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Moms' Advice: What Are The Absolute Essentials For A First-Time Mom?

Becoming a mother for the first time can be oh so overwhelming. Your hormones are doing things they have never done before, your body is under serious pressure, the sense of responsibility is enormous, you might be worried about the labour and then, on top of all that, there is the shopping list. And it seems that it's never-ending.

No one could possibly buy everything (could they?) but you don't want to be caught out when the baby arrives. So what do you do? Well, one of our moms asked us to post this question on Facebook: 

"Hi, I am due in 6 weeks and will be a first-time mum. I've had so many people telling me all of these things that I should buy to have when baby arrives. It's a little overwhelming!

I don't want to go buying everything, so my question is - what are the absolute essentials that you had as a first time mum? Like, what were the things that you just couldn't do without? Tia."

And our great moms sprang into action with some fab advice:

'Travel system and nice nappy bag you really like, microwave steriliser, cellular blankets, Moses basket (sheets too), thermomator, baby bath, monitor (for when they go into cot) changing mat (didn't use a station), bouncer (but wait if you can until they have head control) then it's the obvious nappies (I used pampers but once on solids use Aldi's) clothes, gro bag (these are brill). You might feel overwhelmed but it will all click and you'll be grand and ENJOY xxx'

'Buggy, car seat, cot, steriliser, bottles, cellular blankets, baby bath or changing station with bath in, later stage high chair, bouncer to sit in, walker. And the essentials like nappies, baby clothes, vests, sleepsuits, wipes, cotton wool, caldesene powder.'

'Bouncy chair, lanolin if breastfeeding, its a life-saver.'

'Arnica tablets to help with healing and lots of bibs.'

'Don't go crazy buying clothes you will get a lot of presents of clothes like bibs, vests and babygros. A few cellular blankets for cots - you can double them up for the moses basket as your not going to use the small blankets for very long you will only need about two of them. A car seat and pram.

I personally think you will get longer out of a crib more so than a moses basket but there handy for a sitting room but if you buy a travel buggy system with a carrycot you wouldn't need a moses basket. Don't go crazy buying a bouncer with all the bells and whistles they mightn't like it one that you rock yourself they might enjoy more. Like one of the women said Arnica and pain-killers. You might not think you need them but you will!'

'Baby vests, and baby gros, cellular blankets, moses basket. bibs and muslins, muslins are brilliant, get loads! Get a big tub of vaseline in pharmacy, and also cotton wool, as you dont use wipes on a newborn. I also got a spray bottle for water to have at changing area. Also breast pads for the leaking, Don't go for cheap kind as they are crap!!

I recommend soothers too, I didn't want to use them, but one night I just couldn't get my lg settled and it was last resort and worked like a dream. If you don't like them, think about the fact it helps sooth them! My wee girl only uses it to go asleep.

Also, most importantly, have support for the first few weeks, you're going to be so tired. My sister came and stayed two nights when my lg was two weeks old and those two nights of sleep were the best present. Mostly please take it easy, don't worry about housework or anything, look after yourself and enjoy your baby, its a magical amazing time. Baby cuddles are the best! Good luck!'

'We only needed three things for baby: clothes, nappies and a sling - no buggy, sterilisers, bottles, cribs etc. Babies don't need anything except to be fed, changed and close to their mama!'

'Buggy, car seat, cot, steriliser, bottles, cellular blankets, baby bath or changing station with bath in, later stage high chair, bouncer to sit in, walker. And the essentials like nappies, baby clothes, vests, sleepsuits, wipes, cotton wool, caldesene powder.'

'I had my little boy six weeks ago and it's intense for the first few weeks. I was advised to have my freezer full of dinners. I packed it with lasagne shepards pie all ready for the oven. Last thing you want be doing is cooking dinners. Make life easy for yourself.'

'Unless you think your baby will be small, newborn babygros may not fit. My baby was 9lb 2oz and all the newborn clothes I had bought in advance didn't fit - 0-3 months was perfect!" "I had a moses basket, car seat (travel system) and I got a travel cot that had an option of raised base for newborns and had a changing mat attached also. The rest will evolve plus you will get presents so better off getting buggy, cot and travel cot and put rest of money aside and buy whats needed when its needed.'

'Any family members who asked me was there anything in particular I wanted I asked for a voucher for a particular shop and then when I was buying things later on ie cot, highchair etc I had money to go towards them!'

'Lots of babygros for the hospital - at least eight, newborn size. Nappies, wipes and sudocrem. If you plan on breastfeeding I suggest a nursing pillow and you'll need breast pads. Disposable maternity underwear for you and a nursing bra or two. Blankets for baby, not top big (suitable for swaddling). A couple of baby hats, the outfit you want for coming home and a car seat.'

'Seriously cotton wool. Wet wipes and nappies. Vests, baby gros, bibs. Bottles if not breastfeeding. Steriliser. Formula. Couple of blankets and sheets for cot or mosses basket. Maybe a dodie. Most importantly, a camera. Nothing else required.'

'My biggest life-saver and anxiety relief was a digital thermometer, Sometimes they feel very warm and I panic thinking they have a temp but you use the thermometer and it's perfect!!! My anxiety levels drop big time!'

'Get nipple cream for you and arnica tabs just so you don't have to ask anyone to run out and grab them cause it's so personal.Only thing I would say are absolute are vests and sleepsuits, nappies and cream. I used water wipes from day one with my last - saves hassle with water and cotton wool. Best of luck and just remember, when people offer to help take the offer cause they won't ask you twice!'

Thanks so much to all our moms for their advice. Is there anything you would add to the list? To get involved in the conversation or if you have any questions you'd like to ask, why not check out our Facebook page :)


About the Author

A freelance journalist, editor and the busy (and very lucky!) mammy of one delightful ray of sunshine. Watches far too much Home and Away than is healthy for a person over the age of 12. May be partial to a Galaxy or two (a day).

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