What do you need to get for a baby?

If there was one reason for me to be a fully fledged “mummy blogger” than THIS is it. As you know, my beloved little sister Lucy is having a baby! Yay! So I get to completely let out any cluckiness I may or may not be feeling on her little bebe that is due at the start of December.

She has ALL OF THE QUESTIONS. And I sometimes have the answers, but I am quickly realising that even though I have a kid who is 4 I am completely out of the loop on all the things that are now cool for kids. I don’t know what THE pram is. THE cot is. THE baby carrier. You see I had a hand me down cot from Rob’s brother and wife (including their second hand mattress) and that’s what we used for both kids and they went into that straight from the hospital. We bought the cheapest pram we could find in Babies Galore that lasted both kids, a couple of OS holidays from the minute they were born to about 3 years old. We didn’t have a baby monitor, no baby railing thingys to stop them from going anywhere, a Baby Bjorn carrier that was handed down from Rob’s cousin and an old School capsule that my old boss gave me.

It would appear I am completely useless. And I’M A MUMMY BLOGGER.

But I know that you guys are not (useless that is). Some of you have JUST had babies! Some of you are having babies too and are in the throws of researching everything. So that’s what I want you to do. Tell me, sister to sister, without the bullshit, the marketing hype, the  stupid shit you got but never used, the baby wipe warmers…cut through the LOT…and tell me what she needs. Please! Because then I can be a good big sister and I can be a legitimate MUMMY BLOGGER. Blogging about Mummy stuff. Let’s put the BABY back into BabyMac.

PicMonkey Collage

Let’s break it down to the areas that I think she will need to cover off and what I need complete re-education on. If you are an expert on any of these areas, you go right ahead and expert the shit out of it.


Back in MY day…they Bugaboo was the bee knees. And the Stoke. And they were EXPENSIVE. I bet they still are! Should she get one with a bassinet attachment? Will she end up just moving to an umbrella stroller eventually so don’t waste your cold hard cash?

Car Seats

What’s a great click in number that can go from car to walking around? Is that even a good option? What will last the longest from newborn to whenever they move into something bigger?


Are those cots with the plastic sides for real? What about those oval ones? Are bassinets/moses baskets the way to do or something old school that will turn into a bed one day?

Change tables

Have these moved with the times or are they still just what they always were? What essential things does she need in the change table? Does anyone have baby wipe warmers?


Poor Daise was wrapped tightly like a little kebab in flannel or muslim wraps but Harps was old enough to experience those little zipped up wraps that cover their hands like wings. Are they good? What’s new?


As I said we used an old Baby Bjorn but I think there are 568 different kinds now on the market. What’s your favourite?

Other stuff

Baby baths – are they still a thing? Worth it or just get something to whack in the bottom of the bath? Or will the laundry tub do the trick? Nappies – cloth or disposable?! Are video monitors something worth going for? What are some great new products on the market? Are those breastfeeding pillows still worth getting? Do you still sterilise bottles? What bottles are good? Breast pumps? OH MY GOODNESS SO MANY THINGS.

I’ll try and collate all the great answers I know I will get in the comments into a round up post so we can have a look at the state of baby play in 2014. My only advice that I will pass on is that you really don’t need all that much ‘stuff’. It’s just stuff. You need patience. A very good sense of humour. An ability to let go. Trust in yourself. A strong bond with your partner. And the rest you just figure out along the way because really, we are all as clueless as each other when they let you leave that hospital with your first born in your arms. The most thrilling and frightening and wonderful adventure you will ever undertake.

OK, enough of that stuff. TELL ME ALL OF THE THINGS. And thank you. I know Luce will be forever grateful. As will I.


  1. Hah! I was just like you. Everything handed down and old and not the cool new stuff. But you know what, I reckon that still works. You can over complicate the baby thing. So I have a 2 year old and the one new thing I did get her was an Ergo carrier. You can face them in out and on the side. Pretty cool. Better than baby bjorn.

    BTW I didn’t know your little sis was pregnant. That is SO SO SO exciting for you. I am the little sis so I’ll never experience it. That would be lovely.

  2. I have a 3 year old and am currently 37 weeks preggers.
    Carrier- love the ergo carrier. Easy to wash and fits from birth to 20 kilos (my little man can still fit)
    Car seat- this time we got an infant carrier so bubs doesn’t have to be woken everytime I get in and out of the car with Mr 3. He will then go into a Safe n Sound Maxi rider – good from 6 months to 8 years. Awesome seat that’s easy to tighten straps.

    Pram- choose something to suit your needs. Walk a lot? Want to have two close together- get something that can add another seat or a kids stand on skateboard. I found it useless following the trend as we live inner city and I didn’t have to put it in the car so I needed something with lots of storage that enabled groceries to fit in. Will still use same pram for this one (Strider plus- two seats).

    Enjoy being a proud and helpful Aunty

  3. I need this right now! We have a mostly second hand nursery set up so I can buy the expensive things not so expensively!
    A bugaboo bee plus pram ($500 off eBay, good as new though the Bee3 is coming out soon, a stoke oval cot ($350 second hand, but I purchased a new mattress, $285), linen from eBay – simple cotton sheets, stoke change table (again, second hand $150 eBay!), new poang ikea nursing chair…. Still need a car seat, and more decorations (a chevron rug!!) but getting there. Baby due Nov 20. I don’t have many clothes as yet – a few bonds basics.

    But I pretty much need this post with baby only 13 weeks away!

    Let’s hear it mummies! 🙂

  4. I’m also 2yrs out the loop but both my little sis and also little sis in law are due same time as Lucy with their 1st bubba. I’ve heard new Rozi baby pram is fab, LOVE my Ergo carrier, use it still for 2 & 4 yo and is so comfy for both mum & baby. I also loved the Wrap me up/Love me Baby bat wing swaddles you mention. Most other things I also acquired 2nd hand!!

  5. After three kids these are my thoughts
    Baby jogger Ciy Mini Gt- great combo of walking pram, light weight and compact.
    Bassinet if you really want baby to face you in the pram. I liked it but I just got a demo one for half the price.
    Cot- I got one from target when they had a big baby sale. It was in Choice’s recommended list for safety.
    Car seat- I got a convertible birth-4years one. So glad I did as after pelvic floor damage with one birth and a ceasarian with the next there is no way I could have carried around an extra 5kg of capsule as well as a 4kg+ baby.
    Disposables. Who has time for cloth?
    Swaddle’s- I love the zip up ones- love to dream I think they are. The ones in the picture in your story. LOVE them.
    Change table/ not nessessary but I think it was better on my back.
    Baby carrier- live my Ergo only use it for going to markets or hanging washing. Depends if you are a baby wearing type or you have a baby who wants to be on you constantly.
    Monitors- not nessessary but I love having one. Upgraded to a video one last baby do that I could look to see if he was asleep instead of creeping past his room only to find him looking at me and then wanting to get up.
    Baby bath- don’t need it but I found it easier to pop the baby bath on the dining table in the early days.

  6. I have a 3 year old and 4 month old so I think I have an idea of what’s in and not in. But I also have my own opinions on what’s worth spending big on.

    I have 2 baby carriers. A Manduca for comfort (which apparently is better than the Ergo cause you don’t need a special newborn insert). I put the baby in the Manduca when I want him to have a long nap as it’s more comfortable for both of us. I also have a Bjorn which I use when I need to get him in and out of the carrier easily and quickly. So when I pick my daughter up from daycare he comes with me. I have to get him out of the car, into the bjorn, pick up my daughter, and then get them both back into the car. I find that much easier to do in the bjorn at the moment.

    I also wrap and I find lil fraser jersey wraps are the biz. They are expensive but I thought worth every cent. The are huge and stretchy and mean you can get a really tight wrap.

    The new trend in cots is sidecar cots that attach to the double bed. SIDS Australia recommend that you should have the babies in your room for 6 -12 months. I have a sidecar cot right next to the bed and can lift the baby in and out easily for feeding. It’s supposed to be a happy medium between cosleeping and old school cots.

    A Pram is a really personal thing I find. Everyone I know LOOOOVES the pram they have and would recommend it. I have a Mountain Buggy Swift which I love. I think the City Select is the new IN pram as it converts easily to a double in the future (as does the bugaboo but I can’t afford one of those).

    You forgot high chair and I would recommend the Ikea Antilop for a thrifty $35. So easy to clean!

    Congratulations on becoming an Auntie! Newborn cuddles without the night time feeds. It’s the best way to have a baby *G*.

  7. Mother Down Under says

    Uppababy for the pram. They are the BEST! They weren’t available in Oz when I had C so I imported mine – even with outrageous shipping it was cheaper than the Bugaboo. And I honestly think it is a better pram. But I would say a pram depends on your lifestyle. I walk everywhere so I wanted a big, hardcore pram. I got the car seat that clicks in and the bassinet – at night I would just roll C into the bedroom next to my side of the bed, pseudo co sleeping! It also has the biggest basket ever. And it is easy to collapse. I have had mine for three years and it still looks brand new – I just ordered the skateboard attachment so C can ride while number two sits. That being said we also have an umbrella pram that we keep in the back of the car for small trips and for travel. Oh and at age three, C will still sometimes nap in the pram – winning!

    Other than the pram and a nappy bag we got everything second hand.

  8. The only thing I would say, having no kid myself, is that the most recent research (I work with the researchers) says the pram MUST face the parent so the baby can look to the parent for cues on behaviour, emotions, etc.

    For at least the first 6 months.

  9. Ok here we go… baby number one now bearly 3 and next due very soon. These have been my faves.

    Had a bugaboo… hated it with a passion. Got an iCandy Peach which goes from one baby to two really easily and doesn’t end up the size of a road train or as wide as a car. Turns on a dime, super easy to take apart one handed with a screaming baby in arms and importantly so you can clean this really easily. Also fits a capsule, with connectors. Don’t think that a bassinet thingy attachment is necessary… they roll around in there without lots of added bits. Becomes to fiddly.

    Car seat
    Maxi Cosi mico is the biz. Super light and easy to remove sleeping bebe from car and move to pram or even bring inside to pop on floor for them to continue their sleep. This is a must I reckon. May only get 4-6 months out of depending on how bubs grows but worth every penny and then selling on ebay you basically get 95% of your money back.

    Bought a Leander that eventually converts to a toddler bed from ebay for way less than half price. Was in mint condition. The most beautiful thing and I still love it. Its got a closed in top and bottom which means if you are sneaking in and you make a noise your little one can’t see you and get all fussy. Better than a fully exposed bar cot I think.

    Had one for first baby but not sold. Straight to cot in our room. If you are space restricted then yes get one. Dont get one that sits in a bloody separate base… getting up in the middle of the night and tripping on it, those odds are high, last thing you want is a rolling baby from a decent height.

    Change table
    Ebay find. Stokke less than half price. So wonderful. Enough said

    Muslins were just a pain to me! Could never get the burrito downpat. Just bought some ergobaby newborn air chevron wraps that have no zips or velcro. Check them out, they look amazing and superlight for the aussie summers.

    Ergo baby is fab but so are baby bjorns. I think most of the ones available out there look great.

    Baby Bath
    Stokke collapsible bath with new born insert. Can travel anywhere, easy to clean, doesnt take up space and my little fella who is now a boy still loves to fill it up and sit in it years later.

    Huggies. That is all.

    Breastfeeding pillows
    It is so corny saying it but here goes… My Breast Friend pillows are great. They click together for maximum feeding comfort and even come with little pockets to put stuff in AND you can walk and feed on the go. Used to cook and have pillow on feeding baby. Dont think I should endorse that but we all do what we can!

    We had the uniden but the oricom looks amazing. It is very expensive though. $320 I think!

    Medela is great but I think they all make you feel like a milking cow! Important for supply I think but im avoiding at all costs if I can this time around.

    Just bought some Como Tomo all silicone bottles. Look the goods. Buy from USA to cut costs as very expensive here. Reduce air going into babies while feeding so less wind etc. If expressing you’ll need another way of heating milk than putting in this bottle which is a pain but they are really easy to clean and squishy like boobies.

    All the best to your sister! Hope this helps x

  10. lllearningmum says

    It is all pure marketing. You can get what you love and the baby can pop out hating the pram, car seat and/or baby carrier.
    Round cots just make it awkward to buy cot sheets for it. Something to think about when changing it for the 7th time at night. It isn’t like they are proven to make your baby sleep anymore or faster.
    Prams are what my SIL calls an investment piece. It will most likely be used everyday. People are UBER passionate about their pram choice. Road test in real life. Get a bag of potatoes play a crying sound effect on your phone and attempt to collapse it into the car as quick as possible.
    Best thing I have bought is a bumpa mat from Ecoviva.com.au. They are soft mats that you wipe down. Double sided. They have an ‘adults live here’ side and ‘who are we kidding we are overrun by toys’ side. They are big and what I’d call an investment piece. Their FB page has their designs. https://m.facebook.com/233060983504547/photos/pb.233060983504547.-2207520000.1407968024./499319120212064/?type=1&source=42

    Your sister needs to see if there is a FB group for parents or mums in her local area. Sydney has quite a few. Many have buy and sell groups attached. The second hand market is the way to go. Babies get so many things that never get used or only once. Quite often your not sure if it will work for you and your baby so buying second hand is awesome. No way could I do cloth nappies so buying second hand is my contribution to the environment.
    Buy more pegs either way. Your sister’s washing is about to double.

  11. Ok, without rambling…here goes:

    Pram: Bugaboo – yep they are $ but totally worth it
    Cot / change table – anything Boori – Aussie made and fabulous. Just make sure she knows that the boori matresses are a little larger (for linen), but most companies sell for larger cots now.
    Car Seat – Meridian Safe and Sound. Also get a capsule. Def worth it and helps your back when you transfer out of the car!
    Wraps – I never understood the muslin! Just get some nice stretchy wraps, and yep, the Love to Dream wraps are great. Ella hated them, but Hudson loves them. Each to their own

    Other stuff – best thing ever is a terry towling sling for the bath. $15 from Target. Cheap as and will also save your back in the bath. A baby Bjorn is also great. I got a bjorn portacot – also $, but folds into a small suitcase and only weighs 5kg. Great for planes!


  12. I’ve just had my second in 18 months. I’m surrounded by all of the things! My faves…

    Prams –

    I have 3 (snort). A Silver Cross Surf (gorgeous and comfy but fuck all storage, can’t attach a car seat and folds into two pieces. Painful but had to have for my first). A Phil and Teds Smart…its a great small pram and takes a car seat adapter. If I wanted something super tiny I’d look at the YoYo or Mountain Buggy Nano now tho. I have also recently acquired a rig of a double, the Mountain Buggy Duet. Every second person has a MB and I didn’t want to conform but it is a WORKHORSE. MB and P & T are owned by the same company.

    Car Seats

    Had a Safe n Sound Meridian for my first. Is great. Discovered the joy of the S n S Unity Capsule for Audrey. Hands down, best purchase yet. House to car to pram is a breeze. I’m dreading the day she grows out of it.


    Lil Fraser. The BEST. Little Steps in Bowral carries them. I also love the zip up swaddles, and these are sheer brilliance…



    Ergo and Hugabub are my absolute faves!


    We bought a second hand Oeuf because I love them, but our second cot is Ikea and gorg!

  13. Sorry to post a link, please ignore rest of this blog but I wrote this post a couple o’ months ago when all my girlfriends were starting to get preggers and I wanted to remember what I’d buy if I did it again…


    – I’d get L’il Fraser wraps for early days sleeping
    – Crumpler do some really lovely (not blokey) bags that are great for baby bag duty and the partners won’t mind carrying…

  14. Ergo baby carriers are great. A bassinet is a great idea if you can’t fit a cot in your master bedroom. The boori one is great as its on wheels. Sure it’ll only last a few months but I think anything that makes those first few months easier is money well spent. Ive got the angelcare monitor as I was totally neurotic with my first born & it’s fabulous not only for piece of mind that it’ll alarm if bub stops breathing but even for just popping out into the garden or in the shower & not having to worry if bubs is crying. I haven’t got the video one, just audio. I love my baby bjorn bouncer chair, my daughter used that until she was almost 2. I bought a breastfeeding pillow & took it to hospital & this fabulous midwife threw it away & said you need to learn how to feed your baby without props as you won’t always have props available! She taught me how to hold bubs comfortably without pillows & I never ever used that pillow again! Avent breast pumps are good but id just wait & see when it comes to buying breastfeeding apparatus! I used a foam mat on a dresser I already had as a change table for my daughter but bought a cheap change table online from mocka for my son, I liked this one as its got drawers in it & hides all of the messily shoved clothes & nappies! I also thought it could be used afterwards without looking too much like a change table. Agree with the ikea high chair recommendation! A freshie! How exciting x

  15. Errrryyyone will fight you to the death on their opinions on all the baby stuff. For what it’s worth, as a Mum of a 7 month old, here’s my two cents for your sister:

    Love my Baby Jogger City Mini
    – one handed folding! In case you didn’t get that YOU CAN FOLD IT WITH ONE HAND
    – light. You’ll have a new interpretation of ‘light’ after having a baby mostly involves carrying a tiny human and it’s large mountain of accessories everywhere
    – it’s the pram Nina from Offspring has. I had it before her 😉
    – easy bassinet attachment so baby can face you for the first 6 months and you can check it’s still breathing. Constantly. Because that’s what the first 6 months of motherhood is.
    – not too ‘speny. Again you’ll have a new interpretation of expensive after you buy all this stuff. Beg, borrow and steal.
    – bag storage underneath is teeny tiny and only fits what your baby needs. You get nothing. Welcome to Motherhood.
    – you’ll have to get over the pram looking like some kind of alpine camping tent. It’s not as trendy as a Bugaboo but at least you can push it over something bigger than a dust speck without it getting stuck/falling over (my sister has a Bugaboo)

    Car Seat
    Don’t bother buying a capsule/click to pram stuff – it will outlay you an extra $600 and limit the kind of pram you can buy. Also after a few months unless you are a weight lifter you cannot lug that thing to the cafe. Just hire the capsule for the first 6 months and then they 0-4 year car seat that faces rearward first. Everyone said Safe n sound for the car seat and I’m a joiner so I did too.

    – my baby hated swaddling and didn’t sleep for any reasonable length of time until I used the Love To Dream swaddle bag/seal suit/beeping slag/burrito/sleepy sack what ever you want to call it. I just call it The Last Vestige of My Sanity and kiss the very cloth it’s made from. She doesn’t need it anymore…she just likes to sleep 1cm away from my face in my bed. Which brings me to cots: buy one that is really nice to look at in the corner of your room while you and baby snuggle up in bed together.

    Change Table
    Yes, you need one. We found one on the side of the road at hard rubbish collection. It’s awesome. That’s about as much thought as you need to put into it.

    Take out your credit card. Imagine an amount of money. Double it. Buy three different brands. Your baby MAY like one of them.

    Other Stuff
    Relax. This will all be gifted to you. None of it is necessary but some of it is very nice. Babies need two things unconditional love and food. You already have both. But frilly booties and teensy little onsies are good clean fun.

    I have more useless opinions but I’ll stop there.

  16. Oh and you need a big roll of chux clothes, cut it into smaller clothes, dip in water and hey presto reusable bum wipes. Store in air tight bucket and throw in washing machine at 60c. Saves you a bundle and avoids all those useless chemicals in the wipes.

  17. Just had baby number 2 (5 year gap!). My loves: Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan Pram – has a seat that changes into a bassinet so no need to purchase a separate one, baby can rear face and also compatible with several capsules so you have that option too (am using the Peg Perego capsule – very handy!). Using the ergo carrier too – very comfy for my little one – she always falls asleep in it. Wraps: old school here, just regular wrapping of your baby so they look like a burrito! Still had cot and changeable for number 1 – bought from Toys R Us when they had special of buy cot and get changeable for free – its rather dinged up our son but does the job.

  18. Ok, deep breath, here we go…

    First of all, you’re so right – all you really need is a good sense of humour, a whole lot of common sense, actually not that much STUFF. We have been extremely lucky in that literally the ONLY thing we have bought for entering babyland has been an Ergo baby carrier (secondhand) and a stretchy wrap carrier. That’s it. Everything else I have got from my sister, bless her cotton socks. Our cot, change table, the pram which I use around the farm, baby bath, all cot bedding/baby towels, baby monitor (which we have never/will never use in our tiny house so it’s gone to live at Matt’s parents), breast pump, nappy bag – EVERYTHING is my sisters. Oh and lucky for us she has three girls just ahead of Eleanor in clothes sizes so our tiny house with no wardrobes is bursting to the brim with clothes.

    In terms of prams, my sister’s is a Phil and Ted’s she bought new seven years ago and has done all three of her girls well but I wanted to do the same – get a brand spanking new well researched pram that will hopefully do us for a few kids, and use my sisters one as my ‘bash about’ farm vehicle. Having an ‘at home’ and a ‘going out’ pram works really well for us on the farm, I go for walks with Eleanor through muddy paddocks, have her out in the garden and down bumpy dirt roads in the older pram, and keep the good shiny new pram in my car and we only use that in town. After lots of research we decided on the Phil and Ted’s Navigator for our new shiny pram – for a few reasons, it has the capacity to carry two kids so should last us the distance, it folds reasonably easily (as easily as they ever will!), it had pneumatic tyres (something which a lot of prams don’t have anymore as people are too lazy to pump them up, pffft! My husband was adamant that plastic wheels would just not last us the 7-8+ years we might want to use this pram) and best of all had the ability to carry a car capsule. My mum offered to buy us the pram, so another thing we actually didn’t buy. Hands down, without a doubt, the best thing we’ve done is get a pram that can hold the car capsule (which is a Safe n Sound we got off a friend). Especially being a winter baby, I just bundle Eleanor up at home, put her in the capsule, whisk her into the car, she goes to sleep driving to the shops, then click her capsule into the pram and off we go. No unstrapping her or getting her fifteen blankets off her, it’s the best. I just carry her EVERYWHERE in her clever capsule, clicking in and out of the pram as I go. I literally never get her out of her capsule while she’s out of the house! Love, love, love it.

    I bought a secondhand Ergo on ebay as I had used my friends one with her kids and loved it. Eleanor’s only been in it a few times as she’s still a bit little but I can see how good it will be, especially for my husband who wants to do some bush walks with her. I have put her in it to go collect the eggs and around the garden but worry about her little legs and hips, she is too big for the newborn insert, but too young to have her hips splayed like that I think. I also have a Happy Baby Wrap which I am really yet to experiment with, more because Eleanor doesn’t seem to need to be held an awful lot, but I can really see how good it would be if you had a baby that did, or for babies where you had little toddlers running around at dinner time as well. There’s lots of stretchy fabric carriers around, like Hugabub, Moby, Solly, and some people just make their own.

    We don’t have a bath in this house, we bath Eleanor on the kitchen table in a very basic baby bath, the kitchen sink would do just as well. But lately she just get’s chucked in the shower with Matt and she LOVES it. Especially as she’s getting older I think she is just what we’ll do.

    We have the good old cheapo Ikea high chair (also from my sister), you can hose that thing down in the shower, brilliant! We also have a bumbo seat given to us from a friend. I envisage we will just go from bumbo to Ikea high chair. Simple.

    I have used the breast pump twice just when I was super engorged, so not much help there, I didn’t want to play with my milk supply too much, but will start using it more if I want Eleanor to have a bottle if I need to go somewhere/leave her with someone else. So no bottles in this house yet, hope she takes one! She does have a dummy these days to go to sleep, I’ve experimented with several brands and found MAM (bought at Big W) were best – moulded shape to keep in her mouth and a good teat shape, some newborn teats are just plain weird looking, no wonder she rejects them! What was actually really good in early days when milks coming in and you’ve got bowling ball boobs, these gel pack rings which you can get at a pharmacy, heat in the microwave and put on your boob just before you feed to get that milk going, like having a hot shower but easier and quicker.

    Eleanor still sleeps in her bassinet (a family heirloom) out in the lounge room, she lasted all of about two nights next to our bed before I turfed her out. I feed her sitting on the couch in the lounge in front of the fire anyway. I want to keep her in her bassinet for as long as possible, not because I’m all emotional about it like some mums (ha!) but out in the lounge/kitchen during the day it’s so easy if she loses her dummy or needs to be picked up and resettled. She’s also really good around noise because she sleeps amongst it all, she’s only just started sleeping without the radio on all night! She sleeps in her Love To Dream swaddle, she is not one to bust out of a tight blanket wrap, but I put her in the swaddle anyway at night (she still gets a tight blanket wrap from me during the day). I figure putting her in the swaddle is more of a ritual bedtime routine thing, hopefully she’ll get to know that if she’s going into the swaddle it’s sleep time! I also find it brilliant to easily feed her in the night, no grabby hands getting in my way, and change her nappy with the double way zip. It is meant to be good for self-soothing but Eleanor still has a dummy even though she’s in the swaddle so I think I kind of negate that theory.

    After the pram/capsule set up, the best thing we’ve got is a baby swing (again, from my sister). After I feed and change Eleanor I just plonk her in the swing, whack that thing on and go about my business around the house and she happily swings away, sometimes looking around the house having a chat, sometimes just nodding off to sleep what with all the swinging business. Sometimes I don’t even turn it on though, it’s just handy for somewhere to plonk her down, she can see because she’s a bit higher up than on the floor or a bouncer.

    Nappies: a whoooole other post could be dedicated to this, but I’ll just say that the whole modern cloth nappy thing is BEYOND easy. It is! I was prepared for it to be a bit more hard yakka than disposables, but honestly I hardly notice the difference. Admittedly at the moment it’s all a bit easy with just breastmilk poo, I’ll get back to you after we start solids…I’ve found my favourite MCN’s are Baby Bare’s and Bum Genius – really well made, super easy to wash and super cute too! Eleanor still wears a disaposable if we’re going out or to other peoples houses, we haven’t mastered transportation of wet nappies yet! Oh and my nappy bag is a Kate Hill number which is great, lots of pockets. I do want to get a good change mat though.

    You do NOT need a wipes warmer, sheesh! Although such a thing is great I’m sure, I change Eleanor’s nappy in her cold room in depths of Winter and wipes don’t bother her, although I have heard of people having a Thermos of hot water by the change table which sounds like good idea to me.

    That’s IT – I’m done!

    • Forgot to mention that I’m sure a Winter baby in Gippsland where it snows, compared to a baby due in a Sydney December are going to be vastly different. I have a million woolen (yes, real wool) blankets and cardi’s and socks etc. on Eleanor. I bought/was given muslin wraps – I have never used one. She has a cool furry bear suit she wears out in the garden or on walks around the farm with me, has been great, but usually doesn’t wear it if we’re going out as too chunky in her capsule. Any sort of jumpsuit without feet in it I haven’t even looked at. Funny how everything becomes really obvious once you actually HAVE the baby. Doh. So many little tiny outfits I thought were so cute, Eleanor has barely even looked at, it’s all about just a simple jumpsuit at home all day, nothing fancy, taking all those leggings and bits and pieces on and off is just dumb.

      I also bought a Milk Bar breastfeeding pillow on ebay because Matt’s cousin had one and I thought it looked cool! What a dickhead I am. Never used it, tried once and was uncomfortable as all hell. Promptly sold it on ebay last week. Horses for courses and all that though.

      One of my friends got us a little pack of things like Infacol, baby panadol, a GOOD dummy, just STUFF. Was so good in early days, and still (I guess we’re still in the early days with a seven week old!) as all of a sudden she’ll change on me and will need something, but often we’ve found it in the little care package. We also have not used any soaps/creams/anything on Eleanor yet. People say just natural almond oil for her head (it’s a bit crusty with cradle cap, not too bad). I have a natural based baby massage oil I’d like to start using on her before bed too, thought that’s a good baby pressie.

  19. Like you said Beth you don’t need all that stuff. I got our cot and change table off gumtree, MB pram but now that I have a single and double would not buy one with rubber tyres. Def a capsule that can attach to the pram best thing I did and the Medela electric breast pump, white noise on your phone, Ollie was in the dream wraps till about 12 months but Amelia was not a fan of them. We have the baby bjorn (Luc can borrow it) another thing I loved was our small bassinet that we could move around the house and you rock (the brand is sleepy spaces) once again she is more than welcome to borrow it.
    And a nice bottle of red wine and plenty of food.

  20. How exciting for you!!! I hope Lucy is feeling well, comfortable, getting some sleep and able to enjoy her pregnancy! I have a 1.5 year old and am due in 3-5 weeks (let’s hope its 3!) with #2. The big thing to be aware of is you do not need lots of ‘stuff’, and in many cases, you don’t need fancy stuff – practical is best. Also, many of her friends might have things to loan her, that you really only need for a few weeks/months and can be quite expensive. In a lot of cases, its best to wait until the baby arrives before buying certain things, as you just don’t know what kind of baby you will have!
    Pram: We have the Baby Jogger City Select which is perfect, as we have not had to buy a new pram to suit #2. It handles most terrain, you can jog with it (if needed). But it does depend on the size of her car, hallway (for keeping it inside), plans for #2, and intended use. If she’s getting a capsule, the bassinet is not necessary.
    Capsule: We are using one this time, simply to make it easier to do car/pram/inside transfer with a toddler too. I’m borrowing it from a friend though, and didn’t find it necessary first time around.
    Carseat: Safe’n’Sound Meridian AHR, starts rear facing, then converts to forward facing. Perhaps not necessary if she’s using a capsule, as she may be able to go straight to forward facing (we also have the Safe’n’Sound Maxi Rider, which is just forward facing and lasts until 8 years old)
    Cot: Ikea, about $90, really simple wooden design. We got the Boori mattress though. Didn’t use a bassinet, and our oldest has just gone into a single bed, so the baby can have the cot, so we never used the toddler bed option.
    High Chair: This was our one splurge item (however I got it half price from ebay), the Stokke Tripp Trapp, and I have just ordered another (new!)one for the baby. I found the Ikea one too big for my boy in the early days, and even now when we are out and he sits in one, he ends up with a lot of food on him. The Tripp Trapp pulls right up to the table, and we have a big tray blu-tacked to the table for him to make a mess on. He will use it for years to come, and will go into his bedroom as a desk chair one day. I’ve decided to get the Newborn set for this time for the baby, so it can sit at the dinner table with us from day 1, and it converts to a rocker for the floor too.
    Bouncer: A simple design is good. Maclaren do a nice one that comes in grey and beige. Not ugly! May be able to borrow from a friend.
    Portacot: Important. Can be expensive, heavy, ugly, hard to put up and down and a general pain in the arse. Get the Valco Zephyr. It’s a copy of the fancy Baby Bjorn one, but much much cheaper, easy to carry, light and can be put up and down in seconds. Don’t get a heavy second hand one from a friend, she’ll never use it because it’s too heavy to put in the car.
    Wraps/Swaddles etc: Depends on the baby. My son was happy being wrapped in muslin swaddles, then moved to sleeping bags at 3 months. The zip up suits are good if they work for her baby, but our son was a thumb sucker, so he hated them as he couldn’t get to his hands. Someone gave us one, which we tried, and failed, glad we didn’t buy anymore ‘in case’, as they’re expensive.
    Carrier: We’re getting the new Ergo 360, but borrowed one first time around, as our son was a happy ‘in the pram’ baby, so didnt really need one. Everyone says a carrier is really hand with the second though (so you can toddler chase and keep baby close), or if your baby is refluxy, or clingy.
    Baby gym (you know the thingy they lay on the floor and look up at!): The wooden Ikea one – its the only choice, don’t even bother with an ugly, soft, fabric one – they’re expensive and have no purpose after about 3-4 months. My son still plays with his now – I don’t know how we’re going to convince him to let the baby play with it!
    We used the laundry sink as a bath, then the big bath, and he now has a shower with his Dad. Baby baths are kind of a pain!
    The Bonds zip wondersuits really are as good as everyone says. Expensive, but totally worth it. I’m ordering 5 the day this baby arrives, so I can get them in gender specific colours!
    I hope this is helpful, I could go on all day – I think many people buy way too much stuff for their baby, and then don’t know what to do with it all! If she buys something and it doesn’t suit the bub, sell it on ebay. Lots of people buy second hand and pay a lot for it!

    • Someone just mentioned sterilizing – the $15 microwave sterilizer from Kmart is the bomb. And it’s worth getting a nice drying rack for bottles or breast pump parts – it sits on the bench permanently for at least 6-12 months, so you might as well be happy to look at it. The Boon ‘Grass’ with a Flower or Twig attachment is a nice gift.

  21. I have an 8 month old….and these are my top 3 things:
    Angelcare video monitor- amazing!!! Love this as allows me to check on her without going into her room.
    Bugaboo – love, love, love. I know it’s expensive but I can’t tell you how much I love it. I walk every day for at least 1 hour and it’s so good.
    Baby bjorn bouncer – this was our best purchase; she lived in it for the first 5 months! Very light so you can move all around the house and super comfortable and safe.

  22. Jackie Clark says

    My baby is just about to turn 5 so I am WAY out of the loop but I have lots of friends who are still very much in the throws of babies. We went basic with everything, I just had white cot and change table from Target, can be pick up cheap when they have their baby sales and it lasted all 3 kids. I had a Phil and Ted’s pram which worked well becase it converted to the double but the City Select is very much the new IT parm around my neighbourhood! We hired capules from our local baby hire company and used them until the kids could go in the Safe n Sound Maxi Rider which my youngest is still currently using. We had the cheap white IKEA highchair and it is awesome. No bells and whistles but a breeze to clean, doesn’t take up much room and can take the legs off and take it with you when you go away. I had a baby bjorn carrier lent to me, which I used heaps. I also had a bumbo with my last and found that really handy. I used muslin wraps (Iiked to pin their arms down so they didn’t startle themselves) I used a medela breastpump (and bottles) because thats what I used in the hospital. Can’t go past the huggies for nappies!!
    Such a fun and exciting time, I hope you all enjoy! X

  23. Steph Hudson-Lea says

    My advice (mum of 9 month old)….
    Pram – Mountain Buggy is the bomb. I bought mine close to new off ebay. Does the trick. Sturdy wheels and can be whacked around when your dragging it out of the car with one hand.

    Cot and Change Table – I got a bargain from Australia owned brand Mocka. Clean, sleek looking and safe.

    Egrobaby 360 – according to hubbie the ‘best thing we ever bought’ – perfect for my eager baby that wants to see the world and comfy for parents.

  24. With my 3 (eldest 4, middle 2.5 and youngest 6 months) we have had a Safe n Sound capsule that clicks into the pram (Baby Jogger City Select). This combo is brilliant but has gotten more useful with each baby. The capsule is especially fab with baby 3 as there is now preschool drop off and pick up to navigate.
    I do recommend a baby bath as ours had a hammock in it so from brand new baby can be supported in there without you having to hang over the bath all awkwardly. Ours went from baby bath to baby chair in the bath for that same reason.
    Breast pump needs to match bottles baby likes – maybe wait until baby is here for that one.
    Have had a milk bar pillow for all 3 babies – don’t know how people breastfeed without a good pillow. I take mine everywhere!
    I love my monitor but have heard scary stuff about video ones – we just have a sound one.
    We have a breathing alarm on baby’s bed – I highly recommend these if you are a worrier like I am – great for peace of mind and ours has lasted all 3. Bit expensive (not the AngelCare ones this is. HiSense) but worth every single cent.
    Could go on and on, but that is stand out stuff for me.

  25. After having 2 babies in the last 12 months & ten years after I had my first two here’s my take.

    Pram- do not spend the big bucks! By the time bub can sit up you’ll be wanting a stroller so just buy a basic pram & a stroller that can lay down. Very important that the strollers lies all the way down because you’ll use it for years & your kid WILL fall asleep in it.

    Carrier- I never used one with my older two but with the younger two my hugabub has been used constantly. I’m a short arse & find the ergo too big & bulky but the hugabub is soft & comfy.

    Cot- I’m never fussed. Always had hand me downs until I needed two cots at once. We bought one that will turn into a single bed hoping we’ll get our money’s worth.

    Breast pump- I’ve got the Medela swing. It’s the brand the hospital had & is great.

    Boob Care- I find Breast Rite breast pads the best & most affordable. Lansinoh nipple cream is the best for when your nipples turn into cracked bleeding rings of fire. As for feeding bras I have cheap ones & expensive ones. They are both good. Comfort is KEY!

    Baby monitor- I only have one because our rooms are at opposite ends of the house. Just go basic. Nobody needs video & movement monitor shit.

    Bottles- each kid has used different ones. I think it’s trial & error. The toddler uses Tommee Tippee, the lady won’t touch a bottle so it’s boob only for her. And only sterilize those suckers until your kid starts putting everything in it’s mouth. No need to do it until they are one if they are sharing food with the dog!

    Dummies- both the toddler & ladybaby like the Avent ones, just the straight ones not the orthodontic ones.

    Change table- just get whatever as long as it’s the right height.

    Car Seat- as long as it meets Aus. Safety standards I don’t think it matters.

    Huggies are still the best nappies & wipes. Bonds still do the best basic clothes for babies ( good sales in their online store). And a rocker of any sort is essential.

    Sheesh! There’s a bloody essay for you. Hope there’s something useful in there x

  26. Really useful topic – looking forward to the follow up.

    I am 24 weeks with first….

    Have gone for a BOB stroller – husband a professional runner so this is the bomb. I will also get a little Mountain Buggy Nano cos not into lugging strollers around at this stage and plan on more baby wearing at the start anyway.

    Ive purchased TULA baby carrier – the baby wearing group I have joined have all recommended these over the Ergo for comfort and durability…..and the designs are pretty fab http://www.carrythemclose.com.au

    Moses bassinet + Ikea gulliver cot + Ikea gulliver change table……I’m spending $$ on strollers and car seat which I’m still tossing up between Safe n Sound Meridien or Maxi Cosi Euro.

    Bought lots of clothes of mumgo.com……good old Bonds basics, Pure Baby, Fox and Finch at ridiculous prices. The rest off ebay for next to nothing.

    Happy shopping!

  27. Like you most of our stuff was second hand. The baby could not care less, as long as it is all safe.
    Change table, why spend big bucks. It is for changing bottoms. As long as it is the right height so you are not bending down and hurting your back.
    A friend has the expensive oval cot and says never again as her baby keeps rolling over and clunking into the sides as they are narrower, it keeps her awake and hears it every time.

    My only tip is buy a big bottle of pump pack sorbolene and lots of boxes of tissues, no need to waste money on wipes (except to take out obviously). Cleans bums like no ones business.

  28. Beautiful timing Beth! I’ve just bought all my baby stuff for bub and while I’m no expert, this is my opinion on all the stuff!
    PRAMS : we bought the City mini GT, was a big toss up between that and the Steelcraft Agile plus, the gt has better tires which for my area and the walking that I reckon I’ll have time to do means I don’t have to worry about prickles and flats. Also the frame that you get for the gt for the capsule also fits the Steelcraft capsule.
    CAPSULE: totally up to the individual and their lifestyle, my SIL reckons had she had one for her first they would have gone out and about more, my best friend reckons it was a waste of time for her. I would 100% recommend hiring one for the 6 months. I’ve got mine from my SIL, it’s the Steelcraft one and apparently is the bomb! I went for a capsule as we have a pretty active weekend lifestyle, plus Christmas parties and bbqs will be happening and I just figured it would be easier to cart a sleeping bub in that!
    COT/CHANGETABLE: I went with the Boori classic in both of these, personal preference but I like the finish on these products plus they grow with bub – cot to junior bed etc. just be aware that there can be up to an 18 week wait for delivery due to having to come from the USA. The CHANGETABLE feels pretty sturdy too which gives me piece of mind coz I figure it’s going to take me a little bit to be a quick nappy changer!
    CARSEAT: I’ve gone for the Safe n Sound Meridien, apparently the bomb diggity in safety and comfort. It goes from 0 – 4 years. Seems a bit of overkill seeing as we have the capsule but this will go in hubby’s car til bub grows out of the capsule and then we will swap it into my car and get another cheaper one for hubby’s car. (We have three camping trips planned in the first 6 months, using hubby’s car so it does make sense to us!)
    BABY BATHS: does your sis have a laundry sink? I think baby baths are a waste of time and effort, all that lugging around and spilling water if you have a decent sized sink to use.
    BASSINET: I got given one from my friend, perfect condition, fits nicely in our bedroom and is on wheels so if I happen to be working down the other end of the house, bub can be wheeled down to join me and we are all happy.
    Ummm what else is there?
    I haven’t decided on a portacot yet, I need to measure our camper to make sure whichever one I get fits.
    Oh MONITORS: I made the mistake of asking for advice on these on Facebook. In the words of Pretty Woman ‘big mistake, HUGE!’ I got inundated with PMs with the pros and cons and it just confused the bejeezus out of me! After much discussion with hubby, we decided to go with the oricom video and sound, no breathing monitor. We figured that the breathing monitor might make me more paranoid if it goes off as a false alarm and really, the qualities of the camera and speakers are amazing. Personal choice of course.

    This really should be top of the list but a sense of humour is essential! I think I could have burst into tears a thousand times over in the past three weeks due to the stress of getting everything together (we live in the country so for good range and good prices we went to perth to get our stuff, a 1200 k round trip and a pregnant woman’s bladder is not an ideal mix!)

    I hope my rambling helps! At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and no matter what you decide someone will always have something to say about it, good or bad. This is where your sense of humour comes in and you do what you want!! All the best to your sister!

  29. I’m much in the same boat as you Beth – my youngest is 4.5 now and I’m way out of the loop on all things baby. (My kids are now 8, 6 and 4.5)

    But, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to all the baby product hype when I was having my first bub. The Bugaboo and Valco were the saught after prams ‘back then’. Me? I loved the old-fashioned looking Emmaljunga – and it did three kiddies nicely. It was a heavy thing, a bit impractical but the kids were snug in it and it was a dream to push. I’ve not used it for almost 2 years now and I still can’t part with it!

    Our cradle, cot and mattress were hand-downs from family too. When my youngest came along, we did buy a low-priced second cot as our little man wasn’t quite ready to give his up to the bubby….!

    A change table I did have (no brand) but we usually ended up changing our babies on the floor in the lounge room…

    We never bought a baby bath, mine were all bathed in the kitchen sink until they were about 8 weeks old, then onto the big bath!

    I love muslin and flannelette wraps, so I never bothered with the zip-up ‘wombies’ or whatever they’re called.

    Highly recommend the Medela Swing electric breastpump – this thing was the bomb for expressing!

    Our kids have all had Mother’s Choice or Infa carseats. But I’ve noticed some great new ones called the Evolve Caprice, apparently they’re fantastic.

    The best advice I can give is to not get hung up on what everyone else is buying for bubs – choose products that suit your lifestyle and your budget. As for mini-fashion…I’m a lost cause, that’s my weakness, I love dolling my kids up!

  30. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I am so far put of the loop my baby is 24! I’m waiting for grand babies but not just yet! I did cuddle a baby girl last weekend nothing is nicer than newborns except they grow up,how exciting for you and your little sis lies of hugs and no night feeds xx

  31. Electric swing….save your sanity!!

  32. Our most useful baby item has been by far our Ergo carrier, which has now been in constant use for almost 4 years. We bought it for our first child and I’m still using it for our second child who is nearly 2 years old. Wouldn’t be without it.

    We bought the Strider Plus pram with two seats before our second child was born (and wished we’d had it with our first). It has a car capsule seat that also locks into the pram.


  33. 1. Baby jogger for pram. I brought a strider compact with 2 seats for a future 2nd child and it hadn’t been used as I use my baby jogger city mini everywhere, easy in and out if the car.
    2. Don’t buy I carrier till you have the baby , then you can test out what feels right or if you even want one.
    3. Medela swing pump
    Enjoy the time Lucy it goes so quick!

  34. I’ve got a 4.5 yo & am 24 weeks with no2 so I’m researching too! Great timing on this post:)

    All babies really need is your love:) but in terms of the things:

    Disclaimer: very tall mum so my advice is all skewed that way:)

    Pram: key point is comfort for pushing the thing so handle hight needs to be right for you, but also where the bar at the back is between back wheels so if you step out big steps walking fast it dosent wack you in the foot every step you take ( being tall a huge factor for me) & if your putting it in the car lots how easily it comes apart, plus some room for gear underneath very handy feature! Test drive in baby shops or grab friends for a go if poss. We’ve ended up a “strider plus” & very happy- it is super wide though which helps stability wise so it dosent tip easily, but means in some narrow checkouts in older grocerie stores it can’t fit.

    Car seat: my son never transferred well so our capsule didn’t really get used much in that way & being tall like us he grew out of it super fast.

    Baby bath: probs not “necessary” but I loved for being able to bath at a height that didn’t kill my back.

    Cot: ours was preloved & had a drop side that dropped at random times & made me very nervous- so this time were going fixed side.

    Baby carrier: I liked “hug a bub” myself – the ones my friends had weren’t comfy on me,not long enough in body so this was exy but ideal for me- it’s a bit origami like the first time or two working out how to wrap it( I practiced on putting a teddy in to get the hang) but like anything once you know your right to go. Being one big bit of fabric you fold it round your body how you need it, so comfy wise this is a great factor for those of us that don’t fit ” standard” shape ones comfortably.

    Baby monitor: helpful but not essential- we had a video one & loved being able to check what he was upto without waking him right up sneaking in.

    One of the nicest gifts I was given that I’d never have thought of was good yummy scented hand moisturiser- my hands got extra dry with all that hand washing & it was a nice pamper thing as well as being very practical.

  35. Having had three kids I reckon that 90% of “essential” baby stuff is bullshit. Really. I know that people will swear by this and that, but each kid is different and who knows what they’ll be like or what they’ll like.
    My best baby buys?
    * The Baby Bjorn, used it with all three kids (and it was lent out twice so was used solidly with 5 babies). Was a godsend with number 1 who for 6 months would only sleep on me and refused the pram.
    * The old fashioned Baby Capsule car seat, I bought one second-hand with number 2 and I wish I’d had it with number 1, would have made moving sleeping hub from car so much easier (instead I had a top-of-the-line billion dollar convertible car seat, the sales assistant said to me ‘How hard is it to move a sleeping baby?’ Ha! If only I’d known).
    * I bought a $20 stroller from Kmart Broadway with number 1, eight years on I’m still using it almost every day. It has literally survived both sand storms and snow storms – gone out in 48 degrees and -8 degrees. Best. Thing. Ever. Outlasted 2 expensive Phil & Ted’s. Every we time we put it on a plane we expect it to get lost or break, but every single time it turns up like magic! Best lobster I’ve ever spent.
    * With Darbs I did use one of those baby bag things with the zip instead of wrapping, it was good because hubs and my mum (who babysat a lot) were hopeless with wrapping.
    * One of those baby mats with the dangly things overhead. I inherited one from my brother and it was used by 7 different kids.
    * IKEA high chair. Easy to clean and at $40 you can’t beat it.
    * Portacot, we’ve used it so much over the years.

  36. Peta musingsofamartin says

    I may be old, but I learnt a few things on my mum journey.

    1. If it is an item that does 3 things in one, and has all the bells and whistles, there is a VERY HIGH chance that you will ONLY use it for one purpose. SIMPLE IS BEST.

    2. Ergo carriers are worth every cent. Buy the newborn inner too. This will take you from newborn to 3.5 years. I carried my three and half year old around Disneyland in that thing. And it is soooo much better for baby hips than those nasty bjorns. (Which I did use for number 1 & 2. By 3 I was smarter.

    3. Ikea antilop high chair. Sure, it looks hard and uncomfy (buy the insert if you must) but it is sooo much easier to clean than those fancy cushioned reclining things. And you can put in shower to clean it down or whack in the dishwasher even. It an even go in your car for weekends away. Perfect for camping too!

    4. Wraps. But ONLY those with a minimum size 120×120. Anything smaller is a waste and you won’t be able to wrap baby tight enough.

    5. Please get a stroller that reclines! My pet peeve is seeing poor babies with squishy necks slumped in strollers with no layback feature.

    • Peta musingsofamartin says

      Oh and a capsule! Always hire/use a capsule. Sure, you think it doesn’t matter with one. But it does! There is a 99.9999999995% chance your baby will fall asleep *just* as you pull up so,me where. With a capsule? No problem! Whip them out, go inside, baby asleep, winning. If not, expect to spend a LOT of time sitting in your car in the driveway while they sleep.

  37. Don’t get a change table. Just get a set of drawers that are the right height and put a change mat on it.

    Don’t get a high chair, just a booster seat (one that comes with its own tray) and strap that to a chair.

  38. Sam Leader says

    I home make my baby wipes – found out how for baby three and he’s the only one who’s not had nappy rash! Cut Viva paper towel in half. Dissolve two tablespoons of coconut oil in 150ml hot water along with a splash of baby wash in a round food container with a lid. Put viva down and let soak up the liquid, pull out the inner tube then use those towels to wipe that arse! ‘Recipe’ and completed batch plus ingredients make a brilliant and cheap gift. Happy mooning x

  39. This is a great idea! I’m only 6 weeks and I’ve started thinking about all of this stuff, so your next post will be so valuable 🙂

  40. If she’s wanting to breastfeed, Riteaid hydrogel breast discs!!!! Most amazing thing ever! They were my saviour in those early weeks and literally kept me breastfeeding. Pop them in the fridge to cool them and then apply inbetween feeds. Amazing! Change them regularly. Get them at Coles, Woolies, Big W or some pharmacies. No other advice except good luck, and trust your instinct & don’t let other peoples opinion bother you. (Other parents can be such arseholes.)

  41. Hey hon, just had Fin (bubba no. 5). This is what I bought (that I recommend)…
    Pram: Silvercross surf but am just about to move to stroller now he’s 8 months. Will probably buy the baby jogger (it snap folds!).
    Baby bjorn carrier
    Baby bjorn baby seat/bouncer (best thing I’ve ever bought.
    Maxi Cosi Titan capsule but he’s now ready for a car seat.
    Baby bjorn travel cot
    Moses basket/bassinet (so nice having him right next to me.

    Love to you,

  42. We have the cot in the picture with the perspex sides and it’s beautiful. Solidly made and so much nicer than looking through bars at your baby, not that ours really slept in it much. You can also get a kit to turn it in to a toddler bed.

  43. I’m one year in and completely think that the only essentials are clothes, nappies, bed, towel and face washers and spew rags.

    I think it really depends on what your sister values as to what she will find useful. I personally wanted to minimize extras as we only have a two bedroom apartment and can’t fit a lot in. I’m also known for liking things to be aesthetically pleasing (but function is also important).

    Pram – we are on the Bugaboo band wagon. Some ppl have mentioned that their pram folds down with one hand making it easy to deal with screaming baby but I found that my baby ended up dealing with me taking down my pram in two steps. If I had a do over, I would get a Donkey instead of Cameleon – I know they look big but they are only slightly bigger than the Cameleon. For us, it was the best choice because we walk everywhere and I find that has lots of storage but the Donkey has even more and if you want two a couple years apart, you will have to get a double anyway. Another great choice at the moment is the Joolz Day. We also travel lots and find the Babyzen Yoyo good (not great as she doesn’t sleep in it like the Bugaboo). Oh, I also run with my Bugaboo and haven’t had any issues.

    Cot – we got a bassinet (Moses basket) as our bedroom was small and wanted to keep bub in with us until 6 months. Only issue was that she rolled at 4.5 months and you can’t use them once rolling. If I had the money, I would totally get the bednest. The bigger cot she moved into was a Bloom Alma Papa – slightly smaller than a normal sized cot as small space. Coverts to bed with additional rail. Doesn’t fit regular but all I needed was two mattress protectors and fitted sheets – she won’t keep blankets on!

    Sleeping bags – love the ErgoPouch brand and would recommend them as alternative to Love to dream swaddles. There is also a brand – think it is just Ergo that do a hip friendly swaddle that i will get next time round.

    Baby carrier – Ergo have a new carrier that don’t need newborn insert and Manduca are also a very good brand. You really can’t go wrong with either one. I also have a Solly baby wrap which I used more earlier on and they look fabulous too!

    Change table – we bought one that fits on top of our cot (Bloom range) for space saving reasons and love it. Bought a cheap kitchen trolley from IKEA to hold all the nappy accessories in close by. The first few weeks I lived on our couch and actually just used a fold out change mat on the floor. A really good compact but carries everything for a long day out nappy case is the Full moon by Gravy (Aussie Dad’s made it).

    We used the Stokke fold up tub initially but then used the laundry tub and then bath with small level of water. Went through lots of face washers (IKEA do a cheap pack of 10).

    Medela Swing breastmilk pump. I’m conscious of BPA and other plastics leaching chemicals so got glass bottles from Lifefactory (bought over in USA and shipped was cheaper than buying in Aus).

    Have the Stokke Trip Trapp high chair. I personally feel it is important for feet to be supported when in a high chair (or any chair). This chair will still be used when bub is older and can be adjusted so feet are supported as they grow. Also allows them to sit at the table.

    Car seat – we got the capsule and worth it as my bub woke when I took her out. I think if you are having more then one bub it’s worth buying than hiring and I just don’t want to risk safety when it comes to car seats. Have the Maxi Cosi Mico. Now using the Maxi Cosi Euro (to 4 yrs). It allows rearward facing to around 12-18 months but depends on how tall bub is. In the US, they recommend rearward facing until 2 yrs as the neck muscles are just not developed enough to withstand a rear impact whiplash when forward facing. Australia are looking at implementing a 12 month recommendation rather than the current 6 month. I would wait thoug until ISO Fix come into Australia if you can though – much more easier to instal (and therefore safer).

    We do cloth and it really isn’t any more than disposables – we use disposables occasionally so I know from comparison. If you were going to give cloth a go – I searched high and low and settled on Kissaluvs small fitted nappies with some Blueberry outer shells while little and then moved to Bumgenius when she could fit into them. Love them.

    A little luxury that I find helpful if you do walk around lots with coffee or want to take a water bottle is the 3 Sprouts pram caddy.

    Things I wanted to know that no one else really talks about are breast pads and maternity pads. So just in case you wanted to know – Pigeon breast pads stick better and feel more comfortable. I found Libra maternity pads more absorbant but next time I think I will try the Libra Goodnight pads because they are much longer.

  44. So I have a six month old boy. I was scammed as far as I’m concerned! Baby capsule? Waste Of time and money! Infuse cute do a great car seat that will do from birth to 8 years. One seat that will do the whole time! Only about $480.
    As for prams tell her to get one with a reversable seat like the steelcraft strider compact. Unless you have money to burn the other stuff is impractical and cumbersome.

  45. Gosh I feel for you Beth collating all these comments!!! So many different responses!!
    I’ve just had baby number 2 and still haven’t worked out whats best. One thing I will say though is that we have a Phil and Teds explorer pram and I would definitely NOT recommend it. Terrible quality, heavy and and the 2nd seat is a good idea in theory but now that we are using it it’s really not that practical- all under storage is not accessible and there is no room to hang a bag from the handles. Kiddies look uncomfy and squished as well!!
    If I had my time again as a first time mummy I would go IKEA for cot, change table, highchair and their toys are great too!! I would do much more research into prams. I have friends that like city select and strider compact. I think a capsule that fits into pram in the early weeks is essential as well.
    We have a Bjorn carrier and both babies have liked it and it has been super useful for shopping, walks and now daycare pick up.

    Good luck!!

  46. If I had my time again I would (a) buy much less stuff – the number of clothing items that my kids grew out of before I’d even cut the tags off would make you weep; and (b) get one of those pram combo sets that allow the car capsule to clip into the frame of the pram. I always hated getting a sleeping baby out of a capsule or lugging a heavy capsule (containing baby) around with me.

  47. I bought a plain old bouncer for my second daughter, that after using it, wished I had bought the first time round. It was really practical; you can pop bubs in the bouncer while you are in the shower or whatever and they can see you, and they are off the ground a bit. The one I bought wasn’t overly fancy, only $30. She loved it.

  48. If she is wanting to breastfeed she MUST get a few boxes of a Riteaid hydrogel breast discs. AMAZING! They were my saviour in the first few weeks and literally kept me breastfeeding. Keep them in the fridge and apply inbetween feeds. Soothes like you wouldn’t believe. Change regulatory. Find them at Big W, Coles, Woolies and some pharmacies. Good luck!

  49. I have a ten week old. Here are my essentials and waste of money lists thus far.

    Essentials: Bugaboo pram (easy to manoeuvre, fits the carseat capsule, bassinet and seat option); peg perego carseat (high safety rating, fits the bugaboo, capsule comes in and out of car so no waking the sleeping baby); standard white cot, transforms to toddler bed; baby bjorn bassinet (breathable fabric, can rock baby to sleep, night sleeps in bassinet and day sleeps in cot so far); change table pad on top of the chest of drawers (stand alone is a waste of space); love to dream swaddles (allows hands to be swaddled up, baby can self-soothe by sucking on hands, no trying to wrap a wriggling baby at 2am in the morning); ergo carrier with infant insert (I also have one of the soft wraps but cannot understand the rather complicated instructions that came with it); roger armstrong baby bath (has temperature sensor and scale built in – not essential but nice to have); disposable nappies; angelcare sound and video monitor (able to see if baby is awake or drifting back to sleep without going into to the room and waking them, additional security with motion sensors); tommee tippee closer to nature bottles (baby has just taken to these last week after refusing other types); avent electric breast pump (have only needed the single due to strong supply, whether you buy the double would depend entirely on your supply levels. Wouldn’t recommend purchasing one until breastfeeding is well established or if you are trying to increase your supply in conjunction with baby feeding); baby swing and playmat (fisher price); microwave steriliser bags (so easy!); disposable change mats (for out and about); nappy sacks (nappy bag essential); sangenic nappy disposal bin, hydrogel breast discs (an absolute essential for breastfeeding – take them to hospital and pop them in the fridge/freezer for added relief); lasinoh nipple cream; bonds breastfeeding bras; bonds wondersuits for baby.

    Waste of money: Milk bar breastfeeding pillow; fancy organic baby bath products (just use coconut or olive oil, far cheaper and the best for sensitive dry skin!)

    Being my first baby, I went to an Australian Breastfeeding Association Education Class prior to having baby. An absolute essential for those planning to breastfeed. I think it was about $85 for a four hour class, this includes ABA membership. Highly recommend before the baby is born, lots of useful info, class locations are listed on their website.

    Sterilising isn’t necessary when feeding with pumped breast milk. Washing with warm soapy water, rinsing and leaving to dry naturally is sufficient. I round up bottles, pumping equipment, dummies and frequently used plastic toys once a week and sterilise them in the microwave bags – so easy and convenient.

    Best wishes to your sister x

  50. I have a 3yo and a 6 month old – feel like I have a few more solid tips now as it’s not my first rodeo…I also wish I’d thought ahead and considered what would be useful once I had two kids…

    Stroller – Uppababy Vista with car seat attachment. It also comes with a bassinet which I ended up keeping in the bedroom and bubs slept in that beside our bed or wherever else i wanted him while at home for the first 3-4 months. Half the time i would snap it back into the stroller and just wheel him from room to room depending on the noise level. We have a single story house…not gonna work with stairs obvs. First baby I hardly used the carseat on it but with my second have done all the time. I use the car seat on the stroller when we go to stuff like the 3yo art class as I can unclip the car seat and take it in the room with us and plonk bubs down beside me. We walk pretty much everywhere and this stroller has the most enormous under pram storage where I can stuff bags of groceries, library books, kids art projects and things like no1’s bloody scooter when he’s tired of riding it. Plus you can get a skateboard like attachment so the older kid can ride if he’s tired. Also can add another seat but I haven’t bothered with that. I just had a Maclaren lay flat stroller with my first and this one is soooooooo much better! I waited til Black Friday on amazon and got the whole stroller with attachments for $700 which is what I’ve seen some second hand ones listed for! Bugaboo is much more expensive and no better in my opinion.

    Carrier – ergo with infant insert. Best sanity saver ever. The second bub screamed his head off for 3-4 hours every evening for the first 10 weeks. This was the only thing that soothed him and stopped me screaming too. Plus if we’re out and about and the little one really needs a nap, I pop him in it and he’s out like a light.

    Wraps – I second the Love to Swaddle – just so easy to zip them up. Make sure you buy 3 – otherwise between nappy blowouts and puke you’ll be washing every day.

    Change table – I have the stokke and it is the absolute best. Look for 2nd hand on gumtree. You can set it to just above waist height and it is the bomb at saving your back. Also has wheels so you can move it from room to room. You spend a shit load of time changing nappies in the early days and getting up and down off the floor and dragging supplies around with you gets bloody old fast!

    Clothing – Bonds zip up onesies and wonder suits all the way. Can’t believe I wasted time with separates first time around. Haven’t even got them out of the box this time. Also – if you’re buying bibs…look for the ones with the snaps that go on the side not directly behind their head…some of them are so uncomfortable. Aden & anais make some good ones but look for sales as they’re too pricey to pay full price for.

    Cribs – ikea all the way. This is one area you can spend so much money without knowing for sure what your sleeping arrangements will be. For both my babies they slept either in the bassinet or with me for the first 3-4 months then gradually transitioned to crib. Don’t spend $1000’s until you know for sure. Or like others have said – watch gumtree – half the ones on there have barely been used because people ended up cosleeping!

    Carseat – I have the peg perego primo viaggio capsule, and the attachment for the stroller. But you can pretty much get attachments for whatever car seat you choose.

    Other stuff – buy a shitload of the old style cloth nappies. They are the absolute best burp clothes, puke wiper uppers, throw over cushions etc etc and they are cheap. Hubby wouldn’t let me buy a video monitor – said it took stalking to a whole new level…and there’s been some recent studies on radiation levels…you can get by with something basic there. Second the Ikea high chair..but we also have a Phil & Teds lobster portable high chair and it is awesome. Folds down to nothing and we take it to restaurants and have it clipped onto the bench at home. Definitely one of our top 3 baby purchases. And baby bjorn portacot if you travel much, light and so easy to put together unlike some I’ve seen.

    Good luck! My motto second time round is whatever works. I spent a lot of time agonising over what the right thing to do was with my first – don’t have time now and I’m so much more relaxed!!

  51. Also – agree with Samantha above RE the bouncer. A friend gave me one for the my second, and he has been in it pretty much non stop for awake time. Kept him off the floor and portable. I kept looking at the rocker things on Gumtree but ended up just using the bouncer. He’s too wriggly for it now at 6 months. It’s hard to keep in mind that they change so much in the first year and some big ticket items like rockers have such a limited life span. Having said that – if it is the only thing that your baby will sleep in – go for it!!!! And the ergoPouch is just as good as the Love to Dream swaddle. I had a couple that a friend loaned to me and they were great.

  52. I had the love to dream and ergo pouch swaddles for my first baby, and after a week’s residential stay at Tresillian I switched to using a cot sheet to wrap him. My second baby was wrapped in a cot sheet from birth until around 6 month when she went into a sleeping bag. The trick with the cot sheet is a firm wrap, with arms either up or down, and if you have a squirmy baby you just pop a sheet over the top that tucks into the sides of the cot.

    Second baby was the streamlined version I think – she went straight into a cot rather than a bassinet, and we bathed her in the laundry tub until she was big enough for the bath. The laundry tub was great, nice and deep, easy to fill and drain, and you could put a towel right next to you on the bench to pop her on afterwards.

    Carrier- Ergo all the way. Have used it for both kids. The only limitation is that the newborn insert can be a bit warm for a summer baby, so I do think it is better suited to a baby born in the cooler months.

    On the pram front, I love the Mountain Buggy Swift as we do a lot of walking and it can handle the crummy footpaths of the inner west 🙂 We also have the Baby Jogger City Select which has some advantages – both kids fit, range of seat options, easy to dismantle – but on the flip side it was very hard to push up and down any bumpy ground and I would end up with sore arms if I had to walk anywhere with it other than around a smooth flat surface. I think double prams are all a bit unwieldy really. In the end we only used the City Select when absolutely necessary, I would even prefer to have the baby in the ergo and the toddler in the Mountain Buggy. Also, it is really easy and fast to get spare parts for the Mountain Buggy (tyres etc.)

    Oh, and the previous comment on the hydrogel breast disc things – yes! They are amazing.

  53. Ok well I’m definitely out of the loop now as my youngest is about to turn 7! However, there are a couple of things I can remember.
    I never bothered with a baby bath as it was too hard to fill up & empty out unless I put it in the main bath. I found it much easier to use the laundry tub or ensuite sink until they were big enough to go in the big bath.
    Prams really depend on what you will be doing. I think for my 3 kids I ended up buying 4 over 5 years! My first one was great for walking but too wide to fit in the shopping aisle at the checkout. The next one was much narrower, then I had a double pram & then a little light umbrella stroller. This got the most use – mainly once the kids were around 1. None of my kids liked sleeping in the pram by then if they were out so that’s all I needed.
    High chair – my favourite by far is the one from ikea. I’ve still got it & all my nieces, nephews & friends kids use it when they come over – SO easy to clean. The only thing with it though is the baby needs to be able to sit up before they can use it.
    That’s all I’ve got!

  54. Hopefully someone has already mentioned this but my one piece of (random) advice to new mums is get a good secure travel mug (i have a thermos brand one from Big W). Firstly it means you can safely have a sanity saving cup of tea while you feed the baby and secondly it keeps that hot drink warm so that when you get distracted by a stinky nappy, you can come back to that cuppa!

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