Hopefully my list will save you from the "rookie mistakes" I made when I was pregnant the first time....
1. PRAM - Yes we ended up with THREE!
It’s an expensive mistake buying the wrong pram… hopefully the below points will help you buy the right one.
Fold and Unfold Your Pram - Check how easy it is to collapse the pram and to put it back up. If you need a degree to do those two essential tasks – forget it!!!!!
Does it fit in your Boot? – I know it sounds ridiculous though “Pram 2” didn’t fit in our boot…. It was an expensive brand that I was very proud of, however it remained at home and was the pram we would walk to our local cafe's and restaurants for ‘coffee’s and lunches'.
Longevity of the Pram – Think ahead when/if you have baby number two you will need a pram that attaches either a second seat or a skateboard for your first born who will be a little toddler.
Light Weight – make sure it is light to push and light to lift into your car, as a mother you don’t want to put your back/neck out every time you have to lift it.
Width – My first pram didn’t seem wide when I was looking at the top of it, though I soon found out it was too wide to go through checkouts. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the bolts that bulged out of the centre of the wheels and found they would catch on things. When you are navigating your pram you are normally looking at the width of the handle and assume the pram wouldn’t be any wider (wrong!).
These days there are self service check outs so it shouldn’t be as much as a problem. It still could be a bit annoying when you are pushing it through a café and dragging chairs with you.
Lifestyle – If you love to jog/run and you plan to keep this part of your life with a baby, there are prams specifically designed for you… I run and often see smiling little babies being pushed around by their running mother or father.
2. BUYING FROM FRIENDS
Beware of the pitfalls, I’m all for recycling and think there is nothing wrong with second hand furniture if it is in good and safe working order.
If you have seen a friends baby item you would like and she wants to sell the item, it can work for both parties.
Be careful if you mention you are looking for a particular item if you haven’t seen theirs as you could find yourself in an awkward situation. I had a friend who after hearing about the item I needed to buy was excited to tell me she was selling hers. When I went to look at it I realized it was in terrible condition and wasn’t what I wanted for my baby. However how can you tell someone nicely “it’s not good enough for my baby even though it was good enough for yours…” Let me tell you, you can’t….
I could tell it held a lot of beautiful memories for her and she thought she was doing me a favor…. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I didn’t want it so I asked her how much and brought it from her. I never liked it, it didn’t work for me and I had to put a lot of time and money into cleaning and painting it to make it look nice.
My advice is if you are going to go second hand, you are better off buying from someone you don’t know, as it is a lot easier saying to a stranger “it’s not what we are looking for…” or make sure you have sussed out their furniture/accessories before you find yourself in an awkward situation.
3. MATERNITY CLOTHING
You will like what I have to say about this…. Buy up for your first pregnancy!!!!
I was fortunate to borrow some clothes from a beautiful friend; they were so lovely I would only use those clothes when I was going out some where special. I also brought the bare essentials that I wore every other day.
By the time I had my first baby, the clothes I had brought were ready for the bin… At the time I thought I had done really well. However, when I was pregnant for the second time I had to buy a heap of new clothes and I realized I would have been better off to have brought a lot of nice clothes for my first pregnancy then I could have also used them for my second pregnancy.
So go out and buy a heap of clothes… you can justify it by knowing you will get at least two pregnancies out of them.
4. CHANGE TABLE
Yes we did make a few ‘rookie mistakes’ didn’t we! When it came to change tables I assumed they would all be made to the same height… I was wrong!
It became apparent when I arrived home with my newborn either (a) I had been in denial about my height for 32 years as I was shorter than the average short person; or (b) the change table was made for a giant.
I think the answer was (c) I was short and hadn't considered the height of the change table when purchasing it.
Unfortunately I had to change my son on my tip toes, it wasn’t ideal though I just told myself I was giving my calves a work out (every time I changed a nappy!).
Learn from my mistake... when you buy a Change Table stand close to it and pretend you are changing your baby’s nappy. It will be worth the strange looks from the shop assistant as many baby nappies will be changed on the table you choose.
We had to make a decision on a new car pretty quickly, as we left it to the last minute and I was losing my work car.
We thought we had done our homework, as we brought a car (sedan) that was renowned for its ‘safety’. However we didn’t think about the size of the boot (yes ANOTHER rookie mistake!).
Once we had brought the 'new car' and had a 'new baby' I soon realised I almost had to turn myself inside out to get my 'new pram' in and out of the boot (not to mention having to scratch the paintwork every time).
I had girlfriends who brought 4wd’s… I know 4wd's aren't for everyone; however, I would have JUMPED at owning one when I watched them easily glide their prams in and out of their boot. Some friends' wouldn’t even collapse their prams, unknown to them; it was like rubbing salt into a wound. I would watch my 4wd friend's change their baby’s nappies comfortably as they could open the boot and use it as a change table… In the meantime I was trying to change my baby’s nappy on a sloping seat (not an easy process).
One of my best friend's didn’t buy a huge 4wd, she had a car more like a station wagon in design, and she had most of the same benefits of the larger 4wd. It was easy to glide a pram in and out of the station wagon's boot and she was able to change her baby comfortably if we were out and about.
Everyone tell's you - "sleep when the baby is sleeping", though I'm sure I'm not in the minority when I say I never took peoples advice. It was my time to get the house in order 'incase' someone popped in unexpectedly. I never found anyone ever popped in unexpectedly so I put a lot of pressure on myself to keep everything perfect when it really wasn't necessary.
I wish I had have slept when the baby slept, because when I had my second baby I realised I didn't get that chance again with a toddler running around. When I had my second son I kept thinking about how I should have made the most of sleeping when my baby slept first time round.
No one is watching you, no one is judging you, you aren't being slack... you will end up being a better mother because you won't be so exhausted... so sleep during the day when your baby is asleep as you only have the chance to do it with your first baby.
7. ORDER BABY SETUP
I debated whether to include number 7.... Though to be 100% honest, knowing the business first hand, I would absolutely order Baby Setup as it makes logical, practical and financial sense.
I can understand wanting to personally go shopping for the big ticket items (cots, prams, change tables, high chairs, car seat etc), as you want to see them, touch them, make sure they will work for your personal circumstances (your height, your car; your nursery etc.). Though having all the essential "little bit's and pieces" you need delivered in the one box to your front door, will save you time, energy, petrol going from shop to shop during those last few precious weeks you could be catching up with family and friends or just putting your feet up and relaxing.
I wish this service was available for me back when I was pregnant, though I feel proud I have created a business that will give other women what I truly wanted and I love knowing I am helping them and making their life easier at this special time.