|So a Baby is on the way!!|
|Coles Baby Club|
|In April last year (2001), I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Since then I have been amazed at the amount of Baby stuff out there. These items are usually not cheap and for a first time Mum - you won't know if you need then until you buy them. So this is the site to find out what works in the real world!|
|I have listed below in no particular order what I have found useful and then a quick list of what you definately DO NOT need.
Updated: 5th February 2004.
*Jumpsuits - especially grow suits with the fold over hands (see also if you can find some with fold over feet too for when it's a bit warmer
*Baby Sleeping Bags - Absolutely Essential!! These cost a bit but it's worth while having two in each size up until 000. Babies decide very quickly that they don't like being restrained in blankets so these are great to pop them into as a blanket alternative. Once they start crawling (approx. size 00) buy two in each size of the dressing gowns with the detachable bottom. Winkin and Blinkin (Myers, specialty stores) are about the only brand I've found so far that make both of these and they start in price from $30.
*Towelling Nappies - One packet of the cheapest you can find. These are great for nappy changes, wiping up stuff, placing over your shoulder to catch chuck and popping under your boob you're not using while breast feeding to catch the leaks (There will be loads of leakage at the start!) These nappies are absolutely useless to use as nappies.
Singlets - Don't buy any sizes smaller that 000. It's really hard to get the correct size singlet over a floppy head.
*Bibs - You will need loads of these. As cheap as you can find them as they will stain and fade with all the bleaching. Try to find one or two of the bibs that look like art smocks. These are more expensive but great for when you're going out to keep Bubs good clothes clean.
*Cloth - Big Softies is a brand I found good. The nappies aren't square so depending on the way you fold them they can be wide (soaks up more at the start) or long (the fold fits for longer)
*Disposable - I use cloth with disposables over night so I recommend Huggies or if you can find them (they used to be in Franklins), I think they're called First Choice, they start out really thin and puff up as the nappy fills. Baby Love is another good brand - cheaper too! If you need to use disposables full time, have a look around for discount nappy outlets eg. Nappyland. You can get seconds at a really low price.
*Snibs - you'll find these in the Chemist. If you use these you will not need any plastic pants under 00. They are a triangular shape of plastic that you tie around the cloth nappy to keep it waterproof. These are excellent when Bub is really small.
*Plastic Pants - These are cheap and they really work! You will need approx. 3 packets of three in each size and I don't know if I just got a dodgy batch or not but I found that the white ones are not as durable as the coloured ones!
*Face Washers - Get as many as you can! There's no need to buy ones marketed as baby face washers - they cost too much. Use them for nappy changes and face washing/wiping.
Lotions and Potions
*Lansinoh Breast Cream - This is great as you can apply it when ever you like and you don't need to remove it before breast feeding.
*Nappy Rash Creams - The best I found were:
Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment (Red jar - excellent for burns also - it takes the sting away almost immediately). This seems to work best if you rub a little in well rather than using a lot as a barrier.
Bi-Carb Soda - for the bath (approx. 1-2 Tablespoons)
Bepanthen - only use if the nappy rash seems to be hurting Bub - it numbs the area but that's about it.
Ointment or cream with Old Man's Weed in it - You may need to order this from your local Health Food shop as I had a really hard time coming across some. It's not cheap either (I paid over $26 for mine) but you only need a tiny amount each time. It's also good for heat rash or dermititis.
Savlon cream is also handy to have.
Curash Anti-Rash Baby Powder. (This is good as a Talc substitute)
*If Bub is having problems with Wind (Colic), Brauer Colic Relief is excellent. Later on their Teething Relief will elliminate the need for Panadol.
*Chamomile Tea - Calming. Great for wind, teething, anxiety, overtiredness etc. One tea bag will last about 6 times as you only need a weak tea, so it's worth investing in a tea strainer.
*Bonjela - Have on hand for teeth but also if Bub doesn't like immunisation, use it to numb the area before the needle. If Bub doesn't like you applying the gel to their gums. Try to get a hold of the Little Igloo brand applicator. These are really hard to find - I found mine in Safeways in Bayswater North.
*Baby Panadol - You can't use before 4 months but it's handy to buy it before immunisation just in case Bub gets a temperature from it. Don't bother buying the Panadol brand. The Chemists Own brand is cheaper and just as good.
*Sorbolene Cream - Just a cheapie - with or with out Vitamin E - with no perfumes. Babies are not usually born with beautiful skin and after the wet environment of the womb it can get VERY dry and scaly.
Target sells a great little First Aid kit that I wish I had have know about before I brought all the items seperately - I would have saved myself some cash. It has a thermometer, nail scissors, clippers etc. Plus a handy Nose Sucker (not the technical name!). A nose sucker is brilliant for Bubs first few colds to suck the snot out of their nose. Gross I know, but babies get very hysterical very quickly when they can't breathe through their nose.
Even if you don't think you want to use one, have a cheapie lying around from the start. It's usually the middle of the night when you change your mind on the great Dummy debate. A good brand is Snappi. They have orthodontic types plus teardrop types. They also have glow in the dark in both types. This brand is cheap but more importantly - you can buy them everywhere. Stay clear of the Cannon brand as they are expensive and hard to find. Bub will get attached to one type and you need to know you can buy them everywhere.
If you breast feed you will probably not need these but have one big one and one small one just in case. Sometimes you may want to give them water if they seem to be overfeeding (Mine did this) or if they bite once they have teeth (Mine again) you will want to express for a while until they learn that biting is NOT okay. Try to borrow one if you can but if your Bub is a biter or for any other reason you think you will need one fairly regularly it is worth investing in one. Manual is cheapest all round. Battery operated use buckets of batteries.
This is one of the things you will probably get as a present. But if you don't, lay off buying one straight away unless you are putting Bub straight into its own room. I didn't use mine at all for the first 6 months buts now it's my life line.
You will get buckets of these as presents so don't buy any before Bub is born. One I will reccommend though is by Tommee Tippee. It is a flower/face that is soft and squeaks etc. but has teething handles. A great all round toy that isn't too big (essential when you are looking for the permanent Nappy Bag toy.)
Look for one that is cheap but has lots of room. The one I have has a zip on change mat which doubles as an extra pouch when it is attached(Childcare Collection brand from Target). You will need two of everything that goes into the Nappy Bag. One for the bag and one for home. This is the only way to avoid forgetting things.
For the big stuff (Cot, Pram, HIgh Chair etc) I reccommend anything that is sturdy and does more than one thing. If you're going to be paying the bucks for it you want it to last as long as possible. My High Chair converts into a table and chair. My pram converts to a stroller but you can also pull the top off the base and use it as a carrier/bed for Bubs when visiting. I 'd also look at the Cots that go from Cot to bed to couch.
*Ice cube trays - When Bub first starts on solids they only eat a few teaspoons at a time. I would puree up vegies and freeze them in ice cube trays and then I would have just the right amount for Bub. Once Bub starts eating more it's just a matter of picking an assortment of veg and then defrosting.
*Drinking Cups - keep your eye out for cups with spouts (especially the non drip ones) in the Reject Shop. You can pick up one or two packs for about $2. They're hard to come across though, so when you see them, grab them!
*Spoons - Heinz flexi soft spoons are great. You will need at least four.
*Bowls - I have a Heinz bowl with a fitted lid but my Bub prefers to eat out of the same bowls as everyone else!
For yourself I recommend the following:
*Salt and Lavender Oil - only if you need stitches. Pop them into the bath to help heal them. Only get 100 percent essential Lavender oil, the rest are useless (eg/ fragrant oil or pure oil). There are various types of lavender (eg/ French Lavender) but they all do the same.
*Bubble Bath - anything that smells nice to pamper yourself. Also look out for one that calms and also one that invigorates. Steer clear of these for a while if you've had stitches as they will dry out your skin which will hamper healing.
*Heat Pack - You will need this before Bub is born for your lower back. Once Bub is born you will need it for the middle of your back. Also they are great to pop in Bubs bed while you are doing the night feeds when it's cold so Bubs will be going back into a warm bed!
*Back Massager - Your partners hands will run out of juice before your back feels any better. Coles sells one for about $3.00 that I would recommend but any hand held one is fine. You will need this before and after Bubs is born and also during labour.
*Music - start playing music before Bubs is born that relaxes you. Take the time out while you are listening to it to relax! Bub will get used to the sound of it and it will help to calm him/her down. It is also great to calm yourself down. Play it as you're going to sleep to wind down or in the middle of the night if Bub won't sleep - it will calm you both down!
What Not To Buy!!
Steer clear of the following!
*Pilchers - those plastic lined cloth velcro things for covering cloth nappies. They are NOT waterproof!! They are expensive also.
*Booties - most baby outfits have feet already in them if you're like me you will prefer socks anyway for those outfits that need them. Most likely you will be given booties anyway (Think about your Nanna), these are great to hand onto the next unsuspecting Mum to be!
*Plastic Drink Holders - The one I got was from Baby Target (it cost approx. $10.00). It was designed to hold a bottle or a Fruit Drink box. This broke before Bub was born! I don't know if this is the only one on the market but keep away from it if you see it.
*High Chairs with hard to clean covers - You'll see lots of them - usually the more expensive ones mind you! They look all comfy as they have plastic pillow type seats but they have no gaps between to help you clean out the food. Stick to smooth seats with or without gaps or covers you can remove and wash.
*Baby Oil - I have a bottle and have never used it. In fact, I'm not even sure what it's for!
Um, I think that is it!
This list is by no means complete - I will be adding to it as need be (eg/ Food Stuff) but please feel free to email me if you have any other life savers you think should be on the list. Or better still add it to the guest list so everyone else can read it!
Recipes and Remedies
Colds - Using a dropper, drop a few drops of breast milk into Bubs nose to help clear out the mucas.
French Toast - a great way to get bread (wholemeal preferably) and an egg into Bub.
Cheese and Vegemite Roll Ups - Cut the crust of a slice of (wholemeal) bread. Use these as a decoy if your Bub is like mine and attaches himself to my leg as soon as it looks like lunchtime or just add them to the plate as a side dish. Spread with a thin layer of Vegemite. Cut a cheese stick to size and roll up in the bread.
I have started up a chat group for anyone is interested to learn more as well as get in touch with all those other Aussie first time Mums out there. It is under Yahoo Groups>Parenting>Parenting Babies and Toddlers. Or email me at : email@example.com