If I had one piece of advice to give to any expecting parents out there, it would be to leave yourself plenty of time when it comes to planning what you need to buy for your baby. Even if you’re cautious and don’t want to start buying anything too early, there’s no harm in just doing some research so you’re better prepared when the time comes to start making some purchases. I sometimes found too that certain items I wanted to buy (usually bigger items like the pushchair or cot bed) were out of stock, or had long delivery lead times. So it’s also worth bearing that in mind.
I recall initially feeling very confused and overwhelmed when shopping for my baby. It was not easy navigating my way around the many different products and brands out there. I wanted to make the right choices and felt the additional responsibility of a parent even before I had my baby, because this wasn’t like just buying a pair of shoes or handbag, these products were going to be used by or for my precious newborn baby.
I started off by creating an excel spreadsheet to track each item, retailer and budget – which you will need to keep an eye on by the way as it can escalate very quickly. Next, I would prioritise which items are the most important, for example, travel, sleeping, feeding and clothing items. That way if you don’t have enough time to buy everything at least you’ve got the basics covered.
Lastly, when it comes to certain important items, I would try to base your research on reputable sources and keep in mind that safety is the most important factor when it comes to baby products. For example, when choosing a car seat, there is plenty of scientific evidenced-based research out there, not to mention legal requirements that you should follow. Or in relation to feeding or sleeping arrangements, listen to expert advice before making your decision.
When it comes to these types of matters, it’s really best not to just rely on general opinions from places such as online mum forums, or well meaning friends and family because their circumstances may have been different to yours. Also, whilst my reviews may on occasion cite official advice and guidance, I would still conduct your own research as the advice often does change and get updated.
Whilst it did take me a lot of time and effort, I successfully managed to buy everything on my list before my little one arrived. I’ll reveal which products I actually bought and share my reviews with you in the blog posts that follow. In the meantime, to help you get your head around some of the essential things you might need for your baby, here is my baby checklist in no particular order:
- Car Seat
- Cot Bed
- Cot Bed Mattress
- Moses Basket
- Baby Monitor
- Baby Skincare and Grooming
- Feeding Equipment (only if you choose to bottle feed)
- Breast Pump (only if you choose to express your breast milk)
- Activity Gym and Playmat
- Nappy Bin
- Changing Unit
- Changing Bag
- Baby Clothes
I know at first sight, it seems like quite a long list so feel free to take some time to digest it all. Needless to say, our bank balance took quite a heavy hit and this was just the very beginning of a long road ahead.