We didn’t want to fall into the trap that most new parents do, buying many frivolous or hardly useful things (hello, diaper bins) so we thought it would be better to do the shopping after Liam has arrived. Bad decision.
Truth is, once the baby’s here, there’s simply no time. Especially for us as we do not have help. So for the benefit of those who are going to be parents soon, here are 10 things that you should really get before the baby comes because when he or she does, you’d need those things, NOW.
1. Double breast pump machine.
Trust me, just straight away get a double breast pump, the very best that you can afford. This is because if you used a single pump, you are basically setting yourself up to fail. Strong words, but I am not kidding you.
You need to get both your breasts up to speed, and trust me, oh my gawd, trust me you won’t have the sweet time to pump one breast after another. Imagine pumping 20 minutes for leftie, then baby cries, then diaper change then who knows what…before you realised, rightie is on the way to The World of Pain aka Clogged Milk Ducts.
So, don’t doubt yourself and just get that double pump. I’m talking a saving of up to 20 minutes per pump session!
p/s: Pumping milk is not a hands-free activity unless you got the rare hands-free pump so look into investing in hands-free bra which will hold the pump bottles in place. Mine is just an old bra with two holes cut out :)
# – My double pump. I’ve also made a pumping station in my study so I can still work and pump at the same time.
2. Swaddling cloths.
We were lucky that swaddling cloths were given to us as gifts. They are the most versatile and useful things ever. Besides keeping your baby calm in a swaddle, you can use it in so many other ways. Rolled up to prop baby up, for wiping down stuff (you’ll be wiping a lot of stuff), as a blanket, folded as cloth diaper, to keep your boobs out of sight in public while breastfeeding…and so much more.
# – No peekaboo with swaddling cloth.
3. Breastfeeding-friendly bottles.
I know some mothers are hell-bent on exclusively breastfeeding their babies. I felt the same way too, until I started the actual breastfeeding. You will be surprised by the suction power of little babies……raw nipples, hello? The first 2 weeks of breastfeeding was the most painful, shocking and stressful time for new mommies. Nobody told me that!
In order to maintain your own sanity (so that you can be in the best state of mind for your little one), get bottles so that your husband or helper could feed your baby with your expressed breastmilk. There are many breastfeeding friendly bottles in the market now that will make it easy for babies to transition back and forth from breast to bottle easily so get those.
# – Also, fathers can bond with babies during bottle feeding.
4. Steriliser bags or bottle steriliser.
You will be sterilising, A LOT. Of course you can use the traditional way of using boiling water, only if you’re a cheapskate with loads of time. What works for us are microwaveable sterilising bags. Wash, stick in bag, nuke for 3 minutes and voila…sterilisation, done.
# – We love these sterilising bags.
5. Bottle drying rack.
After sterilisation, there must be a place for the bottles, various attachments and knick-knacks to dry out. Otherwise you’d have to resort to using an oven rack with a kitchen towel on top of it #truestory
The fact is, those baby things need to dry out because as a first time parent, you’d find yourself asking a variation of these questions and then freaking out – (1) Are condensation safe for my baby’s consumption? (2) How much germs are in these condensation? (3) Will the milk taste bad mixed in with condensation? (4) Are water marks safe? (5) How much germs are in these water marks? And so on……
For seasoned parents, the answers are probably “Yes”, “A lil germs are good”, “No”, “Yes” and “A lil germs are good”, but if you’re a first-timer…the answer would be a definite “Not sure” for all. So yeah, get a drying rack and save yourself from delving into insanity.
# – Our bottle drying rack, another fantastic gift from dear friends.
6. Breastmilk storage bags.
As you should be expressing milk as soon as the baby’s born, getting milk storage bags are important because you’d start using them pretty early on. If you saw them on discount, GET EVERYTHING ALL because they run out pretty quickly once you start to get em boobs milking.
Also, a tip I learnt from Ringo, store the milk flat in the bag because then they will stack nicely in the freezer otherwise they look like the picture below lol. I was determine to maximise the space in storage bags but realised that buying more milk bags are way cheaper than buying extra freezer space, even in the long run!
# – My milk supply, in their bags.
7. Breast pads.
As soon as you begin expressing milk, your breasts will leak at whatever opportunity they get. Breast pads will save you that embarrassment of being caught with two large wet patches on your chest in public.
Don’t worry this will pass but it will happen while you are still nailing down your pumping/breastfeeding schedule.
# – Breast pads. There are cheap and also expensive ones…your breasts can’t tell the difference because they’re too sore to begin with #truestory
8. Infant car seat
This was in fact the very first thing we bought knowing we have to bring the baby back in car from the hospital. This is safety, so take time to research and make the best purchase before baby arrives.
# – By the way, babies love car rides. You will be thankful for your infant car seat when there’s nothing else that could soothe your crying bub.
9. Baby carrier wrap.
We didn’t get this until 1.5 months after Liam’s born but boy I wish I had bought it much earlier. What a lifesaver! This piece of unassuming fabric has returned so much freedom and time back to me cause babies will cry and fuss when you need both your hands the most.
Now I can blog, eat and do other things while still having my son strapped to my chest receiving the best of kangaroo care :)
# – Making sandwiches with Liam in the wrap. He loves it in there.
10. Nursing tops
I made the mistake of thinking that it’s okay to shop for nursing tops once my son has arrived. Stupid, stupid mistake. Now that he’s here, I can’t even peel myself away to take a dump, let alone to shop?
So, do the shopping before baby pops because honestly, the general selection of nursing tops on offer are incredibly hideous and overpriced so it will take you some time to find something that doesn’t make you both broke and looking like a frumpy mom. If all else fails, buttoned-down shirts and long tube dresses are your best friends.
# – This is basically a cropped tank with a long tube dress underneath. You can pull the tube dress down to breastfeed while having the tank discreetly covering your bits. I NEED MORE LONG TUBE DRESSES!
So there, my list of must-buys for new parents before the baby arrives. I suppose this would probably make a good guide for people buying presents for new parents too.
Fellow parents, anything else you think should make the list?