Three unnecessary purchases
When you first become a parent, it seems like there’s so much you have to learn – and an infinite amount of things you have to buy. A crib, a cot, a buggy, clothes, nappies, bottles, sterilisers… the list goes on and on. So I guess it’s no surprise when you’re trying to ensure you’ve got everything you could need for your little one, that you end up with a few things you never needed. At least that was the case for us. So here’s my list of the top three things we bought that we shouldn’t have.
1. Cot top changing unit
When we were buying our cot, we bought a beautiful cot top changing unit to match. You see we don’t have a lot of space in our house, so we figured this was the ideal solution, rather than buying a regular changing unit. Wrong. It didn’t work for us at all. When Little Man was newborn, changing a nappy was a production – at least the way we did it! We had to have all of the pieces laid out – nappies, water, cotton wool, change of clothes, Sudocrem, Vaseline… But with the cot top changing unit, there’s nowhere to put that stuff. Also, I was terrified that he would roll off and fall into the cot. I was just never comfortable with using it, so it ended up being a complete waste for us.
Even when Little Man got older, and we had nappy changes down to a fine art, leaving the changing unit on top of the cot wasn’t an option because when he started crawling and standing he would bang his head on it, and later still he would have climbed on it. Considering it cost a small fortune, this is definitely top of my list of things I wish we’d never bought.
2. Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby book
Don’t get me wrong – The Contented Little Baby Book has its place, and plenty of people find it fantastic. But I definitely have a perfectionist side, and this book sets a high bar for “the proper way to do things”, even going so far as to tell you what to eat and when to eat it during your day. If you have a baby who thrives on strictly scheduled routines in the early days, then this book is ideal. But Little Man wasn’t like that. And he was breastfed. And one of the most important things you can do to ensure an adequate milk supply in the early days is to breastfeed on demand, which means ignoring the clock and just listening to your baby.
Looking back now, I can see how much I stressed myself out in the early days trying to establish the strict routines that are prescribed in this book. I would have been much better off had I never seen it until Little Man was ready to start solid food. At that stage, he was much more settled and was ready for a Gina-style routine. And I was comfortable with myself as a parent and was better able to see which pieces of advice in the book would suit us and which wouldn’t. So this is definitely high on my list of things I wish we hadn’t bought.
3. The Baba Sling
I’m a big fan of slings and I think that if you have a baby who loves to be held or up in your arms or to sleep on you in the early months, a good sling is a life saver. However, the first sling we bought did’t fit that bill for us. The BabaSling just didn’t work very well for me. It has to be worn over one shoulder, which means that it’s difficult to distribute the weight evenly across your body, and if you are wearing it for a while, it can get very uncomfortable.
Also, I found it difficult to position Little Man comfortably in it without worrying about his head tilting too far forward onto his chest when he was very small. (If the baby’s head is resting on his or her chest when being carried in this sling, it can restrict their breathing, which is very dangerous.) After about six weeks, I replaced this sling with a Moby Wrap, which I found absolutely fantastic. (I also wrote about this before, if you’d like to read my review.)
So those are my top three things I wish we hadn’t bought – I’m sure there are many more purchases I could add to that list. Expensive sippy cups, complicated newborn outfits, and the Safe T Sleep wrap are just three that spring to mind. Maybe I’ll write about those another day!