundings!

006 Fri 18-Mar-05 21:24:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Nemo1977 Fri 18-Mar-05 21:26:58

best bottle holder bag, great for keeping bottle warm/ cold tommee tippee nappy bin plastic bath support

worst Ds hated sleeping bags, top n tail bowl as there is no point

jane313 Fri 18-Mar-05 22:03:23

006 I used a plastic bowls I already had, from the 99p shop.

I found our baby bath great as it sat on the edge of the bath and saved our bad backs and we used till our very big son was 9 months old. Now we use it for sand and water play in the garden

milge Fri 18-Mar-05 22:23:22

Excellent - grobags, baby mozart dvd, baby bouncer, boucy chair, travel cot, £30 stroller, muslins, Gina F weaning book/Annabel Karmel, Tiny Love musical mobile( still used at 2.6yo, black and white books
Waste of money - cot bumpers,blankets etc,fancy travel system, changing table, baby monitor after about age 3m, loads of 0-6m outfits, matching changing bag with pram, pushchair sunshade, all soft toys

ionesmum Fri 18-Mar-05 22:23:40

It changes from one baby to the next IME.

For example, dd1 hated the baby bath so I thought it was a waste of money. DD2 hated the big bath, so I got it out and she's still using it at 12 mo.

Biggest wastes have been on gimmicky things like bottle warmers (when I bottle-fed dd1) and weird gel breast things (when I b/fed dd2 - just use a flannel!)

One of my best purchases of all is my rocking/nursing chair. I thought they were a luxury until I tried one in hospital. It is brilliant for getting the positioning right for b/f, for rocking to sleep, and for night feeds - I often nod off and dd2 is very safe. I even use it for rocking dd1 sometimes. And when I've finally stopped all this baby lark I'm getting it re-upholstered and it's going in our living room!

bambi06 Fri 18-Mar-05 22:27:41

sponge bath thingy that they lie on in the bath ..godsend ..sit up bath seat for when they were that bit older , so they could happily sit upright in bath and play to their hearts content giving me both hands free and they couldnt stand up all the time and slip

HUNKERMUNKER Fri 18-Mar-05 22:43:07

Best things:


vtech ugly bear lullaby light (it has a proper name, but I prefer ugly bear) - DS has had this since he was about four months old and it sends him right off to sleep (and if he cries in the night, the music kicks in and he's been known to fall asleep again within 30 seconds).

Quest buggy

Non-slip bath mat

Breast pump (pmsl at "breast pimp" albosmum - soz! )

Maxi-Cosi Priori XP car seat

£3 beakers from Mothercare

Whoozit mobile


Worst things:

Baby sleepsuits for newborns that popper up the back or just round the crotch and down the shoulder. Bloody useless!

sansouci Fri 18-Mar-05 22:49:22

Never seen any being sold but heard they exist: baby wipes warmer.

ionesmum Fri 18-Mar-05 23:15:50

Muslin cloths by the million are essential. I also found wrap front bodysuits really good when baby is very new and wriggly.

Three wheel buggies are crap if you live anywhere near brambles as they keep puncturing the wheels. Given that they are supposed to be used in the countryside, this is a bit dim. We gave ours away.

I found a few soft toys good as my dds do cuddle them. Also soft books - b&w for newies and coloured ones for later on. Also car seat toys that attach over the handle are good - Argos do some.

bobbybob Sat 19-Mar-05 01:07:40

I loved my sling, front pack and hippychick hipseat. I hate my crappy little pushchair, but the grandparents find it useful.

Can't believe anyone would warm wipes or buy a special plastic bowl, but then can't believe anyone would use wipes or cotton wool bits, when a face flannel is so useful for this.

I also love the booster seat I bought, half the price of a highchair and a million times more useful.

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