Having a baby especially when it’s your first often results in us soon-to-be parents spending a lot of money on new things; small bits like clothes and bottles to big purchases like a pram and a cot bed. Of course you might be lucky and receive some items as a gift or second-hand but either way nobody wants to own something that was either never used or a complete waste of time and useless.
For us we did buy quite a lot ourselves, not because we had to but because we were simply too excited before Lola arrived that we got carried away. You read snippets in the ‘Bounty magazine’ or see the ‘Boots parenting email’ that feature all those must-have or baby essentials and start looking at how much these things might cost. Then before you know it you’ve been sucked into a Mothercare or BabyEvent at Tescos/Asda and you’ve ordered everything ‘On Offer or Reduced’ and feel completely satisfied and happy with yourself for making such smart baby purchases.
Truth is; you’ve just spent upwards on hundreds of pounds over the course of the pregnancy that you didn’t need, won’t be relevant to you and/or your baby or just simply is a pointless piece of equipment that you’re better off not using.
Lola is now six months old and I’ve put together a list of the worst products/purchase regrets that we have. Of course this is based on our experience and the way our family works in terms of routine and choices. I also only breastfed for less than one week so some of these items may have been useful had I continued. Most of these purchases proves that you should simply wait until your baby is here and buy things as and when you need them. I think we buy, buy, buy out of panic, some ridiculous notion that we need it now and that it will be impossible to get once the baby arrives. If I could speak to my pre-motherhood self I would say;’Stop! Don’t buy this yet! Get back in your car and put that ridiculously overpriced Tommee Tippee product down!’
Here’s our list of purchase regrets:
- Baby bath – of course a baby will need to be bathed in something and they’ll be far too small to go in the tub. This bath is unnecessary. They will grow out of it within two months. Better to hold the baby in your normal tub and not have an additional product taking up space in your bathroom.
- Top n tail bowl – Never used this. You’re speak about this product during any parenting classes (If you attend) and is mentioned when discussing nappy changes and bathing. One word – WIPES. Just use wipes, yes you can use water sparingly and wash your little one but realistically wipes are so practical and quite cost effective these days that it was a no brainer for us.
- Baby hooded towels – Yes they’re cute and your baby might like a hood to cover them when drying off but they’re a massive con. From our experience the quality of towel/fabric is poor and they usually come up quite small. You really are paying for the design and look rather than it actually helping to dry your baby. Just buy a normal soft bath towel.
- Bottle Warmer – Never used. Had the opposite problem if anything and could’ve done with a bottle cooler.
- Small 150ml bottles – Only used for the first few months, better off having the 260ml bottles.
- Cheap bibs – The amount of dribbling and milk spurting that occurs is quite possibly the most annoying part about feeding your little one. They will inevitably be milk everywhere if your baby is anything like ours. Cheap bibs will only get soggy, smell and soak through to their top. You’ll end up needing to use a new bib for every feed and changing their vest. Invest in a handful of decent, more expensive bibs that work and can be used throughout the day.
- Mittens – Yes babies grow claws and Yes they will become mini Wolverines if you don’t cut their nails often enough. But mittens will not help. These little bastards are USELESS. ABSOLUTELY POINTLESS. Best thing to do is keep on top of cutting their nails and during the first three months ideally purchase sleepsuits with built in mittens.
- Primark clothes – In our opinion Primark baby clothes are just a waste of money. I would never spend a lot on baby clothing anyway as they will inevitably poo, sick or both in them but of the things we’ve purchased up until now Primark have been the worst. In general the sizing comes up small and they do not wash up well (either shrinking, losing shape or going bubbly). I’d highly recommend staying well clear of Primark and shopping in Asda, Matalan, Tescos and Sainsbury’s whose prices are very similar.
- Shoes – No point. We had a few pairs that came with outfits or were given as gifts but were completely pointless. Lola’s feet were never going to stay inside a shoe, she was struggling to keep socks on.
- Products. Oils, lotions, creams – You do not need different lotions and creams for a baby. If anything your health professionals recommend staying away from any unnecessary chemicals and oils, using water instead where possible. Lola is six months old and we’ve never used any baby oil, cradle cap or nappy rash cream or soap. Recommend the baby bath ,baby bedtime bath and lotion however you can get these in most supermarkets rather than buying Johnsons.This is the list as this stands, we might find that over the next six months there are more products we wished we’d never bought. (One of them being the Mothercare Roam travel system – which is being fixed at the moment – but that’s a whole other blog altogether).
Hopefully this blog might help to prevent you making some bad purchases and save you a little money. Let me know any products you also struggled with or were a complete failure in your eyes, us new parents need to guide each other into positive baby shopping because no one really knows what we’re buying at the beginning, Mothercare could have convinced me to buy a unicorn shaped Moses basket and matching changing table if it was branded with Tommee Tippee, given five stars on a Netmums forum and featured on celebrity mums instagrams.
1. WAIT UNTIL BABY ARRIVES – Might get things as gifts, Might not need.
2. DONT GIVE IN TO ANY BABYEVENTS, SALES OR OFFERS – There will always be ways of buying products cheaper and these offers are available many times throughout the year.
3. DONT FOLLOW ANY BABY CHECKLISTS OR SHOPPING LISTS FROM MAGAZINES OR LEAFLETS – Most if these things still aren’t essential and might not be relevant to you and/or your baby.
4. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND MAKE SMART CHOICES – Check out reviews online, ask some new mums about their purchases, read any product reviews and ratings if available. Make wise decisions especially when it comes to pram, cot and car seat. Go into stores to see items in real life and don’t buy designer or expensive baby clothes.