Try To Hold Off… Until You Are Ready
I have been super excited to start buying cute little baby stuff ever since I found out that I was pregnant. However, my husband and I made a strict decision to hold off on the shopping until after all of our big scans. This was a good strategy to stop me from spending way too much money in the beginning as it also gave me time to do some thorough research about baby products.
Greek Superstition: Don’t Buy Anything Too Early
The reason for our decision to “hold off” on shopping was actually based on a Greek superstition. They say that you shouldn’t buy anything too early because it is bad luck. We didn’t want to ‘matiaxi’ ourselves (or create bad luck) until we passed the ‘safe’ stages of pregnancy. Some say that you shouldn’t buy anything at all until after the baby is born and the really superstitious believe that you shouldn’t celebrate with a baby shower either.
There is no way that I could wait that long. I struggled just getting to the half way point without buying anything. Plus, I think that waiting until after the baby is born is completely unpractical. I told my husband that I want to have the nursery complete and everything done about 1 month before our due date. I’m trying to find a balance between following tradition and being practical. (You can read more about this Greek superstition on my other blog: Greek Weddings & Traditions)
Baby Shopping Can Be Difficult
Shopping is not as easy as I thought it would be. There are so many different brands on the market and there are a heaps of fancy baby gadgets that sound awesome but are completely unnecessary. It is hard to know what I should buy first, what will be a priority and what items can wait for a while.
My Shopping List
I’ve compiled a shopping list to help me figure it all out. As I research each product I will write about my purchase decisions and once baby comes along and I actually use the products, I will be able to write some reviews. This list is my own personal shopping list and it has not been influenced by any promotional affiliation with brands. I have simply done my own research and picked items that I like.
Everybody Has Different Tastes
Everybody has different tastes, so I don’t expect you to like what I like. However, I hope that I can help some people make their own decisions as I share my research and justifications for each purchase. I am also a fan of second-hand products and hand-me downs. If you can find something that is good quality for a great price then go for it!! You may like to check out the pre-loved baby markets that are around or shop from gumtree or ebay.
My Shopping List
1. Baby Capsule For The Car – High Priority
You can’t leave the hospital unless you have a baby capsule in your car so this is definitely the first priority. Some people choose to hire the capsule because you only need it for the first few months and it can work out to be significantly cheaper. You can hire a baby capsule from organisations such as Kidsafe Queensland or Hire for Baby.
I hope to have a more babies later on so for this reason, I would prefer to buy my own baby capsule and keep it for the future. Plus I like the idea of putting my newborn baby in to a brand new capsule as we are leaving the hospital. I think I will be a bit of a fussy with sanitisation and cleanliness of everything that baby will be exposed to.
The Nuna Capsules has the same adaptors for the pram as the Maxi-Cosi brand. This means that it can fit the pram that I want. It is also a bit lighter than the Maxi-Cosi and I personally like the look of the capsule better than any of the other brands that I’ve seen.
2. Pram – High Priority
Before buying the baby capsule, you need to know which pram you want because some capsules only fit into certain prams. Make sure you check the adapter sizes and know which capsule brands fit in to your pram before you buy anything. You might also want to read about the mandatory safety standards featured on the Product Safety Australia website.
My choice: The new Joolz pram.
The new Joolz pram is not yet available in Australia. However it should be released very soon (early 2015). The photo above is an image of the current model. I’m not sure what the new design will look like until it is officially released. I love the Joolz because it is easy to drive. It is light enough for me to lift in to the car and it has a gazillion features that I could rave on about all day (but I might write about that in another blog post).
3. Bassinet – High Priority
The baby will sleep in a bassinet during the first 6-12 months. The bassinet is usually in the parents room during this time which allows you to be close to the baby helping making it easier for night feeds. It is important to make sure that your bassinet is safe and I highly encourage you to check out the Sids and Kids website for more information about safe sleeping practices.
My Choice: There are some beautiful bassinets out on the market however I’m not buying a brand new one. I plan to use the bassinet that my grandmother purchased for my mum over 30 years ago. It is the same bassinet that I slept in as a baby and it has been shared around the family from baby to baby.
4. Bassinet Accessories: Mattress, Frills, Sheets, Blanket – High Priority
Check that anything you purchase for your bassinet is approved by Sids and Kids. This includes your mattress! If you are purchasing a second-hand bassinet or using a bassinet from your previous children then you should definitely purchase a brand new mattress to use for your newborn. It is recommended that each child should have his/her own mattress.
The Protect-A-Bed Mattress Protector protects from dust mites, bacteria, mould and other allergens that can trigger sneezing, eczema and asthma. It has also been endorsed by Sids and Kids as well as the Eczema Association of Australasia and the Asthma Council of Australia.
My choice: I plan to buy a new mattress from Clark Rubber as recommended by Sids and Kids and I also plan to get new lace frills designed to replace the old material which has some discolouration. My favourite baby-wear designer Mary Bobbin will be doing this for me. I’ll post some pictures when it’s finished.
5. Cot – Medium/High Priority
The very first cot I found when shopping at baby shops was the Growtime Imperial Cot. I fell in love with the shape and design however it was very expensive and so continued to shop around for something a bit cheaper. Not knowing much about baby brands at this stage, I relied on the help and advice of friends who have recently had babies. They told me to look at Boori cots because “they are the best”.
I found the Boori Sleigh Royal and it looked exactly like the Growtime Imperial. The shape was perfect. However, the price was much cheaper and I like the colour of the white better. It was more of a matt white rather than a gloss white. I also loved the matching furniture that comes with the Boori set. After reading a lot of reviews on-line and seeking advice from other mothers, I am really happy with my decision to buy a Boori.
My choice: Boori Sleigh Royal Cot Bed
6. Cot Accessories: Mattress, Mattress Protector, Winter Cot Sheets (x2), Summer Cot Sheets (x2), Cot Quilt, Cot Blankets – Medium Priority
Boori sell all of the accessories to their cots separately. So, you will need to buy the matters as well as the cot. They have a few different mattress options. I had to decide between the spring mattress and the latex mattress. The latex is more expensive than the spring and I’m not sure why. However, I was told that the latex can get really hot (especially during our Australian summer) and that the spring mattress is more breathable for the baby.
My choice: Boori Spring Mattress (still deciding on the rest)
7. Change Table – Medium Priority
Some change tables have the “changing section” along the front and other have it on the side. Most options only give access to one changing side. I want the ability to change my baby from any side of the change table and it needs to be a good height for me since I’m really short.
There are some change tables that covert in to a bath which is a great idea to save space. However someone told me not to go with that option because after you bath the baby you then need to dry the baby and put the baby somewhere. You can’t put the baby on the change table because it will be all wet. You will also need to empty the water each time from the bath. It all sound too fiddly to me and the idea of having a wet change table does not sound appealing at all. I also want easy access to product such as nappies and lotions so that I can grab it one handed while changing the baby. Some change tables have pull out shelves which is great for this. However when I was shopping around I noticed that all of the sliding draws were really hard to manoeuvre and too difficult to pull out with one hand.
My choice: Boori Sunshine 2 Drawer Chest Changer
This Boori changer ticks everything in my checkist. I can change the baby from any side and there is a space for products which is very easy to access. I also love the rails which are attached to each side of the changer allowing for a velcro nappy stack to hang or perhaps an apron for mummy to wear while changing pooie nappies.
8. Change Table Accessories: Change Table Mat & Nappy Caddy – Medium Priority
I like the idea that a nappy caddy can attach to the side of the change table and neatly store all the products that you need to change the baby. However I’m not sure which one I want yet… I am still researching.
One highly rated nappy caddy is the Bbox Nappy Caddy. It received an award for the 2014 My Child Excellence Awards and it has some good reviews online. Here is a video review by Hello Charlie. I really like the look of this nappy caddy however I would prefer one that can attach to the side arms of my change table. If you know of one, please send me the link!
9. Wardrobe – Medium Priority
A baby wardrobe is one of those accessories that I don’t really need because I have built-in wardrobes in the nursery. However, those built-in wardrobes are currently filled with my own clothes because we live in a small house and it is easy to run out of space. I like the idea of keeping all of the baby’s clothes in his/her own wardrobe. This is why I plan to purchase another piece of furniture.
My choice: Universal Boori Sleigh Wardrobe with 2 Draws
I love the Boori Sleigh Wardrobe because it matches my Boori cot and my Boori change table. It has an adjustable hanging rail as well as a shelf. The draws are fully extendable and the door knobs match the knobs on both the Sunshine and the Sleigh Royal. It is also the same colour white. 10. Wardrobe Accessories – Coat Hangers, Draws, Baskets – Medium Priority
I have this OCD thing in my house and every single hanger needs to be matching colours. In my own wardrobe, all of my clothes and my husbands clothes are hanging on black hangers. Each hanger is exactly the same and they look great inside the wardrobe (in my humble opinion). So, for the baby’s wardrobe I want to use all of the same hangers there too. Our big black hangers won’t work so I began the hunt for smaller baby hangers.
My choice: White baby coat hangers from Toy’s R Us
The nicest hangers that I could find were actually from Toy’s R Us or Baby’s R Us. They are great quality, fairly cheap (the cheapest I found) and they come in packs of 10. They have white, pink and blue colour as well as clip hangers.
11. Baby Monitor – Medium Priority
My ideal baby monitor would be video + sound footage which I can view from my phone. I’d also like my hubby to be able to dial in and see baby whenever he wants to. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to hand out a passcode to grandparent and say to them to check in on the phone and watch baby sleeping, or playing, or crying. However, I was highly dissapointed when I found out that this option is not available. Despite all of the technology that we have in this world and how amazing our smart phone are, we still don’t have a baby monitor that is up to scratch.
My choice: Oricom Secure910 Large 7″ Digital Video Baby Monitor The best video monitor that I found is the Oricom Secure910. The brand has received some great awards but it also has a lot of bad to average reviews online. I’m not entirely sold on this product because it does not meet all of my expectations for a baby monitor however it is the best on the market at the moment. It comes with one camera but you can buy more cameras if you want to. The video screen allows you to watch 4 different views of baby or if you have more than one chile, you can put a video in all of their rooms and watch them at the same time. What I don’t like about this video screen is that it is fairly big. I think i’d like to put the monitor in my pocket while I’m doing the house cleaning or hanging out the washing. I think that this big screen might get too annoying. Ideally I’d love to have a big screen sit on my computer desk or on the kitchen table and then have a smaller portable monitor that I can put in my pocket to move around with. However this option is not available either. (Yet).
*Update – I found a new product that ticks all my boxes. I will write a post about this new video monitor soon 🙂
12. Bottle Steriliser – High Priority
Here is my checklist: I want the steriliser to be BPA free; wash as many bottles as possible at once; not take up too much space in my kitchen (because already I don’t have enough room), transportable, not hard to wash or keep clean, not to be used in conjunction with the microwave.
My choice: Avent 3-in-1 Electric Steam Steriliser The Avent 3-in-1 ticks all the boxes of my checklist. It is for sale almost everywhere so it will be easy to find a good discounted price on the product too. Chemists sell it as well as Target, Kmart and all of the baby shops.
13. Bottles – High Priority
Buying new born baby bottles can be really overwhelming. There are so many things to think about. I’m not sure if this is entirely true, but I read that you should not put plastic bottles in to the dishwasher because there is a risk that BPA can be released. My question is, does this also happen when you sterilise baby bottles in a steaming hot steriliser?
Apparently, using glass bottles prevents this issue all together. So, I want glass bottles. Then I was told that if you express your milk, you might want to freeze it sometimes and you can’t freeze your glass bottles. That took me back to choosing plastic rather than glass. My girlfriend told me that she freezes the milk in plastic bottles and then transfers it to the glass before feeding the baby. However this doesn’t make sense to me because you would still need to wash both bottles right? I’m still left undecided on this issue.
When shopping at a local baby store the attendant introduced me to the Madela bottles. She said that the teat mimics a real nipple. The teat is purposely designed to make it harder for the baby to drink the milk so that the baby can practice sucking movements while drinking from the bottle . This is important to help build the baby’s sucking skills and to stop the baby from becoming a lazy eater. This also means that dad (or anyone else) can have a feed by using the bottle and the transitions between the breast to the bottle is easy. Hopefully the baby will not be able to notice the difference and therefore not prefer one option over the other.
14. Breast Pump – High Priority
I hear so many great things about the Medela Swing Maxi Breast Pump however the online reviews all point to the Spectra S2. I’m really not sure which one to get. It’s a hard decision for a first time mum to make without know exactly what to expect. Here is the link to the product reviews I found:http://www.productreview.com.au/c/breast-pumps.html
*Update: I have decided to purchase the Spectra S1! Reasons will be featured in another blog post coming soon.
15. Baby Bath – High Priority
A good baby bath is important for both the baby and the person bathing the baby. I know that i will probably be really scared the first few times that I bath the baby, so having something that will help to safety support the baby is really important to me.
Some mums talk about using the kitchen sink, or the laundry sink to wash their babies. My mother told me she had a big tub of water which she just put on the bed to bath us when we were children. There are also the bath/change table covertable options available to purchase. However I really want a specifically designed baby bath that will sit in our normal bath and safely hold the baby while I wash.
Before purchasing your baby bath have a read of the Product Safety Australia website for mandatory standards.
My choice: I’m loving the Fisher & Price Bath Tubs however, I’m not sure which design I like the best yet. Still deciding…
16. Bath Thermometer – Low Priority
Some people don’t need a bath thermometer to check the temperature of the water. They use the old-fashioned touch and feel approach. However, I have spent 15 years of my life working in hospitality and touching hot water is something I am very used to. What is ok for me may not be ok for baby. I know that I will need to rely on an accurate water test to make sure that the water temperature is suitable. Some baths have a bath thermometer built-in (like the Fisher & Price Bath Tub I mentioned earlier) but you can also buy a bath thermometer separately.
My choice: I’m not fussed on the brand of a bath thermometer. Any will do. I’m sure that they all work in a similar way to take the temperature of the water. However I love the rubber ducky theme in the bathroom. This yellow duck bath thermometer is by Dream Baby.
17. Bath Products and Accessories: Soap, Shampoo, Massage Oil – High Priority
My choice: Johnson’s Baby Products was the first brand that I thought of. However I haven’t done any research yet. I’ll write a post if I change my mind or try a different product.
18. High ChairMam – Low Priority
You don’t need a high chair straight away so that is why I marked this product as a ‘low priority’. Most of the mums in my mother’s group LOVE the Ikea high chair. I have heard it over and over again that the expensive high chairs are not always the best. The high chair gets really dirty (while the baby is eating) and sometimes if there is too much padding or material the highchair can be really hard to clean.
The BabyBjorn High Chair seems to get a lot of great reviews online however it is much more expensive than the Ikea High Chair. I still need to do a bit more research before selecting which one I want. Any recommendations? I’d love to hear from you! Please let me a comment or send me a tweet.
19. Bouncer – Low Priority (but I really really want one lol!)
I love it, I love it, I love it!
All of the mums who have a MammaRoo bouncer rave about it. It is very expensive and a little unnecessary but I love it and I definitely want one!
My choice: MammaRoo
20. Fun Seat – Low Priority
The fun seat is another one of those products that aren’t a “necessity” but super awesome. A lot of my girlfriends use their Bumbo on a daily basis: on the floor, on the kitchen table, at a restaurant, at the beach… it is so light and easy to carry that you can take it with you anywhere.
There are two main brands of fun seats on the market. The Bumbo and the Mamas & Papas Bud Booster Seat. Babies that have chubby legs will often grow out of the Bumbo very quickly. The Mamas & Papas Booster seat has a wider leg space and it also has a larger tray. Selecting a seat is a personal choice (if you even want want at all). All of my friends have the Bumbo so I think I will get the same.
My choice: Bumbo
21. Nappy Bag & Portable Change Mat – Medium Priority
It’s really hard to find a stylish nappy bag that is big enough to carry all of the items that you need for baby. So far, I have been unimpressed with the nappy bag options that are available in the baby stores and local retail stores. However, one of the girls in my mother’s group told me about her Kate Hill bag. I did a bit of research and now I’m sold!
My choice: Loving Kate Hill Baby Bags 🙂 There are lots of great designs… I haven’t selected which colour to get yet.
22. New Born Nappies – High Priority
I’m definitely going to try using modern cloth nappies. There are some awesome designs available and they are supposed to be better for the baby’s skin and better for the environment. However, as a first time mum, I’m not really sure if I will be able to cope with all of the extra washing. I have also purchased a packet of Huggies Newborn Disposable Nappies, just in case.
My choice: The Modern Cloth Nappies that I love right now are from Spots n Bots. However, I am about to go Nappy Shopping at some local stores around Brisbane. Once I know which MCN’s to recommend, I will write another blog post about it and share my research.
24. Nappy Bin – Medium Priority
Some mums rave about having a sealable nappy bin. Other mums say that it can get really expensive to purchase refills all the time. I think that if you can afford to add nappy liner refills into your weekly shopping budget, then this type of bin is an excellent choice!
The Tommee Tippee Hygiene Plus Nappy Disposal System seals the nappy so that you can’t smell it and so that it doesn’t leak. I already know that this is going to be an amazing product because the smell of pooie nappies is going to kill my hubby. LOL. Although, I wont really need the bin if I continue to use modern cloth nappies. Time will tell…
25: Nursing Chair / Pillow – Low Priority
This research is still on my to-do list. I know that I will need a chair to sit in while feeding baby. However I don’t know how much space I will have in the nursery until we finish renovations. In the meantime, I will just use my super comfy pregnancy pillow which I got on sale from Babies R Us.
Do you plan to use a special nursing chair or pillow?
My choice: Leachco Back & Belly Contoured Body Pillow
26. Floor Mat – Low Priority
There are heaps of cool play mats on the market. I really like the jigsaw style mats and anything that is bright and colourful. I know that I don’t really need a mat until the baby is a few months old however I would like to put one down on the floor in my living room as a special “space” for baby.
One of the helpful shop assistants at the Bubs Baby Shop told me that you need to be careful with your play mat selection. Some are made with toxic fibers and to be extra safe you definitely want to spend the extra money to get something that is non-toxis. However the ACCC tested some foam products and state that play mats have no safety risk to children. On the Product Safety Australia website you can read the test findings which suggest that a child would need to mouth for 20 minutes, or ingest at least 4.17 square metres of typical foam play mat to raise any health concerns.
My choice: I don’t want to take any risk of my baby getting a toxic infection so I will be selecting one of the designs from Bubba Mat from Soft Mats
26: Play Mat – Medium Priority
Play mats do much more than just keep the baby entertained while you clean the house. They create educational engagement opportunities for your baby and help with important learning and development stages in your baby’s early life.
Apparently the Sassy Baby Products are made in a way that encourage visual stimulation for your baby. That is why they are always bright coloured and have a range of different shaped patterns and toys.
When purchasing your play mat, try to find something that will be bright and colourful with lots of patterns.
My choice: Sassy Developmental Playmat
27: Musical Mobile – Low Priority
According to BabyMobile.com an infant will benefit the most from looking at a black and white mobile because their vision is not yet fully developed. Older babies will benefit more from bold shades of blue, red, yellow and green. It is best to find a mobile that contains a combination of all or most of these colours. The more colourful the crib mobile is, the more visually stimulating it will be for your baby.
My choice: I haven’t picked a musical mobile yet. However I am liking the Fisher & Price collection.
28: Baby Clothes – High Priority
If i knew the sex of my baby, I would have already purchased soooo many baby clothes! Lucky for my husband, and our bank account, we are keeping the sex of our baby a surprise. This means that all of the clothes that I have purchased so far are netural colours.
Here are some tips regarding your baby clothes and purchases:
- Don’t buy too many 0000 or 000 sizes as your baby will grow very quickly.
- Think about the season when your baby will be born. Will it be summer or winter? Hot or Cold? Also think about the seasons for the following months and buy clothes accordingly. For example, if your baby is born in winter then it will have it’s first birthday at winter time too.
- Sign up to receive special offers from brands that you love like bonds, pumpkin patch kids or target. Keep an eye out for upcoming sales and special offers and buy your baby clothes at the right time.
- Take a look at handmade clothing on etsy. They are sooo cute! Here is a link to one of my favourite designers: Mary Bobbin
- Read this article from Product Safety Australia about nightwear for children.
29: Baby Muslin Wraps – High Priority
It is important to wrap your newborn baby so that they feel safe, secure and warm. It also helps babies to settle and sleep on their back. Here is a link to a Kid Safe Wrapping Brouchre from Sids and Kids. Learn how to wrap your baby correctly and use wraps that are appropriate for your baby’s skin.
There is a lot of hype about Bamboo at the moment. Here is why everybody loves it:
- Bamboo is hypo-allergenic which is perfect for babies with sensitive skin
- Bamboo is super absorbent and can soak up the babies sweat in the summer time or leakages from nappies
- Bamboo is breathable (thermo-regulating) which is very important for sleeping babies.
- Bamboo is a fibre that is grown wild and organically and does not need chemicals such as pesticides or fungicides and it uses little water
- Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial so it will not hold bacteria within the fabric like many other fabrics can
- Bamboo is biodegradable and therefore it is environmentally friendly
- Bamboo has a luxurious softness which feels nice on baby’s skin
My choice: Anything that is made with 100% Bamboo however I especially like the products in the Little Bamboo range.
30: Baby Carrier – Low Priority
Selecting a baby carrier is really difficult. There are so many options. The two brands that have stood out the most are Ergo Baby and baby bjorn. However within each of those brands there are a range of different designs to choose from. I also stumbled across another baby carrier which is made from bamboo and more like a wrap. I really like the Happy Baby Wraps too.
I haven’t decided which baby carrier to purchase yet. However I do know that I want the baby carrier to do the following things:
- Be safe for my baby
- Not interfere with the baby’s leg positioning or hip placement (some are apparently risky with this)
- Light to carry
- Not too strenuous on my lower back
- Keep my baby close to me
- Allow for a number of different ways to hold the baby – specifically facing towards me and facing away from me.
- Be easy to wash
My choice: Not sure… I am still deciding. However I’m using this review website to help me with my decision: Product Review Baby Carriers
Despite all of the research that I do and product reviews that I read, I really won’t know what it best for my baby until after my baby is born. They say that every baby is different and I really believe that is true. They also say that you don’t know what motherhood is really like until you are actually a mother yourself. It will be interesting to see which of these products work for me in the future. But until then, I’ll just go with my gut feeling and pick the things that I like best.
What is your favourite baby product? Please share your thoughts in the comments or send me a tweet.
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