Practical Shopping For New Mums

Helpful shopping advice for new mums.

Baby

The newborn baby essential checklist on a budget, the big things

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Image courtesy: Ibi Enebi

In my last post, I shared a good bit on the small things with a promise  to conclude on  the topic  today.

Here are some more  items we can include in  our small things list:  A baby thermometer, pacifiers (optional) bottle warmer (optional) baby flask (optional) and baby laundry basket.

We will now  talk about the  bedding essentials and then proceed with the big things on our most essential checklist.

The Bedding Essentials

The important thing to look out for when picking out bedding for baby’s cot, carry cot or  Moses basket is comfort and a  breathable fabric.

To this end, fitted cotton sheets are advisable. A fitted sheet is a practical way to go because it  grips firmly around the  mattress and helps  guard against suffocation.

Your bedding essential list should include

  • Fitted sheets
  • Washable mattress pads
  • A mattress protector
  • Heavy blankets (optional)
  • Receiving blankets (optional)

Also bear in mind that it is hygienic to wash sheets and washable mattress pads  regularly as well as  to thoroughly wipe  the mattress protector as they easily soil from burp drools and nappy leaks.

Getty Images: Sleeping baby

Finally, it  is important  to keep the baby’s sleeping space free from clutter to avoid the risk of suffocation.

Cot bumpers, baby quilts, sleep positioners, soft objects, toys, and pillows are not allowed in any area where you lay baby to sleep.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says: ‘’To reduce the risk of sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs, positioned on a firm, empty surface. This surface should not contain soft objects, toys, pillows, or loose bedding.’’

Now that we have the small things covered, let us talk about the big things

The Big Things…

What  I refer to as  the big things are your  baby gear and furniture.

Some of them take up space, they are pretty much expensive and  are usually the  one-time expenses.

If well managed with care, they  could serve you for longer.

A global pandemic

   Buying in these times

Pre-Covid 19, a lot of us, would spare no expense at indulging ourselves with all kinds of gadgets and things we thought  to be useful for our babies.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I dare say that we live in very unprecedented times  in human history.

Only a handful of  people have seen  this  kind of global pandemic twice in their lifetime.

One good thing we can take away from all of this, is that  we can survive on little and  can be innovative with less.

We are now in  an era of introspective purchasing.

The seven way needs assessment test

Going forward, I  have coined  a seven way needs assessment test, to consider  before deciding to buy stuff. We should ask ourselves:

  1. Is this necessary?
  2. Is this practical?
  3. Is it safe for baby?
  4. Can I get it cheaper?
  5. Do I have to pay for it?
  6. Can it be convertible?
  7. Can it serve long term?

Doing this test, reinforces the cardinals of your pragmatic stance – strategy and sticking to  a budget.

In addition, it will  help us to become more  resourceful and  open to other options before we spend.

Be open to other options

We all have a huge pool of human capital, and they come in  form of friends,family,colleagues,neighbours and all that.

Use this pool to your advantage. They can be a good source for some of your needs.

Your local thrift shop can be a very good place to find bargains. Some of them are given excess or / and end of season stock  from major shops to sell.

There are also online sites where you can get good quality preowned/ secondhand  goods like eBay 

Another resourceful way would be to  get offers and discounts from both online and brick and mortar shops.

Or further still, pay for baby’s furniture or gear in installments in a shop nearest to you. Some shops allow it.

Making use of these money saving techniques will help your  funds even  go further.

Here is a voice of caution: Only collect  hand- me- downs or buy  pre-owned items that are in perfect condition and meet  safety standards.

Do not be shy to ask questions and politely decline offers when in doubt of safety and functionality. Items  like cots, strollers, buggies, playpens, and things of that nature, come to mind.

Buying your baby gear…

Sleeping baby

Sleeping baby

Making a choice

Your baby gear is a necessary staple, be it  relaxing at home, traveling, or just going out  with your baby.

What to consider when purchasing baby gear is how  it  meets your needs and that of baby and also, its manageability.

For example, you might want to know if you need a stroller, buggy, pushchair, a pram or a travel system  as they all appear to be similar in a way but  different when it comes down to  specifics.

Know your preference…

Do you travel a lot by car, or do you do more  of  walking?

Are you  more of a stay at home mum or do you have to take the baby to a child minder?

These are the questions you need to answer when  considering what  to buy.

The Essential Gear

Mum backing baby

  • A sling or baby carrier
  • A wrapper for backing the baby ( if that is a common practice in your culture)
  • A play mat
  • A bouncer or a swing
  • A stroller/buggy/pushchair/travel system
  • Infant car seat/ convertible car seat
Safety standards for new and secondhand pram and pushchairs

Both new and second hand prams and pushchairs are required by law to comply with comply with the latest  British Safety Standard BS EN 1888: 2018 or BS EN 1888: 2019 or the European Standard ECE R44/04 or R129 i-size.

The businesscompanion.info, says that the following are some of the things to look out for,when considering to buy a new or secondhand pram and pushchair:

  • the presence of any sharp edges or points
  • the folding chassis must have a primary and secondary locking device; do they both engage and work properly?
  • the safety harness; is it in good condition? Make sure the harness is a secure five-point harness and the straps are frayed

If you are working within a very tight budget, but  would much rather go for the brand new pushchairs, then you must make good use of discounts, sales and offer.

Click here to see the  reviews on  some of the best convertible pushchairs , strollers, three wheelers and travel systems to buy and why.

The Nursery

Mum and baby in baby nursery

Planning for your nursery does not mean you have to  knock down or redesign a whole section of your home to accommodate your baby.

Typically, your baby nursery is  a space or  a bedroom you have set aside for your new baby which would eventually graduate into the child’s bedroom.

Generally speaking, it’s  preferable to keep baby (in his or her own cot)  in your room  until baby is much older.

Deciding  the furniture

When deciding what to buy for baby’s nursery, always consider the following:

  1. Can it be converted?
  2. Can it serve for longer?
  3. Is it practical?

Making a choice : The bed

A lot of times, new mums are usually  undecided on the  type of bed they should buy for baby.

They are  often presented with a wide range of offers from the  Moses basket to a carrycot, a play pen, a cot, or a bed cot.

When purchasing a cot or a cot bed for your baby be aware of the British Safety Standards (BSEN716) guidelines for: the space between the bars, the drop side mechanism, adjustable heights, mattress, circulation and so on.

All of these measures are taken  to reduce the incidence of cot injuries or death.

Grandma and grandbaby

Nursery Essentials

The nursery should normally have:

  • A  cot or cot bed
  • A Moses basket (optional)
  • Firm mattress (not more than  two fingers should fit between the mattress and the cot)
  • A baby changing station with a drawer where you can change baby and arrange baby’s nappy essentials and  some clothes.
  • A toy basket
  • A chair
  • A night lamp (optional)

Doing up a nursery depends on individual preference.

My personal choice will be to keep it  as simple as possible because from experience, it could lead to clutter.

British Safety Standard for new and secondhand cots

According to the National Childbirth Trust, 1st 1,000 Days New Parent, ‘’…the cot you choose must conform to British safety standards (BSEN716)’’.

These are measures we must comply with when  choosing a cot, which  are the cot frame, the cot mattress, and the secondhand cots.

For example,  here are  some of the things to be aware of when considering to buy a secondhand cot  as stated in nct.org.uk:

  • If it is a very old, painted cot, it may need to be stripped down and repainted. Cots made before 1973 could have used leaded paint, which is toxic.
  • If it’s got a drop-side mechanism, it’s best not to use the cot, as the mechanism could be unsafe now.
  • Unless you know the history of the mattress, and have checked it for cleanliness and size, and are happy with it, it is recommended that you buy a new one.

Now that we are done with the necessary essentials, we shall talk about the Highchair

Feeding Essential –The Highchair

Mum feeding baby

A highchair is an expensive but necessary  staple for baby.

Feeding baby  in a highchair helps you to establish a routine but  it’s best to  wait until baby is  six months old.

But remember! Baby  must be ready.

Most  manufacturers recommend six months as the ideal time to begin to use a highchair.

Be sure to always strap your baby securely  on and never leave him or her unattended as it is not only isolating but  endangers your baby.

The Health Service Executive (HSE), Ireland states: ‘’Only use equipment and sitting devices with a 5-way safety harness’’.

When choosing to buy a highchair for baby, think about convertibility and long-term use.

This is because it will serve you for longer and could be converted to a table and chair for when baby is older.

Better still, you can use a highchair that is adjustable and grows with baby.

Shopping for your baby could be both exciting and a little confusing.

Hope  these tips would be useful in your shopping quest. Please join in the conversation by leaving  a reply.

Thank you.

Please leave a comment and don’t forget to share

Sources and further reads:
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/do-not-use-infant-sleep-positioners-due-risk-suffocation
https://www.businesscompanion.info/en/quick-guides/product-safety/new-and-second-hand-prams-and-pushchairs
https://www.nct.org.uk/baby-toddler/sleep/cot-safety-features-sleeping-safely-cothttps://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/child-health/baby-walkers-baby-bouncers-and-baby-chairs.html

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33 Comments

  1. Sunny

    May 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Great! Every time I read your article – there is always something new – we appreciate you ma!

    1. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 7:39 am

      Hello Sunny
      Thank you very much

  2. Sunny

    May 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Great Ibi. Thank you. A question was asked of me by a young lady Here👇
    “I am a new mum and we planned for our baby and bought most of the essentials we needed, because of the new baby I. Knew I would be away from work for six months, but became ill and have not been able to go back to work( 15months). Our finances are stretched and we can hardly afford the original baby stuff we started off buying
    What can we do?

    1. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Hi Sunny,
      I am so sorry to hear that your friend became ill and that things didn’t turn out as she had expected despite that she had a strategy and plan in place.

      Life is very dynamic and full of ups and downs and so we find ourselves constantly adjusting and readjusting and restrategizing in the process to accommodate the change.

      If things didn’t go as initially anticipated, then work with what you currently have.

      Secondly, don’t be shy to ask for help from people around you who you can trust for somethings you might need.

      But be sure to only collect things that comply with the current safety standards and what you are comfortable with. Wash and sanitise accordingly.

      Your baby’s needs are very minimal at this stage.

      Concentrate on baby’s immediate and essential needs like food and diapers, wipes,everyday clothes and things you might also consider as such

      If the disposal diapers are a bit of a challenge, use cloth nappies for when you are home and disposals for when go out

      I hope this helps. Thank you.

  3. Amy Smith

    May 12, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Theres just so much much to consider when buying for a new baby and your article helps so much. You are absolutely right though above all safety should come first, and you give some amazing advise, keep doing what you do, your amazing.

    1. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you so much for comment. I appreciate it. Kindly feel free to share.

    2. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Amy,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad to know that you found it helpful. Please feel free to continue to your comment. Thank you
      Ibi

  4. Gloria Efemini

    May 12, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    This is so informative with very practical and useful tips that will help both new and old mums to be. Thanks for sharing such helpful insights.

    1. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 6:53 pm

      Dear Gloria
      Thank you so much for your kind response. Please continue to be a part of this platform by sharing your experiences.
      Thank you
      Ibi

  5. C.N.

    May 12, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Ibi! Although I do not have children, I have a plethora of baby cousins and friends who have recently given birth or will be giving birth in the next couple of months. I completely agree with you that we must do our research and make informed decisions when it comes to the essentials for our babies-they are our future. A little due diligence now will make a HUGE difference later (we’ll thank ourselves for it). I have saved your website and will definitely share it with my family and friends. God bless you!

    1. Ibi

      May 12, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      Thank you so much CN
      For your contribution to this. I am glad that you find this article informative and helpful.
      Thank you for also willing to share this website to your nieces and nephews. I appreciate it
      Thank you

  6. Ingofuro wakama

    May 12, 2020 at 9:43 pm

    Well done Ib. This is a well written article for mothers. It’s precise and very informative. Well- done.

    1. Ibi

      May 13, 2020 at 11:39 am

      Dear Ingofuro
      Thank you so much for your consideration to this discussion. I appreciate it.

  7. Satz

    May 13, 2020 at 2:24 am

    This is quite informative, I just want add one more thing from my personal experience before making a purchase — new or secondhand — don’t forget to check the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) to make sure the product hasn’t been recalled.

    1. Ibi

      May 13, 2020 at 11:37 am

      Dear Satz
      Thanks so much for bring up the CPSC side of things. It is very important.

      I value your contribution and hope to see more of you.

      Thank you.

  8. Tom

    May 13, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Hey,
    I have two friends who have a newborn baby, and during these times it is very difficult to get what you need. Your article is really helpful and I have forwarded this onto my two friends as I think it would benefit them. I have advised to comment on your article and to look into your other articles that will help them also. If they have any questions then they will get in touch.

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the amazing work on your site.

    All the best,

    Tom

    1. Ibinabo Enebi

      May 13, 2020 at 11:34 am

      Hi Tom
      Thank you so much for your contribution to my platform.
      It is very much appreciated.
      Thank you for recommending my blog to your friends.
      I appreciate it and look forward to hearing from them.
      Thank you
      Ibi

  9. Nancy M Hamar

    May 15, 2020 at 1:52 am

    Hi – this is really great information for the new parents, and parents to be. Very important to know the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations when choosing baby’s needs. Very important to share about when lead based paint that may have been used on a previously owned item. It’s nice to see your tips on other places to purchase and payment options. Enjoy your baby.

    1. Ibinabo Enebi

      May 15, 2020 at 3:00 am

      Hi Nancy,
      Thank you very much for response to this article.
      I am glad that you found it informative for new parents.
      Thanks
      Ibi

  10. Jim Neace

    May 15, 2020 at 6:35 am

    Great job! As a marketing director of many years I would say you know what you’re doing. This article is informative, helpful and pleasant to read. Written well, beautiful layout, cute pictures and even cited references all makes for a rewarding read for me! Excellent!

    1. Ibinabo Enebi

      May 15, 2020 at 9:47 am

      Dear Jim
      Thank you some for your kind words. We shall continue to do our best to bring insightful tips to our new mums

  11. Abby

    May 15, 2020 at 7:38 am

    Great Job Ms Enebi….very informative especially for us who have no prior knowledge

    1. Ibi

      May 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

      Dear Abilo
      How are you. I am glad that you find this post informative. Please continue to be a part of this platform as we have a wealth of experiences at your disposal.
      Thank you

  12. Mary

    May 15, 2020 at 8:30 am

    This site is loaded with very useful information for both new and old parents to be. I will definitely visit again as i am expecting my first grand baby. Thanks Ibi

    1. Ibi

      May 15, 2020 at 10:01 am

      Dear Mary
      I am delighted to hear that you are going to become a grand mother.

      I am also happy to know that you find the post very insightful.

      We will be glad to have you share some of your experiences on this platform.
      Thank you

  13. Jean Kilpatrick

    May 15, 2020 at 8:37 am

    Hi Ibi
    What a helpful, extensive article! Especially for first time parents who are not 100% sure what they need. Also the safety advice is really helpful. I read your own story and love that you are helping others not to go crazy but to buy what they need.
    Kind regards,
    Jean

    1. Ibi

      May 15, 2020 at 9:53 am

      Dear Jean
      Thank you very much. I am glad that you found this post helpful.

      You are so right, I didn’t want new mums to make the some of the same mistakes I made.

      Thank you

  14. Gertrude Ogboroge

    May 15, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Hi BB,
    It is a good and concise write-up . Absolutely great and would definitely recommend this site to anyone who is expecting and young couples
    Thanks
    Gettyreya

    1. Ibi

      May 16, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you Getrude. Please do. I will be glad.

  15. Tekena Koko

    May 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    This is very informative and a great resource for new moms. I particularly love the 7ways needs accessment test. It definitely will help with sticking to a budget and buying what is necessary.

    1. Ibi

      May 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      Dear Tekena,
      I am happy that you found the 7 way needs assessment step test,helpful.

  16. Joyce Onianwa

    May 18, 2020 at 6:37 am

    Ibi, so much information in your write up. You are so good in what you do. More grace sis.

    1. Ibi

      May 19, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you very much Joyce

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