Once the dust has settled on the news that you are expecting, reality dawns and your focus is drawn towards those essential purchases that, in truth, aren’t so little! In my own experience I approached the project with my usual frugal expertise. Many items were purchased on auction sites or received as gifts but the most essential may not be available second hand.
So here I will show you my top 5 “mummy mini-crisis must-haves” some of which I had never before even heard of!
First on your list will be how on earth do you get this new being from A to B safely without dropping him or her! Opinions vary but in my view you can’t go wrong with a Baby Sling for walks. Baby is soothed by the closeness to her mummy and the sound of a familiar heartbeat.
Essential travel equipment is a Travel System, which offers carrycot, pushchair and car seat, and is suitable for babies from birth. However, my advice is to read and re-read the instructions until you are bored of them and could sit an exam. On the shameful occasion when I clearly understood how to get baby seat from car to pram base and merrily went browsing the sales. Sadly, the bit I didn’t absorb was how to reverse the procedure and take the seat back off the pram. Having feigned a mobile phone call in full view of the nearby Pizza restaurant whilst I looked at every inch of my machine, eventually I had to give up and return to the store for help. Handing my baby to a vaguely familiar face and then turning the thing upside down, the kind security guard (who still smiles wryly years on) found the simplest button and removed the seat for me! Embarrassed? VERY. Again, READ THE INTRUCTIONS! Please note, it is inadvisable to buy a secondhand pram without instructions and there is no legal comeback if secondhand equals faulty!
This ingenious little bin not only houses what seems to be hundreds of dirty nappies but ties them into little bags like a sausage machine and makes for easy nappy disposal. Now even a newborn’s nappies stink! My mother presented me this useful gadget and despite initially being pretty scathing it was a godsend for those days when your legs can’t drag you away from a screeching baby as far as a covered bin. Inexpensive in itself but beware the refill canisters are a little pricey, but so worthwhile.
The nursery is complete and your newborn just will not kip during the day in either a borrowed rocking cradle or her new cot. She looks tiny in it and all forlorn and she is telling me in no uncertain terms that this arrangement simply won’t do. I hadn’t even considered a Moses basket but once again my thoughtful mother had and, just as we were losing the plot, arrived with basket, the accessories and best of all a stand. Now she kicks merrily in the basket until she nods off and can be transported into the bathroom when I shower and back downstairs onto the stand in the living room for the regular naps. Simple and perfect. GET ONE!
Now it’s the most wonderful time of the day for me with a newborn. Bathtime. But those little beings are slippery like eels and that’s before you introduce them to the soap. So this little ergonomic armchair- like support was a total godsend. She sat languishing in her little chair and kicked in the bubbles with delight and both hands were free to wash her already corkscrew-like hair. This is by far the best design of bath support I have seen and a definite recommendation if you can get hold of one.
Now I gave my all to breast feeding, I really did! And for 4 months that hungry little mouth had all the benefits and nutrients my milk had to offer. However, without her sleep mummy isn’t a happy bunny and when my brilliant other half leaps out of bed first thing all refreshed from a minimal amount of continued kip I got to thinking. We needed to swap shifts! So a mix of bottle and breast meant that he enjoyed the 4am feed with his newborn as much as I enjoyed that extra hours rest. Although a strong supporter of the ‘breast is best’ in theory, it’s personal choice and no one should feel pressure to do what doesn’t feel ideal for them. This solution made all the difference in my household so it was the perfect arrangement for us all.