You are expecting! Congratulations!!! Now’s the time to start thinking about stocking your nursery. What where to start?? Getting everything you need for a new baby doesn’t need to be expensive – it just needs to be well thought out. Here is a list of absolute basics – once you’ve got them – everything else is a bonus! Also remember there is just some things you shouldn’t scrimp on (ie car seats). So spend the money where it’s due, and save your money everywhere else!
Beds & Sleeping
A Cot – make sure it complies with Australian Standards. Even if you choose to co-sleep – it’s a good idea to have a cot on standby for when you or your partner might be ill or when the baby gets big enough to start moving around on his or her own! Check for sturdiness and if you buy a second hand cot – ensure the paint is lead free (baby’s like to chew!!). For co sleeping parents there is a cosy sleeper you can buy to put bub in between Mum and Dad. This helps minimize the risk of smothering. They retail for around $40 and are a great investment for bubs safety.
At least two sets of fitted sheets. More if you can afford it – babies are messy!
When buying a mattress the best investment I found as they got older was the fact that one side of the mattress had a plastic side. Great for when bub is sick or has little accidents.
A Cotton Blanket or two when it’s cold. Even if you rug your baby up in a onesie and wrap – it still gets cold at night! Stay away from wool blankets if you can, then make some people (and babies) sneeze.
Nappies and Changing
Nappies! Now if your using disposable – make sure you buy at least one box of newborn – babies don’t stay little for long – if friends want to buy you presents – suggest nappies!! If your using MCN’s – it’s probably a good idea to have at least 10 on hand – newborns poop a lot more often than you think – and you don’t want to be without!
Wipes – well wipes are not essential. Buy a packet of super-soft washers (Big W used to sell them in packs of 15) and use warm water to gently wash the mess away – then throw them in the washing machine with the MCN’s. Wipes are handy for when you leave the house!
Change Table – again not an essential – you can use your bed (with an appropriate protective sheet underneath bubba of course), but change tables are handy – especially if this is your first baby and your planning on having more. A lot also double as a bath – so shop around to get your monies worth! Make sure it is sturdy – and always remember to keep one hand on the baby when changing!
Keep a supply of old shopping bags on hand – they are great for disposing of dirty nappies. Of course Nappy Sacks aren’t expensive – but why use them when you can use plastic bags first and save yourself some money. Just pop the soiled nappy in the bag, tie a knot, and dispose in your garbage.
A small tube of zinc cream for nappy rash is also handy to have as some little ones have sensitive skin and quickly develop a rash. Some pharmacies even have samples so it pays to ask.
If your able to breastfeed – terrific – it will keep your costs right down and save you a bundle. For breast feeding Mums you will need breast pads, these can be disposable or reusable but will save you from embarrassing leakage. You will also need a spare pillow to help support bub and save your back. At least two sturdy maternity bras, and your own personal water bottle. The best advice for keeping milk supply up is to have a glass of water every time you feed bub. One more handy thing is a breast pump. This is not an essential but it helps if dad can give bub a bottle. You can hire them from your local hospital or buy your own manual or electric pump.
Not everyone is so lucky to be able to breastfeed however, so it’s a good idea to have some products on hand!!!
Bottles x 6 Have a few bottles in a few different sizes. I really liked the Avent Bottles, but everyone has different tastes and opinions (all I know is mine lasted two babies – no problem at all!). Buy a couple of extra teats as well – some babies like to chew them (especially when teeth come through).
Your choice of formula. This is a personal thing and will depend on both your babies need and your personal choice. It always helps to ask friends what these use and why – and so some research.
Microwave Bottle Steriliser. You can pick these up for around $20. Of course there are expensive sterlisers out there – but the microwave ones work great. If you are lucky enough to have a dishwasher – you can use this to do your bottle sterilising – but you must remove the bottles whilst still hot and store them in a sealed container before use. There is also chemical sterilisers such as Milton – just follow according to instructions.
Spew Rags. See if you can borrow some old nappies from a friend that has finished with them – they make great over the shoulder spew rags…. because you know it’s going to happen!
Onsies – you will need about 6 to start with. They come in long and short for winter or summer babies. They are the perfect clothes for a newborn. Choose something nice and soft. Personally I love the Wondersuits – but always buy a size larger than you need – they seem to make them fairly small. They come in lots of colours, wash really well – and last!!!
If your having a baby in the cold weather – invest in some singlets too.
Also remember if this is baby number 1 there will be so many little baby clothes as presents your little one may not even get the chance to wear some of them so don’t go overboard before bub is born.
Bub can be bathed in the sink to start with or a simple baby bath is inexpensive. You can also buy slings to help hold bub in the bath. Baby should never be left unattended in the bath. Some face washers just for bub, a nice fluffy towel, and to start with a simple top to toe wash will be enough to wash bub in and then you can decide which soaps and shampoos best suit you.
A Car Seat!! In Australia you can hire a baby capsule from your State Ambulance Service for 6 months for around $50. They will install it for you, and when baby is six months old – return the capsule and they will install your new carseat! It’s a truly wonderful service and they are only too happy to show you how to do it yourself! Make sure you have the capsule fitted at least two weeks before your due date so there isn’t a great big rush right at the end!
All car seats now sold in Australia must comply with the Australian Standards – but still it doesn’t hurt to double check the box when purchasing!
A sturdy nappy bag saves you from having to carry things around in your handbag. You will get the most use out of one that is not too big or too small so look around and pick one that suits you. Pack bubs things for the hospital in here and there will be more room in your bag for your things.
In bubs hospital bag you will want to pack 3 changes of clothes, you can opt to use hospital gowns for bub but 3 changes of clothes will be a good start if you decide on your own. At least 20 nappies for bub if you want to use your own. Nappy cream, a dummy if you choose to use one ( trust me not all bubs like them I had 2 who refused to take them) this will be about all you need for bub in their bag.
Pack as small a bag as you can manage as don’t forget it will be taking up space in your room when all the visitors come. You will need at least 4 changes of clothes and I recommend at least 8 pairs of underwear. Take you maternity bras, overnight pads as some hospital provide them and others don’t. Breast pads you will need these even if you are not breast feeding as your milk will still come in. All your regular toiletries and that’s the basics for you. Don’t forget hubby can always bring you in anything else you need.
What are your suggestions for new baby basics?