Most parents find shopping for their newborn an exhilarating aspect to parenting - a new baby and a whole range of exciting items out there to shop! Because of this it can be quite confusing on what to buy and what to omit, and with no budget to watch out for, many parents do get carried away. While it is very understandable that you want the very best for your baby, buying too much too soon is not only wasteful but can be a squeeze to your pocket. As a guide it is best to categorize baby items into essentials or must-buy and non-essentials or luxury-buys. Also, your budget will guide you (if you have one).
Second hand vs Brand new
- For parents with financial issues, it makes sense to acquire second-hand items handed down from relatives and friends or bought.
- Big ticket items are a popular category of hand-me-downs from relatives and friends. These can include cots, car seats, buggies etc. You have to be cautious and certain of the item's history i.e. any accidents or damage and if it is too old and worn. Especially with a car seat you have to be absolutely sure of its history so do not buy through second-hand shops or classifieds. Friends and relatives are reliable sources and therefore a better alternative.
- It is important to purchase a new mattress which fits well if you plan to have a cot. A correct fit will ensure no gaps on the sides. The mattress should be firm, clean, dry and well-aired. A brand new mattress is important as it is believed to reduce the incidence of cot death.
- Used or unused, clothes make
good second-hand items as babies grow out of them rather quickly. Accept offers from friends and relatives; often you may receive second-hand unused items. Many mothers buy more clothes than necessary and, end up passing them to their friends instead.
- Certain non-essentials such as mobile, baby monitor can also make good second-hand items, if any of your friends are willing to pass them
What are the essentials?
- Basically you will need to look into baby's sleep equipment, travel equipment, clothing, feeding equipment and bathing essentials, ideally before your baby arrives.
- A clean, firm mattress (to fit into the cot or playpen) and a cot, playpen or Moses basket for your baby to sleep in. Depending on the weather include lightweight blankets and covers for the mattress. Avoid adding duvets. A Moses basket is small and cozy and doesn't use much space but the downside is babies grow out of them after a few months. A cot offers plenty of growing room and can therefore be used for a longer period but you will need more room for it.
- Travel equipment will depend on your mode of travel. If you use the car very often you may want to invest in a car seat cum stroller. If you move around a lot on foot, a lightweight buggy (0 months up) is more appropriate. You may also want to consider a sling to lug your baby around.
Babies grow quickly so buy a fewer items in small size. Avoid fussy styles with tricky or fancy openings and opt for easy to wear 'n wash fabric clothes. Essential clothing items for your newborn: