I attended the Pregnancy, Babies and Children’s Expo recently and as I was doing my ‘lap’, The Sound of Music popped into my head. I may not have watched the whole movie, but I know every word to ‘A Few of My Favourite Things’ and it reminded me of my first baby expo in 2012. Man-o-man did I spend some money that day. I can’t event blame the stall holders and their hard sell tactics; I was 6 months pregnant and ready to spend up BIG !
Diligent savings early on in my pregnancy meant that when it came time to buy, I chose all the kit I really wanted. Lots of my girlfriends were having kids at the same time, so hand me downs weren’t available and I had never heard of Gumtree (I’m the eternal late adopter). Given I bought almost everything new I bought some absolutely cracking products….and some absolute LEMONS. For example, the first pram I bought was a complete dud that didn’t even fit in the boot of my car. It was an expensive mistake to make.
Being an expectant parent is a tough gig; you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s so easy to get swept up in the moment and buy stuff that just doesn’t suit your lifestyle. I thought buying a baby carrier would be a great way to get out of the house, but it was always easier to put Giuliana in the pram. It didn’t help that both Giuliana & Sienna hated being in the damn thing so my $200 investment didn’t even leave the house! Not once!!
This is partly the reason why I think the List & Assist app will be such a valuable resource. Rather than just be a ‘shopping list’ of what to buy, the app will help you to make an educated decision on what you actually ‘need’ vs what you ‘want’. My aim for any list I release is to offer a balanced view for each task/item. For example, just because the baby carrier didn’t suit me, it might be the perfect fit for you and your young family.
Therefore, I want to share with you my 5 favourite baby products. All of the items mentioned below are absolutely brilliant in my opinion and were used or continue to be used on a daily basis. If you are currently pregnant and ‘getting ready for baby’ or unhappy with your current equivalent of something mentioned below, I highly recommend checking out these little beauties.
Oxo Tot High Chair – $399* RRP
Excluding the pram(s) and the nursery furniture, this high chair is by far the most expensive baby item I’ve bought. But hear me out. My chair has been used at every meal and snack time for the last 4 years and is now on its second inhabitant. The seat has 2 heights (based on the age of your child) and you can remove the straps when they are no longer needed. The trigger under the table can be released with one hand and the steps can also be moved when the kids can start climbing in by themselves.
However, the big winner with this product is the lack of maintenance and its ability to grow with your child. The flat surfaces are dead easy to wipe clean and this includes the padded liners, the wood and the tray. I replaced the seat liners this year (one of my baby expo buys). Avoid buying a highchair with lots of folds of vinyl fabric; you will be finding food buried within the recesses of the folds CONTINUOUSLY!!! If you are going to splurge (or just want an absolute workhorse) this is your chair.
I’m also a massive fan of the Ikea staple (the Antilop) for many of the same reasons. It’s made from durable hard plastic, wipes down easily and it’s DIRT CHEAP! However, kids grow out of it fairly quickly, and in coffee shops/restaurants I have always struggled with attaching the tray top and usually give up and go without it.
By the by, regardless of whether you spend $20 or $400, a highchair isn’t something you need straight away. I think the 5-month mark is a good time to invest in a chair and this may also help with your budgeting and cash flow.
Medela Quick Clean Bags – $29.95* RRP
I have lost count of the number of people I have recommended this product to. I did use Medela bottles with both my girls, but these microwave steamer bags can be used with any make of bottle/accessories to sterilise the bottles, teats, caps, and even dummies and some breast pump components. Rather than have another big piece of kit to keep on your kitchen bench or store in a cupboard, these bags take up almost no space. Each bag can be used 20 times and you tick a box on the back with a permanent marker to keep track.
These little bags came with us when we travelled overseas and they worked a treat….as long as the hotel we were staying in had a microwave in the room. Speaking of overseas, when we were in the US in 2013 I saw this exact same product for $4.95!! I honestly thought they were mislabelled. The Aussie dollar was at parity at the time so suffice to say, I bought a couple of boxes home with me. The Medela bags are widely available at all the baby stores, National Pharmacies and I have even seen them at Coles.
Love to Dream Swaddle – $49.95 – 69.95* RRP (depending on size and weight)
There are so many swaddles available these days, but the Love to Dream style is my favourite. Sleeping with their hands above their heads has been the favourite sleeping position for both my girls so this product was perfect for me. We have used every style and size (including both the lightweight and warmer options) and Sienna is still currently using the Nuzzlin Sleep Bag in the toddler range. They wash and wear really well and I have never had a zip fail on me. I don’t know what I would have done without these swaddles.
Sangenic Nappy Disposal System – $44.95* RRP
My sister in law Sarah put me onto this one and it’s a cracker! Quite simply, each time you have a dirty nappy to dispose of, you lift the lid, push the nappy through the whole in the centre and then spin the grey wheel clockwise a couple of times which creates a makeshift seal between nappies to trap odours. Depending on the size of the full nappies, I can usually get anywhere between 10-15 in there. The bin does a great job at masking smells, but I did replace my first bin after 2 years because I found it wasn’t containing the smell as well anymore.
The inserts are regularly on special at either Baby Bunting or Toys R Us, but they are also sold at Coles and Woolies if you get desperate. If you saw my recent FB post, you’ll know that I picked up a MEGA bargain on the inserts. $10 a ring is a good price, but I got them for $5!!!!! #winning #rightplacerighttime
Roger Armstrong Onda Baby Bath – $59.95* RRP
And finally…..my other ‘everyday use’ must-have item is this bath. I love this products flexibility because it suits both newborns and toddlers. The moulded section in the centre allows you to lay your small baby on an angle so you don’t need to support them during bath time. Several months later when they are confidently sitting up, they can sit in the bath facing the other direction but the bath can still be resting on an island bench or table top (thus saving your already broken back!).
My 16-month old Sienna is a big toddler but I’m still bathing her in this bath, but I think I’ll be needing to transition her to the big bath soon 🙁 . There is also a temperature gauge on the side of the bath so the water will always be at the right temperature. Remember though – NEVER walk away from a baby/child in the bath. That ringing doorbell or ping from Facebook can wait.
How did I go?? Do you use (and love) any of the items listed above?? I would love to hear your favourite baby related item or even your biggest buying mistake.
If you know of someone currently researching all their baby gear needs, head to Facebook and tag them in this post – www.facebook.com/listandassist
Until next time
*All prices have been taken from the Baby Bunting website and are the RRP. The procurement person in me knows there are always sales and better deals on offer, but for the purpose of the blog, I wanted to give you an indicative price.