Kit

Where to start?  There were so many things we needed.  Equally, there were so many things we were told we needed (mainly by the manufacturers of those products) that we really did not.

Here is a list provided by a well-known UK purveyor of baby paraphernalia that I have adapted according to my own experience (and also taking out some blatant product placement):

clothes (for first 2-3 months)

recommended
  • 6-8 sleep suits
  • 6-8 vests
  • 6-8 bodysuits
  • 2 cardigans
  • 4-6 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of scratch mitts
  • sun hat
  • 2 x soft cotton hats
could be useful
  • jacket
  • 3-4 x daywear outfits

out and about

recommended
  • pram/pushchair (suitable from birth) inc;
    • cosytoe
    • weathershield
    • parasol
  • infant car seat
  • child view mirror
  • changing bag
could be useful
  • baby carrier
  • travel cot
  • sun blinds for car

sleep time

recommended

  • moses basket & stand or crib
  • later – cot or cot bed
  • waterproof mattress cover
  • 4 fitted bottom sheets
  • 4 flat sheets
  • 2-3 cotton cellular blankets
  • baby listening monitor
  • room thermometer
  • swaddling blanket
could be useful
  • wardrobe
  • chest of drawers
  • cot mobile
  • 2 sleeping bags
  • blackout blind
  • dimmer switch so do not blind self and Small in the middle of the night
  • nursing chair

breastfeeding

recommended
  • 3 nursing bras
  • 2 sleep bras
  • easy opening nightwear
  • breast pads
  • 10 posset cloths
  • breast pump
  • breast milk storage bags
  • bottles/steriliser
  • nipple cream / shields / shells
could be useful
  • breastfeeding support pillow
  • nursing tops

bottle feeding

recommended
  • 6-12 bibs
  • 4 bottles
  • 4 teats
  • 10 posset clothes
  • Bottle steriliser
  • formula milk
  • bottle brush
  • compartmented milk powder storage container
could be useful
  • breast pump
  • breast milk storage bags
  • bottle warmer

weaning (6 months)

recommended
  • highchair
  • larger bibs
  • bowls
  • spoons
  • non spill cups
  • teething rings
could be useful
  • storage pots
  • splash mat (if feeding over carpet)
  • food blender
  • travel highchair/booster seat

bath and change time

recommended
  • nappies
  • nappy sacks and wipes
  • nappy cream
  • changing mat
  • baby sponge & face cloths
  • baby towels
  • baby toothbrush and paste
  • baby nail scissors
  • baby hairbrush and comb (if baby has hair!)
  • baby bath
  • bath thermometer
could be useful
  • bath toys
  • baby toiletries
  • non-slip bath mat (if using actual bath)

time to play (from birth to around 6 months +)

recommended
  • baby activity gym
  • lightweight rattles
  • soft teddies and toys
  • textured baby books
  • bouncing cradle
  • bath toys
  • pram or pushchair toys
  • light and musical toys

home safety

recommended
  • smoke detectors
  • carbon monoxide detector
  • window catch
  • safety gate/s
  • socket covers
  • cupboard catches
  • non slip bath mat
  • fire guard
could be useful
  • corner cushion protectors
  • play pen

It is a question of taste or circumstances whether or not any given item would make your own list.  On the whole, though, most products are not ones that people would find objectionable or just plain weird.  Here is a list of my favourite, genuinely available, products that are just crazy but some folk obviously buy (if that is you I apologise – but really!):

  • The iPotty – a potty with a built in iPad holder so Small can play the iPad whilst pooping. Clearly designed to distract him from what he should be doing and to train him that, if he wants to play on the iPad, he better go to the potty.
  • Motion detecting belt that will auto-Tweet every time Small kicks (pre-birth obviously). I just pray nobody I know sets me up as a recipient.
  • The onesie mop – a onesie with duster attachments on the arms and legs, so Small can earn his keep as he crawls around.
  • Nappy alarm that will detect if Small has pooped – er…nose?
  • The ride on vacuum cleaner – the go to device for graduates of the onesie mop.
  • Mobile phone case with easy grip handles and teething rings for Smalls. A good lead in product for the iPotty.
  • Baby toupee – to make Small look like someone he isn’t for photos.

Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.

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