If you’re about to have a baby and wondering what you might need, or if you’re looking for a gift for a friend’s baby shower, here are my humble recommendations.
Bright Starts Bouncer
Put your baby in the box seat as you do your daily ablutions. The bouncer is essential for any mum who wants to shower and go to the loo without listening to bubba scream incessantly from the living room. It will also come in handy if you’d like to eat anything other than Thai takeaway after bub’s arrival as it’ll keep him occupied on the kitchen floor. Available at Target for $49.95 (about the same price as a red duck curry, two roti, coconut rice and a prawn pad thai).
Organic Hub-a-Bub wrap
You rock your newborn for 20 minutes to get her to sleep then place her gently in the cot and hold your breath. As you tip toe out the room, you hear an inhale that becomes a squawk that becomes a waaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Repeat x3. Eventually you accept defeat and wonder how you’re going to get anything done while having to hold your bub through her nap. Enter the Hug-a-Bub. People always told me to just relax and forget the housework while bub was young. That’s all well and good if you want to live in a sty, stink from a lack of clean clothes and die of salmonella because you don’t have a clean plate to eat off. Reality is, shit needs to get done and the Hub-a-Bub will help you knock off a few duties while baby sleeps nuzzled into your sweaty boob crack. The Organic Hug-a-Bub baby wrap is available online for $99 or at most large baby stores.
Sophie the giraffe
This French long-necked plastic mammal has become the staple baby shower gift. Long before Moo started teething he was slobbering all over her little brown ears. Sophie now lives in the car, where she provides Moo with endless chewing and squeaking joy when we go on trips. Word of advice, if Sophie finds herself having a sleepover in the dog’s bed, don’t put her in boiling water. While it will serve to disinfect her, she will also end up mute. Moo is now on Sophie number 3…Sophie is available at most baby stores including Babies R Us for $26.99.
Mimco nappy bag
Just because you have to wear elasticated pants and tent-like tops to hide your post-baby jelly belly, doesn’t mean you have to forgo fashionable accessories. I’ve always loved Mimco products and their nappy bags are gorgeous and reasonably-priced for an item you will use everyday. Splurge on yourself and get a matching wallet. It’ll probably be empty for a while (or for a long while if you’re on 12 months maternity leave like me) but you can fill it with passport photos of your baby, Coles petrol dockets and maxed-out credit cards. Mimco nappy bags are available instore and online for $249.
Sangenic nappy disposal system
I applaud the environmentally-friendly hemp-wearing Prius-driving vegan hippies who can handle scooping poop out of cloth nappies. I’m not one of them. Once that Huggie full of mustard-coloured cottage cheese has been removed from my bub’s bum, I want it (and its odour) to disappear as quickly as possible. The Sangenic nappy disposal system allows you to pop the nappy in the top and wind the lever so it seals off the offensive odour. Once the bowel movement has been sealed off, the film neutralises the smell and fights the bacteria. No more running out to the garbage bin squealing in your PJs. The cassette refills are a bit pricey at $15 each but your nasal cavity will thank you. The Sangenic Starter Kit includes 6 cassettes and is available from Baby Bunting for $75.
No, I am not retracting my aversion to cloth nappies as stipulated above. These aren’t for poop, they’re for puke. I was lucky enough to be blessed with a baby who suffered from severe reflux until he was about five months old. After each feed, Moo would projectile three litres of breastmilk across the room sometimes drenching our dog (and almost always saturating the couch) in the process. I would go through about ten of these spew rags a day. Even if your bub only does mild spews, a pack of cloth nappies will always come in handy. They’re super absorbent and if cupped in front of baby’s mouth they ensure minimal splash back…and they’re a lot cheaper than buying a new couch. A pack of 12 cloth nappies costs $20 at Baby Bunting.