Being a new parent is a very exciting time, we all want to give the best to our precious little ones, decorate their nursery room like the featured pages in a baby magazine. Mums tend to go shopping months prior to the arrival of our new baby, buying the cutest beanies, socks, mittens… … and the list goes on.
I’ve been there, spent a lot of money on expensive furniture and baby products that I didn’t even get to use. I wasted a lot of money reselling them at heavily discounted prices. So in this post, not only will I share our top 5 money-saving tips to new mums, but also give you a reality check on what it’s really like to be a new parent.
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Go easy on the clothes.
Which size to buy?
I’m sure you know by now that infants sleep about 8 hours during the day, so for the first month, you can pretty much get away with a couple of muslin wraps. So try to buy baby clothes from 0-3 months and skip those prem-000 sizes.
What are the best clothes to buy?
The onesies you will need the most, are likely to be sleepsuits* or growsuits for the first couple of months.
Most new mums spend the first 6-8 weeks at home recovering from labour and breastfeeding their newborns round the clock, chances are, you’ll stay at home now more than ever before, so sleepsuits or muslin wraps will do just fine.
100% Organic Cotton Swaddle Sleeping Bag
How many do I need?
As cute as those baby clothes are, you don’t really need more than 3 sets of comfortable cotton sleepwear and a set or two going-out clothes in the first 2 months. Laundry days will increase and depending on weather conditions in your country, you may need an extra set in case they don’t dry on time.
Buy sleepsuits or growsuits with a double zipper for a quick and easy nappy change.
Avoid sleepsuits with snaps, it’s a pain trying to find all the snaps in the middle of the night when you’re already sleep-deprived. Babies kick and wriggle a lot, and I mean non-stop! So do yourself a favour and buy clothes that take less than 5 seconds to put on.
Zipper Sleeping Romper
Don’t buy expensive cot.
…unless you plan to sleep-train your baby.
I wish someone had told me this when I was pregnant with my first. Babies need to be trained to sleep on their own, and that process usually involves a LOT of crying that breaks your heart and a lot of HARD work.
If you plan to breastfeed, this gets even harder as infants need to be on your breasts almost round the clock. Cots are really tough on your back and chances are, your baby won’t even sleep in it for the first 6 months or… in my case, ever.
Instead, buy a bedside bassinet* where the baby is sleeping separately but within arm’s reach. Transition your baby into a cot or a toddler bed later on when he can sleep through the night.
Beside Me Dreamer Bassinet
How about getting a pram where you can use as a portable bassinet? You can buy a bassinet mattress* for under $30, and infants can sleep in there day and night comfortably for the first 2 months!
Baby sling, wrap or carrier?
If you’re deciding between a baby sling, wrap or a carrier, go with a carrier with an infant insert.
Newborns weigh around 3kg on average, they grow rapidly every day, it may not sound like a lot of weight to carry, but for a breastfeeding mum who is glued to the baby, slings or wraps just don’t have the ergonomic support that you need for a growing baby. They usually have a life span of only a month or two, whereas a quality baby carrier can last for a year or more.
Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier
Be sure to buy a carrier with the infant insert* so the baby’s neck is supported during the early days.
Alternatively, you can use a summer sarong* to carry your newborn, and upgrade to a carrier when they grow out of it! I used a baby carrier with a booster seat, which lasted for 14 months until my toddler no longer needs to be carried.
Which toys to buy?
A lot of new parents want to shower their baby with toys but hang on, your infants don’t need a lot of toys yet. As a mother of 2, I recommend limiting your toys in the first 3 months, as babies of this age are not ready to play just yet.
You could prepare a lovey* – a blanket toy your baby can hold to sleep. This will relieve you in the future as your baby learns to attach to the lovey instead of you. But not every baby will develop that attachment, you can only try.
Lovey Soft Toy
Baby Cloth books* or Board books* are great for babies of all ages, you can never start too early as their favourite sound in the whole wide world is the voice of their parents. Make reading a bedtime routine and set a good habit for them early in life.
Peek-A-Boo Forest Baby Book
Another good toy to buy is a squeaky teether toy* that has bright contrasting colours. Not every baby uses teethers, but every baby likes black and white, or big bright colourful toys that make funny noises, so why not combine the two, and you might just save on buying teethers a few months later.
Sofie The Giraffe Teether Toy
Don’t forget, our outdoor environment is the best natural playground for kids.
Do you really need a breast pump?
Breast milk may come naturally for some ladies right after birth, but for a lot of us, we may experience delayed lactation and other difficulties. Birthing centres and hospitals usually have electric breast pumps for new mothers to use for the first few days. If you’re planning to return to work or still needing a breast pump after returning home, consider hiring one instead.
If you still insist on buying a breast pump, go with an electric breast pump*. I had sore fingers from using manual pumps, they take a lot longer to use, tough on the breasts and it’s hard work!
Electric Breast Feeding Pumps
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In the meantime…
What are the things you regret buying for your newborn babies?