This post is sponsored by Little Ones
It was over omelettes and flat whites that we told two of our oldest and dearest friends that we were having a baby.
Steph burst into happy tears immediately and hugged us both several times. Stuart looked suitably chuffed, shook Mr Smaggle’s hand and hugged me hard.
Then he said very seriously ‘My advice? You need hardly anything when it comes to newborn essentials. A towel to change them on, a few cloths for wiping their face, a couple of onesies and a place for them sleep. Just buy stuff as you need it. Don’t go to a baby store or you’ll end up with a whole lot of stuff you don’t need. Oh and nappies. Tonnes of them.’
This was a huge comfort to us because like most first time parents, we have absolutely no idea what we’re doing and our friend’s suggestions seem super manageable and don’t involve spending $1000 at a giant and depressing suburban baby centre on what we think are newborn essentials.
Over the past months, we’ve received so much advice, I swear I’ve actually run out of room in my brain. I know lots of pregnant women get fatigued from the advice but I’ve quite liked it. The parenting advice that is – I can definitely live without being told yet another horrific birth story from someone I’ve never met before. Side note for the general public: Think carefully before telling a pregnant woman your birth story, particularly if you’ve never met her before. Make sure she actually wants to hear it and you’re not mindlessly chatting away to her at the hairdresser about how you couldn’t walk for two weeks after your first born because he had a historically enormous head and you basically bled for 3 months straight. Chances are she (and by she, I mean me) has heard ALL the horror stories and just wants to get a haircut without thinking about the impending and very scary birth of her first child. Just a little something to consider.
The newborn essentials/parenting/breastfeeding advice though has been ace. The thing that’s shocked me though is how frighteningly contradictory the advice has been. ‘Don’t have visitors in the first few days, you won’t be wanting to see anyone.’ closely followed by someone else’s advice of ‘Make sure you tell people when you’re in labour so they can be there the minute your baby is born – you’ll want to show your baby off!’.
We’ve been told to get plenty of sleep but also not to sleep too much so we’re not totally thrown when we’re up half the night feeding our newborn. I’ve been told to not give up too soon when breastfeeding (breast is best) but also not to get too stressed over it and switch to formula if I need to (fed is best). I’ve been told to keep busy right up until I go into labour so I don’t obsess over it and I’ve also been told to wind down and have a few weeks of self-indulgence before the baby gets here.
Obviously, everyone’s journey is different (as ours will be!) but this has made some of the advice a tad confusing.
There have been a few things though that have come up again and again as newborn essentials and I figured once the 5th person raved to us about a particular thing, it seemed like a good idea to listen. This is a list of the little things, not all the obvious stuff like car seat, stroller, cot etc. Just the little everyday things that seemed to really make a difference in the lives of the parents around us.
I’ve teamed up with Little Ones to bring you this list of things I think I’ll need in the first weeks of our bubs life. Caveat – this list will probably be hilarious when I read it back in a few months time and I see what I actually needed but for now, this is the stuff that keeps coming up again and again when talking to new parents.
My best mate was the first to tell me about these and she gripped my arm urgently and said ‘Onesies with zips. Press studs in the middle of the night when your kid has Poo-geddaned all over themselves will make you want to set yourself on fire. Onesies with zips. WITH ZIPS!!!’
I’ve since had the same intense (and frankly creepy) conversation with several new parents so obviously this is a thing and I’ve stocked up on onesies… WITH ZIPS!!!
One of the ones that kind of wraps around you. Regular pillows are apparently useless. Thankfully I have a pregnancy pillow that turns into a feeding pillow (thank god, I’m getting really sick of sleeping with that thing!) so I’ll be using that. But yeah, I’ll keep you posted as to whether or not this was an essential.
Most of my friends and family have kids so I know that nappies can mean the difference between a good nights sleep and a really bloody terrible one.
Little Ones nappies tick a lot of boxes for us as soon-to-be parents.
You can get them at Woolies – huge plus because I’ve heard rumours that you don’t have much time when you have a newborn, so schlepping around to heaps of different shops is out of the question. We have four Woolworths stores within 5kms of our house so we already do 99% of our shopping there anyway so it that makes it extra easy.
They have leakage protection – massive time saver because I really don’t want to be changing cot sheets every five seconds. They have double leg cuffs for a better fit around the legs and to stop leaks around that area. I’ve read a few reviews that say they’re super absorbent and awesome for overnight – they have an absorbent core that draws liquid in which means bub stays dry… and hopefully asleep and quiet. *fingers crossed*
* Rad value for money – we were shocked recently at our birthing class when the teacher said you need to change a newborns nappy about 12 times a day. That’s a lot of nappies and I don’t want to be throwing money away on name brands when we can get decent nappies at Woolies for half the price.
So I’ve definitely changed nappies before but never on a newborn – thankfully there are instructions on the back of the pack.
* Good for sensitive skin – I’ve read heaps of reviews of Little Ones and a lot of parents reported rashes and irritations clearing up when the switched to Little Ones which is awesome. If our baby’s skin is anything like mine, they will be a lifesaver.
My oldest mate (we’ve been friends since we were 9!) gave me the most thoughtful baby gift – an amazing bag of all the stuff she used including a packet of these. I had no idea what they were for but I’ve had several people recommend these to me and I was like ‘Oh! THAT’S what they’re for!’. Hot tip: Be the last of your friends to have a baby because they give you amazing and useful gifts. I’m dead set ashamed at the weird stuff I bought for them when they had kids. It was mostly booze or impractical but gorgeous baby clothes. Super useful.
5. Night light
What do you do when you need to feed your baby in the middle of the night but you don’t want to wake your partner who has to work the next day (or wake up yourself or your baby more than absolutely necessary)? You need a night light. I’ll admit this never occurred to me until my mate gave me this light bulb converter thing that makes any lamp into a night light. It’s low light and low stimulation, just enough light so you can see what you’re doing but not enough to disturb everyone just for a night feed. I feel like this is about to become my new best friend.
I’ve heard from several people that Grobags are essential, particularly if you can’t grasp the art of swaddling. Again, I can’t confirm this from personal experience but I’ve been given a few second-hand Grobags from friends and relatives most of whom sighed and stared lovingly at them before handing them over. Apparently, they’re rad for getting kids to sleep well. Sounds ace – I’ll take 50.
Mr Smaggle and I haven’t really got into the whole baby thing. Not the baby itself – we’re very into the idea of that! – but we just haven’t gone into baby shops and gone nuts for all the stuff in there. There’s one thing we have looked at several times though and that’s this travel baby change mat. It just seemed like such a great little product and we travel a lot so thought this would be a great thing to keep stocked with nappies and wipes so we can chuck it in a tote bag super quickly and hit the road. Guess what? Some mates of ours bought it for us without even knowing we’d been looking at it. Aren’t friends the best?
8. Wire free nursing bras
I’ve heard excellent things about both the Bonds and Kmart nursing bras so I’ve bought one of each and whichever one I like the best, I’ll stock up on once bub gets here and I figure out the whole breastfeeding thing.
9. At least a few seasons of a TV show you love to watch while breastfeeding
So I definitely had grand plans to connect with my child while breastfeeding but most mums are like ‘Yeah… you’re doing that for 8 hours a day in the first few weeks. You’ll go nuts if you just stare in silence at your baby the whole time.’ Noted. I’m quite thrilled that the new season of Call the Midwife starts in Dec which will hopefully be perfect timing. Also, it’s not the greatest show to watch when you’re pregnant so that makes the timing double perfect.
I’m sure if you’ve had a baby you can see some gaping holes in this list (I left out lots of obvious stuff like a bassinet/cot, because der!) but I’d love to hear what things you couldn’t live without in the first few weeks of having a newborn.