This is one for my swathe of pregnant friends. I thought I’d make a list of the things I’ve found essential in my first 8 weeks of motherhood. They are not in a particular order, just as I thought of them.
1. swaddles – Swaddling cloths are amazing. My favourite ones have been muslin. They have helped so much with calming and sleeping. Get nice big ones.
2. drink bottle – I bought myself a good quality, stainless steel, pop-top drink bottle for breast-feeding. It’s always close-by. ‘Eco-lateral’ in Adelaide have lovely ones.
3. reusable nursing pads – Mainly for environmental reasons, but they’re more comfy than the disposable ones anyway. I bought some great minke ones from ‘The Rainbow Tree’ in Adelaide.
4. good breast-feeding bras – I got fitted at David Jones at about 38 weeks, but apparently you can do it much earlier (after 20 weeks or so).
5. breast-feeding nightie – I hadn’t thought of this until I realised how much my boobs would leak at night (since I’m lucky enough to have a bubs who sleeps through the night). You need something that you can put nursing pads into. So, I sleep in a breast-feeding nightie or a basic, comfy sports bra with no hooks or clips.
6. nappies – I did a lot of research into cloth nappies and decided on the ‘itti bitti tutto’. I love them. We had disposables for the first 5 days or so, and for travelling, but they fit bubs really well from the first week. And washable wipes – to go with our enviro-friendly nappies. We bought cushie-tushie ones from ‘The Rainbow Tree’. They’re great because they are soft and minke on one side but a bit grippy on the other side for poos! They work best if you wet them a little. We also bought matching dirty nappy bags, which have a pocket for the wipes.
7. pram – We went with a bugaboo because we wanted something that did infant-toddler. We also needed something that was super-sturdy with good suspension for Beijing footpaths. The seat can also reverse, the handle bar is super-high for us tall people, it has a good shopping bag underneath, a good hood and a cover to protect bubs from the elements. There are heaps of prams out there – start early. Think carefully about all the things you’d like and make a list. If you take this list with you, you’re bound to find the perfect one out there!
8. hand sanitiser – get a pump action bottle for home and little ones for the nappy bag.
9. nappy bag – Get a good nappy bag with lots of pockets – ours has become my handbag already – who wants to go out with more than 1 bag?? Oh, and it also has a great changing mat. Even better – I bought it cheap on taobao.
10. baby carrier – We bought an ergo baby carrier, again after a lot of research. It’s super comfy and great when you want both hands free. And since we don’t have a car in Beijing, we will be using this whilst riding in taxis. We also had a bouncy chair on loan for a few weeks. This was great for bubs to have some independent time and give us a chance to do our own thing.
11. baby clothes that do up under the bum – I soon discovered that it’s hard to hold a wriggling baby when their clothes are riding up their back. It makes them all slippery. Get a range of newborn clothes that all do up at the bum. Oh, and babies are smaller than you think.
12. socks with good cuffs that don’t slip off – Little feet work hard, and socks quickly slip off. At Target, I found socks with good cuffs that folded over and held on tight. A definite advantage!
13. gender confusing outfits – This is purely personal. I hate the whole baby pink/ baby blue thing. So I often dress her in half pink and half blue. Or throw in a misleading pair of pink socks with the stripey-blue onesie.
I hope that helps in some way, shape or form. If you have any questions for this newbie mum, please ask away! I feel like I’ve been on such a steep, but wonderful, learning curve!