01.Preparing for your baby
Once you have some idea of what you want, shop around for the best price; the telephone is convenient for comparison shopping as long as you know the brand and model names of the products. And shopping online can save both time and money but be sure to purchase from reputable websites or sellers with plenty of good feedback.
Also, try to think ahead — friends and relatives love giving presents for babies — so have an answer ready when they ask what you'd like.
Before the birth
- Child car restraint.
- Cot, bassinet or cradle. In our last cot report, we were disappointed at the number of unsafe cots on the market.
- Bedding manchester as appropriate.
- Nappies. Two or three dozen cloth nappies, pins, overpants; or (to begin with) three packs of small size disposables.
- Soft towel, baby soap or wash, cotton wool, nappy rash preventer/treater, thermometer.
- Six to eight singlets size 000 - 00, cotton for summer, wool/cotton mix for winter babies.
- Six to eight nighties or all-in-ones. You'll need to change the nappy so zips and pop fasteners are much easier than buttons.
- All-in-ones keep the baby warm and stop nappy and singlet from drifting apart. You'll get more wear out of them if you cut the feet out when the baby gets bigger (but don’t wait until the feet begin to look squashed—small feet can be damaged very easily).
- Nighties are easiest in terms of changing the nappy when you’re half asleep. Choose natural fibres wherever possible. Wool and cotton ‘breathe’ and have very good insulating properties while allowing perspiration to evaporate, making them more comfortable next to the skin. Some babies’ skins show an alarming tendency to redden after contact with synthetic fabrics.
- Two boat-neck pullovers or sweatshirts for cool days.
- Sunhat for summer, woolly hat for winter babies. Babies lose a tremendous amount of heat from their large heads and aren't equipped with very efficient body thermostats at first.
- Two pairs of small socks (but not too tight or they might damage small feet), tie-on bootees or leggings. Children don't need shoes until they're walking. Avoid patterned socks because the looped threads inside pose a risk to toes.
- Bibs are useful and you may get plenty as presents. In general the larger ones are better. Plastic-backed ones keep the baby’s clothes dry when dribbling constantly (during teething, for example), but should be removed before putting to sleep. Be careful with the strings if you have tie-on ones.
After the birth
- A safe stroller or pram.
- A safe highchair once your baby is eating solid food and sitting up unaided.
- Soft carrier or backpack.
- Bassinet or cradle.
- Baby bath.
- Change table, although this may be considered essential if you want to protect your back.
- Portable highchair.
Note: The sale and use of babywalkers is strongly discouraged.