Your first baby is due in just a few short months and the preparation has begun. Setting up nursery, cots, clothes, bath, change table, pram and many dollars later…..scary thought? And lots of helpful suggestions from the girlfriends, family, Facebook friends…..the baby business is a booming business!

I am going to suggest that these shopping expeditions can become overwhelming and expensive and seriously not fun if you are not well prepared and well informed about what you will actually need. Some purchases will end up staying in the cupboard or will be used so briefly you will wonder why you let the sales person talk you into it!

Here is your “go to” checklist for your new baby which you can pack into your tote bag and head for the Baby warehouse (or online) confident and well informed. You can work this list within your budget and save money which can be spent wisely somewhere else along the way (like a massage or facial, won’t your husband be rapt!)

  • Bassinet /and or cot – most mums prefer their newborn sleep beside their bed for the first 6months, so a bassinet is probably the way to go, then transfer to a cot when you are comfortable to do so. Don’t get a bassinet that rocks, moves easily or squeaks! This becomes very annoying when you are trying to get baby to sleep and your bub gets used to swaying, rocking beds. The imminent transfer of your baby to a cot arrives and well it doesn’t sway and rock, a challenge you don’t need. And please look for good well ventilated structure, furniture that adheres to Australian safety standards, all cotton bedding, and firm flat mattresses.
  • Change table nearby wherever possible and practical, at a good height for parents lumbar health (you’ll be spending some time standing in this position for months to come!), storage shelves for nappies, creams and stuff, multiple wraps, cloth nappies for general use (like the odd vomit) and any other items that require easy and quick access.
  • Pram. This seems to be quite a complex and well researched acquisition, particularly as the “on trend” range to choose from are pretty expensive. When you are considering your choices, keep in mind it needs to be practical. Will it suit a newborn as well as an older baby needing to sit up? Will it fit through normal doorways, supermarket entrances, and tuck in neatly somewhere in coffee shops? Is it light enough for you to collapse and lift into the boot of your car? Is it manoeuvrable and easy to drive over footpaths, steps and rough surfaces? Adjustable handles? Just a few things to consider…
  • Car capsule/seat. Needs to adhere to Australian safety standards. Can the capsule be transported from the car to house so as not to disturb sleeping baby? This can be a real winner in the early days. And practice getting capsule in and out of the care before baby arrives…
  • Baby clothes. Depends on season of birth. And you will probably be given heaps as gifts…but could be varies sizing so I think a starter pack of approx. 6 x cotton all in ones (0000’s and triple 0’s) 3 of each, with a zip up the front as a preference instead of studs, 6 x button through cotton singlets (they don’t ride up their little bodies), 6 x little newborn bibs, cotton socks, at least 4 x stretch cotton wraps (better to be on the big side as easier to wrap snugly and stretch cotton is much more effective) cotton bed blankets that can tuck in and all can be machine washed easily. Muslin wraps are very handy for all purpose use but I find them ineffective when trying to snugly wrap a baby for sleep. Baby towel for bathing x 2. And there is going to be lots of washing at least one extra load a day and you will wonder how such a little person can generate so much washing! Inside drying rack could be very handy for bad weather and fast drying inside.
  • Stuff. Disposable newborn nappies, baby wipes, cotton wool balls and perhaps even some sterile saline water capsules for sticky eyes. Creams for the bottom, my suggestion is Bepanthen for actual nappy rash and a barrier cream such as Sudocrem or Desitin for general use with each nappy change. Baby shampoo and/or baby bath wash for all purpose, there are many on the market, pure and fragrance free. Good old Sorbelene for the after bath massage and moisturise, can’t beat it and it is inexpensive.
  • Baby bath. It really doesn’t have to be too slick to start with as your baby will grow out of it pretty quickly. Just a simple inexpensive plastic baby bath that can be easily drained at a sink and easily filled at the tap or with a jug. Preferably near a change table or you can set up baby bathing on a bench in the kitchen near the sink, very practical.
  • A baby bouncer or chair for general use, sitting in after a feed, safe transfer around the house so baby can come with you and watch while you hang out the washing and he can watch you preparing meals.
  • And yes I do suggest in the “just in case” emergency list, that you purchase a couple of newborn dummies, a couple of small BPA free plastic wide necked feeding bottles and newborn teats (my firm preference is the brand Pidgeon). Of course you may never need them but just in case you do, at say 3am, then you have them in the cupboard! Oh and a small supply of formula…

Who said shopping wasn’t fun…especially when you can target the right shops with your list and not waste precious coffee/rest time!

I hope this is a helpful guide in preparing a workable nursery for you and your baby.