There are nine whole months to work out what is needed for the baby and to be tempted by pitches and insistent advisors. In reality, a baby needs very little in the first months. It is so hard to avoid temptation, but try and hold back. Set a budget and work out a list of what is going to be most useful.
Well-meaning friends and family will want to buy presents for the baby, so it is handy to have an idea of what you want in advance. Those who haven’t had children may come up with all manner of useless items because they look cute. Be prepared for that, but it is wise to buy vital items only when setting up the nursery.
On the flip side, there are items that most moms wouldn’t be without. Do some research online while there is time before baby arrives. Mom forums online are packed with advice. Take the parts that you find useful and discard the rest. Rather than spend a fortune on baby items that won’t be used, take time to have a meal out as a couple or a weekend away before the world turns upside down!
20 Too Early: Baby Grooming Kit
Let’s face it, a baby doesn’t need grooming. They are perfect and beautiful as they are and no amount of gadgets will change that. Rather than buying a full grooming kit, get a good quality, soft hairbrush that will last for a while and a pair of baby nail clippers. That will suffice for the first months and beyond.
Rather than splash out on a full grooming kit, put the money towards quality items that will be useful. If the kit has a nasal aspirator and a thermometer, they will be useful, but better to spend money on better quality ones than waste money on a substandard grooming kit, says Mom Tricks.
19 Too Early: Those Cute Little Shoes
Babies simply do not need shoes. However cute they look, shoes can restrict normal foot development and do more harm than good. Shoes are only necessary when the baby is standing and walking and even then, only for outside, says What to Expect.
Babies’ feet need space and air to develop and grow and shoes can inhibit this. A soft leather pull on padder is fine as long as there is plenty of room for the foot to grow, but anything with a hard sole should wait until the baby is walking. As babies mostly wear all in one suits with feet, there is no danger of the feet getting cold.
18 Too Early: High Chair
Of course, a baby needs a high chair when they are sitting up and feeding. In the first few months they won’t need one, as a baby recliner will serve just as well for weaning. Until a baby can support itself it could be uncomfortable and dangerous to be slumped in a high chair anyway.
Talk to other mums to find out which chair suits your needs and your home best. It isn’t necessary before about four months according to Can I Give My Baby. It ultimately depends on how fast the baby has developed gross motor skills.
17 Too Early: Bedding And Blankets
There are some beautiful duvet and pillow sets and sheets on sale for babies. However, it is wise to wait until the baby is at least a year old before considering this, suggests Baby and Bump MomTastic.
Tiny babies need to have their feet at the end of the crib, regardless of what they are covered in. Even a sheet and blanket is not suggested in the early months. Babies can get themselves trapped and if they can’t release themselves, a blanket may cover their face. Fitted sheets for the crib will suffice for a few months. Baby can be snugly placed in an age-appropriate warm onesie.
16 Too Early: Jewelry
Baby bracelets and earrings might seem like a lovely idea, but in reality, they are completely unnecessary. Of course, some religious affiliations suggest certain jewelry items are worn, but there is no need to give a baby jewelry for cosmetic reasons.
There will be plenty of time to enjoy watching a toddler wear tiaras or plastic beads and sparkles. In the meantime, they might cause cuts, or a baby might sleep awkwardly and hurt themselves. Save the money until the items can be worn by an older child, or spend some money on jewelry for mom, she deserves to be spoilt!
15 Too Early: Hair Accessories
If your baby girl is born with a good head of hair, it may be tempting to put clips or bows in her hair for the cuteness factor. It simply isn’t necessary for the first few months to have any head accessory other than a hat if the weather is cold outside.
Clips and bands are cumbersome and there is the risk of choking from small items. Hair bands can be uncomfortable for a baby girl, but she will have no way of letting anyone know what is upsetting her, she will just cry! So, leave the accessories for later and focus on how cute she is au naturel.
14 Too Early: Medicine And Expensive Creams
There is no need to ‘stock up’ on baby medicine or expensive creams for a newborn or tiny baby. Medicines are often not suitable until three months of age, so these will be superfluous. It is handy to have some saline drops to unblock a stuffy nose and some colic drops if the baby is suffering.
These can be bought when needed, rather than ‘just in case.’ The same goes for creams. Babies are able to hydrate their skin naturally and the only cream that is worth getting is a gentle diaper rash product. Check if it is allergen free in case the baby has eczema, but don’t buy too much, a little goes a long way.
13 Too Early: Baby Toys
When babies are very tiny they don’t have the eyesight or the coordination to play with much. The world around them is as exciting as any toy. A baby gym and a rattle will suffice for the first couple of months. Many parents succumb to the temptation of buying books and cuddly toys and things that the manufacturers declare will aid learning, only to find them in their boxes months later.
Something with a bit of noise is soothing for a baby, but toys that need interaction and handling will come into their own much later. Babies like to absorb their surroundings according to Baby Center and just watch, to begin with.
12 Too Early: A Bed
Newborn babies sleep in bassinets or cribs. There is no point in spending money on a bed at this early stage. It can be tempting to buy a crib-bed, and if this is your choice, then so be it. However, they only last for a few years and it might be wiser to consider investing in a crib and then a bed that will fit your child for a few more years.
Also, if you plan to have another baby soon, the new child will need the crib and there will be no bed for the older child. Wait until things are clearer and buy what is actually needed today.
11 Too Early: Bulky Furniture
A furniture salesman may convince you that a baby needs every manner of furniture from desks to wardrobes. The reality is that they need somewhere to be changed and somewhere to sleep. A baby wardrobe is a lovely idea to fill the nursery, but a drawer in a chest of drawers should suffice for the items a baby needs in the first months.
They have no need of a desk or chair yet and the only chair that might be useful in the nursery is a feeding chair for mom. A changing table is a great investment, but a mat on top of a chest of drawers does the job just as well.
10 Too Early: Duvet And Pillows
A duvet and pillow is completely unnecessary for a small baby and is not recommended until the baby is at least one year old. A warm onesie will keep the baby warm until then. If the cold is extreme, a securely tucked blanket or extra layers of clothes will protect them.
Babies can’t recognize something that is dangerous to them. So, keep them well out of harm’s way until they can easily move themselves away from risk. Waiting until the baby is eighteen months or two is safest for pillows as the suffocation risk is too great, according to Today’s Parent.
9 Too Ealy: Toddler Gear
Baby clothes, especially those for baby girls, can be too tempting to resist. However, if clothes are purchased too young, there is the risk that they will be a total waste of money, no matter how good the deal was.
It is impossible to gauge how big your baby will grow or to second guess what the weather will be like when they fit into clothes that cater to a certain age. Save the money, use it for something that can be used now. The fancy clothes will still be there and just as beautiful when the baby can fit into them.
8 Too Early: Fancy Clothes
Babies need very little variety in the way of clothes for the first few weeks, according to Baby Center. They need a vest over their nappy, then an all in one suit for day and night. These might get grubby in the day with spillages of various fluids, but they don’t need to be dressed up like models.
Buying newborn or 0-3 month clothes, other than the essentials, is a waste of money unless you have a very tiny baby. They will get minimum wear out of them, and they are better in larger sizes when the baby actually goes somewhere special.
7 Too Early: Socks
Baby socks are gorgeous, there is no doubt. So soft and small! However, they are not really necessary. Most newborn baby outfits have feet built in, so socks are superfluous. Added to this the fact that most babies pull them off when they can, and they get lost.
Socks are only really necessary if the baby has bare feet in cold weather or when they start to wear shoes. Even then, the socks need to be well fitting, as they can stunt normal foot development. Bootees or thick socks are only necessary for cold weather, so wait until they are really needed.
6 Too Early: Long Coats
Beautiful little baby coats look great on the hanger. However, in practice, an all in one snowsuit or fleecy suit is a better option. A coat only warms a newborn’s top half, and something needs to keep them warm all over. A coat is a better option when the baby is moving around and goes out in cold weather. A cozy footmuff is a great plan for a pushchair and can be pulled up to the neck.
Coats are also cumbersome for a baby to wear and can be difficult to get on and off. Invest the money in buying a really good quality coat for when it is really needed.
5 Useful: Diaper Bag
How much we rely on our changing bags! That small sack of delight can contain everything that is necessary for a miserable baby on a trip out. Keep diapers, wipes, drool clothes, plus a change of clothes at the very least. If bottle feeding, add sterilized bottles, formula powder, and water, and take more than you think you might need, just in case.
If there is space for mom’s phone, purse and keys, so much the better. This will save taking an additional bag out on trips. If the baby has any medical issues, keep notes in the changing bag so you will have all that is needed in an emergency.
4 Useful: Baby Carrier
On days when a stroller isn’t practical, a baby carrier is a great alternative. Along with a changing bag, it is all that is needed for a trip out. If using public transport, this option saves the need for dragging a stroller through busy stations and relying on working lifts to get up and down stairs.
It’s a lovely way to feel close to the baby and often they will prefer the closeness to their parent. A carrier can be useful in the home as well, if baby won’t settle, they may drop off if carried around. They enjoy the movement and the closeness to a human heartbeat.
3 Useful: Muslin Squares
These squares of cloth can be so useful that it is not worth considering leaving them off the ‘must have’ list. They are cheap, easy to transport and mop up a multitude of messes. Muslin squares can mop up milk or spit up or cover a mother’s modesty while breastfeeding.
They are handy to drape over the shoulder with a sicky baby or to place on the ground to change if no mat is available. Often having a familiar scented muslin square will act as a comforter to a fractious baby and help them sleep. Keep spares in the changing bag and car for emergencies.
2 Useful: Baby Monitor
It is so reassuring in the first months to hear baby breathing or crying. Monitors can be carried around the home, so parents are aware when the baby is in distress. A two-way monitor can help a baby settle by hearing the familiar sound of a voice as it drops off. Parents can get on with chores or just rest while the baby sleeps, knowing they will hear the baby stir.
Some monitors have light and sound functions as well or can reveal the ambient temperature in the baby’s room. All these small things provide much-needed reassurance to new parents. The monitor is worth its weight in gold for these reasons.
1 Useful: Steam Sterilizer
Small babies get through a lot of bottles. These bottles need to be completely sterilized after washing, to prevent infection from spreading. If the baby is breastfed, the same applies to bottles of expressed milk. Once the baby is weaned, spoons and bowls can be sterilized for extra safety.
A steam sterilizer is plugged in and creates enough heat to sterilize the contents in a matter of minutes. The items inside then stay sterile and ready for filling for 24 hours. They are ready to go when needed. They can take up to six bottles usually, depending on the brand.