I don't know about you but when I found out I was expecting my first child I spend ages researching baby gadgets and products on the market that were marketed as being able to make my life easier, and I brought most items brand new, spending (and wasting) a small fortune on equipment that I just didn't need. So here is my guide to Must haves and not haves for those of you currently researching baby purchases.
1) Muslin cloths will become your new best friend. They have a multitude of uses. A dignity cover for breastfeeding, mopping up spills, a bib, I even know a little girl that had a muslin as her comforter. My girls are now 9 and 10 and I still have a drawer full of muslins. I use them when they kids get the paints out or spill their drink and I still use them in my photography studio during a newborn photography session and to clean cake up after a cake smash photoshoot.
2) A changing mat is essential to stop the explosive yellow goo going everywhere but consider if you really need a changing table. I had one in Elizabeth's nursery and rarely used it. I found it much easier and quicker to change baby on my knee or on the floor in the lounge. The trip upstairs to use the changing table was to much effort and it just ended up a dumping ground for the washing I never had time to put away.
3) If your bottle feeding. The little ready made cartons of formula are a godsend when on the go. Keep a stock of these for when your out and about. They stay fresh and are much easier than carrying a flask of warm water and a tupperware of remeasured formula powder around with you. Many of my clients have told me that they found the Perfect Prep machine to be more hassle than its worth so this is maybe one to avoid.
4) Never buy a second hand car seat. You don't know if it has been in an accident or has any internal damage. A car seat and a mattress are the 2 things that you should always buy new! Everything else I would suggest buying 2nd hand. So many baby items are outgrown or hardly used and you can get some real good buys and often sell things on for the same as you paid for them.
5) The one thing I could not have lived without was the girls musical swing chair. They both loved it and would spend lots of time relaxing and taking in the hanging toys. It allowed me to get on with those essential tasks like washing and going to the toilet. I even used to pop ours in the bathroom whilst taking a shower so they were secure but I could still see them. Some of my lovely clients have recommended the Bambeano beanbag chair for similar reasons. As my daughter got older she loved her Bumbo seat but others have added this to the list of worst purchases.
Thank you to Demi's Mummy for sending me this cute picture to share.
6) There are so many gorgeous little outfits in the shops designed to tempt us. But believe me you will always have more than you need and end up passing some of them on with the tags still attached. Before baby arrives purchase the minimum you need, you will receive loads of clothes as gifts so save your pennies for other things or buy clothes in bigger sizes because everyone will buy you first size clothes. And don't buy expensive items either. Baby Poo stains and you'll be heartbroken when you have to bin that Laura Ashley piece, cheap and cheerful all the way.
7) This ones is a freebie and something I use in my photography studio. Download a white noise app onto your phone. Its a life saver. I never knew about these when mine were little but I used to put Alyssa's moses basket in the utility room as she would be happy and relaxed when the tumble drier was on.
8) Don't buy lots of cute teddies. I still regret this 10 years on! Buy a special one but only 1. My 10 year old won't part with any that have a special meaning to her. 'Nanny brought that one when I was born', 'That was the one you got me for my first birthday', 'Daddy brought these when I was having my operation', are all things that she has said when i've tried to get her to have a sort out. We recently moved house and having managed to get her to part with a bin bag full of teddies she still brought 2 full bin bags full to the new house!
9) I wasted lots of money on cute little shoes for my girls. Why? Because they looked pretty, but what a waste of money. Babies don't walk and as soon as they find their hands they will be pulling them off and throwing them out the buggy! On the flip side of this have lots of socks (or better still tights) as they too get pulled off and lost all the time. Or better still invest in some sickens. Not something I'd heard of but they come highly recommended from my clients.
10) I could not have survived without a baby gro bag. Much safer and more practical than the fancy bedding sets. Both my girls loved them, the worst thing about them was getting them to switch to normal bedding as they got older.
Thank you to Daniel's Mum for sending me this cute little picture to share
11) Many of my clients have said that a separate baby bath was their worst purchase and its easier to buy a little seat to go in the bath. I certainly loved my daughters baby bath first time around but ditched it with number 2 as it was easier to bath the girls together.
12) Get a good quality buggy buddy, to store all the bits and bobs you need to hand while out and about. There is nothing worse than rummaging in your hand bag while on the move.
I hope you have found this guide helpful and thank you to all those that offered their wisdom. We are all different and some gadgets are a god send to some and a waste of time, space and money to others so do your research and consider your own lifestyle and needs.
What are your best baby buys? What do you regret spending money on? I look forward to reading your recommendations in the comments section below.