There is nothing on earth that can prepare you for motherhood. No birth plan can prepare you. Planning your birth is like planning for your husband to clean the house. Nine times out of ten he will do everything the exact opposite way to how you explained, he will use all of the wrong products in the wrong places and it will be nothing like you expected in the end. You can forget all of your friends’ frightful or delightful birthing tales because no two bodies are the same. You are about to write your own tale.
After that, there are the baby blues to look forward to. With No.1 about two days in at 3am I spilt a bottle of formula all over the floor. I ran to the bathroom and locked myself in there leaving my husband wondering what the hell was going on. In reality all I did was spill milk. I was literally crying over spilt milk.
And of course, there’s judgement day EVERY day. Whether it’s fellow moms frowning upon your use of a dummy. Or people who haven’t got kids telling you ‘Oh no I won’t bottle feed when I have a baby’. Well *insert name of non baby bearing friend here* when you have a baby and your nipples are bleeding and you are crying in pain I’ll remind you of that you complete and utter TWAT.
But forget all that, let’s get to the fun stuff. Prepare to SHOP! Because that tiny human is about to start as they mean to go – screwing you out of every penny you have. They grow at lightening speed and one moment those little booties are just so cute, the next moment they will be getting through three pairs of school shoes in 2 months.
So here it is – The ULTIMATE Baby Shopping List
A Practical Car
When you have a baby, it makes sense to have a vehicle that makes it easier to get your newborn in and out of the car. If you have a sporty two-door coupe with a low roof, it’s time to consider trading it in or buying a family car.
What should you get, you might ask yourself? Ford Fiesta used cars, for instance, offer plenty of space for new and growing families, and they’re also budget-friendly cars.
If you’ve already got several kids in tow, an MPV like a Vauxhall Zafira or Citroen Picasso might be a better bet.
Travel system: pushchair / pram / car seat – all in one
Go big or go home. This is like a car for your child. If there is one thing to go crazy on it is the pram. Research online then test drive in the shops. We found John Lewis the most helpful.
Car seat base
We got the isofix base for our car seat which was well worth the cost instead of having to strap it in every time.
Car seat wrap
Morrck are fab – they go into the car seat and just swaddle the baby. You aren’t meant to put babies or kids in coats in the car it is unsafe.
I brought a buggy buddy clip on shade. It is fab as moves so easily.
Must have if this isn’t your first. They have super cool ride ons now.
If you have a bassinet style attachment for your pram (highly advised for newborns to lie flat).
Get two. These things will get covered in spew!
Lamaze are great for babies as there is a lot of black and white which is all they can see at first.
Car seat toy
Somewhere in your car stow away a nappy, muslin, spare change of clothes for baby and a top for you. Yes you will at some point probably need to change!!
So many different options Baby Bjorn are good but for me there were too many clips. My sister gave us a wrap style baby carrier and I loved it. It matched mine and babies outfits, it was comfy and quick. Try these out in the shops though. The Baby Show is perfect for testing the different options.
Baby on Board sign
Someone told me they didn’t like these and branded them tacky. My dad used to be a Fireman and apparently if they see one of these in the wreckage in a car accident they will check the rear / passenger seat of the car first and prioritise said ‘baby on board’. They aren’t an accessory they are a potential LIFE SAVER.
Rear View Mirror
Your baby will be rear facing at first so having a mirror infront of them will bounce their reflection into your rear view so you can see them whilst they are screaming in anger that they are strapped in AGAIN.
Cot and mattress
Ideally one that turns into a cot bed.
Cot top changer
Super handy and a space saver.
Safety regulations say not to buy a bumper that goes all the way round (suffocation hazard) bumpettes only go round a few bars and are far safer!
We went for white as the majority of the time they get spewed on so a bit of Vanish can get the stains out with marking a patterned sheet.
Cot quiltlet (blanket)
What a stupid bloody word! Its not a quilt but not a blanket when you become a mom you will come across odd words like this that just all of a sudden make sense!
I hated my first wicker baby basket. Everytime No.1. rolled over the noise woke her up. Second time round we went for a Moba it was silent and amazing to carry about.
Moses Basket stand
I wouldn’t advise a rocking one as then the baby gets used to be rocked to sleep – DISASTEROUS LATER ON TRUST ME!
Moses Basket sheets
Moses Basket blankets
We got swaddle pods which really helped prolong the safety of being in the womb for baby No.2.
When the baby gets too big for pods the bags are a bit more free roaming. Vert Baudet do fab ones with sleeves for the winter.
This was my life saver. Its like a giant baby pillow. Similar to the Sleepyhead but way cheaper. We left the moses basket in the bedroom and then used the pod downstairs.
Video monitors are immense. Summer Infant are my personal favourite.
Not a necessity just make sure you have a night and day feeding spot.
Their clothes are tiny don’t worry if you don’t have all the room in the world. Lots of separate boxes or drawer dividers are a life saver when you need to find a tiny pair of scratch mittens FAST.
Make sure you have a nice dim lamp for night feeds. Too much light can alert the baby into thinking it is day time.
These can be crazy now a days – there are seats you can plug into your phone that play music with flashing lights and all sorts. We did this first time and regretted it majorly. No.1 depended on noise and activity to be soothed. Baby No.2 we went for a Nuna Leaf – this can move but only if you rock it gently which we rarely did. It also takes up to 10 stone in weight so both kids could use it (even me yippee!)
will not even start on this one. Like seriously the bottle world is just overwhelming. Research them A LOT. I personally loved the MAM self sterilising bottles just because we were always out and about so I knew I could always make a clean bottle.
Buy all of the sizes when you see them on offer as a pose to panic buying on Amazon Prime – it will save you a fortune.
Bottle drying rack
Literally mega space saver. Has a part for every little piece of the bottle – so cheap – so handy.
We went microwave purely because I hate clutter so it was always tucked away. You can also get electric ones, or use cold water tablets
Aptamil is the most popular but every baby is different if the formula isn’t working for you speak to your Health Visitor about swapping.
Lots of them. Bare in mind you will be wearing one of these on your shoulder solidly for around 6 months. I splashed out with Baby No.2 and got some Faye & Lou ones purely because they were like my new fashion accessory. Make sure you keep one in every room for emergency projectiles.
Bottle cleaning brush
Don’t get one where the small teat end is made from brissles get a silicone one they last far longer.
If you plan on breast feeding then you won’t need one. Again the MAM one was the best because the lid didn’t pop off every time you used it.
This isn’t needed until 6 months so wait around for some form of sale or baby show to get the one you really want.
Prepare to leak from places you never knew existed. Stock up. You may want reusable or throw away but test them out as your nipples can be very sensitive and may react to certain ones.
These are worth investing in just a few that will be super comfy rather than buying loads of cheap naff ones as those kahoonas will be needing A LOT of good support. Get some practice in before baby comes so that you are a dab hand at undoing them.
Highly advised – they get sore. Like super super sore. Again due to their sensitivity it might be best to test the creams before baby so you can check you aren’t allergic. Don’t be alarmed just try another one.
Whether you are breast or bottle feeding these curved little buddies will save your arms from aching.
Everyone is different I would say wait until your baby arrives to see how feeding goes. You can then speak to other moms, your health visitor or pop along to a breast feeding café where they can talk to you about what pump will suit you best.
Breastfeeding vest tops
My mom found these fab vest tops for my sister that she wore under everything, they had a little flap. This allowed her more flexibility with her outfits as she could take her normal top off and still be decent underneath to pop her boob out.
eBay have some fab and funky ones for £5. They are multi-use too and are not only a poncho style cover up for you but can act as a sunshade on car seats etc. For that price you can get a few to match your wardrobe!
Food for YOU
Don’t forget you matter too. Feeding can be time consuming and those little people will literally be sucking the energy from you. Be sure to have some little snack pots maybe in the bedside table of nuts or dry fruit with plenty of water to keep you going.
There are an abundance of chairs, bath divides and mini baby baths. Baby baths are great as we used to bath the kids in front of the fire when they were really little for that extra bit of warmth. The Angelcare ones are nice and comfy for when they go in the big bath.
Hooded bath towels
Cuddledry towels are great as they fasten around your neck so you literally just place baby on you and wrap them up.
Baby shampoo and bath oil
Go for an all natural organic product. Burt’s Bees stuff is fab as their little skin is so delicate.
Useful for drying between fingers and toes.
Cotton wool pads
Don’t buy the balls. Too fluffy. These with some lukewarm water to clean baby’s bum.
The AVENT flower one was great. It does room and bath.
Again go for organic and natural, baby skin is so delicate!
Nail clippers, brush, nail file, snot sucker, thermometer
You can get these in a little set
Buy a cute little box to put nappies etc in downstairs.
This is your new handbag. Go all out on this one. Research research research. They can range in price from £20 to £100s depending on your taste. We used Storksak & PacaPod – both mid-range bags but they matched the pram nicely and had tons of little pockets.
Mat for downstairs
Not too big so you can slip behind the sofa.
Buy wipes, then some more, oh and then like ten million more!!
As above – stock up on sizes when they are on offer. Everyone likes different brands so buy a variety of packs and test them all out. Aldi are the best on the market at the moment according to surveys – we agree.
To remove the stink ASAP.
We had a disposal and it saved me filling up the kitchen bin all the time with newborn charcoal turds.
This is light colic relief. If it gets bad pop to the doctors.
Buy shit loads. You can’t use it at first but sweet Jesus will you get through it once you can – especially before going for babies injections.
Buy a little mini one for in the changing bag – those little people are super sensitive.
Ashton & Palmers – grab these online not many places sell them but they are the best.
We liked Burts Bees but sudocrem is the good old trusted number.
Strongest stuff about for teething – only use if really needed.
Three pairs of nice pjs, dressing gown and slippers
Don’t roll out the carpet for visitors make sure you stay comfy so treat yourself to some new ones.
Jug for by the toilet
Peeing can be pretty painful so filling a jug with lukewarm water and pouring as you pee really soothes it.
I added a little bit of this to the aforementioned jug and to my bath – super soothing for stitches.
Bodyform don’t tend to irritate stitches and were what the midwives advised once you have stopped the major heavy bleeding.
Have a basket saved on your online food shop account so that you can just click for delivery once you know you’re going home. Make sure there are lots of pre-prepared meals, your favourite snacks and nice biscuits for visitors. Oh and ALCOHOL – breastfeeding or not, you deserve a glass.
Buy yourself a nice new outfit ahead of your first official outing.
If you already have another child buy a few little gifts to wrap up for when you get back from hospital, they will have missed you and this new tortoise-like thing might take time to get used to. Gifts from said tortoise will soften the blow of having to share the attention!
And that’s it – just a few bits and bobs really…
Some people buy the most expensive products, some people buy the cheapest, some buy the middle of the road. Whatever you buy it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that you stick within the budget you set to each of these items, you have a lifetime to get in debt for your kids so don’t start just yet.
Trust me they will cost you a fortune.
Discovering what the occupation of ‘Full-Time-Mom’ entails one bottle of wine at a time. I never pee alone, my style mostly consists of a floral apron, I never drink hot coffee and I rarely tame my hair. For brutal honesty, the odd profanity and a lot of ‘mom talk’ check out my blog Tits Tantrums Toddlers or give me a follow on Facebook & Instagram @TitsToddlersTantrums.