These cute, cuddly, little balls of love we call babies really do add a lot of meaning to our lives. On the other hand, they can be very expensive.
Exxy worth the cash
Certain baby items with expensive price tags can probably be gone without. In saying this, some products I have come across definitely made the first year much easier! I totally missed the memo on second hand items though.
If you’re short on cash and aren’t looking for mattresses and things which are better new, try Gumtree and other online marketplaces. You can often grab a bargain from a mum who is cleaning out her house. And sometimes the items haven’t even been used.
Baby swing or bouncer
Oh how I wish I bought one of these before 3 months in with my firstborn. No more peeing, cooking, and trying to have a shower while your baby either screams or you practice becoming a one handed expert.
One the upper scale, there are crazy good swings that have lullabies, rocking, vibrating functions (you name it) to keep them entertained.
For a more portable option though, for the same price as a takeaway burger you can get yourself one of these beauties from Kmart. Hello free hands!
The best $40 you’ll ever spend on some plastic by buying a twist and click nappy bin. No more running out to the rubbish bin so your house doesn’t smell like a zoo. Word of warning though, the refills are expensive.
Portable baby seat
One to use once your baby can support their head well enough. It’s great as a booster seat, high chair for feeding and just a nice little spot to put your little one when you need to get something done. Very easy to clean too as you can take the insert out in a flash.
Co-sleeper baby bassinet
I was silly enough to spend over $1200 on the cot I bought as it converted all the way from a bassinet to a single bed. Problem being, it was all fixed together, the cot side doesn’t come down, and getting up and walking even a few metres when you are already sleep deprived…torture.
Enter my solution for at least 6 months, maybe even 9 (we’ll see). I found this awesome co-sleeper that can be wheeled around, have the side down and attach to your bed with straps, can be used as a rocker, and packs up quite small to take as a portacot as well.
It even came with a carry bag and mosquito net. Needless to say you can tell I’m totally in love with it. The best part? It’s way bigger than a regular bassinet as I use my normal cot sheets on it.
Are we really that much wiser with the second baby? Here I am at the 8 week mark, and it’s probably more accurate to say “none the wiser”.
First tip.. no matter how good your memory is, you will NOT remember things from your firstborn that well. Yep, I’ve once again relied on Dr Google’s sage advice, forgot how long breast milk can be stored for, re learned tired signs for babies and the list goes on. A little part of me wishes I’d now written some things down.
In saying that, there is a kind of calm in dealing with certain situations now. I no longer hear ghost babies crying while in the shower washing my hair, and I’m actually ok with letting him cry for the 20 seconds it takes to pee (rather than trying not to drink anything until someone arrives home 3 hours later so I can finally go). I don’t practise my ‘light as a feather’ tip toe into the room while he is sleeping in fear of him waking up either.
One perk of being 4 years into motherhood is that as your confidence grows, your tolerance for crappy situations decreases. You start looking for smarter ways to get by. Here are some things I’ve found helpful along the way:
Yep, I’m talking about those attractive incontinence beauties in the supermarket aisle. These are great for the first few days of recovery. I found them pretty useful when I had an emergency caesarean first time round as you can just rip them off and throw them out when done.
Baby washers for breastfeeding
If you’re lucky to have a baby like me that may get distracted while feeding just as you have the let down, a wash cloth tucked into the bra has been a lifesaver. Saves your clothes, stops the flow, and I also sometimes use it as a bib for the bub as well (in case they feel like a vomit halfway through). I usually just buy a few bulk packs from Target.
Night-time nursing pads
There’s nothing I love more than waking up for a feed partway through the night and discovering that my top is drenched in breast milk. I sleep in maternity tops with the built in bras. So if I know it will be a while in between feeds, I cut a nappy in half and use that instead of nursing pads.
Otherwise known as a traditional hand towel or those nifty burpy bibs you throw over your shoulder. I always put one of these down in the bassinet or cot where little man’s head will be in case he vomits. Saves changing the sheets every time.
Ice cube trays for milk storage
If you prefer to section breast milk in smaller quantities, bigger ice cube trays are perfect for this. I buy ones with a lid that fit 60mls in each square.
Pool noodle for bed bumpers
When your little one is a bit bigger and it’s time to take the side of a cot down. Instead of buying the bumpers, buy a pool noodle (cut it in half if going in a toddler bed) and place it under the sheet. Works a treat with stopping your little one from falling out.
Last but not least, there are some great apps out there. The ones I am currently using are below:
Baby connect – For keeping track of feeds, sleep, nappy changes etc. This was great when I had to report all these things for our premature baby to the midwifes instead of having to write it down or remember.
Sleepy sounds – For all your lullaby and white noise needs, ranging from nature sounds to vacuums.
HomeDoctor – The easiest way to book an after hours home visit from a doctor.. and it’s also free of charge.
The Wonder Weeks – Based on the book, this app will be like a magic crystal ball into why your baby is being a turd at certain times.
BabyCenter – This amazing website/app will give you week by week updates on your baby’s development as well as suggesting activities. A baby bible of sorts.
Feed Safe – A countdown timer of when you are safe to breastfeed again if you have had an alcoholic drink
Kegel Exercises – You no longer have to remind yourself to do these, or even count as this app will do it all for you.