Baby due in Sept. What should/shouldn't we buy? What brands do you recommend? Other tips?

Expecting a baby in September. We're starting to look a what we should buy, and decide on brands so we can get a good price. Thanks in advance for recommendations on brands, bargains, value, where and when to buy, what to wait to buy, etc.

These thing are on the list of definite things to get:
Pram/stroller
Cot with mattress etc
Baby monitor
Nappies (haven't decided on disposable or cloth or mix)
car seat

These are the maybes:
Change table
Breast milk pump (+storage system, bottles)
baby carrier
Wraps, swaddles, sleeping bags etc

Thanks for any advice or other suggestions.

Comments

  • +20 votes

    We had a baby around a year ago, so I can offer some advice about some of the things you've pointed out:

    Change table

    Change tables are pretty useful if you have the space. If you go for a change table, make sure its one of the ones that have shelves underneath so you can put things there and it doubles as a storage unit. Given they're pretty cheap and you'll get a lot of use out of them, I'd suggest getting one.

    Breast milk pump (+storage system, bottles)

    Depends if you're breastfeeding or formula feeding. If you're breastfeeding, it can be useful if you'll be busy or wanting to go back to work soon…etc. Another option is to give both breastmilk and formula milk, then you won't have to spend the time expressing. That's what we did with our baby, but he eventually went to just only formula after a few months and everyone seems happier. It's easier for travel and I can split up some of the feeding responsibility with my wife which is great.

    baby carrier

    I wish we got a baby carrier sooner! They're super useful. I'd say get a baby carrier first and then get a pram/stroller later. When they're really small, it's not too hard to carry them for ages, so you can easily go to the shops or for a walk to the park in a baby carrier. You can get a pram after a month or two after baby's a little older. We didn't really use our pram much at all in the 1 - 2 months.

    Wraps, swaddles, sleeping bags etc

    Babies tend to sleep better with a swaddle. They're pretty cheap, so I'd just try getting one or two and seeing if they work well. Otherwise, you can just wrap baby in blankets which is pretty useful because you can always go back to using them as blankets when baby gets older.

    Nappies (haven't decided on disposable or cloth or mix)

    Disposable nappies are better, IMO, washing cloth nappies would be a massive pain. I'd suggest having a look at the nappies from Aldi, they're less than half the price of the major brands and they seem to be just as good. Otherwise, keep an eye out for 50% off sales - they happen all the time for Huggies/BabyLove. I would only buy nappies at 50% off.

    You'll need a car seat (probably worth getting this before baby is born, otherwise you won't have any way of getting home)! Aside from that, I think you've got anything. You don't really need much aside from clothes, nappies and a bottle for the first month or so. You can always change on the bed or using a change mat on a table. Everything else you can work out as you go in terms of what you need and trying different things before buying lots of them. All the best :)

    • +1 vote

      Thanks heaps for the advice. Forgot about the car seat when posting! yes we'll be getting one of those too :D

      • +2 votes

        Make sure you spend the 50 bucks or so to get it professionally installed. Much safer and honestly putting in rear facing car seats (which you need for newborns until at least 6 months or more) is a hassle on your own.

        • +12 votes

          Make sure you spend the 50 bucks or so to get it professionally installed. Much safer

          I don't know what you mean by "professionally" - installing a car seat is not a profession, it's not governed by any regulations or qualifications on who can or cannot practice it. If you were saying this about an electrician or plumber, I'd agree with what you're saying, but who says the guy at your local shop installing car seats actually knows what he's doing? Much rather do the research and installation myself than put false hope into someone who might be clueless.

        •  

          In WA, there used to be free public installation checking days. Looking at Google it looks the service costs $25.

        • +15 votes

          You are better off sitting and reading the manual thoroughly, watching a couple of youTube videos and then learning how to install your carseat yourself. Do it early and make sure you do it right. At some point it will get yanked out the car unexpectedly and you'll need to re-install it, you'll want to know how to do it properly already.

          Over the last 10 years of having 1-2 carseats in my car I've had mechanics take them out without any warning, needed to take them out to flip down carseats to transport something large (many a time), had unexpected guests in the car so had to put the carseats in the boot to accommodate them etc.

          You can't go running back to an installer each time and no doubt at some point you'll find yourself (for me it was the mechanics) caught out with a kid and an uninstalled carseat.

          If you do want to get it done 'professionally' (I have corrected some major mistakes done by 'professional' installations on friends' installations so watch who you get to do it) then watch them do it and ask for tips.

        • +2 votes

          The new style ISOFIX car seats are reportedly better and tend to be easier to install (but your car needs to be compatible).
          Also, you won't be able to put the ISOFIX seat in an older car which isn't compatible, which may make traveling in taxis or friend's cars difficult.
          More here https://www.choice.com.au/babies-and-kids/baby-transport/car...

          • +1 vote

            @kmwa: Isofix are good. But they are only for the newborn to 4 year olds.

            You may want a capsule for the new born, then swap to a 6 months - 8 year old seat.

            We got the newborn to 4 year old, but eventually we will have to swap it for something more age appropriate.

            ymmv.

          • +2 votes

            @kmwa: The ISOFIX seats and capsule that I have can use the old seatbelt restraint system too.

          •  

            @kmwa: Every seat on the Australian market can be installed using regular seat belts. Isofix is an extra option available on certain seats so you should always be able to install it any car.

        •  

          If you can read manual and follow simple instructions, like building Ikea furniture or Lego, this can save you $50.

      •  

        Can confirm. IsoFIX is super easy to DIY. I originally paid Red Cross to install our baby capsule. But that was not IsoFIX. Then we upgraded to a newer model with IsoFIX and you do not need to get it professionally installed (i.e. no playing around with seatbelts and stuff).

      • +6 votes

        Just please make sure to check the baby seat's expiry date..

    •  

      My brother's first is due soon. What's a good present to give him. ie. something that will be needed/useful?

      • +1 vote

        This might be a bit out there but maybe an ear thermometer? The one I'm getting is braun thermoscan 7 which lets you select the child's age and it will light up green, amber or red depending on if the temperate is considered a fever or not. It's $120 at Chemist Warehouse but I ordered it for $85 on Amazon!

        • +2 votes

          Good idea, although both he and his partner are doctors so they'll probably be able to snag one themselves.

        •  

          I've got one coming in a couple weeks but I think the free bag the NSW Government gives you in the hospital comes with 2 or 3 thermometers.

      • +3 votes

        Don't get infant clothes - if lucky they will be worn once. Get something a couple of sizes up if you're dead set on clothes and that's easy to wash (I love the bonds baby suits).
        Honestly the best thing to get is time - Uber eats or equivalent voucher so they get a nice meal without cooking. Organise to mow the lawn, clean the house or something for them (at their convince).
        Oh, and get yourself up to date on your vaccines.

        •  

          Big plus one to this. An extra pair of hands or a little respite every now and then is worth far more than any other gift. Especially after the newborn phase when offers of help start becoming thin on the ground.

        •  

          Good advice. My kid is one year old now and the best thing was when our friends brought over meals or an UberEats type gift. I tend to find that many people buy you wraps/swaddles/onesies etc etc but when you haven't slept for 3 days, the last thing you want to do is cook a meal, then wash it up, along with the kids bottles (if bottle fed), dummies, etc.

          On a gift tip, we have a large microwave sterilizer - I found it way more efficient than the specific machines. It takes up less room and is relatively cheap for a decent one (BVA free thing).

      •  

        Nappies and wet wipes are a safe option that they'll definitely use and will need lots of!

      •  

        I highly recommend buying this - https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B07BT2Y6VP/ref=ppx_yo_d...
        I wish i purchased this for my 1st child but bought for my 2nd - its SOOOOO soft even after 3 washes. Would make an amazing present

    •  

      Baby carriage is not suitable for us. My wife cannot be bother, I have a bad back, and both out 2 child on birth is 3.6kg, does not sound like much but for a long duration it does get tiresome. But if you are fit then go for it

    •  

      Aldi nappies are ok for daytime, but use huggies for overnights and longer sleeps. Our two followed this regime, and we didn't have many (if any) overnight leaks from nappies.

  • +5 votes

    Buy noise cancelling headphones otherwise buy condoms

  • +8 votes

    The cheap $49 temp control kettle from target. Makes hot/warm water for bottles so much easier.

    • +2 votes

      Just had my bub, Dont know why this never brought up. Absolute amazing to have digital kettle.

    •  

      This may be a silly question, but what do you use the hot water for? is it to mix with formula, or to actually warm the bottles? - sorry this a first baby, so no idea what we're doing really.

      •  

        Warm water for the formula. From memory just press 35 degrees fill the bottle and ready to feed bub in 1min.

      • +5 votes

        Yeah if you formula feed you need to sterilize the water so you boil it first. Also if you are warming milk a microwave can make it too hot so place it in a water bath of hot water to gradually warm it

        •  

          So much to learn!

          • +1 vote

            @morse: @morse: Other tips…. Have you done the free hospital baby lessons. Once a week for a month or 2.

            •  

              @RowdyAlpha: We're going private (yes not very ozbargain, but partner and I both work at the local public hospital and had a previous bad experience there), so have to pay for the baby lessons, but definitely need them!!

              • +1 vote

                @morse: Well worth it, can do both before and after (or we did anyway). Useful as much to confirm you are/aren't doing things right as much as anything.

              • +1 vote

                @morse: Even private hospitals might offer the classes free, we went through the mater hospital in Brisbane, and the parenting courses were free. Ask and they might be free, hopefully they will be, as parking was an an arm and a leg there. Spent a few hundred dollars when my daughter was born there.

              •  

                @morse: If you can afford to go private that makes it easier for another family to go public.
                Plus you get a lot more time/space to yourself in private.

              •  

                @morse: Have you done or picked a birthing class? Can recommend shebirth - it was excellent.

          • +1 vote

            @morse: If you can, try to breastfeed and you won’t have to worry about formula, bottles, sterilisation, kettles, microwaves, for the first 6 months. I know everyone is different but it is so convenient to not have to wake up in the middle of the night to prepare and warm a bottle. Just whip out your boob and the job is done and you can both go back to sleep. Not to mention it is better for you and the baby health wise. If you can’t bf then no stress, formula it is.

      •  

        Yeh you need to boil the water to sterlize as mentioned down below but get the $49 kettle from target and you can legit boil the water then leave it and set to 40degrees every time you need it and its all done. Best thing ive bought next to a swing for bub.

  • +5 votes

    Another tip for parents for when their kids get into solids, is buy a battery operated fan from Daiso to cool down their food (rather than sitting there trying to blow it cool)

  • +16 votes

    Buy 2nd hand.

    • +1 vote

      This. We got a promo brand pram 2nd hand. Made it about the same price as buying a basic model brand new, it was in great condition and is so nice to use. Same with a changing table + dresser. Got a nice solid wood one for free. We bought bedding and carseats new.
      We joined a group called "Babywearing International" which lets you try all different carriers. We're really active and found it helpful to try out which carriers suited as we're always walking and carrying baby.
      Good luck!

      •  

        Thanks - looks like I'm going to have to explore the second hand market. Our house used to be nearly entirely made up of second hand things, but this has gradually changed, firstly after moving from Sydney to Brisbane then the Gold Coast, where second hand seems more expensive, but also age and increased income.

    • +3 votes

      Unless his name is Jaime, I don't see why he needs one.

    •  

      This. The missus has gotten so much from various Facebook groups selling used baby/kids stuff, and usually very cheap. Some stuff that'd set you back >$100 new for <$50.

  • +4 votes

    Don't answer the door when the delivery dude comes with the baby. ITS A TRAP

  • +9 votes

    Rent the capsule for the car. You don't use that for long before you upgrade to a seat that you then use for 3 years.

    The capsules are really expensive but once you get past that the seats are reasonably cheap.

    People tend to give you a lot of stuff and don't be shy to say to people who are buying gifts to get something specific, IMO or just to get practical things like a heap of nappies, wipes etc.

    Buy cheap nappies for the day changes and more expensive for the night because they are more absorbent.

    •  

      Thanks for the tips!

    • +2 votes

      Rent the capsule for the car.

      We just got a second hand one off Gumtree and sold it for the same price we bought it for after a two months.

    • +2 votes

      We just didn't bother with a capsule for our 2nd. Most rear facing seats are OK from birth.

    •  

      Kidsafe rent them out if you are looking for a place to start. They also fit it for you the first time and show you how its done.

  • +1 vote

    I have 3 kids with the youngest being 3. My advice:

    Get a capsule. Makes travelling very convenient - don't have to move/wake baby when you need to go out, and simply into base in car no messing about. If you get a pram that the capsule fits even better.

    As above re the change table. Get one with the in built bath, means you don't have to lean over normal bath with very small baby and convenient for storing all baby's stuff.

    Don't necessarily go for brand name stuff. We used Coles brand nappies and never had explosions or leakage.

    Also as above ask for practical gifts. Stuffed teddies are nice but wipes, bibs, and nappies are nicer. Make sure you have clothes that will fit, babies grow fast so make sure you have a few of the next size up. Same goes for nappies.

    Good luck!

    •  

      Thanks for advice. 3 kids is some decent experience! Nice to hear that you found the Coles nappies fine. Once you start reading reviews you see everyone's horror stories and I can see how it would be easy to get sucked into buying brand names.

      •  

        Huggies are good too, but I like saving money.

      • +1 vote

        People have horror stories about Buggies too. You'll settle into a brand you prefer for various reasons.

        •  

          yep, it seems that way. I've been tempted by some of the nappy bargain deals posted, but think I'll have to try a few brands before stocking up.

          • +2 votes

            @morse: Yep. Definitely don't stock up before you've had a chance to try a particular nappy. Sometimes they can be the wrong fit for your baby's shape or some brands can give your baby a rash.

            Everyone has different experiences so you'll get conflicting advice (one person will tell you how amazing one brand of nappy is, the other will hate it). If there's one thing you'll learn about having a kid is that everyone has strong opinions - but what worked for one baby may not work for another. I found big differences even between my two girls, things that I swore by for the first baby were completely different for the next. Part of it due to baby's temperament and individual needs, part of it due to our lifestyle at the time and where we were living.

          • +1 vote

            @morse: Hit up the nappie manufacturers they should be happy to send you some samples free.

    •  

      Heads up re capsules, you don't want to leave them in there any longer than you have you. By the time you have put them in car, done a shop, back in car and home, it's been 2 hours your newborn has been in there with poor blood flow. Can also contribute to flat heads. Proper baby carriers are brilliant (ergo baby) as the ring slings have issues with positional asphyxia.

  •  

    Re the change table - a desk or table work very well. We used a table and put a chest of drawers underneath it. Put wadding on the top with a plastic overlay. Was able to fit a small shelf on the left, change mat in the middle and the bath fitted on the right hand side. We could then use the table again after removing the wadding and plastic and both sets of drawers came in handy.

    • +1 vote

      Thanks - a custom set up for our space like this could be a good idea.

      •  

        Have to be more careful about them rolling one day if you do this. Maybe put one of those concave foam things on top to keep them in place.

  • +3 votes

    Something you will find is what works for one family does not work for another. Eg. Baby carrier. Great idea IF your baby likes it. My baby screamed every time I put her in. For this reason I'd recommend you buy second hand and buy a few different styles or at a minimum try them in the shop because they all fit very differently. Also do your reading as some models can be dangerous for baby's hips and SIDS risk.

    Highly recommend furniture second hand if possible but with cots be again conscious of models and if they are SIDS safe. Also I'd personally buy a new mattress as I can guarantee every second hand mattress will not be clean. Once you factor in new mattress, sometimes buying the cot new is almost the same price as second hand so know your numbers. If you plan two kids or more, buying new can be worth it.

    Pram. I'd definitely buy new. I spent forever looking for second hand Bugaboos and most of the time the prices people wanted were only marginally less brand new than on a good sale day. Your pram will get worked SO hard as well so finding a second hand one is a good condition is really tough. Best brands are bugaboo. Or Uppababy Vista. We ended up with Uppababy Vista as converts to a double for when we have a second. I know people that ended up having to buy a second pram once they had their next kid so plan ahead. People will recommend redsbaby to you. Just know the configuration of their double sits one kid superrrr low to the ground…puddles and dirt splash on them.

    Clothes. Ask friends for second hand ones. Buy a few nice new things. But you will also get gifted a lot of clothes so do not spend your money here.

    Breast pump. For me it was the best purchase I ever made. Get the Spectra portable with battery. I didn't even think I was going to pump but I had massive issues from day one and had to pump by necessity. If I'd had to run around trying to hire or buy a pump it would have been so stressful. Having this on hand was soooo much peace of mind. Sign up to the spectra mailing list and wait for a discount day.

    Baby monitor. Get at least the video. If you have a baby with issues like I did, it will be massive peace of mind. You can hold off buying this until they are in their own room. We had baby in a bassinet next to us for first five months. Uniden video is the best.

    • +3 votes

      Great tips. Definitely buy a new mattress

    •  

      Wow - thanks for all this great info.

      I was wondering about the baby carriers and whether it's best to wait until the kid is born, to see how they react.

      Thanks also for the pram tips. The bugaboo and uppababy look super expensive, but I do like that they are higher, so will try them out in store and perhaps look for sales.

      Thanks for the breast pump tips. Haven't done some reading I think getting a good one early on sounds like a good idea, especially as I'm considering going back to work part time after a few months.

      • +4 votes

        Ergo baby is a good brand for baby carriers that aren't a risk for babies. The 360 model also let's you wear them forward facing, rear facing, on your back (different ways are appropriate at different ages, always read the instructions).
        Also yes vaccinate! You and your partner can get pertussis shots (whooping cough) in the third trimester, which passes on some protection to the baby in utero. Which is critical as they can't directly vaccinated for whooping cough until they are two months old.

        • +3 votes

          Thanks for tip re Ergo baby, will check it out.

          Will definitely get the vaccines, hubby booked in to get his and mine in a few weeks. We've got the grandparents onto getting theirs too.

          •  

            @morse: Ergo baby is a good carrier brand but there are many many other great brands out there!! I recommend going to a baby wearing meet and trying some on and seeing which you and bubs like best. I think there's also the option of borrowing them for a few weeks to really be sure before you buy!

            I had a carrier for first bubs who was just as happy being in a pram… Whereas second bubs was carried all the time and rarely went in the pram. They are all so different and just when you think you've figured them out…. They'll throw a curve ball at you lol

        •  

          +1 for ergobaby. Many, many hours spent wearing one for kid1. Plus they hold a decent amount of weight, so we used it to take him hiking, canyoning and plenty of outdoorsy stuff when he was a bit older.
          Make sure you get one with good back support (see: a decent waist strap) so like a good backpack, you carry the weight on your hips rather than your shoulders. Egobaby is good for this. Alot of the babybjorn ones were terrible, hopefully they have updated their designs.

    •  

      Which baby monitor did you use? (My current one is on its last legs).

  • +2 votes

    Congratulations OP!🍼

  • +1 vote

    We've been using the Ikea Malm drawers with the blow up change mat stuck on top (used 3M velcro to make sure it doesn't move).
    The 3 drawer one turned out to be a good height generally and you get plenty of storage with the top drawer used for keeping the nappies and wipes.

    Congrats on the baby! The main thing is to just enjoy every moment.

  • +2 votes

    Join a local 'Buy Nothing' Facebook group, I have gotten so much baby stuff from there such as blankets, sheets, clothes, high chair etc.

    Make sure if you buy new, that you use a card with Price Protection :)

    •  

      Thanks! I hadn't heard of these 'buy nothing' groups. I used to be a member of 'freecycle' via email when it was a thing, but haven't been for some time. Good idea re price protection card too.

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