As a new mama, I can assure you: The internet is rife with new parent ‘must haves’, which are in reality totally irrelevant. Most of these things are must haves if you’re the mama who already has everything and is after something cute (and useless).
Take, for example, those mini tents that catch little boys’ pee when you’re changing them. Imagining my son using his pee as some kind of golden super-soaker scared me into thinking this thing was vital to my sense of cleanliness (and pride). But trust me, baby boys will find ways of peeing on you no matter what you do or buy.
Oh the silly things the internet told me I needed to be a good first-time mom. But when I realised I didn’t need half the things on my registry, I started culling my list drastically, and ended up leaving off some actual essentials. Like a changing pad. What was I thinking?! Of course you need a changing pad. Even a fly by the seat of my pants kinda mom like me needs a changing pad.
If I could go back and do all my list-writing again, here’s what I would put:
1. Travel system (that actually works)
I kept hearing the expression ‘travel system’ and thinking it sounded like barmy parenting lingo, and just disregarded it. I ended up with the heaviest, most impractical car seat ever made, and no stroller. When I did invest in a stroller, it wasn’t compatible with the car seat. My two cents: If you can’t afford a complete travel system, make sure you buy a stroller that is compatible with your car seat.
2. More coveralls than you can imagine
Everyone told me that I was buying too many clothes, but it took so much pressure off the constant washing you do as a mom. A really great tip is that if you buy coveralls for baby to grow in to, or if new-born size is still huge on your little pea, then stock up on some comfy joggers. Worn over the onesie, they will hold it in place so baby’s legs don’t get tangled in the extra material. Because you can get away with bigger sizes, you’ll find your coveralls last much longer.
3. Sensitive soap
4. Bibs, bibs, and more bibs
I thought bibs were only useful for when baby begins eating, but if your little one suffers with spit up and reflux as much as mine did, then trust me, bibs are useful from day one.
5. Water thermometer
Obviously a thermometer is vital for checking baby’s temperature, but you should also get a water thermometer. I thought that only neurotic parents worry about monitoring bath temperature, but seriously, a few degrees off and you’ve got a very unhappy baby on your hands.
6. Breast pump
Next to the changing pad, my Phillips Avent breast pump was hands down the most useful thing I wasn’t planning on buying. I saw it on offer and thought, ok why not. If you’re planning on nursing, a breast pump is a total necessity, and you’ll need it sooner than you expect, so put it on the registry.
7. And finally… the notorious changing pad
For all the other important things, we’ve put together a collection: