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So you’ve found out you’re expecting – congratulations!
You’re probably feeling ALL the emotions right now – excitement, happiness, joy but also possibly a little fear and overwhelm.
How do I start preparing? How do I know what to buy? When should I start buying things?
Take it from someone who was very disorganised when their first child came along – no matter what happens, it’ll all come together in the end, I promise.
But if you want to start getting organised, here are some things to consider.
Make a List
Every website has a different list of the “essentials” new parents need for their baby. The truth is, a lot of it is very subjective and comes down to personal preference.
Make a list of what you think you will need but don’t start buying right away.
Wait for offers, keep an eye out on Facebook or car boot sales etc for secondhand and just generally give yourself time.
You’ll often find that something you thought you were set on having, you don’t actually need at all.
Have a Baby Shower
Baby Showers used to be just a thing our US friends did, but they are almost a given right here in the UK now too.
They are a fantastic way to get your friends and family together to celebrate (trust me, it’ll be hard getting everyone together once the baby arrives!), to play games and have fun, but also – the gifts!
I’m not saying throw one just so people will buy you things – but people want to buy you gifts.
Wait until you’ve had your baby shower before you start buying things.
You might be surprised by what you receive and how much you get!
For example, here are some of the gifts I received:
- Changing bag
- Steriliser and bottles
- Toiletries for baby
- Toiletries for me
- A hamper full of everything I needed to pack for my hospital bag
- Lots of clothes
It’s always worth waiting to see what you get so you don’t waste money on duplicates.
A month or two before your due date
Some people might think this is too late to start buying, but I bought all our ‘big’ items towards the end.
- I just didn’t want to tempt fate
- I didn’t want to risk buying things, storing them away and then forgetting about them
- I didn’t want to just store things we didn’t need yet.
By this point in your pregnancy your friends and family will have probably approached you about what they can get you (if they didn’t already at your baby shower) so you will know exactly what you’ve got left.
Don’t buy into the gadgets at all. You might end up wasting your money on stuff you really don’t need.
I have friends who bought expensive rockers that the baby hated and so went unused. Instead wait until baby arrives and then decide if something will make your life easier.
It might sound a backwards way of doing things but it’ll save you money and you’ll find your own routines and what works best for you.
There were all sorts of gadgets I was recommended but avoided:
- Fancy bath thermometer – your elbow is all you need to test the heat of the water, I prefer to rely on my own instincts than a gadget to do it for me.
- Perfect prep machine – completely unnecessary in my opinion – i know some people swear by it, but a flask of boiled water saw me through fine. If you go out and about, you can’t take the prep machine with you – so what do you do then?
- Movement sensor – I’d heard stories from friends about batteries dying and triggering the alarm – cue panic that baby isn’t breathing. Again I prefer to rely on instinct.
Ultimately it’s up to you – don’t feel like you have to do or buy certain things just because other people are or tell you to. Get to know and trust your own intuition. You know what’s best for you and for baby.
If the thought of leaving buying things until the end of your pregnancy brings you out in a cold sweat – don’t wait! Do what you think you need to do.
At the end of the day, as long as baby has food, clothes and somewhere to sleep – that’s all they really need.