What not to buy

Burp cloth

I bought a 3 pack of burp cloths, thin strips of fabric that you place over your shoulder. I have probably burped Oscar a dozen times in his life (5 months) as he is breastfed and I guess just not very windy. I have not once used these burp cloths and have never thought to. I think if I was to wind a baby over my shoulder, I wouldn’t trust a thin piece of fabric to catch the sick as it can be unpredictable and spew all over the place. I would say 9/10 times Oscar has been sick whether I’ve bounced him around too soon after a feed or he’s just been fed on top of an air bubble, it is simply too unpredictable that you would have a cloth, it just goes all over you and everyone needs a change of clothes. 

Nursing wrap/cover

This is personal choice, but I breastfeed Oscar in public all the time and have definitely found that putting a huge cover or muslin over me simply draws more attention to what you’re doing. I’ve seen people breastfeeding where they bring their boob out the top of their top and feed that way but find that leaves the whole chest and boob exposed. I have nursing bras on that I unclip and then lift whatever t-shirt I’m wearing up and his head/body covers any skin I have exposed, you honestly can’t tell what I’m doing it just looks like I’m cuddling him. When I started feeding I tried putting a muslin over myself but the only colours I have are white (to blend in with the baby sick) and all the clothes I wear are mostly black (in the winter anyway) so it just sticks out like a sore thumb. I also think it’s not very fair or nice on the baby to have a cover over them while they feed. I would recommend to anyone nervous about feeding in public that the more you try to cover up the more people will look, I say nothing, do very little, carry on talking to whoever I’m talking to or doing whatever I’m doing and just have Oscar latch on under my t-shirt and no one bats an eyelid

Boots snot sucker/bulb suckers

Our dog chewed the Nose Freida one day so I bought a Boots own ‘snot-sucker’ in an emergency and the difference is ridiculous. I am a true advocate for the Nose Freida I can clear Oscar’s nose in no time and it gets so much snot out. It has a wide opening just smaller than his nostril, a long, wide pipe and is easy to clean. I also find bulbs that remove snot absolutely useless, the power of you sucking compared to a tiny bulb is incomparable. I also like being able to control the amount I can suck whereas with the bulb you have no idea how much force is going up babies nose. I have never succesfully gotten snot out of the bulb sucker either but I can imagine it is impossible to clean, the Nose Frieda just gets rinsed under the tap. (sometimes if it’s got particularly hard boogers stuck I use the end of a plastic toothpick to scrape it out! TMI - I’ll stop talking about snot now!) 

Wipe warmer

The wipe warmer has been a running joke between Luke and I as when I bought it on his Amazon account he thought I was ridiculous. I had read about the wipe warmer and also tips on how to make the sleepless nights easier. If a baby is kept warm, cosy, in the dark, soft voices, they are more likely to go back to sleep easier after a feed/change. So I thought the Wipe Warmer would be a brilliant purchase as surely a nice warm wipe on your behind is a lot more pleasant than a cold wipe in the middle of the night. Well, we set the Wipe Warmer up and my days, what a disappointment. I used water wipes and they were lovely and warm in the Wipe Warmer, but within seconds of hitting the cold air (it was winter) of our bedroom, it was cold again. The Wipe Warmer is also plugged into the mains, so after 8 hours of ‘warming wipes’ the Wipe Warmer was so hot, like when an iPhone gets hot. It definitely couldn’t be safe to keep it switched on all night. Another factor that makes the Wipe Warmer truly pointless is the fact that in the middle of the night if you have a sleepy baby that falls asleep easily after a short feed, you can use a nappy change to wake them up a bit so that they continue to feed on that side, or swap to the other side so you know they’re getting a full feed and may sleep that little bit longer! So a cool wipe was exactly what you needed! I remember seeing the Wipe Warmer on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Kim was showing Rob the Wipe Warmer. Who knows, maybe its a nice feature to have in the summer with an older baby, but with a newborn in the winter, it definitely was utterly useless.

Rocking chair

I have to say I did use our Rocking chair a lot and it was really lovely to feed in, but I definitely wouldn’t say it was an essential. As I am breastfeeding, in the night I would just feed Oscar sat in bed. In the daytimes, when a newborn naps a lot, I would say it’s handy as I was using his crib a lot so that I could get things done around the house. So would feed him in the chair (that was in his nursery) and then place him in his crib that had his Sleepyhead in. We moved house when Oscar was 4 months old but our previous house was all one level so it was possible to have the nursery door open and get on with things in the kitchen and be able to listen out for him. Had we lived in the house we live in now, I think I would have definitely used his nursery a lot less, if at all, and would have just had something for him to sleep in downstairs. Therefore, the nursing chair was only useful because I was using his crib for him to nap in. Since moving I haven’t used it at all. I did think it would come in handy when Oscar started sleeping in his own room as I would have somewhere to sit and feed, but the size he is now, to feed him in a standard nursing chair (with arms and it rocks) he is simply too long and impossible to comfortably curl around my body as the arms get in the way. I think a chair without arms, but with really comfy back support would be better in a Nursery. It’s also impossible not to rock in the chairs as it is so relaxing and I do worry that rocking him would become a sleep association and he would only be able to fall asleep if he is being rocked. So all in all, if you want a chair for the nursery I wouldn’t say you needed one until your baby sleeps in their own room and perhaps wouldn’t recommend a nursing chair. 

Crib (crib sheets, bedding, bumper)

Similarly to the previous reasons why not to get a nursing chair, a crib is also not essential (for a newborn). By crib I mean, wooden bars, mattress, big boy crib. For me it was the most exciting item to buy, I knew we didn’t need it but I was too excited not to buy it. Choosing a crib, building a crib, choosing the theme of the nursery, choosing bedding for the crib to match - it is all so exciting and amazing to have it all finished before the baby comes. Realistically, for us anyway, we didn’t need a nursery for the first 6 months. It was especially annoying, moving house and having to take apart the crib, after having put it together when pregnant, to move it to the new house, put it back together only to not use it. Having had bedding out on the bed for five months now (Winnie the Pooh theme) it is just collecting dust and will need to be washed before he uses it - baring in mind babies aren’t supposed to use duvets so it is purely decorative, makes bedding even more unnecessary. By not having a crib we could have saved so much more room and money. Some parents use moses baskets that their babies grow out of around 16-20 weeks so move into a crib a lot faster however, we have the Chico Next2Me co-sleeper which Oscar still fits in now at 5 months so there is no need for a crib until Oscar sleeps in his own room.

Night light/projector

We bought a projector that looks like a small globe that rotates, projecting stars and moons in various colours onto the ceiling. When we lived at our old house I got into doing a bedtime routine in his Nursery with the lights off and the projector on and doing baby massage before bed but upon Googling what colours were best to soothe the baby before bed, I read an article about how lights actually stimulate a baby so are counter productive at bedtime and won’t wind a baby down but will just stimulate them, similarly if a baby watched TV all night. Thus said, I haven’t used the projector since. I suppose I could use it for a bit of baby sensory but it never occurs to me in the middle of the day to go upstairs and sit in the dark with some shapes on the walls.

Baby bath

I mentioned this in my previous post, how filling up a baby bath and walking it as it sloshes side to side through the hallway to put into the lounge. To then have a 10 minute wash and empty the bath down the sink. It is so much easier to put the baby in a normal bath so that when you’re done you can pull the plug and walk off. (Make sure the baby is out first of course)

Muslins

For some reason Muslins, as a pregnant woman, is brainwashed into your mind that these are an essential and you need a million. I will admit I do use them but haven’t been blown away by the qualities of a muslin. I use microfibre towels as they absorb much better, are quicker to dry and softer on baby’s skin. As previously mentioned, I don’t use nursing covers but a muslin could be used for this so maybe why I haven’t used them so much. I like to have a muslin to put down over things I don’t want to directly lay Oscar down on like the grass, but then use microfibre towels on his skin as why use the same muslin for both… he could get bird shit in his mouth. Not ideal.

Bibs

For some reason, I seemed to buy a set of bibs every time I went to a supermarket that had a baby section. It seems like there are so many different types of bibs, large, waterproof, small, silicone… the list goes on. I have only ever used a bib if i have to give Oscar Calpol after his injections because it dribbles down him so much and ruins whatever he’s wearing. Apart from that, he has never been much of an excessive dribbler enough to need a bib. I even think now, the more I look into Baby Led Weaning, I’m going to get the IKEA full coverage bibs, basically a long sleeved apron as BLW gets messy! So the bibs I bought (33 to be specific - I know, what planet am I on) probably won’t be used as I won’t be doing purees!!

Flannels

A few of the baby towels I bought came with flannels, either loose cloth flannels or ones like mittens that fit over your hand. I find flannels much too rough on a baby’s skin and prefer to use sponges. I also bought a cheap 10 pack of flannels from Mothercare. I must admit, the only time I have used those flannels is when Oscar has been sick down my chest and I can’t afford to have a shower so just give myself a flannel wash!! 

Baby Back support

I bought this before I knew about or had bought the Sleepyhead pod. I tried Oscar in it a few nights ago and he absolutely hated it. I can’t see how a bumpy, foam support with a hole for his head can even compare to the soft smooth halo that is the Sleepyhead. It also keeps his legs up in the air which must be ok otherwise they wouldn’t be able to sell them, but for me as an adult I wouldn’t want my legs like that so don’t really like him in it.

Disposable changing mats

These are sticky pads that are basically the same as Puppy Pads. I have a waterproof/wipe down changing mat on the changing table so presume it’s for out of the house use as they are disposable. When I change Oscar out the house I use the fold out-wipe down changing mat that came with the Silver Cross Nappy Bag. When you’re changing a baby in a Baby Changing station in a public place, your hands are FULL. You do not need another thing to put out, fiddle about with, flail around with, get covered in poo, only to try to dispose of, probably covering yourself in poo and the bin and the wipes and it just goes downhill from there. I can’t see how or when you would use disposable changing mats, but I do have two packets because I see things in the baby aisle and presume I need them.

Electric swing chair

We got an electric swinging chair from a friend of ours whose baby had outgrown theirs. Oscar looked like he liked it, but it was a rather large contraption to have your baby in and definitely not something you could leave them unattended in. I couldn’t see the practicality of it, it had a lovely swaying motion and you could play music in it, but you couldn’t leave a baby unattended in it, so unless you wanted them to fall asleep in it and then were staying in the same room with them, I couldn’t see how it would be practical. I also didn’t want Oscar to get a sleep assosiation with being swayed by this chair. I didn’t want to be one of the Mums that says, "He only sleeps in his swaying chair!” like it’s the baby’s fault, no you just let them fall asleep in it too many times and now they can’t sleep without it! Oscar used it once and we kindly returned it.

Snowsuit

I bought a blue, all in one snowsuit for Oscar with matching mittens and thought it would be perfect to keep him snug in the winter. We didn’t walk anywhere in the winter so everywhere we went was in the car. New research has recommended that you don’t put babies or even kids in the car with a padded coat on as it means the straps can’t go as tight as necessary against the skin, giving the most protection possible in the event of a car crash. So if we were going everywhere in winter it is in the car, thus, the snowsuit can’t be worn. And there’s no point taking a snowsuit in the car, travelling somewhere to then put him in it for the novelty of it.

Dressing gown

Both dressing gowns Oscar has have been gifts from my friends, and they are both so so cute and he looks adorable in them. However, they do not really have a function. A dressing gown would be after bath time or in the morning while still in PJs. We keep the house warm enough in the day that just a vest and baby grow keeps him warm enough so a dressing gown would therefore make him too hot and to put his dressing gown on after bath time would be pointless as he is going straight to bed. Definitely in love with both his dressing gowns but as a new mum or pregnant person I wouldn’t (and didn’t) go out my way to buy one! I will definitely get one when he’s a little older and able to play after bath time before its time for bed.

Shoes

I bought a couple of cute pairs of shoes, nothing expensive, but the amount a newborn is in and out of nappies, that’s a lot of shoes to be taking on and off, and socks, and trousers. The less faffing during a nappy change the better and while shoes do look adorable and are a great gift/novelty they are definitely not an essential!

Swaddling pod/blanket

I bought a cosy ‘Swaddle blanket’ from Mothercare that had a strip of velcro on the blanket and a structured hood to the blanket that was designed for swaddling. However, the label says do not leave baby asleep in this blanket. So for what other reason would you put a baby in a swaddle blanket, being swaddled is a known method to help baby’s sleep, they wouldn’t hang out wide awake swaddled as the blanket suggests.

Bath temperature 

I bought a duck that has the temperature on it, that in all honestly doesn’t even properly work as its a strange display for the numbers that you can barely make out. I was surprised how hot the water was for Oscar’s first bath in NICU that the midwife ran for him. I definitely now am sure to stir the bath water so that the temperature is even as I have found sometimes I can run both taps and one end of the bath will be hot and one cold, meaning you could take the wrong reading depending on the end of the bath. Now, I just make sure the bath is nice and warm but not too hot. No need to obsess over the exact temperature, hopefully you can use your common sense of what would be too hot for your baby!

Angel care monitor / Owl sock

We got one of these as a gift upon leaving NICU as we were so used to having Oscar on monitors and it was quite daunting taking a premature baby home. However, the midwives told us that they sound the alarm so frequently when nothing’s actually wrong that it’s not worth the panic it sends you into. You also can’t use the motion sensor in the Chico Next2Me bed as there is no solid base so we returned it and just got a normal video monitor. A baby shouldn’t sleep alone until 6 months old as recommended to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) so realistically if you’re sleeping next to your baby while they are that young, and are getting up every few hours, you’re able to keep an eye on them without the need for monitors.