Everyone knows how important it is to be prepared for a new baby. Being mentally prepared for a baby is one thing, but making sure you have all the right equipment is a whole other dilemma. From baby strollers to high chairs, and from camping cots to walking rings. The list is endless. Do you really need all these things?
Or can you get away with not having a camping cot and just get a standard cot? Is is better to buy a stroller with a baby chair that fits into it so you can have an all in one travel system? Or should you purchase the items separately? Let’s take a look at what the essentials are, and more importantly, why you need to have them.
As much as any new parent wants to cuddle and hold their newborn baby in their arms, going shopping while holding a baby can get a bit tricky. Arms get tired too. So a stroller is an absolute must-have item, and quite possibly one of the first things a lot of new parents look into buying.
The variety is massive. From big bulky ones to smaller, more compact strollers, you are spoiled for choice. So what should you look for when you are looking to buy a baby stroller? First things first, there are a lot of proper brand names out there that have a range of strollers on offer. Check safety ratings and reviews to make sure the purchase is worth your time.
Size and Functionality
What you may want to consider before deciding which stroller to buy is the size of your car boot. This is an important consideration. A large stroller that doesn’t fold up and fit into your car boot is going to pose a problem. So this would be the first point to keep in mind.
Then take a look at the strollers that have a dual purpose. Try to look for strollers that offer a reclining bed/seat. This will allow you to lay a sleeping baby in a flat position, and when the baby is awake, they can see the world around them.
Products that have wheels that lock are always a safer option to avoid the stroller getting away from you. Locking the wheels in place when you want the stroller to stay stationary is an excellent safety feature and one you should insist on having. Most strollers come with safety harnesses to ensure that your baby is safely strapped in at all times.
Depending on the climate, decide on what kind of cover you require. Most strollers have canopies or hoods to keep the bright sunlight out, while some also come with extra bits that can be added on for the colder temperatures to keep the baby snug and warm. Parents will be happy to know that there are strollers that come with built-in suspension systems too. This allows you to maneuver the stroller through almost anywhere and offers a smooth and comfortable ride for baby.
Single or Double?
Whether you are having your first baby or if you have already done this all before, you may want to invest in a double pushchair. They may be bulkier, but the purchase can save you in the long run.
Purchasing a double stroller now means less cost later, and the extra space will come in handy in a variety of ways. From having an extra seat for play dates and friends to having a place to put your groceries don’t be afraid of the extra space!
Buying a breast pump is always one of those things most new mum’s question often. Is this a necessary buy? There are a lot of factors you need to consider before making this decision, and some of the more high-end breast pumps can be a bit pricey too. But, a definite bonus if you are going to make use of it.
If you are wanting to breastfeed and are planning on going back to work within a few months after giving birth, a breast pump is a must-have item for any new mum. The benefits of having a breast pump mean you can give your baby your breast milk for as long as you choose to.
Which to Choose
There is a wide range of products on the market, in both manual and electric versions. Depending on the flow of your milk, the manual pumps can take a little more work and perhaps a longer time to get the required amount of milk you need.
The electric pumps tend to work a bit faster and require a lot less effort. However, these are also priced higher than the manual pumps. Whatever you decide, buying a breast pump is an absolute Godsend for those times when you need it. Take a look at some of the reviews on breast pumps here.
This is another one of those items that many new parents buy and either never make use of or decide its one of their best buys. A travel cot, in essence, is used by many new parents as the first cot for baby.
Compact and Easy
This is mainly because of the compact size and the convenience of being able to keep this smaller cot in the same room as mum and dad for the first few weeks after the birth. Travel cots are quick and easy to assemble and are surprisingly sturdy too.
Most travel cots come in handy carry bags so you can take them along with you when you are taking a vacation with your family. Mattresses are usually sold separately and are a bit more bulky to travel with, but the convenience of having a compact bed for the baby next to mum for those first few weeks is priceless.
While this is not a must-have item, travel cots can prove to be valuable if you are short on space and want to have the baby in the room with you for those first few weeks.
Getting your baby started on solid food is super exciting stuff — but, the mess they tend to leave during this process, not so much. You will be surprised (or perhaps a little alarmed) at how much of a mess babies can make.
A safe option is to have them safely strapped into a high chair with a (preferably) removable tray. While there are no guarantees that food will not be dropped or even hurled at you, it is much easier to clean a smaller space than all your furniture and walls.
Some high chairs come with a reclining function, just in case the baby falls asleep while eating. There are also high chairs that come with adjustable legs for a different height. This is great for the younger babies that are just sitting and starting on solids.
This allows mum or dad to sit on the floor in front of the baby and engage in eating time. Be warned; this can be a time-consuming process so you may want to get comfortable.
What to Look For
A sensible buy is to look for the high chairs that have removable trays. Some even come with a double tray, where one tray clips into another. This allows you to deal with round one and then to lift off the top tray and replace it with the underlying clean tray for round two.
The convenience of having this second tray means you don’t have to leave the baby to wipe the tray clean, you can see to that after feeding time. After all, they are only babies for such a short time. And feeding time is an adventure in itself.
While the whole ordeal might seem quite daunting, it really can be quite an enjoyable experience. There are so many useful products that can make life a whole lot easier with a baby.
While you may not want to purchase all the gadgets and carriers and baby seats, most of them do have a convenient side to them. Take the time to visit your closest baby supplies store and get a look at what is available. Some new innovative products really can and will make your life easier if you’ll let them.