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There is a phenomenon amongst our consumerist society when it comes to pregnancy. The overwhelming urge, nay need, to buy everything and anything that promises to make your parenting a success.
Step bravely into the Baby Shop and you will be bombarded with a feast of stuff. And somehow, you need it all...now!
If you find yourself gripped by this phenomenon: STOP! BREATHE! and consider what your baby needs.
Do you have boobs? check.
Have you signed up for an Australian Breastfeeding Association Breastfeeding Class?
That is the feeding for the first 6 months sorted. You may be inclined to invest in a nursing wrap, or special pillow, or pumps and wot not. It is better to buy, borrow or hire these things as needed, rather than 'just in case'.
The carseat: are you familiar with the laws and proper installation?
Do you wish to invest in a pram, stroller, sling or carrier?
Do you ride a bike?
Do you like to bushwalk?
Consider your lifestyle before forking over big $$$ on a fancy pram, maybe a second-hand one suits or maybe you don't need one at all, and would find a baby carrier more suitable. Many parents find a close-carrier an invaluable investment (one that suits birth to 18kgs). Perhaps you like bike riding, and would hold off a pram purchase in favour of a bike trailer/pram.
Summer baby or winter baby?
If you value style, you may invest a lot on clothes....and who can resist the gorgeous baby clothes? You will probably receive more than you need as gifts, and consider the practicalities before going overboard. Babies over 3 kgs are unlikely to spend much, if any time, in 0000 size clothes, and some babies will be out of 000 size quickly too. Some babies like to be wrapped, some like to be held and some are happy to wriggle...
and do you need disposable nappies?
folding cloth nappies, or modern cloth nappies?
are you going to follow the Elimination Communication principles and be nappy free?
or a combination of all these?
Traditional cloth nappies are very handy to have even if you don't use them as nappies. They can be a shoulder cloth, as your child grows - they mop up all manner of mess...and ultimately they are great for polishing the piano
What kind of parent do you think you will be? What hand-me-downs have you been given? Before buying a cot/bassinet/hammock/baby bed, consider the benefits of co-sleeping and the family bed. If there was one book I wish I had before my first child was born it is "Nighttime Parenting" by William Sears, which in this detached world, gave me a voice and raised me from the underground and allowed me confidence in my instinctual parenting approach
BEYOND THE FIRST 6 MTHS: depending on your lifestyle, at this stage you might be looking at getting a highchair or booster seat for your baby to start investigating family foods from (have you considered baby-led solids?) Your baby may be collecting toys, gifts a plenty, and may find some of these interesting...but ultimately parents are the best toys.