Essential Baby Items 101
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Getting your house ready for your little one’s arrival or “nesting” as it is commonly known is a fun part of your pregnancy, but it’s hard to know where to start and what to prioritise. You may have already noticed as you’ve casually and excitedly browsed department stores, or the web, that there’s an overwhelming amount of choice of products and brands to choose from. Throw in the opinions of family and friends and you are one overwhelmed pregnant mummy-or daddy-to-be.
With the demise of the parenting retail institution Mothercare and in-store shopping not quite the same experience during the Covid pandemic, Essential Baby Items 101 is designed to give you a quick overview of all the essential baby items you may wish to consider to get both you and your home ‘baby-ready’.
Before I share with you our list of things you are going to need to get both you and your home baby-ready, let us delve into some of the key buying for baby questions:
How much does a baby cost?
A recent survey found that the average parent spends £10k on their baby in its first year. This may or may not be surprising to you but it may also worry you. Do not fear! There are a few things you can do which will allow you to budget and prepare for baby. Let’s explore these in the next questions…
Understanding what is essential will help you to focus your budget and time, and puts less pressure on yourself as you ensure all the necessities are covered for baby’s arrival. My husband will be the first to rave about the Babyzen stroller (as will I), but since we used this (fairly early) at 9 months when traveling to Australia, it is not an essential item, and so we shall leave that there for now!
You should also remember once you’re in full swing of parenting you will have a much better sense of what you need. The great thing about shopping today is that you can order an item online and it’ll be with you in a matter of days, even 24 hours! The number of feeding bottles I bought on Amazon was (probably) crazy as I tested out different brands to find the most suitable for my son when I was mixed-feeding i.e. bottle and breast. So, if you decide you want that nice-to-have item sooner, or you need to test out a different brand, you can rest assured you won’t have to wait long for it to arrive.
Should I buy new or second-hand?
It is nice to buy new especially with your first baby, however, do consider buying second-hand on top of accepting hand-me-downs from your friends. I received a bedside crib, cot, moses basket and bouncer which I worked out saved me £1000! Thank you girls!
Given the importance placed on product sustainability and the fact many baby items have a short shelf-life in terms of how long they are needed for, the second-hand market is huge with many items available almost good as new. Facebook Marketplace and eBay are great platforms for this so don’t be shy, get browsing.
So, what do I need?
There is in fact very little you NEED for bringing baby home. Many parents, including myself might choose to get their house in order for the coming year with baby such as getting the nursery ready with a cot, bookshelves and pictures. Some things can clearly wait like a non-sit walker, high chair or stroller, but when you are navigating parenthood with your little one, and not to mention tired, it can seem a hassle having to prepare for these things a few months later into baby being home. So, if like me you have a need to be super-organised, and budget permits, it’s ok should you find yourself purchasing the essentials and non-essential items whilst pregnant. Conversely, you might be totally content to focus on the early month items first and wait to buy the rest. This is also a good strategy and can certainly help to control budget.
Now since there is no one I trust more than my girlfriends and with almost 100 kiddies in my circle, I have used the combined parental experience of these ladies to source handfuls vs the thousands of essential products out in the market to bring you Essential Baby Items 101 – the product guide. It has been created to give all expectant parents, but particularly first-timers (because that’s when we’re really in uncharted waters) a reassuring and smoother shopping experience, with ideas suitable for all budgets and tastes. Before you check these out, here’s a checklist of the essential baby items you need to know about. Print it here and tick off as you go along.
Head over to our Insta or Facebook channels @GetSetMum to follow more practical and fun tips, supporting you on your pregnancy journey. And hey, why not contribute once bubba is here and impart your newfound mamma wisdom!
If you would like to learn more about getting you and your home ready for baby’s arrival with practical tips, minefield simplifiers, expert advice and babygear checklists, then check out ‘The Complete Guide to Buying for Baby’.