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Finding out you’re expecting your first child can be a daunting experience. A lot of new parents don’t take into consideration just how much stuff a baby needs. It can be surprising. Here I have compiled a quick list of the most essential buys for your newborn baby.
Moses basket – For approximately the three months of your baby’s life, they will more than likely sleep in a moses basket. You can of course put your baby straight into a cot if you wish, but for most parents the easy manoeuvrability of a moses basket is vital. This mean that it can be easily moved from room to room. In the day your baby can sleep in the basket in the living room, and in the evenings it can be easily transported upstairs and be placed next to your own bed. Another reason why moses baskets are so popular is parents can keep a close eye on their babies and monitor them. In terms of bedding your baby will not need a pillow or a duvet. However you should make sure that there is a padded mattress laid down in the basket. A sheet or blanket will do, depending on the temperature. I preferably choose to use sleep bags, as I personally feel baby is safer in these as they can not slide down underneath any sheets, causing possible suffocation. Your moses basket should be of sturdy construction and should fit well onto the stand (if you are using one), there should be no room for manoeuvrability once your basket is on its stand. Ensure the basket is not placed near a radiator, direct sun light, or where there is a possibility that a blind/curtain cord could enter the basket. Make sure that if you are getting up in the middle of the night to attend to your baby, that you can clearly see where the basket is, to avoid accidently knocking it over, a night light may be handy. Make sure the moses basket and stand is placed on level flooring.
Monitor – A baby monitor can be used if your baby is asleep in one room and you are in another. There is a vast range of baby monitor products available to purchase. Some basic models will allow you to hear the baby when they wake and not much else, some have two way voice operations, and the more advanced have a digital or similar display which can tell you the room temperature, and also allow you to play musical lullabies over the monitor to your baby. My favourite monitor is the video monitor. My neighbour raved about how good they are and how he wouldn’t know what they’d do without it. So my partner and I purchased one and we’ve never looked back. The great thing about a video monitor is you can see your baby! Obvious I know, but in my opinion this intrigues me to be able to just watch her and see what she’s up to. Of course it is practical too, if I only had a voice monitor and I heard my baby making a noise I would undoubtedly go up to her room and check to see if she is okay, but with a video monitor I can see if she is just making noises in her sleep or is just moving around to get comfortable, rather than walking into her room and possibly waking her up. When deciding to buy a monitor consider the distance ranges of each, as some may only allow you to hear/see the baby from the room next door, where as others may have a range that extends to your garden. Consider whether you want to be able to have two way communication or whether you are happy to just be able to hear your baby. You may also want to check if the monitor is battery operated or can be plugged into the wall. Consider multiple channel monitors if you have more than one baby in separate rooms, this enables you to link up two or more channels or cameras to one monitor.
Room thermometer – Unless your baby monitor comes with a room temperature display, I would suggest you purchase a room thermometer. These are relatively cheap. Remember a babies room does not need to be hot. Ideal temperature is between 16 and 20 degrees celsius.
Sleeping bags – Invest in a good sleep bag for your baby to sleep in. In the summer months opt for a sleep bag with a tog of 0.5, and in the winter months a tog of 2 should keep baby nice and warm. Sleeping bags are often preferred to sheets or blankets, as they have a zip up the side and poppers on the shoulder. They prevent the baby from sliding down under the covers, whereas a with sheet or blanket the baby may wriggle underneath causing possible entanglement or worse yet, suffocation.
Night light – A night light allows you to be able to safely see around your babies nursery. It also provides comfort for your baby, as they may find being in complete in darkness distressing, and upsetting. Consider investing in a night light that plugs into your wall socket, as battery operated lights can run out fast if left on for long periods of time. You can also purchase night lights in the form of toys, where the toys tummy might light up for example the Playskool lullaby Gloworm.
Cot bumpers – When you make the transition from moses basket to cot, make sure that you purchase cot bumpers. These are designed with your babies safety in mind. They prevent your babies arm or leg from getting trapped between the bars as they toss and turn in the night. Opt for breathable bumpers, as you don’t want to risk your baby rolling over and having their mouth against the bumper. Make sure you buy the right size for your cot, as many bumpers come with two sides or four.
Flask – I think this has to be my ultimate essential for the first year. When my daughter was first born, we found it tedious having to wake up in the middle of the night, traipse downstairs to the kitchen, boil the kettle, wait for it to boil, then wait for it to cool. We found the answer was a flask. We would fill up a jug with boiling hot water and allow it to cool to the right temperature for a babies bottle, then we would pour it into the flask. Then when baby woke for a feed in the night we could instantly make two or three bottles from one flask straight away. This saved our baby from having to wait and also meant that she settled much quicker back to sleep.
Burping cloths – I love burping cloths! They are just handy strips of material that you sling over your shoulder or over your hand when you burp your baby in order to prevent them being sick all over your newly washed clothes.
Steriliser – There are two types of bottle sterilisers; microwave and electric steam sterilisers. Both provide the same function i.e. sterilising your babies bottles and dummies so they are free from any harmful bacteria. There is another option though, you can cold sterilise your bottles in a container using sterilising tablets or liquid. Check on the capacity before you buy, as in my opinion the more bottles it can hold the better. I have a Dr Brown microwave steriliser which I can fit 5 bottles in and some dummies. You just simply add 200ml of water and microwave for 6 minutes. One tip I will give you is make sure the sterilising unit will actually fit in your microwave as you may be surprised that some wont.
Bottle/teat brush – This is a cheap but handy piece of equipment. It allows you to make sure that all the milk debris is completely washed away from your bottles and the teat brush ensures that no old milk is left lingering in the teat hole. If you buy Dr Brown bottles they actually come with a handy little teat brush.