As the months go by there is one thing that brings immense pleasure and satisfaction to all pregnant women – shopping. Enjoy, while you shop for the baby and yourself. We have jotted down a shopping list that may help you make yours.
1. Nappies – there are two kinds of nappies available.
- One kind of nappy is simply square pieces of cloth that are folded and then pinned in place. Because of the folding they have more layers of cloth in the crucial area! Therefore these are more absorbent and are especially useful for baby boys. These are also more cost effective as you don’t need to keep buying new ones as the baby changes size. Different styles of folding can be adopted to keep up with the growing baby.
- The other type is either triangular in shape or shaped like a U. They have cloth strings attached to them that are used to tie them onto the baby. The triangular ones are useless for baby boys as they don’t cover adequately. The U shaped nappies are the best as they fit the baby well. The tie-on nappies are especially useful in the first few weeks because the umbilical stump makes pinning nappies cumbersome.
Make tie-on nappies from a well-worn muslin or cotton saree. Use these in the first few days after the baby is born. These are very soft against the baby’s delicate skin. Also these can be thrown as and when they get soiled, saving the bother of cleaning the initial potties of the baby, which are very difficult to clean.
2. Drawer sheets and Plastic sheets – Drawer sheets are kept under the baby along with the plastic sheet to protect you and everyone else from accidental spills. Buy these with velcro on them as it helps to keep both the drawer sheet and the plastic stuck to each other.
3. Bath Towels – Buy towels which are soft.
4. Small towels – towels smaller than hand towels are very useful for wiping your hands, blotting leaking milk while feeding,etc.
5. Bibs – Buy bibs made of soft cloth. Once the baby starts solids you can buy plastic bibs that cover the baby like an overall.
6. Vests – these are unisex and very good for winters and summers (when they can be worn as an outer garment). Buy vests made of soft cloth. Babiano has some lovely vests which are especially good for summer.
7. Baby dresses – Buy frocks made of soft cloth. Remember that they should be easy to put on and take off. You can get good offers from fashion wholesale clothing stores. Avoid dresses with velcro and zips as they tend to hurt the baby. One-piece-suits are especially useful during the winters.
8. Linen – Sheets, cover sheets, pillows should be of pure cotton.
9. Woollens – If the baby is going to be born in the cold weather stock up with warm vests, sweaters, booties, etc.
10. Baby powder – you can do away with this item or you can buy a small pack if you are having a summer baby. Doctors advice against use of talcum powders on the baby as they feel that the baby inhales the powder, which is not good for his respiratory system. They also tend to clog the baby’s skin pores. If you want to use powder, avoid using the puff near the baby’s face, instead apply the powder using your fingers.
11. Bath soap – You don’t necessarily have to buy a baby soap. Mild soaps like Pears and Dove are also okay for the baby. You can also a mixture of besan (gram flour) and curd to bath the baby. See some more home formulations.
12. Powder puff and container – it is better to buy a container for the baby’s powder as sprinkling the powder directly on to the baby will cause more powder particles to go into the respiratory tract.
13. Baby nail scissors – You need these as a newborn baby generally has long and sharp nails that can harm him. If you are not comfortable using the scissors than you can buy a baby nail-cutter. There some good scissors and nail-cutters available in imported brands like Tollyjoy.
14. Hairbrush – Baby’s hair brush should have very soft bristles. Buy a good quality brush in which the bristles don’t keep coming out. You can’t use a comb for the baby in the beginning because of the soft spot on the head.
15. Oil -. The oil is not important, it is the actual massage that is important for the baby. So you can use any oil. Keep in mind the weather condition, as oils like Olive oil sometimes don’t suit the baby when it is hot. Instead of oil you can also use some home formulations.
16. Nursing bras – Buy these right at the end as the size changes. Look for good quality cotton bras, which give good support. Preferably buy bras where the entire cup can be unbuttoned to expose a breast while at the same time the rest of the bra should be able to provide adequate support. Maternity bras are available in some of the good brands like Lovables, Mother Care.
17. You may also find it useful to have a few clothes with long zips in the front. They will help to make each feeding much easier than having to undo a lot of buttons with a screaming baby in your arms!
18. Nursing Pads – You will need thee to absorb milk leaking from your breasts in between feeds. Buy good quality cotton pads. Don’t use acrylic or plastic pads.
19. Bottles and nipples – There is no harm in keeping one bottle handy. Buy a good quality bottle. Make sure that there is not too much printed matter on them as these tend to peel off with repeated boiling. Also check the size of the hole in the nipple as these come in various sizes for different age groups. In the beginning buy the smallest size.
Furniture and accessories
You may not buy these before the delivery but there is no harm in doing some market research on them when you have the spare time.
20. Pram/stroller – A stroller is very useful, especially once the baby is older, as it is easier to carry and folds into a convenient size. But it is not very good for an infant as it does not have a firm backrest for the child. The pram on the other hand can be used both when the child is lying and sitting. Remember to check the pram or stroller for strength and quality of brakes.
21. Crib – If you are considering buying a crib remember to check it for safety. The space between the slats should not be big enough for the baby’s head to get stuck in. The crib should be strong and stable. Pay special attention to the drop-down side. Its locking mechanism should be secure and safe. The crib should be painted with non-toxic paints.
22. Carry cot – This is very useful for carrying the baby around. Babies love different household sounds and like a change of view. By putting him into a carry cot not only can you keep an eye on him as you work around the house, your baby will also love it.
See the Play needs for infants page to discover toys your baby will enjoy and at the same time are safe for him.
You can consider buying the following material if you are planning to go back to work soon. You may not buy these before the delivery but there is no harm in doing some market research on them so that if and when you need them you know exactly where to go.
23. Bottle sterilizer – Bottle feeding exposes your baby to the risk of infection if the bottles are not properly sterilized. This risk is higher when you have to rely on a maid to sterilize the bottles. Now electric and microwave steam sterilizers are available in the market. Not only is steam sterilization the best method of sterilizing bottles, with this gadget you can sterilizeupto 6 bottles at a time and therefore you can do it before leaving for office. Imported brands cost around Rs 3000-4000. An Indian brand has also come into the market and it costs around Rs 1800.
24. Bottle warmer – this gadget is useful in warming a bottle-feed. This gadget saves time and it also has a built in thermostat that controls the temperature of the milk.
25. Breast pump – This is useful for expressing milk, especially if you want to go back to work but still want your baby to have breast milk. Two types of breast pumps are available – manual and automatic.