Most of our list for baby basics are actually just going to be reused from last time around as they’re still in great shape. You can spend a fortune on ‘essentials’ but there often is no correlation between the amount you spend and how it functions.
Somewhere safe to sleep
As our daughter was born prematurely, she was tiny for quite a while and we made good use of a Moses basket from Mamas and Papas (bought in the sale) – for many regular sized babies they only get used for a couple of weeks and aren’t essential although are very portable. If you have a pram/carrycot you could easily get away with not purchasing a Moses basket.
For night-time sleeps we chose a cheap but sturdy painted cot from John Lewis and spent a little more on a quality mattress. Unfortunately our daughter developed really bad sleeping issues around the 7 month mark (although she was never great before that anyway!) and by the time her first birthday came along we made the decision to remove the cot completely as she had taken such an extreme dislike to it!
Our son has been such a great sleeper from the start and spent a couple of months in the same Moses basket next to our bed. He was full term but still a tiny tot so fit in for quite a while before we made the transition to the cot in his own room. I know it is recommended that baby stays in with parents for much longer but we were disturbing each other and have an Anglecare monitor so felt reassured enough.
He’s a wriggler in the cot… not sure how long before he’s trying to climb out…
Somewhere safe to change
The safest place to change a baby is on the floor but that’s not really practical for most people is it? Again, our changing unit was a cheapy from John Lewis. I like one with anti-roll bars and we also used a steep sided changing mat to make sure there are no falling babies. As it happens we had a first baby who hated to roll but you’ve really got to watch them every minute they are on those things. We loved that the storage underneath is open so you can reach in for whatever you need with just one hand.
It has been equally as well used for the second baby too but the high sided changing mat has not proved to be of any deterrent when he wants to flip himself over. I’m only half joking saying I’m thinking about attaching bungee cords!
Somewhere safe for travelling
Now, your travel needs and mine might vary greatly but generally I’ll try and talk people out of buying a really hefty travel system. I’m small and wimpy so needed a lightweight pushchair. The first we bought was a Mamas and Papas Ziko which was excellent, could be used a lie-flat from birth, and had a snug footmuff. I loved it but unfortunately after daily use it failed just outside of it’s warranty. My husband went and bought a replacement, again from Mamas and Papas but this time a Luna. It suited our then one year old and I picked up a second hand carrycot for baby number two which worked very well on the school runs for a few months until he learned to roll over in it.
On the subject of school runs I felt one of those frames you just clip the car seat into would be very useful this time around so I hunted down a cheap Quinny Zapp as it is compatible with our Maxi Cosi Cabriofix. I couldn’t be more pleased with it as a small car pushchair. I wouldn’t want to use this one as a full time pushchair personally as it’s a bit rickety and the wheels get crapped up easily. Twigs and all sorts get wedged around the small wheels.
I’m perfectly happy with the Maxi Cosi as a baby car seat but the regulations are currently changing and baby will need to be rear facing for much longer that it was designed for so I can no longer recommend it. As our baby is small he’ll be rear facing until well past 9 months so we probably won’t need to upgrade.
Somewhere safe to eat
My husband saw a Svan highchair advertised and set his heart on it. He argued that it could suit up to teenage years and looked more like furniture than a regular highchair. It has lived up to the hype I must say. We used it with the tray, without the tray and as a chair. They aren’t the cheapest and if you want the accessories you’ve got to purchase those as extras (harness, seat pad, plastic tray) but they do last a while. I just wish I could remember where I put the Allen keys when I need to adjust it!