It’s easy to go overboard shopping for your little one, what with the anticipation, preggy hormones, and the many cute merchandises available. And with the number of baby items you need – or think you need – you could easily end up spending more on baby products than on your hospital bills when you give birth.
So, what can you live without when you have a newborn in the house? You’d be surprised at some of the things that would potentially collect dust in your baby’s nursery.
You don’t need: dozens of baby bottles If you're planning to breastfeed your baby and eventually pump to build your milk stash, it’s not advisable to use a bottle until your newborn is used to nursing and until your supply has been established. It will take about five weeks after giving birth, so you don't need to empty baby store shelves of baby bottles before giving birth.
Once you start bottle feeding, your baby will also display a preference for some nipple brands over others. You’ll discover your baby will start to become fussy while using certain bottles. If it’s a brand that you stocked up on so much so that you included it in your baby gift registry, don’t be surprised if you end up giving them away or reselling them.
What to buy instead: If you want to be a mommy Girl Scout ready for everything, get one or two bottles that are compatible with different nipples, and then buy one of each nipple from various brands. Once you initiate bottle feeding, try all nipples and see which your baby prefers. From there, you now know the right bottle to stock up on.
You don’t need (yet): going-out clothes for the baby You will be stuck at home in the first few weeks after giving birth so all those cute shirts and shoes to make your baby "rampa-ready" will be put to waste. (And your mom is right: they will outgrow these clothes fast.) As many veteran moms know, a maternity leave is not a vacation; temper any illusions of leisurely walking in a mall with a stroller. Pedia appointments may be the only opportunities to go out, and even those will be major production numbers to mount. You are guaranteed to want to head home as soon as your mini-me starts bawling.
What to buy instead: Better to buy tie shirts, pajamas, or onesies (you know, comfy pambahay clothing) for your newborn ideally in size 0-3 months. If you really can’t resist buying that adorable dress for your baby girl, get it in a bigger size. Start with six months and up; by then, you’ve already gotten the hang of learning her cues and have the confidence to take her our of the house without her -- or you -- having a meltdown.
Also, take the weather into consideration. If your baby is born right around summer, opt for cotton sleeveless or short-sleeved ones then just swaddle when the air-conditioner is switched on.
You don’t need: toys The concept of play is still alien to your newborn because she is still developing her senses. In the first few weeks, all she’ll do is eat, sleep, cry, poop, and pee. See her smile when you “play” with her? It’s likely she is either releasing gas, pooping or urinating, which triggers this reflex. Social smiling happens only around the second month. Toys are useless to newborns at this point and only serve as choking hazards in a baby’s crib.
What to buy instead: Help your baby develop her hearing and eye muscles with a musical mobile for her crib. Since newborns can hardly see anything beyond 10 inches away, the mobile can provide stimulation. An infant’s eyesight isn’t fully developed yet, so it’s best to get a mobile with high contrast colors such as black, white, and red. Once your baby can crawl and reach it, time to take it down regardless of how it makes your nursery look much cuter.
You don’t need: a swaddle You don’t need a swaddle to swaddle. Though swaddling is beneficial to a newborn, you can do without those pre-folded, Velcro-bound blankets to make it easier for you to wrap your baby. Aside from being pricier than a regular blanket, a swaddle comes in specific sizes so your baby can easily outgrow it. Also, most babies don't need swaddling after three to four months, or until she learns to roll over.
What to buy instead: Opt for muslin blankets and learn to swaddle your baby snugly with them.Here's a short how-to video:
Practice makes perfect, and you can start warming up before giving birth. Properly wrapping your baby is just as effective as using a swaddle. Blankets are also versatile and can be used as burp cloths, a regular baby blanket, a nursing cover, and even a cute scarf for you!
Mom to a 2-month-old daughter, Chrissy Icamina-Dalusong has yet to get used to the label "mom." The Literature major and university paper editor-in-chief from Ateneo de Manila was with Summit Media for 10 years before shifting to the corporate scene. She is now the digital head of a multinational electronics company.