Almost Parent's GuidePlanning for your first child is overwhelming – there is so much to learn, to buy, and organise. When I was pregnant with Paige I did a lot of research with everything I bought and that’s why I started my blog, to share some of the things I liked and found. My views are subjective though and something I found I could not live without, others never used. Also with my two kids, I used some products a lot with the one and then never with the other.

When it comes to planning for your baby shopping, draft a realistic budget of what you would like to spend and what you can afford in total. If you want to spend a little more say on your pram, then you know you will have to cut back on another expense like the cot. Have a list of must have items, and then the extra products you would like but are not essentials. Keep in mind you will also have a baby shower and I know the grandparents, family and friends will like to buy you a few items.

My shopping list:

  • Travel system: I splurged on my travel system and got the Bebe Confort – and we loved it! There are a few more makes around now than when we first bought, so lots to choose from. Look at weight, size (see if it fits into your car), safety and price as a guide. Chat to your friends and see what worked for them and I used to keep a look out for moms walking with prams to see which ones I liked or not (you can even ask them where they bought it, they really won’t mind).
  • Cot/Travel Cot: Preferably has 2 heights or pull down sides so you won’t strain your back. We use my old cot which my mom had refurbished for us. We had a moses basket which we liked for Paige for the first few months but Ethan wasn’t in it for long so I would say it’s a nice have, but not essential. My sister has the Deryan travel cot for outings and she findd it very useful.
  • Bouncer:  This was a must have item for our family. We got a Fisher Price one with a heart beat which turned out to be a bad idea. Paige used to start crying hysterically every 20 minutes and we couldn’t figure it out until we realised the heart beat stops and frightened her. Poor thing! So we just used the music but you don’t even need that. Just something to bounce with your foot or the Tiny Love 3-in-1 rocker looks lovely – it came out after Paige was born but I would have looked at getting it and it doubles up as a moses basket.
  • Sling and/or carrier: I have the Blossom Creations sling  – loved it – and then the BabyBjorn with breathable mesh and extra back support. There are a variety of makes on the market now and you need to choose one that works for your lifestyle.
  • Baby monitor: This depends on how big your house is. With Paige we didn’t use one but then I was given a D-Link video monitor to review and we love it. Having the video is brilliant, especially later on if you do sleep training, otherwise the Angel monitor is well liked.
  • Baby bag: The Skip Hop bag has been great, and clipped on to my stroller easily. I also carry the Lou Harvey roll up nappy changer and the momi baby bag is also a stylish choice.
  • Linen: I think sleeping bags are a must have item and ensure your newborn bedding is cotton. eatplaysleeplove have sleeping bags up until toddler years and Mungo have the softest range of organic cotton baby blankets.
  • Hospital bag: Wondering what to pack? Here’s my checklist of items I needed and wanted in hospital.

There is more I know, but this will hopefully help you as you prepare for the new addition to the family. Would love to hear your advice for other ‘almost’ parent’s so please leave a comment below.

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