When you are expecting your first baby it can be an absolute minefield when it comes to what you will really need when bump makes an appearance. Marketing has gone mad lately and if you are any way gullible you will be buying the sun, moon and stars for your pending arrival.
The reality is after you decide how you will feed your baby, dress them, bath them and figure out where they will sleep there will be very little that you will actually need.
- Food, food and more food. Prep in advance and batch cook some meals and pop them in the freezer. If you are buying a gift for a first time mum pick up some takeaway vouchers, a food hamper with daily essentials and treats for mum or cook up a stew or a lasagne to bring along with you.
- We all know we get caught up in buying bibs, blankets and the likes but you should really only use cellular blankets on a newborn baby. We know there are some ridiculously cute prints and colours but cotton cellular blankets are best. The tiny holes allow air to circulate making them a safer option for a newborn. When baby gets older you can shop to till you drop to find the perfect blankie.
- It's so easy to spend hundreds on clothes and shoes but your baby will never wear half of it because they grow so quick They will live in baby grows for the first three months especially if it's a winter baby. Rather than splashing out on the outfits stockpile on nappies and wipes or maybe even consider cloth nappies. Go a size up with every bulk buy and keep an eye out on special offers before you shop. You may think your baby is eating the nappies because you go through them so quickly.
- One thing we never think about when expecting is the future and possible temperatures or sickness. Invest in a good infrared digital thermometer. It will be one of your best buys bringing you right through childhood. And if you want to be one step ahead look into a first aid box if you haven't got one already.
- As much as you may think you won't actually stare at your baby all day every day, you will need a little break or some entertainment as you feed your new bub. Make yourself comfortable and order a Netflix subscription. And if someone is looking for a gift idea don't be shy and tell them that's what you would like. The night feeds can be long and draining so little light entertainment will not only keep you awake but it a great way to pass developmental leaps especially if you are breastfeeding. I would have been lost without mine on my last three children.
- Nursing pillows are a must regardless of how you choose to feed your baby. These nifty circular pillows help you comfortably support your baby during feedings. They are especially handy for mums who have delivered their baby by c-section.
- Sling it all the way. Newborns love being held close, the thump of your heart and the warmth of your body will help relax baby whilst drifting off to the land of nod. Slings also leave your hands free to do what you have to do - again a life saver for me personally.
- And finally, the most important thing for a first-time mum is support. You may be tired, sore, emotional, overwhelmed and some may even feel lonely, especially when your partner returns to work or maybe you are a single parent. Surround yourself with love and support. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness and I only wish I had of known this when I had my first baby. Come baby number four I wasn't shy about getting visitors to make their own tea and do the washing up while they waited for the kettle to boil.