Honest Parenting- Things I wish I was told not to buy for my newborn
I wish I was warned more vigorously about over-spending on newborns. No matter what your budget is, every parent would like to provide the best to their kids within their ability. I strongly believe that parenting books should insert a chapter on ‘honest parenting’ – how to root yourself while your hormone is driving you crazy during pregnancy!
As a mum who failed to control herself, below is my advice on items you should think twice before purchasing.
It must have been the hormone.
'Oh so lovely!' You might also have said (and still would say!) that when checking out baby's clothing department. The week when we knew we got a girl, I ended up buying loads of really cute onesies after strolling through the biggest department store in Amsterdam, without even thinking about the fact that my girl would be arriving in autumn and that she would be covered with another layer of clothing anyway.
Ended up we only saw those overly sweet onesies when we change her. Plus she overgrew one size in every two month in her first half year…
Who would see this lovely onesie set underneath the winter coat?
2. (Too many) fancy dresses
No surprise that clothing item tops the chart.
It was (still is) irresistible not to buy cute dresses for your own daughter. However, to be really honest with yourself, a baby younger than 6 months who lays and crawls most of the time isn't the handiest with dresses. When she was 8 months, I promised myself only to buy dresses again only when she can walk!
Now these tiny lovely dresses and skirts are buried in her wardrobe and waiting for the next garage sale!
Be honest and vote!
Do you think you have spent on unnecessary items for your newborn?
3. Non-stretchable clothing
This is a really important warning for new parents. Always buy stretchable clothing for babies under 6 months.
Changing a newborn is already not easy (at least to me as a new mum!) and non-stretchable fabric doesn't help any further. The extreme case for us was that we had to cut one woven shirt open cause we were not able to take it off the 5-month-old, no joke.
4. Stand-alone baby bath
Almost all the baby magazines I read during pregnancy showcase a relax mum bathing her newborn in a wonderfully modern stand-alone baby bathtub.
We of course had got one! As soon as she’s born, we realize the issue of practically.
Our bathroom is just like any standard Dutch homes – a walk-in shower, a double-sink and a bathtub. With the baby bath standing in there meaning literally no space to move around. OK – we moved it to the living room – but where to get water? Turn out that bathing activity has become a family event.
On the positive note, it was useful for the first 3 months. But as soon as your baby gets more mobile and wants to stand up, the whole suppose-to-be-relaxing bathing experience becomes a nightmare. From then on we bought a plastic flat and rounded bath and put it in our walk-in showering space solidly on the floor.
Beautiful mum with a relaxing baby. Not at my home.
Again another hugely space-occupying item that did not add much value, at least for my own baby.
If your baby loves playing in it, it will be your savory, but mine didn't. She could stay there for maximum 5 minutes and would shout for getting out. Sometimes she simply refused to get in there. I'm glad the second-hand market in the Netherlands in really vivid and we got rid of it when she hit one.
6. Fancy high chair
So we got a really nice fancy Tripp Trapp at the beginning and now we end up using the cheapest yet the handiest Ikea highchair.
Not saying Tripp Trapp isn't nice, but to us it does not clean as easy as the Ikea one and our kid was able to crawl out from it when she was 7 months! We still keep the Tripp Trapp as it might be more usable at a later age though.
The 'grow-with-you' chair.
7. Fancy learning cups
I don’t know if it's just me or it is a general mumsy thing. When she hit 6 month and started solid, I thought great, I'm gonna get you a good learning cup. I bought the first cup which cost Eur15, she didn’t like it. Got another one at Eur10, fine, she could use it.
A month later, it got broken so I replaced it. Same happened again in 2 months time so learning cup number 3.
Then she hit 10 months and I read that drinking from cups with soft tips is not good for her milk teeth. So then I got her a learning cup from Philips, but that one doesn't work at all. It leaks even I with me drinking from it. By then it was cup number 5 with a straw, that worked fine and you can add up the amount we spent on this.
She is able to use a normal cup from 14-month onwards.
Do your math and you’ll know how much we could have save!
Sometimes honesty is scarce and I hope this gives a more realistic view than the ‘model-families’ on parenting magazines.