What items do you really need to buy for a new baby?

What are the items you will really need for your baby? So asks Eimear Hutchinson, as she shares some of the invaluable pieces of equipment she has used, with her four children
What items do you really need to buy for a new baby?

What items do you really need for your baby? Picture: Stock

EVEN though my youngest lady is still just a toddler, I feel like the baby stage is already a distant memory.

Children develop at such an astonishing speed when they are young that you barely have time to stop and breathe until they are almost three. 

Our smallest is at such a lovely age now, at two and a half her personality is shining through, she is full or words so we are privy to her most random thoughts but she is still great for a cuddle.

I am slowly but surely beginning to pass on the baby items we had for the girls, we have done our bit for society so there won’t be any more babies in this house, but I thought it might be helpful to mention some of the items we found hugely useful when they were small.

I won’t go through the obvious items because we all know things like a cot, bibs, bottles, soothers, nipple cream or a buggy are not only useful, they are essential. Here are some of the lesser thought-of items that might just make life run a little more smoothly if you are overwhelmed by all that you need.

A thermometer is a must buy item according to Eimear.
A thermometer is a must buy item according to Eimear.

A thermometer is such an important investment and often not thought about until you really need it in the dead of the night. In my experience it is worth splurging and getting the Braun Thermoscan thermometer. We bought cheaper ones that never lasted long before they started to read temperatures incorrectly.

I bought the Braun one after a trip to the doctor confirmed my suspicion that my burning hot baby didn’t have a 37-degree temperature, despite what the thermometer said.

When you are getting the thermometer, have a look through your medicine cabinet and make sure you have the essentials like Calpol, suppositories, a good burn cream and whatever else you might need to make life easier in the event of sickness or an accident.

A sling is great for soothing a fussy baby. Picture: Stock
A sling is great for soothing a fussy baby. Picture: Stock

A sling carrier is such a handy item to get, especially if you have other children. 

There are a few different types, I preferred the buckle carriers over the material ones simply because they are easier to put on in a hurry and my husband was more inclined to use the buckle one over the wrap and I like to share the load! It is great for being able to soothe a fussy baby and simultaneously mind other children because you have your hands free. I found it handy if you are popping into the shops because it is easier to get out of the car than a buggy in tight car parking spaces and less manoeuvring around people and objects in shops.

Another item that gives me great peace of mind even now is a grobag — I find the design of the original grobags the best for keeping a baby safe and unable to escape, whether intentionally or unwittingly, in the middle of the night, the ones with the zip, not the ones with the buttons over the shoulders.

You will often find them in Tk Maxx for good value and even now our two and a half year old is still in one and it’s great because it stops her climbing out of her cot.

We have had so many things to keep babies occupied over the years; baby gyms, jumperoos, travel cot filled with toys, but the most useful of them all was a bouncer. 

It doesn’t take up much space and they are light enough to move from room to room (without the baby in it!) so if you’re making dinner or reading a book to another child, you can still have that eye contact with the small baby but just not in your arms.

Probably the best thing we got when the last two ladies were small was not actually a product but a service, and not everyone will need this, but for those that do it’s worth knowing it exists and it works! Our youngest two girls put us through a good two and a half years of severe sleep deprivation, I eventually reached a point where I didn’t trust myself to drive the car, I was so exhausted. Thankfully Lucy Wolfe, Cork based baby sleep consultant, stepped in and it was genuinely life changing.

If you are struggling with sleep, Eimear advises a sleep advisor for baby. Picture: Stock
If you are struggling with sleep, Eimear advises a sleep advisor for baby. Picture: Stock

Six weeks of sleep training with the baby, which was tough for me to juggle with three other children’s schedules to consider, but extremely easy on the baby. We finished the sleep training two years ago now, and I think I could count on one hand the number of nights either of them has woken up, it is just incredible.

It can feel very daunting deciding what you need to buy when you are having a baby, but keep it simple to start with, make a list of what you need and what you want, look at the space you have for storing things and only get things if and when you actually need them.

There are plenty of things we got that were a total waste of money and space, like a Moses basket, not one of ours ever stayed in it for more than a few minutes, sure why sleep there when you can sleep in your Mammy’s arms!

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