Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time. But while you’re no doubt looking forward to meeting your little boy or girl and getting started on making memories, you’ll probably have been plagued by the same thoughts many new moms and dads face: what items will we need to buy, and what makes them essential? You see, for such tiny beings, babies need an awful lot of homeware items to ensure they are safe, comfortable and stimulated, and you may have begun to feel as though you’re planning for the arrival of a tiny army. No sooner do you have the issue of ‘what’ sorted, and the next question arises: when should you splash the cash? Some parents-to-be start shopping for their imminent arrival the moment they get that ‘big fat positive’, while others manage to restrain themselves for a little longer. It’s important to keep within your means, and to buy items little and often.
Pregnancy, and preparing your lives and home for a baby can feel like a whirlwind. Never fear though, as we’re here to help to decipher those baby wish lists and kit out your home.
Starting to think about homeware essentials
Shopping for a new baby can be a stressful and expensive experience – that is, until you realize that not all ‘essentials’ are the types of items that you can’t live without. Indeed, many purchases touted as being ‘must-haves’ will often turn into ‘nice to haves’, and it will save you a lot of time and money if you learn to tell the difference. Here are just a few of those essentials that you should have prior to baby’s arrival:
A crib or cot bed
Following the purchase of a car seat that will get your baby home from the hospital, and a pram, pushchair or travel system that will transport its precious cargo from A to B, you’ll need to think about where your new addition will be sleeping. It’s recommended that babies stay in their parents’ room for the first six months of life, so consider choosing a crib or Moses basket that will fit snugly beside your own bed, or a co-sleeper to keep your little one closer still. Once baby is old enough, he or she will need a cot bed; such an item of furniture will see them long into their toddler years and give everyone the space they need to sleep soundly.
It’s a simple fact of life that all babies need changing a lot during those first days, weeks and even months. While it’s nice to have a changing table with heaps of storage underneath, the truth is that a simple mat will suffice. What you won’t be able to do without, however, is a diaper bag; imagine attempting to carry enough diapers, packets of wipes, changes of clothes, and emergency rations for just a simple shopping trip, without one. There is often a fear among new moms that having a baby means giving up on their style and identity, but that just is not the case these days. Indeed, there are plenty of baby accessories that are on the high end of the market – take the convertible diaper bag, for example. Roomy enough to carry everything you need, the bag can be worn a multitude of ways to suit any fashion sense. That’s rather essential, we feel!
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you’ll still need to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Sterilizers are fantastic homeware essentials, able to assist feeding of any kind, while feeding pillows, a stash of bottles and a brand new set of bottlebrushes will always come in handy. As your baby grows and develops, so too will his or her needs; prepare for weaning with a steamer, puree maker and, most essentially, a highchair. Keeping your baby in one place during mealtimes will come as something of a challenge!
There are those who may argue that toys are not an essential. However, keeping your baby entertained and stimulated is incredibly important. Activity gyms and play mats, books and sensory toys will quickly become part of your home’s furniture, as will soft animals, musical instruments and craft supplies. As a new mom, a baby bouncer should rank highly on your list of essentials; this chair, or swing will keep your baby safe and secure if you’d like five minutes’ peace, and stimulate him or her via multiple means.
So, there you have it. There will no doubt be items that you’ll want to add to this list, as it is by no means extensive. Indeed, clothing will come highly on that list of essentials, as will toiletries, and items for a first aid kit. However, remember this; as long as your baby is clean, comfortable and healthy, is being fed and has lots of love, he or she will thrive – and so will you. Enjoy the adventure you’re about to embark upon!