At the risk of just talking about baby, I’d like to write a post on the stuff we bought pre-baby, and also a lil bit about after. You see, like most parents, we just want to buy the best for him. To an extent, money doesn’t matter (but it does….it does).
I didn’t start buying stuff properly after 31 weeks. More because I was scared to, as if I would jinx myself if I bought stuff early. I guess the medic in me will always have that ‘worst case scenario’ in my head.
Anyway, here’s the list of things I recommend getting for first time parents: (from the biggest/most expensive purchase to the least)
1. Some sort of crib/cot
Cosatto Dropside cot
We bought him this 3-in-1 cot, with the thinking that he can use it for years and years to come. And it can become like a sofa bed too. Imagining my future son and me cuddling in it, reading a book, I just had to have it.
When Zayan came out though, he REFUSED to live up to this dream. He didn’t want to sleep in his cot. For the first 2 months, it was more of a storage space cum bedside ‘table’ rather than a cot for him, despite all my efforts of putting him in there. And all my efforts to make it as cosy as possible.
Some people recommend getting a smaller ‘bed’, like the moses basket. And to some degree, I think it’s a good idea – on hindsight. It’s smaller, takes up less space and can rock it. You can easily bring it to the living room too (cos thats where I camp out normally with zayan in the daytime). I do think that the cot feels a bit too big for him, hence he doesn’t feel as cosy (empuk nya urang kitani) in it. The only cons I guess is that once they start sitting up (around 6 months or so), you’ll have to upgrade or else they’ll be trying to clamber out. (maybe? maybe not? I guess they can’t clamber out successfully as they can’t stand up yet)
But anyway, if you just want to make one purchase, then this cot is lovely.
Note. Our wallets sigh in relief when he has moments now when I can put him in the crib. Not a wasted purchase after all!
2. A travel system aka stroller and car seat
Quinny Zap extra + Maxi cosi car seat
We bought the Quinny Zapp extra, financially subsidised by my parents-in-law >_< I gave the job of finding a stroller/car seat to Mumtathil and like the typical guy, he took on the challenge of finding the perfect wheels with gusto. After reading reviews and watching youtube, he concluded that we HAD to have the quinsy. He love the idea of three wheelers. For me, my condition is that it is the lightest but still reliable. And hence, we chose the Quinny Zapp extra.
Having it now and using it everywhereeee, I must say I really like it. It’s quite light, easy to manoeuvre (with even just one hand! — you know for those times when zayan refuses to be out down in his stroller and yet I still have to walk around the shopping mall), compact and easy to assemble and dissemble. Doing a getaway, out the door, with a baby is never quick but the quinny does help.
We got the maxi cosi car seat for him and it adjusts easily to the stroller, and then onto the attachment in the car. It is a lil heavy the maxi cosi, but living 3 storeys and having to carry it, it’s not so bad I guess.
3. Baby carrier
I can’t remember what our baby carrier’s brand is. It costs GBP 40 and when we tried it on in the shop, it felt like it was fairly easy to put on. But actually, it’s a lil bit more complicated. Paninggg actually when you want to adjust it. Esp when M has used it and I have to tighten it around.
The more popular baby carriers I’ve heard are the bjorn and Ergo. So maybe those are better. The point is: try it and try it again when you’re at the shop!
On that note though, we love using the baby carrier. It’s comfortable and zayan loves being in it. It makes travelling and walking around packed places much easier. (I used it when I went to stalk Kate Middleton at Queen’s Jubilee visit a few weeks ago) I’m not sure how useful it would be in Brunei cos it does get hot and due to the short distance travel, a carrier may not be of much use really. Maybe if you wanna use it at the beach. Tapi how often jua kan you use it at the beach?
4. Moby wrap sling
Comfortable to wear, stretchy enough to put baby in but not slack, the moby wrap is one of the best investments we have. So much do I like it that I actually gave a review on Amazon:
“Prior to getting this for my baby (at short of 2 months old), I had trouble getting my baby to sleep and I was quite restricted in doing anything else other than holding him. He gets fussy quickly and likes to be held.With it, I have my two hands back (!) and I can do my house chores whilst wearing him. In my husband’s case, he can use both hands to play the PS3. I do believe that wearing a baby helps in calming them and making them feel secure. He has slept much better on the days we use the wrap on him (with and without the wrap). I was scared that he’ll get dependent on it but afterwards pleasantly find that he sleeps better without it too. It’s not that difficult to put it on – my husband and I have different techniques on wearing it, so depends on which one you’re comfortable with. He does scream sometimes when I put him on it, but quickly calms down when he’s in it. The only con is that it’s quite long and so, we have to put it on before going out and can only readjust it where it’s nice and clean. One of the better investments we’ve bought for him!”
The other con I guess is that I feel like I’m pregnant again when carrying him around. But it means I get to do house chores in peace PLUS he naps in it like a baby.
This is what I’m definitely gonna bring to our long haul flight back to the Kingdom.
5. Baby rocker swing
Again this is a gift from my in laws (thank youuuuuu!) and used at a daily basis. He used to sleep in it, which made my sister in laws horrified (you know, karang he doesn’t want to sleep anywhere else). It turns out he has refused to sleep in it after awhile and has found a better ‘rocker’ aka our arms.
If you find yourself in a baby shop or shop online, you’ll be gobsmacked at the choices you have! Just for a rocker swing! There are ones that is battery-operated rocker, rockers that plays music, rockers with tons of toys attached to it. There are different materials, plusher pads, cotton or suede. The choice is endless!
The one we have is quite simple. You strap baby in and it rocks like a rocking chair and you have the option to have the toys above him or not (we chose not to, cos he looks like he’s annoyed with it dangling close to his face and he can’t see us).
The rocker is good in the sense I can put him on it and carry it wherever I have to do stuff. It’s handy to just put him on it whilst tottering in the kitchen area or when taking a shower.
So, the above is what I feel are good investments.
Next up would be what I think are newborn essentials. But that’s another post of its own.
Just as a summary here’s our must-haves, always use stuff:
Babygrow (long sleeved sleep suits)
Short sleeved vests
Nappy rash cream – I ❤ Bepanthen, much more than sudocrem, due to its effectiveness.
Bin to throw used nappies
Breast pump & bottles
Thick & thin blankets
The rest of his stuff are not a necessity.
All in all, whilst we don't mind paying lots for quality stuff for baby, I do wish I knew more about what is necessary and what isn't. I bought more sleep suits and short vests than he needed. Especially since people love buying those for us (I love everyone's generosity). We didn't have to buy any toys cos he has been showered with it since birth.
He ended up not using any bath creams whatsoever as his skin is quite sensitive and dries easily with the stuff. I only use olive oil as recommended by the health visitor. And even without it, his skin smells yummy.
He also didn't use much of his booties, mittens and socks. As it was winter when he was born, I just used long sleeved sleep suits. Mothercare ones are really good cos they have flaps that can envelope the hands too – no mittens required! It's only now that he's wearing more 'grown-up' clothes – jeans and seluar and T-shirts- that I use the booties and socks. Nasib he's small and can still fit it in! My advice is: just buy 1 or 2 of each, they don't get it dirty anyway!
What I wish I have more of now: bibs!!! From now on, that's what I'm gonna give as presents to new parents. It's like wearing sweaters. There's no point having a nice shirt if all you wear is an outer layer. Might as well get a nice outer layer.
So since he is the Drool Master, he might as well have cute bibs!
Lotsa love, enough rambling,