Written by Ashlea Harvey
This week Ashlea is enjoying summer evenings by the pool in her Annabella Voille Tunic and Printed Leggings. She loves just slipping her flowing Voile Tunic over her bikini and wearing it as a dress too.
As any new mom has probably experienced, walking into a baby store can be a very daunting event, with rows of baby strollers, offering all sorts of capabilities and specs, and new baby must-haves, promising that without that product you can’t possibly survive motherhood. As a second time Mom, I have learnt what I truly needed, what made life easier, and what was an absolute waste of money or which had an effective marketing ploy. As you start to gather your baby gear, learn from the mistakes that I made:
- Pram: I bought an ABC Cobra pram imported from Germany, through a site called Pram Warehouse. I love the fact that it is great outdoors and on trails, but there are a few things I wish I had considered –
- The width of the pram is quite wide and I struggled to meander through shop aisles.
- The pram seat doesn’t sit upright enough, so Hannah is almost always in a reclined position.
- There are other prams I’ve seen that are more raised and compact and look a little easier to maneuver.
- Compactum: Don’t kid yourself, you need one! I thought I would save costs and space with Hannah and do my nappy changing on the bed. We now have a compactum and it has not only saved my back, but also a great place to pop Hannah for a baby massage. I bought mine off Gumtree and it’s one of those things that you don’t need to get new. Make sure the height suits you.
- Car Seat: My pram came with a car seat and carrier. You can’t leave the hospital without the car seat installed, so make sure you know how to use it! Most couples have a tiff over the car seat before the baby arrives. It seems Dad’s are generally reluctant to install it, insist they know how to, and when it comes to going home from the hospital, it’s not installed and when it is, it’s installed the wrong way! So, get the job done early and practice the strap mechanisms a few times. You may also want to get a fluffy head protector that fits into the car seat while baby is new born and too little for the seat.
- Camp Cot: They’re not a necessity, but we have used ours quite a bit, especially when going to friend’s houses for dinner. We bought a nice looking second hand one and it has been a good investment.
- Cot: Make sure that your cot has adjustable sides and base – you won’t want to be doing much bending after giving birth. We bought a second hand cot for roughly R800, and it will serve both our babies perfectly well.
- Baby Monitor: With Hannah I had the Angel Care Baby Monitor with the sensor pad, however, technology has advanced and I wanted one with video capability, so I have one of the Motorola Video Baby Monitors and 2-way communicators. I had family bring it down from the USA, as it was much cheaper there. The only down side I am finding is that it doesn’t have a motion sensor to alert me that the baby stops breathing. I am looking to buy a second-hand Snuza, which is a nappy clip-on that detects movement and vibrates or alarms.
- Baby Carrier: With Hannah, I bought a Baby Bjorn carrier at one of the baby expos – what a great investment! Costly, but worth every cent as we used it on almost every outing.
- A baby bath is going to make your life easier, as will a bath hammock (stretchy material on a metal frame that baby lies on in the baby bath). This frees up your arms and allows you to give baby a relaxing bath, rather than struggling to hold baby’s head.
- A feeding pillow: I never had one with Hannah and truly wished I had. I just used pillows, but this time around, I plan to breastfeed for as long as possible, and my view is that if I make it as comfortable experience for both of us, we will be able to make a success of it. So, bring on the breast-feeding pillows, the bed headboard, the feeding chair and any other gadgets that are going to save you money on buying formula!
There are always other odds and ends that make life easier, but the above are the most imperative in my experience. Remember, not everything has to be brand new, I have a ton of second hand goods that look new and have barely been used – rather spend your money on buying a good pram!