So, you're about to pop and you're prepping your home for your bundle of joy. Don't get too excited and buy every baby item you see at the store. Some baby stuff are absolutely essential while some you're most likely seldom going to use, say moms from the Smart Parenting Village Facebook page.
Save your hard-earned pesos for a rainy day and be a wise parent. Here's what you need, what you should consider buying later on, and what you shouldn't spend on now.
What you'll most likely be using a lot even from the start
1. Crib or co-sleeper
Lots of moms prefer cribs that also function as co-sleepers. Says one, “I like the cribs from Dwelling (from Baby Company). Puwede siya from newborn to toddler and convertible into a co-sleeper so matatabi siya sa bed.”
“For me, mas okay yung wooden crib. First time mom din ako. I tried the Babycuddle baby bed but, unfortunately, ilang months lang nagamit. Nagte-take kasi siya ng malaking space sa bed and madaling nakalakihan ni baby. Mas safe din kasi yung crib. You can just place it inside your room, beside your bed kapag gusto mo malapit si baby,” says another.
2. Foldaway playmat
Designate an area in the house where your baby can spend playtime, even if this means just lying on his back or on his tummy nibbling on a teether. Many moms say they really love their playmat. “Gamit na gamit ni baby lalo na nung natuto siyang dumapa,” says one mom. “Advisable, lalo na yung medyo makapal. Dito magko-crawl si baby and mag-practice walking,” says another.
Moms recommend cloth diapers as they can be more economical in the long run. However, they do advise going for disposable diapers for the first few weeks your baby is home. “I started with disposable diapers since mas madalas mag poop ang newborn,” says one mom. Plus, you’re going to be exhausted as a new parent. You might not have the time, energy, or willpower to have to wash soiled diapers.
4. Stroller or carrier
Buy a stroller or carrier when your little one is already born so you can check which one suits your family best, says the moms. Whatever you decide to go for, make sure it’s good quality because you’re likely to use it a lot.
Says a mom, “Get a stroller that’s good for newborns to toddlers. For my baby, 4 months na siya and we use the stroller a lot. Malikot kasi kapag nasa mall kami so mas madali pag naka-stroller. And, ang bigat din niya kaya nahihirapan kapag binubuhat naming siya.”
Another mom says her baby didn’t take to the stroller and preferred being in a carrier. “Sulit na sulit yung carrier namin. Until now gamit pa rin siya ng 19-month-old namin.
5. Maternity and nursing pillow
For moms planning to breastfeed, a lot of moms say you’ll be getting a lot of use out of a maternity pillow that can also double as a nursing pillow when your bundle of joy comes along. Moms suggest looking at the brands Boppy, Bloom, and Snuggle Hug.
“If you plan to breastfeed, I suggest na mag-invest ka sa magandang breast pump,” says one mom. This is particularly important to working moms who wish to still give their baby breastmilk even past the 6 months even though they’re back at the office.
2. High chair or booster seat
“For me, important yung high chair talaga starting at 6 months,” says one mom. Aside from giving your little one a place to eat at the table with you, it can also be a place for baby to quietly sit and play while you’re in-sigh and in the kitchen.
“Kung nagluluto ka, puwede mo siya ilagay sa tabi mo na nasa highchair para nakikita ka pa rin niya. Ganoon ginagawa ko sa baby ko from when he was 6 months old until now he’s a year old. Ginagamit din naming pag nagsasampay ako.”
If your space is limited, a booster seat which attaches to one of your dining chairs, is another option. “Until now nagagamit siya ng 4-year-old ko kasi adjustable siya,” says one mom.
Electric steam sterilizers are a must if you’re using baby bottles. But, if the budget allows, moms like UV sterilizers as well. “Super gamit for baby stuff and sa stuff na din ng parents like cellphones, makeup brushes, etc,” says a mom.
4. Baby bathtub
Want to save a few pesos? Ask around if any of your friends or relatives have preloved bathtub they can give you. “Yung bath tub ni baby na binili namin 6 months lang nagamit. Di na kasi siya kasiya so sa batsa na lang siya naliligo now since nakakaupo na naman siya,” says one mom.
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5. Cloth diapers
If you’re up for it, cloth diapers are arguably cheaper and bum-friendlier compared to disposable diapers. “Economical, makaka-save ka talaga ng pera. Bawing-bawi! Hindi pa magkaka-rashes baby mo,” says one mom. Plus, you’re helping save the environment too.
You’ll have to build up a stash of cloth diapers though. “In my personal experience, you will need about 30 cloth diapers (that is if you wash every other day) to use cloth diapers exclusively,” says a mom.
“Mabilis lumaki ang babies kaya dapat ‘wag masyado madaming damit. Also, dapat more on pambahay lang kapag for newborns 0 to 3 months old. Hindi pa naman siya kasi lalabas labas talaga,” says one mom.
“Five of each kind lang ang binili ko for newborn clothes. And yung medyo affordable lang but still made of cotton kasi mabilis maliitan,” says another.
2. Lots of baby bottles
Moms who breastfed from the start suggested not getting a lot of baby bottles. “I bought just two kasi I intended to exclusively breastfeed. Now that nag-mix feeding na kami, I have Pigeon bottles, the ones that avoid nipple confusion. So far, okay naman.”
3. Lots of toys
“We didn’t buy a lot of toys, just a few. ‘Di din naman lahat malalaro kapag sobrang dami,” says one mom. Also, you can bet that your baby is going to receive toys as presents anyway.
If you do buy toys, go for ones that can grow with your baby and are open-ended such as stackable cups or wooden blocks. Your baby can play with these in numerous ways, as opposed to something like a light up toy, and he will find them enjoyable for quite a while.