If you are expecting a baby, then you have probably collated a list of baby items to buy. Chances are the list is probably overwhelming and you are wondering which items to cross out or which items you can’t do without. Here’s a quick review of some of the items I got and how useful they were.
Baby Carrier: this item is great for carrying your baby around when you are taking a 5 to 10 minutes’ walk. However, if you have a car or will be doing most of your commute in one, then you may not have much need for it. Except you intend to go on pleasure or fit fam walks with baby. I used mine just once or twice. First time was at the airport, using the carrier freed up my hands for baby bag and handling my boarding pass. The thing was someone had already gifted me one, but I ignorantly went ahead and bought another 1 just for variety. Not knowing that it wasn’t an item I would be using frequently. So, I’d say don’t splurge on this.
Breastfeeding Cover: this is one great innovation to help you cover up while you breastfeed in public, especially for first time mums who may feel shy about whipping out their breasts. My mum got me one, a few weeks after I put to bed and I was really looking forward to using it whenever I went to church but my son was not having it. Right from when he was 3 weeks old you could tell he hated for anything to touch his face. The first time I tried to use the breastfeeding cover, he struggled to push it away from his face and refused to suck till I took it off completely. Even now, it’s still a struggle to powder his face or clean his eyes. I’d say don’t go splurging on different colours of nursing covers to match your different outfits.
Stroller: this is one of those items that I don’t think was designed for the Nigerian market. Seriously, how many people do you see around carrying a baby on a stroller in Naija? At best if you have a very large living room, you can stroll your baby around the house or your compound if it’s not choked up with cars. Except you live in a serene estate, chances are you may never use your stroller. We are not big on walks in the park, that is if the parks exist at all.
Pacifiers: Some people are totally against this as it is believed to encourage sucking. However, it can be very useful for keeping babies from crying or luring them to sleep. Luckily or unluckily, my son never used one. When he was a few weeks old, I tried to put a pacifier in his mouth but it kept falling out. Thinking it was too big, I tried smaller ones but they didn’t work either. By the time he was older and I felt he ought to be able to grip it, he always threw it out like he didn’t understand why his mouth was being stuffed with a foreign object. On the other hand, I know other babies who are addicted to their pacifiers. Some even cling to it till they are about age 3.
Baby shoes: clearly babies don’t walk till they are about 10months so no point splurging on 0 -6 months baby shoes. You can just go for the booties or socks that are designed to look like shoes.
Breast Pump: if you intend to breastfeed exclusively for the first few months, then you need a breast pump. Aside from allowing other people feed breast milk to your baby it also helps you monitor exactly how much milk your baby is consuming. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to wear whatever outfit you like without bothering about how easy it will be to breastfeed while in public. I’d say splurge on a breast pump, in fact if you can afford it get 2, a manual and an electric one. If possible get the spare parts too. The valve of my breast pump suddenly spoilt one Sunday afternoon when my son was still taking just breast milk. Unfortunately, the spare valve had already been spoilt when I set up the pump wrongly at the onset. I was completely distraught because I had to be at work the following morning and no baby shops open on Sundays. Poor baby had to make do with infant formula which he hadn’t fully adjusted to yet.
Nursing Pillow: this provides a great support to put your baby on while you breastfeed, it prevents you from having to slouch, thereby avoiding backaches and bad nursing postures. It also doubles as a chair for babies who aren’t old enough to seat up yet. It came in very handy for me, in fact I could barely do without it. It’s perfect for positioning baby for the countless pictures you’ll be taking. I recommend you get (sew) spare covers for the pillow, because it will likely get dirty often due to the frequency of use.
Baby Bouncer or Swing: I never quite got the hang of backing a baby. Either I folded the wrapper wrongly or I just didn’t tighten it enough. Either ways my son didn’t seem to like being stuck at my back either so the baby bouncer was just perfect for keeping him while I attended to other chores. The music box and soft toys attached kept him entertained and helped to develop his pincer grasp.
Of course, these are just a few items on your list, but I hope this helps if you’re shopping on a budget and considering what items to cross out. The truth is most of these baby items cost a fortune but are only used for a short while. You could decide to save costs by asking your older parent friends who are done making babies for their baby gears which they no longer need. Mums in the house, please share your thoughts, which items did you regret buying and which did you wish you had gotten?