They say babies business is a multi-billion dollar industry. The average UK parent would have spent £$1500 even before baby is born.
So, what exactly do you buy?
My advice is, don’t buy anything first. Ask around. Baby clothes are definitely the last thing you need to buy. Since babies out-grow their clothes quickly, you might get some decent hand-me-downs. Your friends and family probably can’t wait to bless you with some lovely items too. You might wanna ask for some of these during baby shower: baby gym, stroller, toys, highchair and bouncer. However, items which I won’t compromise for 2nd hand are breast pump, baby bedding and mattress.
1. Breastpump- The most common breast pump brands in Singapore are Medela and Avent. Choosing the right breast pump If you are thinking of a 2nd hand breast pump, read this first: Why you shouldn’t use second-hand breast pumps If you still prefer to use a 2nd hand breast pump, juz change the parts. Medela service centre
I bought my breastpump and nipple cream (for sore nipples after breastfeeding) at babyfair for $229. The set includes 4 baby bottles and bag.
2. Nursing tops and bras/breast feeding pads- Those that opens in the front will do. I bought my nursing tops and bras from gmarket and Taiwan auction sites. For breastfeeding pads, you can choose disposable ones like Pigeon brand.
3. (Optional) Breastfeeding pillow
4. Steriliser/tongs- You can opt for the traditional method of boiling to sterilise your baby bottles. A pot normally costs around $20. For consistency and convenience, most parents opt for electric sterilisers, Avent and Pigeon being the most common brands.
5. Baby bottles- Nowadays, most sterilisers or breast pumps sell them together as sets. Note Avent baby bottles are like the brand Sony- their bottles are designed to match their own brand of teats.
6. Baby milk powder container
7. Bottle scrub and detergent- Breastmilk is extremely oily, thus before sterilising, you need to wash the oil and for formula, to scrub the clumps away
8. Teether- for baby’s comfort when he is teething.
9. Cot- A 2nd hand cot is fine as long as it complies with safety standards. Older cots might not meet the latest safety standards though. Choose one with adjustable height so you can lower the bed when baby gets strong enough to stand up. I didn’t buy a bassinet (small baby bed like a basket) cos baby will outgrow it quickly. Neither considered a sarong swing cos research has shown it being detrimental to baby’s development.
10. Mattress- Buy the best one you can afford as “pasar malam” type foam mattresses juz doesn’t give the right support and durability.
11. Bedding set- You can buy one bedding set (complete with pillows, bumper, comforter etc) for decoration purposes and 2-3 extra fitted sheets. For starters, babies only need a cot with mattress and fitted sheet only. No blankets, pillows, toys are allowed in the cot due to risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
12. Chest of drawers or furniture to organise baby items- The last thing you wanna do is lose your head in a midst of mess when baby is crying. 🙂
13. Soft toy/mobile- Black and white appeals more to baby during the first few mths. Pastel colors will only be appreciated when baby is older.
14. Changing table/mat- A normal table works juz as well.
15. Night lamp- for baby’s night-feeding when you need minimal light to put baby back to sleep again
16. Baby tops/pants/rompers- at least 10 sets. (get those T-shirt types for starters cos newborns are not comfortable with pulling clothes over their heads) I highly recommend asking around for hand-me-downs as babies outgrow their clothes really fast, and chances are, your friends will have some really decent clothings which their babies have only worn a few times. Clothes should really be the last thing you wanna buy.
17. Pyjamas/long-sleeves sleepsuits- 3-4 sets
18. Swaddling blanket- Babies are used to a confined space in the womb. Swaddling baby provides the needed security, but not all babies likes swaddling though and if you do not have air-conditioner at home, wrapping baby might actually cause over-heating esp during the hot months in SG. You can use the swaddling blanket as a normal blanket when bringing baby out in stroller. For those looking to buy their first air conditioner, we recommend starting with a portable one from PortableACNerd.com.
19. Booties/hats/mittens- Hats are used to keep baby warm in air-conditioned rooms and also to shield them away from sun when out. Mittens are used to prevent baby from scratching himself or warmth.
20. Burping cloths and bibs- I used muslin and washcloths. Baby nappy cloths are great too, multipurpose and can be cut to the size you need. Bibs can be used to catch baby’s drooling and food when eating.
21. Towels and face cloth- One towel to lie baby in tub and one to dry baby after the bath. Extra sets for change. You can use cotton balls to clean baby’s eyes and face as well.
22. Bath-tub with anti-slip mat
23. Bath sponge
24. Bathing gel/shampoo- Mustela or Pigeon brand recommended for it’s effectiveness and mildness
25. Cotton buds/cotton wool- Pigeon brand cotton buds are a good size. Cotton balls/wools are great for cleaning baby’s eyes during baths and buttock when changing diaper. You can get a whole batch from Watsons during their sale cos they are used up pretty quickly. Cotton buds to clean baby’s ears (rem to clean only outer ear!)
26. Cord spirit- to clean baby’s cord, you can get it free from the hospital.
27. Baby wipes- for cleaning baby during diaper change and all other mess.
28. Disposable diapers- You can get the first pack free from the hospital. Depending on baby’s size, another one pack is sufficient up til newborn.
29. Barrier cream- Barrier cream acts like a protector between baby’s skin and his/her waste. Not the same as nappy rash cream, which contains zinc oxide. Nappy rash cream, as the name implies, is used to treat nappy rash and not to be used when baby doesn’t have any nappy rash. Mustela carries good barrier creams you can buy at Kiddy’s palace.
30. Diaper Liner (for cloth diapering)- To line the cloth diaper so if baby’s urine is not overwhelming, you can juz peel away the liner without changing the entire diaper.
31. Diaper cloths- If you prefer to use traditional nappy cloths instead of disposable diapers in the first few months. We used it as a multi-purpose cloth cos we are using disposables.
32. Baby sling/carrier- If you are the arts & craft type, why not sew your own sling? I followed an online tutorial here. If you can afford it, do get both a sling and a carrier, one for home use, the other when you are going out.
34. Thermo flask- Zojirushi or Tiger brand keeps water hot for a good period of time.
35. Bottle warming bag/Diaper bag
37. Comb/nail clipper
38. Hand steriliser- Only if you are out often and can’t always find soap and water to wash your hands. “The problem with some hand sanitizers is that they contain a chemical called triclosan… registered as a pesticide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency”- quoted from the Baby Nurse Bible.
39. Detergent/Laundry pail- Pigeon brand for detergent preferred. Baby’s clothes and adults should preferably be washed separately.
40. Dryer rack- to hold baby bottles after washing. Munchkin brand works well
41. Bulb syringe- to clear baby’s mucous (they cry so much there’s always some built up.) Pigeon brand is highly recommended amongst mommies.