I used a ton // I used None
We always end up with stuff we don't use.
You may have been gifted a hundred different things from family and friends, or been lured to half-price nursery sales one too many times.
For those expectant mothers, I've created a list of baby items I just can't get enough of and items that are still sitting on a shelf - or sitting in a drawer - collecting dust (I mean, who has time to dust these days?).
I used tons // Bodysuits
One-piece bodysuits made up the majority of my new born baby’s wardrobe. When your baby is pooping every second hour, having something that is all-in-one with simple, easy access to the nappy is the way to go.
A couple of tips when shopping for bodysuits:
Look for a diagonal zip opening at both ends so you can unzip just the bottom half and change a nappy without needing to open up the whole suit.
Avoid buttons. Every ten minutes you spend matching buttons digs into potential sleeping time. Sleep = sanity!
Find a bodysuit that has the option of covering the hands and feet. This will keep bubba from scratching themselves in the face, courtesy of the startle reflex.
For the perfect bodysuit, you really can’t go wrong with Bonds Wondersuits. If you haven’t heard of them all ready, they’re about to change your world. We found that these suits ticked all the boxes. They allowed plenty of room for growth and scrubbed up really nicely in the wash. Plus, they’re readily available in many places online and at your nearest Farmers store.
I used none // The “arms up” zip swaddle
Okay, I used it a little.
I have many mummy friends who use these swaddles and absolutely rave about them. They’re well-made, easy to wash and they have a really handy slit at the back which means you can keep your baby swaddled in the capsule. I loved how quickly I was able to zip my baby up and get him swiftly into bed and the fact that they could never come undone.
But honestly guys, here’s the truth, my baby just doesn’t like them.
After nights of struggling to put him to sleep, my mum wrapped him in a super-traditional blanket swaddle (I like to call it the baby burrito). He fell asleep almost instantly.
Here’s what I like about traditional blanket swaddling:
You can wrap baby as securely as you want.
You only need one or two good sized blankets (my three month old baby is still swaddled his new born blankets).
Now that he's older, there’s no need to buy another “arms-free” swaddle, I just leave one arm out as I wrap him.
But remember, every baby is different.
Bottom line: Go with your baby. Wait to be gifted different types of swaddles instead of purchasing brand new. It might be that your baby loves having their arms up when they sleep, or they might need the extra security of a tight swaddle with arms down. Either way, you really can’t know until you try!
I used it tons // Capsule Cover
This amazing piece of fabric was actually created for me by a very special and talented friend. I have had so many mums ask where they too can purchase one. They do look pretty simple to sew together (says the girl who hasn’t touched a sewing machine since she was 13) but unfortunately I am yet to find a place that sells them. Let me know if you can help!
The capsule cover keeps out sunlight, rain, wind and strangers. I cannot recommend it enough.
I used none // Nipple Shields
For many mothers out there, nipple shields are a total life saver. Some babies have trouble latching right from the get go, or some mothers have medical conditions which make feeding more painful than usual. But for the majority, those first weeks of breastfeeding are painful because (and this is what no one really tells you) starting breastfeeding is just downright painful. That’s all.
As soon as I found this out, I stocked up big time on nipple shields at just 18 weeks pregnant (yes, at a half price nursery sale).
Guess what? Those things are still in the packets.
Here’s why: At some point, our nipples have to toughen up and at some point those shields have to come off, right? So why prolong the inevitable?
What saved me in my breastfeeding journey was: a tube of lanolin, a hot tea, a good book, and a sleeping baby. I would go upstairs on a sunny day (somewhere discrete) and free my nipples in the air and sunshine. And would you believe it, in time my tits toughened up!
I used it tons // Muslin Wrap
I remember sitting at my baby shower, perched uncomfortably on a chair in the corner, opening presents. Don’t you find opening up your presents in front of other people just so incredibly awkward?
I kid you not, every second present contained a three pack of cotton muslin wraps. Since I could only say “Wow, I really needed some of these!” two or three times, I remember instead saying thank you and inside thinking about how much wasted space all this fabric was going to take up.
Never have I been so wrong.
We keep a basket full of muslin cloths right next to Ashton’s cot. They get used for everything. Burp clothes, swaddles, sunlight blockers, breastfeeding covers, change mats, play mats, I could go on.
I have about 40 of them. I’ve only run out of clean cloths once. It was a dark day.
Bottom line: If you’re going to a baby shower, gift a pack of muslins. If you’re expecting your first baby soon, get a pack of muslins. Just don’t spend a fortune, you can find them for cheap at Kmart.
If you’re a first time mum, I’d give you the advice I wish I had heard earlier: Just chill out.
At the end of the day, all your baby needs is you. For sleep, for warmth, for comfort, for food. Just you.
There are things that help, sure, but while it’s great to have the latest and greatest gadgets, take time to consider what is really necessary.
After all, there is life after baby. Your partner or support person can always wander down to the shops and purchase that swaddle, or get those nipple shields, or get that Nespresso machine, after baby is born.