Pretty much all of my friends have been pregnant and had babies or are having a baby. I have never really given them any tips or recommendations on what to buy. Or in most cases what not to buy, and whatâ€™s completely unnecessary and should be left with the sales lady in John Lewis!Â
For those of my friends who are pregnant or yet to think about babies, I have complied a list of things to buy when you are expecting and for those early days of pregnancy. Now I know a little of you will go off-piste and buy The Bill Amberg Papoose baby carrier, but itâ€™s really not practical, and quite possible the most uncomfortable baby sling I have ever worn. Stick to the list and you want go far wrong. I hope it helps!
I would look on Topshop and Gap. Asos do some amazing dresses which always look beautiful dressed in a baby bump. Isabelle Oliver have some lovely maternity pieces. For jeans I would buy sizes bigger and then at the later stages of pregnancy buy J Brand designer maternity jeans as they look divine on. If not Topshop Leigh in ankle leigh is a winner. An oversized smocks or swing dresses with leggings and a soft waterfall cashmere cardigan will be the most comfortable outfit to wear. You really donâ€™t need to go silly, just a few key pieces which you love to wear will be perfectly fine.Â
Maternity bras and pants
I would say 3 non wired Elle McPhearson Intimates.Â For maternity pants I would just buy a size bigger. M&S and Mothercare have some perfect granny pants.
I would go to Topshop
JoJo Maman Bebe bump support band will be great for the second half of you pregnancy. It will give your baby bump a little extra support and add much needed extra length to your tops.Â
Pregnancy pillow.Â Â
You either love them or loath them. I would see if you could borrow a friends before purchasing. They do take up quite a bit of room in the bed. A lot of my birth doula clients use a normal pillowÂ
You do not need a fancy bag, a holdal will be perfectly fine.Â I would take 2 items of nightwear, preferably that button down the middle. You will also need to pack a dressing gown, slippers and thick socks. Buy some super large black, again buy from M&S or Mothercare, do not but the paper knickers, there is just no need for them. Nursing bras, again JoJo do some lovely ones. Lots of Ultra-slim ‘Always’ maternity towels. Disposable breast pads x 40, you can transfer to washable later.Â Wash bag, toothbrush/toothpaste towel and hairbrush. Donâ€™t forget to pack a few snacks like nuts and seeds. Phone charger, Ipad, change for car park, blue maternity notes and birth plan. Most importantly Comfortable clothes to go home in, Zara Home have some lovely ones at the momentÂ
The Baby Bag
Small white muslins that have been pre washed from John Lewis. White baby flannels and lots of cotton wool pleats, I’m not a fan of baby wipes. Newborn nappies x 10. 2 x long sleeve white vests from John Lewis. 2 x baby sleepsuits, 1 x baby blanket (these are lovely gifts to give parents to be) and baby hat. Nail scissors, somtimes babies arrive needing a manicure.
Baby car seat. Â
As a birth doula http://www.earthboundbaby.co.uk/doula/ I have seen all kinds of car seats, but by far the best car seat is Maxi Cosi. Ensure that it is fitted to the car 4 weeks in advance of your babies due date.
You will need to take out a small mortgage on the purchase of a pram these days, they are so expensive. As a nanny and a doula I have been able to try and test so many prams, from Baby Jogger, Joolz Geo Mono, Quinny, Out â€˜Nâ€™ About, Silver Cross, Phil & Teds. , Cosatto, you name it I have pushed it. By far the best brand is Bugaboo, my favorite being the Bugaboo Bee3, shortly followed by the Bugaboo Cameleon3. For the country I like using Mountain Buggy Swift, rough and rugged you can trek for miles with this beast. My suggested prams will last and they hold there value well.
Â Baby carrier.Â Â
If you are looking at baby carriers I would advice you find your local baby sling group. The women that run the groups are really very knowledgable and will help you choose a sling that is right for you. For a small fee you are able to hire slings and see how you go. They have numerous slings so youâ€™ll be able to find a perfect fit for you and baby and one that wonâ€™t break your back.
AÂ Cot. Â
I always recommend my birth doula clients look at buying aÂ cot-bed. This will last up until they are about 3 years old. I particularly like Boori Classi Royal and Mamas and Papas Harbour. In regards to a mattress, this will have to be bought separately. I would look at buying an organic wool mattress which are chemical free. http://www.thelittlegreensheep.co.uk/the-little-green-sheep/organic-cot-bed-mattress-70x140cm.aspx
Why on earth we need to baby changing tables is beyond me. I have heard of so many accident happening from babies falling of changing stations. If I were you I would buy an ordinary plastic white wipe proof mat. I wouldnâ€™t bother with buying the covers as you will find you are constantly washing them and putting them on. Itâ€™s much easier to just wipe them downÂ
Â Moses Basket.Â Â
Seriously, I would borrow from a friend (buy a new mattress though) as you will only be using it for about 6 weeks, maybe even less. Some babies just donâ€™t like them at all. They are great to use in the early days of pregnancy but my advice is donâ€™t use them for too long. I have seen some amazing moses baskets from Nursery Window, but I just canâ€™t see the point in spending so much money.Â
Linen and Blankets. Â
With baby linen you only need two sets. One in the cot and one freshly laundered. John Lewis is great, The Little Green Sheep and The White Company are all lovely quality. The White Company have lovely sleeping bags which wash amazingly, again I would only buy 2. Baby blankets are one of my favorite baby items and I would always look at buying one luxury cashmere baby blanket and a less expensive one. John Lewis have a beautiful Christening balnket which will be perfectly fine.
An absolout Godsend.Â They are amazing atÂ regulate babies temperature and keep them from over heating. If there is anything top of your list to buy this should be it.Â
If you want to swaddle I would look at a brand called The Merino Kids, Cocooi. Do not use with growbags. Swaddling has its time and baby will soon let you know when they have had enough of being swaddled. There has been lots in the news in the past about swaddling and hip damage. Iâ€™m not keen on swaddling, if you are to swaddle get someone to show you how to otherwise it ineffective.
Baby bouncer.Â Â
There is no need to spend a fortune on once that automatical rock bounce and sing, youâ€™ll be making a rod for your own back. Go for the most basic one you can find. Youâ€™ll need something light and easy move. Mothecare is your best bet.Â
Sleep suits. Â
John Lewis or The White Company. Look at buying baby sleep suits that have feet and ensure baby has enough room. I would buy in bulk in various sizes, newborn is usual too small for sleeping in.Â
Zara home, Gap, M&S, John Lewis, The White Company, JoJo are all very good for baby clothes and best for keeping shape.
Avoid video baby monitors, they will make you a paranoid walking wreck. I often wonder how my parents survived without monitors. My Mum says she just used to switch the light out and leave me be, popping up every so often just to check. You canâ€™t go wrong with Tomy Digital TF500 Baby Monitor.
Breast Pump. Â
The Medela Double Breast Pump is the only breast pump I would recommend. You can hire them from the NCT Shop 0300 330 0770Â
I know not everyone finds breastfeeding easy, and as much as I have toyed with not writing about baby bottles I know I will be of benefit. I personally like Nuk latex and glass bottles. I like them as I am able to clean them better. Always replace the teats every 6-8 weeks.Â
Avent steriliser, I would avoid the microwave sterilisersÂ