Two years into the parenting journey, I am certain that we’re one and done. That said, sometimes it’s fun to ponder an imaginary baby #2 and the kit I’d need to assemble for them. There’s no wilder and more intimate learning journey than bringing a small person into the world. Yet it can be difficult to sift through the noise and work out what you really need.
A baby needs love and warm milk and the shelter of physical connection with its parents. It does not need anything that threatens to push your credit card to the limit or make you feel as if you need to cut your parental leave short.
The five essentials I list below are ones you can find at any price point. They are categories rather than specifics. I will say that our overall experience has been that spending a few extra dollars for better quality has been worth it. But it’s all relative, and you should definitely only do what sits right with you. So without further ado…
Onesies. Forget cute outfits of mismatching tops and bottoms that will have you constantly pulling down your child’s top to cover their belly or back. A onesie will keep your baby happily snug all day and all night long. Pair with a cozy cotton singlet for cooler temperatures and a woolly jumper when out and about. We found six or seven onesies to be an adequate amount to start with. And it’s true, don’t buy too many sized 0000 to begin with!
Face washers. We bought two packs of simple cotton face washers and use them all the time at home and on daily adventures. We have dampened them with water at cafe tables to wipe the avocado goo from our daughter’s face and deploy them at bath time to wash her underarms. These have been an easy way to reduce the disposables in our lives.
Natural rubber dummy. We buy ours locally from health food shops. I love that these are made from a single piece of rubber, which means there are no spaces that trap moisture and get mouldy. And no plastic!
Sleeping bags. So much easier than constantly swaddling a wriggly, unhappy baby! This is one of the few areas where a particular brand saved our sanity. Our daughter took best to the Love to Dream swaddles, which allow little babies to have their hands up near their face, while still being wrapped. What has annoyed me about sleeping bags vs blankets is the need to constantly upsize sleeping bags as your child grows. Look to Gumtree and eBay for preloved options in this space.
Baby carrier. There are times when a pram is useful, but baby carriers are both compact and help you tend to your baby immediately. When our daughter was a newborn, we found a soft cotton carrier like the Hug a Bub worked best – she never seemed to fit properly in more structured carriers like the Ergo Baby. Later we used a hand-me-down Ergo Baby for more extended trips.
What about you? Do you have any recs for newborns?