When I first found out that I was pregnant, I had no idea how much ‘stuff’ I would have to accumulate. We are not particularly struggling for money, but we have to be careful having just bought a house, so I had to do quite a lot of baby collecting rather thriftily. A friend at school who has had two babies in the last three years and was getting rid of everything proved incredibly useful. She gave me a huge stash of maternity clothes, as well as lots of baby essentials such as sleepsuits and vests for free, and sold me a vast array of baby items for absolute bargain prices. I think most things I have came from her!
My cousin has also been very helpful – giving me a few things, such as a cot mobile, a couple of baby carriers and a door frame bouncer thing. She had just given the majority of her baby things to a friend about a week before I announced my pregnancy – typical!
And luckily a family friend is moving and wanted to get rid of lots of big things, so we were more than happy to take them off his hands!
But we are starting to get organised now.
So far we have got the following all either free or bought second hand:
- A cot and cot-top changer – given to us by a family friend. Very lucky with this as it’s a really good quality Mamas and Papas one
- A Moses basket and stand – bought for £20 from my friend
- A crib – a total bargain on ebay. M thinks I’ve gone overboard on sleeping arrangements – he might be right!
- A travel cot –from family friend again (seems to be a Hauck all singing-all dancing one too!)
- A travel carrycot – £5 from my friend – packs up ridiculously small – very useful!
- 2 stairgates – from the family friend
- A Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix car seat and isofix base bought for £50 from a friend
- A Baby Bjorn carrier, bought from a friend for £15
- A Mamas and Papas bouncer/rocker thing which is adorable – bought from a friend
- A baby gym and a separate play mat bought very cheaply from a friend
- A Bababing changing bag – £5 from a friend
- A baby bath seat to go in the normal bath – from a friend, although not sure how much we’ll use this
- A car mirror to see the baby in the back – £3 from a friend
- A cot mobile free from my cousin
- A baby donut – to sit the baby in before he can sit up – £5 from a friend
- A huge array of clothes, all either free, or about £5 for a bundle of 10 things
- 2 Mamas and Papas sleeping bags for £5
- A wide collection of towels, muslins and flannels for free
And we have bought the following things new (although the first two were bought for us):
- A Baby Jogger City Mini GT pushchair – bought by my mum from John Lewis – I’m in love with it already.
- A Baby Jogger Compact Plus Carrycot. The pushchair is forward facing and has a huge seat, so I wanted something for the early months when he’s really small. It was tough to get hold of, but a very important 3cms wider than their standard compact carrycot
- A mattress for the Moses basket – I had no idea you had to buy new mattresses! From Kiddicare
- A new mattress for the crib – from Mothercare
- A steriliser and breast pump set – half price in Mothercare
- A changing mat
- A baby bath
- A collection of sleepsuits, vests, a few ‘outfits’, some leggings and T-shirts and a few bigger things like snowsuits in sales ready for next winter
- Some swaddling muslins from Aden and Anais
- 2 gro-bags
- 1 gro swaddle
We still need to get
- A baby monitor – I think I’m going to go for the Angelcare sensor mat one. Unless anyone has any suggestions of a better one! I got a John Lewis voucher from my department at school when I went on maternity leave, so that will cover most of it.
- Decorating things for the nursery – some curtains, a cot set, a lampshade and some wall stickers. My mother in law wants to buy all of this, so we should be able to get it in the next week or so.
I obviously haven’t included all of the maternity bits and pieces and hospital bag items that I’ve bought. I’m also now starting to collect some clothes that I can breastfeed in – some nursing tops and some vests with buttons down the front. I’d like to get a few loose shirts to go over the top, although I think the big muslin swaddles will be really useful for discreet breastfeeding. If I can be bothered to be discreet!
Looking back at this list, I’m actually pretty pleased with myself. I don’t think I’ve actually spent that much and have succeeded in keeping the costs right down. It helps having very generous friends, but I know NCT sales and ebay are also great for picking things up really cheaply. It does mean that over the next few weeks I have a lot of cleaning and washing to do. I’ve done most of the clothes, but all of the baby equipment that’s second hand will need wiping down with Milton fluid and the fabric on things like the bouncer will need to be washed.
I haven’t included things that we’ve been given as presents, and we actually don’t have very many toys at all – I’m kind of hoping that if people want to give us things when he’s born then toys might be the thing!
Can you think of anything else that we will need? I am starting to collect nappies and cotton wool when I go shopping, and have got a few bathing bits, although I don’t really know which are good makes so not getting too much of this.
If you have any products or items that you could not have lived without in the first few months, I’d love to hear them.