Every time I meet a soon-to-be-first-time Mom, I feel like we end up discussing "the list" - that crazy checklist of stuff you are told you simply must get before the baby arrives. But do you really need it all? Two years after my youngest was born, here's my reflection on that list - what I am glad I bought, and what I wish I hadn't.
What I'm Glad I Bought:
1. The dream stroller. Okay, I went crazy on the stroller. I bought a Bugaboo Bee. But when I sat down to think of it, as a person who is passionate about design I couldn't convince myself to compromise - I wanted something that was beautiful and functional, and would energize me to leave the house and go for walks, even when I felt miserable and exhausted. And it did! I loved walking around town with that thing. I never regretted it. In fact, I kind of...miss it!
2.The baby carrier that felt comfortable on my body, and the baby carrier that felt comfortable on my husband. Yup, we bought two. We waited until bub was born, went to the baby store, and tried them out. This way I was excited to carry the baby, and so was my husband. Again, whatever gets you out and about, in my opinion, is worth it.
3. Muslin wraps. We used these for everything. Swaddling. Burping. Shade for the stroller when it was hot. An extra layer when it was cold. Wiping up spills. Emergency bib. They are the most versatile, best value for money, piece of baby gear ever invented. And when they're dirty, they go straight in the wash.
4. Breastfeeding pillow. In Australia, I had the Milkbar, and in the US, I owned the My Brest Friend pillow - and I loved both. They helped me feel comfortable and confident feeding my tiny babies, and meant I never had to scramble for that pile of support pillows before each feed.
What I Wish I Hadn't Bought:
1. Bathtub. I was obsessed with getting this particular bathtub because I thought it was so incredibly cute. I know, pregnancy does weird things to a person. My husband relented and then...it was so cumbersome to use! The easier option? No bathtub at all, and just bathing bubba in the sink. For our second kid, we didn't even bother - we gave the bathtub away.
2. The Boppy pillow. I know some women swear by these, but I already had a great breastfeeding pillow (see above) so the Boppy was relegated to "teaching baby to sit/crawl" duty. Neither of my kids liked it. A rolled up towel worked just as well for crawling, and holding them up or sitting them against pillows worked fine for sitting. It might work for you, but in hindsight, it's just not as essential as I think some make it out to be.
3. Baby bag. Is it just me, or are all baby bags slightly uglier than all other types of bags? It's as though baby bags have constructed a market for ugly bags, that would otherwise never be bought! Why didn't I think, in crazy pregnancy brain, that it would actually be possible to carry baby gear in other kinds of bags? In the end, I mostly threw baby gear in with other bags I already knew and loved. Could have saved some serious money here.
4. The world's most fancy thermometer. I think there is a part of the baby gear industry that prays on our worst fear - "what if something serious happens to my baby's health?" But then, you know what happens? We start to get paranoid that equipment, that is supposed to save our baby in those circumstances - isn't doing its job. That is what happens every time I use the thermometer - my fear just turns into "is this working?" and I end up whipping out the old fashioned thing too. Perhaps it's not a thermometer for you, but a super-fancy video system, or heart-beat monitor. What I wish I did? Dealt with the fear rather than buying the gear.
This is my list, what's yours? What are you glad you bought? Where do you wish you'd save the money? Add your thoughts below!
(Image credits: Ashley Poskin)