Friday, May 28, 2010

Get the best quality terry nappies, baby slings and other essentials when it comes to preparing for baby to arrive

Preparing for a baby can be fun but overwhelming. If you'd never had a baby before and this is your first, you will probably be torn between going overboard and buying everything cute and useful in sight, and being moderate and getting only what you know you'll need... but even that is hard.  What will you REALLY need?  It's actually less than you think, but this is an ideal time to get the very best of what you really need.  Instead of buying a pile of cute junk that won't last for long, get the best items when it comes to essentials.

For starters you really need some nappies or diapers.  A lot of new parents will go out and buy themselves a huge stack of newborn disposable nappies before their baby is born, and this can be a mistake.  Newborns grow really, really fast - right before your eyes it seems - and they will probably grow out of the newborn size before you can use the big box you so cleverly bought on special.  So, it is better to buy one modest box of disposables for the first week or so when everything is crazy , - preferably get all-natural, cotton lined or organic, or compostable so that they are better for your baby's skin and better for the environment.  Then, get yourself a pile of terry nappies - bamboo terry nappies are funky and attractive - and learn how to make the Jo fold or other newborn fold with these nappies.  Newborn nappies are not at all hard to wash because they can be thrown in a dry pail (bucket) or hanging pail (wetbag) and popped straight in the washing machine every other day - just put through a rinse cycle first before doing a normal wash with 1/2 amount of regular washing powder.  Until baby starts eating solids, newborn poo is not a problem to wash this way, no need for elaborate setups of cloth nappy systems etc.  Also, terry nappies will catch more of the newborn blowouts than the modern cloth nappies or disposables will.  Disposables are actually quite lacking in this respect, terry nappies are much better.  Terry nappies are also invaluable for mopping up milk spills from baby and for nappy free time on the floor.

Other baby items you will not want to be without include a quality, safe baby sling (easier than a stroller when baby is small) - NEVER use a "bag sling" but get a sling or carrier that conforms to baby sling safety rules and standards and learn to use it properly, as it's not hard to learn, and can save a baby's life.  Some examples include a ring sling that utilises SlingRings, a long woven wrap from a company like Didymos or Ellaroo, a mei tai, an Ergo or Manduca, or a stretchy wrap like Hug-a-Bub.  The picture here features a MySol by Girasol, which is a mei tai style and very comfortable and safe.

A stroller like Xplory which can face towards you is worth it too, even though expensive at first, as it can change from newborn right up to toddler then older child - a long-term useful investment.

You may also want to invest in a co-sleeper, so that you can keep baby close to your bed at night while making sure he/she is safe.  You can still purchase cute items such as baby blankets, of course, but you will have the benefit of having baby near you and able to breastfeed in the night without needing to get out of bed.  A big sleep saver!!!

With breastfeeding, it's worth having a good nursing bra for day and a night nursing bra also - and some washable breast pads for leaked milk - it's going to happen, and trust me, cloth nursing pads are much more comfortable than scratchy disposable ones - same as with cloth nappies on your baby's bottom I am sure!!

Also, get enough onesies in long and short sleeves depending on the season, and a few pants, jackets, mitts, booties and bonnets in newborn size and the next two sizes up to be on the safe side - never know what size baby will be until he/she is born, even if they think they can tell from ultrasound it's still not 100% and you don't want to be stuck without baby clothes!

Other than these things, almost everything else is optional.  Toys are hardly necessary for a newborn, as their best toy will be you.  Mostly they will just want to feed when they are small, and the rest of the time they love spending in the sling with the gently rocking movement of mum or dad.  Enjoy every moment - they grow so fast!  Don't worry about buying a lot of stuff - it's not neccesary, but in regards to essentials like terry nappies, slings and strollers, do get the best you can.