by Jacqui Owens, RDM co-founder
The list of things a mum ‘needs’ for her baby could be as long as your arm but the truth is babies don’t need all that much. Having recently had my third child combined with living in a small house has meant I’ve been very choosy when it comes to baby items – at this point there’s really only room for essentials!
So here’s my list of must-haves to save you time, money and storage space!
Highchair and Bumbo – for $25, the Ikea highchair is pretty great. It’s easy to clean, easy to assemble and disassemble and is just zero fuss overall. Having said that, if you’re willing to invest, the Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair will honestly take your child from 0 (with add ons) to 7 years old or even longer. As for the Bumbo, it’s a short-term item (about 3 months) but in that time it’s super handy – especially for its portability and small size. This is definitely one to borrow given its short usability.
Bouncer or swing – I loved the BabyBjorn bouncer – it’s great to move around the house as required. For example, I set it up in the bathroom while showering the older kids or in the kitchen while making dinner. It’s easy to come by second hand (online) and its seat is machine washable.
Baby carrier – the Ergo baby carrier has been a god-send and I’ve used the same one for all 3 of my babies. It’s easy to put on, comfortable and great for all those many times when you don’t want to deal with the pram or another child is using the pram. I have the classic inward facing style and they kids have been more than happy with that, particularly when tired.
Swaddles – the Love to Dream swaddles are where it’s at! Houdini babies won’t stand a chance and will feel safe enough to sleep soundly. They’ll also love being able to access their hands for comfort sucking.
Pram – there are so many brands and they are such a big investment that it can be tricky to choose! Here are some tips from Kidspot about how to choose the right pram.
Car seat – the big questions is whether to go with the capsule option (0-6 months) so that you can use it on top of the pram / carry the capsule around (e.g. daycare pick up) without disturbing the baby OR to go with the 0-4years convertible car seat. I decided to go with the convertible car seat (Britax Safe N Sound) because I wanted to use our pram basinette and ring sling carrier in the early months.
Burp cloth/milk rags – I used some small swaddles that I was given when the girls were babies but there are loads of fancy and adorable burp cloths available online if you’re feeling the urge to buy cute things.
Bassinet and cot – I used Boori all round but there are plenty of other brands to chose from. If you put the feelers out, however, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a friend to borrow these items from, particularly the bassinet.
Nursing bra – this Cake nursing bra has Flexiwire (breastfeeding safe underwire) so gives a nice shape rather than the usual rectangular blob that most nursing bras provide. They also give good coverage and can be worn under anything because they’re lace and pattern free.
Machine washable breast pads – Hot Milk nursing pads are a lovely shape and feel and look great even after hundreds of washes – so you’ll feel more than happy loaning them to a friend when you’re done with them.
Bottles – even if you plan on breastfeeding you’ll no doubt need a bottle at one point or another! I used Comotomo bottles. As they’re made from silicone they not only feel like a boobie but they’re also 100% non-toxic.
Hot tip – avoid buying clothes, toys and muslins until after the baby is born as you’ll likely get plenty of those as gifts!
What are your MUST HAVE baby items? Comment below!