7 must-haves for first-time moms

We all know the essential items a baby needs, but once you’ve ticked off diapers, baby clothes and pacifiers, consider these seven items, too. By Tammy Jacks


A baby carrier

You know you want to “wear” your new baby a lot, but it’s essential to spend some time trying out slings and carriers before you buy one.

Whether you’re cooking a meal, going for a walk or to the grocery store, when it comes to keeping your baby close and having your hands free, babywearing is a mom’s best friend. However, the type of sling or carrier you use is an entirely personal choice. While some moms prefer a softer, lighter fabric in the form of a sling or wrap, others choose a sturdier carrier. It all depends on your lifestyle. Are you intending to go on loads of walks with your little one? Then a carrier with extra support might be what you’re looking for.

The bottom line: when you’re on the hunt for a baby sling or carrier, have a look at all the options available. Try them on if you can and practise using them before your baby arrives.

Our top pick:

SnuggleRoo Baby Carrier, R550

Available from Baby City, Baby Boom, Toys R Us, takealot.com and loot.co.za

 SnuggleRoo baby carrier

ALSO SEE: The benefits of baby wearing, PLUS how to choose the best baby carrier

A bath seat

All new moms will agree that bathing a newborn can be a nerve-wracking experience. Babies tend to squirm around a lot and their wet skin, especially with some bath oil or emollient on it, can be very slippery. If you’re having to hold your little one with the one arm while reaching for the body wash at the same time, there’s an increased risk that your baby might wriggle out of your arms.

The bottom line: Infant bath seats are safer than bathing your baby in your arms. They’re ideal for babies up to the age of six months and they allow you to bath your little one and interact without the worry that he may fall into the water. It’s important to look for a seat that won’t irritate your baby’s delicate skin and one that supports your child’s body safely and comfortably.

Our top pick:

Angelcare Bath Support Seat, from R499

angel care baby bath seat

ALSO SEE: How to bath your baby

Practical clothes

You know you’ll be spoilt with trendy baby clothes at your baby shower, but in the beginning, the simpler the better.

While the latest baby shoes and fancy clothes are adorbale, they’re simply not practical for little babies. Newborns spend most of their time sleeping and eating, so it’s important that they’re as comfortable as possible. Clothes with big buckles, frills or buttons can irritate your little one’s skin and she might end up crying endlessly because something as simple as a clothing label is scratching her skin.

The bottom line: Keep your new baby’s wardrobe simple. She doesn’t need shoes until she becomes mobile and the simpler baby grows work best. They’re cosier and made with lightweight fabric to ensure your baby is comfortable. They’ll also make nappy changes easier!

Our top pick:

Woolworths Embroidery Bear Rib Sleepsuit, R99,95

Woolwroths Embroidery-Bear-Rib-SleepsuitA high chair

From the time your little one starts solids and can sit with good neck control, you’ll probably need a high chair. But, did you know that toddlers and older kids love high chairs too? They’re also practical and convenient – allowing your child to mess and experiment with a variety of different foods, as well as sit at the same height as the adults at the table.

The bottom line: When you first buy a high chair, look for one that has adjustable features, so you can keep using it as your child grows.

Our top pick:

Baneen Adjustable Baby Feeding High Chair, R1 270

High Chair

A baby swing

You know you need to find a baby chair, but no one tells you that baby swings are better.

Besides being calming and soothing for your little one, swinging and rocking are important activities for babies because it stimulates the vestibular system and helps with balance later. Rather than opting for a simple baby chair, look for one that can be used as a swing or rocker, too.

The bottom line: Babies love the feeling of rocking and swinging. So, if you’d like to pop your child in the swing while you make a cup of tea or put dinner on, you know your baby will be happy in her swing and you won’t have to manually rock or bounce it yourself (if you opt for an electronic one.)

Our pick:

Bambino Swingomatic 2 in 1, from R1 850

bambino Swingomatic 2 in 1An all-round stroller

Did you know the latest running prams are better for all-round terrain and can accommodate younger babies?

There’s no need to buy two strollers, unless you have specific preferences. The latest strollers are designed for you to be able to push in the park, on undulating terrain, in busy malls with narrow corridors and just about anywhere – while ensuring your little one is comfortable and safe.

The bottom line: You don’t need two strollers – you just need a multi-purpose one.

Our top pick:

Thule Urban Glide Stroller, from R11 999

Thule urban glide

A co-sleeper

You know you need a bassinet, but a co-sleeper is may be more convenient.

According to the American Paediatric Association, parents should sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed, as their little ones for at least the first six months after birth.

ALSO SEE: Parents and baby should sleep in the same room, say new SIDS guidelines

A co-sleeper allows your little one to sleep right next to you, so you won’t need to get out of bed to breasfeed during the night, but it’s also safer than sharing the same bed with your baby.

There’s no risk of suffocation or accidentally rolling over onto your little one. However, it’s important to ensure that the co-sleeper is exactly in line with the side of your bed with no gaps in between as this will decrease the chances of your baby rolling into any gaps.

The bottom line: A co-sleeper gives you all the benefits of co-sleeping with the extra safety and independence of a separate bed.

Our top pick:

Bambino Beside Me Sleeper, R2 599.90

Bambino beside me sleeper




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