The Essential List for the Expectant Nigerian Mum - PART 1
This was a difficult post for me as it meant going back to my baby shopping list and facing the scary truth that maybe I really didn’t need to buy all the things I bought.
Having said that, I am going to edit said list ruthlessly and maybe add a couple of items I found useful later and you guys can have what I am calling the The Essential List for the Expectant Nigerian Mum. Trust me, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t have to buy immediately and stuff you can absolutely save on.
REAR FACING CAR SEAT
Unless you are bringing baby home on an okada, keke napep, Danfo or BRT, this is an absolute must have! I don’t want to harp on the importance of carseats on every blog post so if you are not sure why I’m so gung-ho on this, please just read my post on why this is the first item you should buy.
Ugh, I found clothes so confusing and because I didn’t plan I Just bought whatever I thought was cute. Guess what happened? Yup, I bought too many of one size and a lot of non-practical items as well. So with clothing, you have to kind of leave your ovaries and heart at home else you will buy the whole store before you know it. As much as possible, please buy 100% Cotton to avoid skin irritation. Also, don’t buy too many brightly colored clothes for the first three months – stick to whites and grays that wont fade so easily as babies poop a lot during this period and you will wash the clothes practically everyday. Another tip, invest in Baby Napisan – its really difficult to find but it’s the safest way to keep your whites whiter than white! (I’ve never used chlorine bleach on my kids’ clothes)
You should buy at least 4-5 in each size, long-sleeved for the 0-3/3-6m age so baby doesn’t get a chill. Although, you are told not to buy too many in the small sizes – don’t be too literal and buy just a couple, my baby went through at least 3 onesies a day. In terms of brands, I loved Babygap onesies the best – a bit pricey but holds up after several washes, stretchy and soft and last forever!! My least favourite brand was Gerber – they run so small and were way too thin. Some moms also swear by Next and I heard George by Asda also holds up well if you are on a tight budget.
The All in One/Footed Onesie/Pyjamas
You guys, this is the Holy Grail of Baby Clothing!!! Forget everything else on this post and just rush off to buy as many of this as you can find – this stuff will change your life! I’m getting butterflies in my belly just writing about them. This was my baby’s uniform for Pediatrician visits, getting his shots, at home, long car rides to granny, naptime, feeding time etc. He only wore proper outfits if I wanted to take pictures for the ‘gram or maybe we were going out and we had to ‘tension them’. This is the practical (read lazy) mom’s solution to missing socks, wiggly bottoms and even mitts. Some even come with zips and fold down sleeves that can double as mitts – what more could a tired mom ask for right?! With these I bought any I could find - H&M o, Primark o, Next o, Babygap o, I was here for all of them! If you want to save money, just buy more of these till baby turns 3 months instead of onesies, pants, socks etc as you and baby will mostly be indoors.
Personally, I found pants so problematic in those first months so I stayed off them once I was in Naija. Having to always remove them every 3hours to change baby was too much work for lazy ol’ me - we didn’t even venture into Jeans territory till 9 months when I was only changing 4 times a day! But I loved Hannah Anderson joggers, they are made from organic cotton, soft and last after a lot of washes. I found Baby Gap joggers run a bit small but I know my baby has really stocky footballer type legs (future Messi in Jesus name lol) so I bought lots of shorts instead. If you are on a budget, try Old Navy cotton pants. But seriously, if its not cold why bother with bottoms uhn?
Swaddlers & Sleepsacks
When I had my baby, swaddling was all the rage. If you told anyone you weren’t getting enough sleep they automatically asked you if you were swaddling (**rolls eyes**). Again, I went slightly crazy looking all over the net for swaddling blankets or swaddles and true enough Lulu would sleep well enough swaddled – for like 30mins – before breaking out of it like houdini. Look at him – you can't even get upset with him! Babies generally love swaddling as it reminds them of being cocooned in your warm cosy womb but mine just loved the thrill of getting out of it more. I also got some wearable blankets aka sleepsacks as ideally you shouldn’t be putting a blanket on your baby to sleep because of SIDs - more on that later.
Sincerely you can give hats a miss, you only need them those first few weeks and they are often too big. But if you don’t want to start WW3 with your MIL or Mom just have a couple to hand because God forbid a new born should not wear a hat! (**rolls eyes**) I won't lie I had some really cool bibs that looked like tuxedos or waist coats (love those!!) and some Ralph Lauren ones I got as a gift, but my favourite bibs were those bandana bibs – so cute!!! Always me by Anne Li has some really cool Naija-flavoured ones. For socks, I know most moms complain they are always getting missing but I got some Trumpettes and Hannah Anderson ones as gifts and they always stayed put. Please don’t ask me about booties – I have no clue why they exist – just get socks. Stock up on some mittens as well but you only need a couple to let the nail grow out before you cut them. (more tricks and tips on this later)
'Ehn? Shoes ke? For a new born?' Relax – I am talking about crib shoes, you know those tiny cute little things that you buy loads of but your baby outgrows at the speed of light? Yeah, those ones! Oh, I was obsessed with Mocassins! #Obsessed! Of course, I couldn’t afford the Freshly Picked brand but I looked for cheaper imitations (100% Leather of course) and let me tell you, I recommend them from the bottom of my heart! They are sooo easy to get on and off, no need to start turning baby’s tiny feet left and right to find the perfect angle to fit into. They are soft leather, comes in different colours and finishes and have an elasticated back and they also stay on! #Perfection
Phewww I told you clothes can be tiring! So let me close by sharing my favourite brands for baby clothing.
*Basic Bang for your Buck Brands
- Cat & Jack (Target’s brand) – amazing value for money
- The Children’s Place
- Old Navy
- George by Asda
- BabyGap – just an all-round solid brand for baby basics
- Gymboree – perfect for big Naija babies
- First Impressions (Macy’s brand)
***Hey, Big Spender
- Janie & Jack – lovvvveeee this brand but odikwa costly so try to only buy on sale or pre-owned
- Ralph Lauren
- Baby Boden
If you feel overwhelmed by all these, not to worry! Take a look at Cuddlecircle.com. You can get really nice preloved clothes at highly discounted prices so you can save money to spend on consumables like diapers and formula. And when you are done with the clothes, you can sell them back to keep the circle going!!!
Check out my next post on what to do about Sleeping Arrangements.
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