Shopping for the baby before giving birth could be a vague adventure for rookie to-be-parents as you’re buying items with uncertainty. Many questions will pop up.
Do I need this? Will my baby like it? Will it be convenient for me?
|Photo Courtesy of ShutterStock|
When you’ve actually had the baby, the real game starts. This is when you figure out whether you’ve bought the right type of items and acquire the ability to distinguish between the essentials and what you can do without.
Based on my minimal experience so far, these are THE MUST HAVES or the essentials while caring for a newborn:
**List is non-exhaustive and excludes heavy-duty baby gear like the stroller, playpen, etc.
You will need to sterilise just about everything that affects what goes into your baby’s mouth. The two main items that I’ve been sterilizing:
(i) Breast pump
🚼 Breast Pump
Apart from breastfeeding, there will be times when you need to express milk. This, especially if you plan to go back to work when [the awesome] maternity leave ends so you can stock up milk to make up for the missed breastfeeding sessions.
Word has it that the two best brands in the market are Medela and Malish. Apparently, not all pumps work for everyone. There are places where you can try various pumps to find a compatible one. However, this will see the need to get out of the house during confinement which personally is not very ideal. For those who do not know — you can’t test out breast pumps during pregnancy (even if you’ve started lactating) as this could trigger contractions, so you have to wait until you’ve given birth.
Oh, and don’t forget to buy milk storage bags!
🚼 Bottle Warmer
Whether you’re feeding the baby with expressed milk or formula milk, you will essentially need a bottle warmer. This usually comes together with the sterilizer.
🚼 Nursing Bras
Very, very convenient. When you’re out, you would still want to breastfeed your baby. Many places now provide rooms for this. And for places that are less private, a nursing cover will come in handy.
🚼 Bra Pads
Sometimes, milk literally spills out even when you’re not breastfeeding. Bra pads will help with those leaks.
You will not know which is the most suitable diaper brand for the little until you have the chance to be fully hands-on with the baby. Based on several personal experiences of mothers that I’ve heard of, the two top brands are Pampers and Mamy Poko. They’re slightly pricier than other brands, but for a reason I suppose.
I went out on a limb for this one. I had bought Huggies before my baby came along, not knowing whether she’ll like it. After about a week of using Huggies, I did notice some rashes but it was nothing too serious. Eventually, I decided to change to Mamy Poko and it’s been working well so far.
Although designed for newborns, bear in mind that different diaper brands come in different sizes.
|(L) Mamy Poko :: (R) Huggies|
🚼 Cotton Balls/Patches
This is to be used with water to clean your baby’s bum during a diaper-change, rather than using wet wipes which could cause or aggravate rashes. Wet wipes are ideal when you’re out of the house.
🚼 Pillows and Mattresses
Depending on where you plan to have the baby sleep, get those head pillows, bolsters and mattresses! You never know where else you might have the baby sleep at —- or where the baby prefers to sleep, actually!
🚼 Newborn Attire
You may think that you could keep the number of newborn clothes/onesies to a minimal, as the baby will outgrow them in no time.
But…there will be many occasions where the baby’s clothes will be dampened with a little milk spill or from a diaper mishap. You may have to get your baby changed into a new set of clothes a little more often than you would expect. There’s no need to go overboard, but it’s good to have a little extra. Washing baby clothes is another story, as they are more delicate (get the right detergent, too).
A little tip when buying newborn attire — it may be a bit tricky slipping on those onesies or rompers, especially when the baby is crying and throwing a tantrum. I recommend getting onesies/rompers from H&M which have buttons on the front, making it so much easier for us to get the baby into. When it comes to baby tops, I prefer those with buttons rather than strings.
The same goes for receiving blankets to swaddle your newborn in. A little extra won’t hurt.
When buying hats, I prefer a knitted hat that sort of is like a snow cap (see pic below) rather than a cotton hat. It stays better on my baby’s head. Mittens and booties are essential, too!
|(L) Crochet-type hat that hospitals use :: (R) Cotton hat|
Selecting the right bottle may not be easy. Different brands have different teats for the baby to latch on to, and this will inevitably determine whether it’s a go or no-go for the little one. A harder teat may be less appealing, as what I’ve learnt with my baby when she tried to drink from a Pigeon bottle. I switched to using a Little Bean bottle, which came with the sterilizer I bought and voila, she latches on just well. The quest for the right bottle brand shall continue soon though!
🚼 Diaper-changing Mat
Whether you’re changing your baby’s diaper, swaddling the little one up or applying lotion/powder on his/her body, this mat will come in very handy!
As this list is non-exhaustive, I may revisit this entry to make some add-ons.
Til then, Happy Shopping!