Shopping for a new baby can be fun, but it’s easy to get carried away with the latest must-have products that promise the world. Before long, your nursery is fuller than Mamas & Papas and your carefully planned budget has gone out of the window. You might even miss some of the more practical items that you actually need. We’ve compiled a list of essentials to give your baby the best possible start and hopefully make your life that bit easier too.
It is vital to have a quality car seat ready in the car before your journey home. It is illegal for children under four to travel without one in the UAE and, in the event of an accident, a child car seat could save your baby’s life. There are lots of options available; visit a reputable retailer to get advice on the right car seat for you, as well as how to fix it properly. It is recommended for babies and toddlers to remain in a rear-facing car seat until they grow out of it, at least until the age of two.
A stroller is one of the most expensive purchases you will make for your new addition and it’s important to find one that meets your everyday needs. All-purpose options are robust, and you can go for one that is compatible with your seat. Lighter options are great for travelling, and if you are a keen runner, there are sturdy varieties that make it easy to take the baby along with you. Another thing to think about is whether you’re planning another baby any time soon. If so, a double buggy is a wise investment. Whatever you go for, remember to practice using it before the baby arrives.
Breast pump and bottles
Even if you want to breastfeed exclusively, a good double breast pump helps to stimulate milk production and ease engorgement. It also means that you can pump and let your partner feed the baby while you get some rest, or they can step in if you’re away from your baby for a while. Rent a powerful hospital-grade pump (making it much cheaper than buying one) or go for one of the more portable and cost-effective electric options.
Diapers and wipes
This is one thing that you don’t want to run out of in the first few days when even a trip to the shops can be a daunting prospect. In the first month, newborns go through an average of 8 to 10 diapers a day. If you are considering cloth diapers, it is still wise to have some disposables on hand as they go through them so quickly. Size-wise, you might not need newborn ones for long, so don’t overdo it – some babies skip the newborn size altogether.
Moses baskets (or bassinets) are popular because you can move the baby around easily, not to mention they look lovely. However, they grow out of them quickly. A cot or cot bed gives you more flexibility and will last much longer as your baby grows. You can also get a bedside crib, designed for co-sleeping that attaches to your bed, allowing you to co-sleep safely and soothe them quickly during the night.
A baby sling can be really useful as it lets you carry your baby around with you while keeping your hands free to get things done. You can wear it out and about, and it can also help to provide comfort, especially if they are struggling with colic. There are several different styles of sling, so try a few to see what works for you.
It can feel like you’re packing for a weekend away when leaving the house with a little one, meaning your diaper bag will be a trusty sidekick for quite some time. That’s why you want something that not only looks the part but is practical and durable as well. You might think that your favourite spacious handbag will do, but you need the functionality, plus plenty of compartments to keep things organised and accessible. Avoid anything too bulky before you even fill it and stick to neutral tones so that it hits the style mark on every occasion.
Your baby has spent nine months feeling comfortable and secure in your womb, so suddenly being in the big wide world can feel scary. Swaddling is the traditional practice of wrapping a baby snuggly in a thin blanket, keeping its arms and legs inside. This is thought to recreate the feeling of security and help babies sleep better.
Keep plenty of these washed, ready, and nearby at all times. Small babies regularly spit up some milk after their feeds, so they are a must for protecting your clothes and handling the inevitable cleanups. It is useful to have a few in different rooms, especially where you are feeding.