Having spoken to a good number of other mums, I’ve come up with a list of the ten most commonly cited items when you ask a mum “what do you wish you hadn’t bothered buying?”
As with everything based on opinions, some items that weren’t useful to one mum may have been a godsend to another, and if there wasn’t demand for an item it wouldn’t be made. These are the items that many first time mums regretted buying before their babies were born, in no particular order…
1. Scratch mitts.
When I was pregnant, for some reason I became overwhelmed by the compulsion to buy about ten pairs of scratch mitts and it seems I was not alone. Most mums I spoke to said they had bought several pairs they didn’t use. Why? Because a lot of sleepsuits have built in scratch mitts and even if they don’t, baby socks work just as well.
2. Baby bath.
Most people buy one but many find they are soon outgrown, or they end up not being used as their babies prefer to bathe with their parents.
3. Nappy bin.
These are great in principle but, as the refills are so expensive, many end up just using nappy sacks and putting them in a normal bin.
4. Changing table.
Many people buy these units and end up changing their babies using a changing mat on a floor, bed or table.
5. Baby shoes.
While they look adorable, shoes are not really necessary for babies as they can’t walk and babies often find them annoying. Many mums don’t use booties either as babies only really need socks (or nothing if it’s warm enough) on their feet.
Even in winter, blankets suffice and are much easier to remove when you go inside if your baby has fallen asleep. While some mums adore them, personally I found my baby hated being put into and taken out of snowsuits.
7. Lots of newborn sized clothes.
It’s fun to buy clothes for our babies when we’re pregnant but many of us wish we’d bought them in a range of sizes, not just newborn as our babies grew so quickly (or were large babies and went straight into 0-3 months!). It’s also easy to underestimate the amount of gifts we’ll receive, often in newborn size.
8. Breast pump.
Many lists claim this is an essential item to buy before your baby is born but it’s not recommended that you pump before six weeks and even after that you may decide you don’t wish to express your milk or you may, as many women do, find hand expressing easier and more convenient. If you do decide to pump, or you find you need to pump to boost a low milk supply, you can always buy one when the need arises.
9. Breastfeeding pillow.
While they can be helpful to many mums, others dislike them and several claim they make you too reliant on them, making nursing in public more difficult.
10. Moses basket fitted sheets.
Some women buy several of these and, since babies are generally not in moses baskets for more than a few months, they are not used for very long. Using pillowcases (with the open end away from baby’s head and all tucked in underneath) is a cheaper alternative and you’ll be able to re-use the pillowcases afterwards for yourself.