Becoming a mother for the first time is all a bit overwhelming, in addition to all the hormones, body changes, lack of sleep and anxiety, there are hundreds of different lists of “what to have” and “how to prepare”. You could end up spending your whole year’s salary on all the “must haves” on some of the lists. I had endless debates with my husband when we had our first child on what we really needed versus what was a nice to have.
We are 3 months away from baby 3 and I realised the other day that I have actually bought this baby nothing yet! Looking around the house however, I saw that we still had a few key items that had lasted us for both boys and that we will continue to use for baba 3 as well.
They are some of the “bigger” buys, but that being said, they are completely worth the extra spend. So if you are considering buying these items but debating the cost. I think the following items are absolutely worth the extra money upfront.
A crib – A good quality crib will last a lifetime, literally. In fact, the bassinet we use for our baby’s as newborns is the same one my mother had with me! I’m so grateful she kept it all those years, it’s very special to use with our children. Our wooden cot which was gifted to us with our eldest has lasted us as well. It may be one of the most expensive items you buy, but it’s definitely worth spending a little extra on.
A high chair/ feeding chair – This has proudly held a place at our dining table for over 5 years now. Considering you use these for at least 2 years with each child, a good quality feeding chair is most definitely worth the extra money. Thankfully we got “leather” covered one which makes clean up a breeze. We use : Peg Perego Prima Pappa Zero which we purchased from A-Zee Baby World. I personally love this chair as it has a slight recline, a tray that can easily be removed, it has back wheels for easy transport and the leather is super easy to clean. Its suitable up to the age of 3!
A Baby Bouncer – One of the best items I have ever received. We got ours with my eldest and not only will we continue to use it with baby 3, it’s also been used by various friends and my niece as well. The perfect spot to pop baba into when you need a few minutes, keeping baby’s entertained and comfortable. We use the Fisher Price Rainforest friends Bouncer, similar to this one from Takealot.com .
Muslin Baby Blankets – The ultimate. Aadam was a summer baby in Africa. Which means one hot and sweaty baby. Muslin cloths offer the perfect “thin sheet” to wrap baby up in at night, covers them from the sun, wipes up any sweat or ick and doubles up as a “doo doo” blankie if they need something soft. The possibilities are endless, and the more they get used the softer they become. Some brands can be a little pricier initially, but again, they last a lifetime. We use the Baby Sense or Maccie Range (obsessed with Maccie’s prints).
A Bath Seat – We had both a nifty little chicco changing table/come bath as well as the bath seats you put into the bath. Sadly the changing table is something I gave away recently, but with a newborn baby it was super helpful to not have to bend down over the bath. The lid lifted up and you could fill just enough bath water in for your newborn, allowing you to stand and bath baby, and then quickly change baba all at shoulder height to minimize your bending. Super helpful if you have had a c-section! I’m currently lusting on the Shnuggle Bath and seeing as though I sold our previous one, this is on our must buys for this baba. I love that baba sits more upright and that you can purchase it on a stand, trust me as a new mom, when you are petrified of bathing little one, this is well worth the price! Available from Kids Emporium.
A good quality Pram – If you spend a little bit extra on this it will also carry you through the times. Both boys have used ours as have many friends. A quick wipe down and its all ready to go for baby 3. We got the Stokke Stroller from Kids Emporium with our first-born. You can swap between the car seat and the pram at your convenience and can use the pram from newborn right up to toddler (and more). Have a look at my blog post on tips on selecting the perfect pram here.
Steam sterilizer – I would not have survived our first year without our Tommee Tippee steam sterilizer. From bottles to dummies it takes 3 minutes to sterilize all of baba’s essentials, without using harmful chemicals. Its been taken out the cupboard again all ready to use daily again. This personally is an absolute must for new mamas!
Electric Thermometer – We first started out with the good old “stick under your arm or in your bum” thermometer’s as I didn’t think the electronic or the thermal type were worth the money. I swallowed my words within the first month and quickly ended up at a clicks buying the electric/automatic type. The last thing you want with a newborn is an inaccurate or hard to move thermometer.
Good Quality Breastpump – If you choose to breastfeed I cannot emphasis the importance of getting a fast, effective pump. With boy boys I expressed as i was working and Medela was my personal go to for both. I started off with a single pump and quickly followed up with the double pump to save time. One word of advice, if you buy the double pump, do get the supporting hands free bra as well. Otherwise like me, you’ll be caught with your hands tied. Literally.
Baby Wrap/ Carrier – I debated whether or not to put this on the list as I only really found value in it once I had my second child. However, the value its value has been HUGE! My baby wrap literally was a lifesaver as I had a newborn and I was running after a 15 month old. Trips to the store meant baby went in the carrier and toddler went in the pram. My wrap of choice was The Caboo Close Wrap, which we got from Kids Emporium, it’s definitely a little pricier upfront and completely worth every single cent as you don’t have to fiddle around and tie things. My favourite carrier was Ubuntu Baba of course.
Cold Steam Humidifier – There are debates around the humidifier and children, each with their own pros and cons. We have always chosen cold steam humidifier as they avoid any bacteria build up, and unneccessary burn scares. In a city like Johannesburg, with its thin air and high altitude, this has been pulled out on many a “croupy” night. We use the Vicks Cool Steam Humidifier which has a cute little night-light option, which we got from Dischem Pharmacies.
OPTIONAL: Baby Monitor – I feel I have to include a baby monitor as so many new parents swear by them. Personally, for our first child, our flat was small enough that we would hear him all the time. For some reason when our second child was born I panicked and sent my mum in law out to buy the fancy Angel Care Monitor that measures breathing and movements. We took one look at the functionality and set up and decided it was waaaay too complicated for us and swapped it for the standard Angel Care sound monitor. This was super helpful as I was running around with a 16 month old in a bigger house, so I often carried the receiver on me if I took my eldest out to play. There are so many options available out there but our first choice was Angel Care.
There you have it. In my personal opinion, these 11 things are worth spending a little extra upfront to make your life a lot easier in the long run. All of these have lasted well for us and we will have used for all of our children. Now I guess I just have to stock up on the baby grows and clothes as I’ve given most of those away!
What are your must haves?