New parents will always want the best for their new child, this is a given. And the baby shops are bursting to the seams with products they make you think you cannot do without. Well, I’m here to help your purse strings and give you 5 things you definitely DO NOT NEED. As a midwife of over 30 years, I’ve visited countless homes. These are the items parents have told me they wished they hadn’t spent their well-earned cash on.
Baby Sleep Gadgets
These items promise to get your new baby to sleep but they are nothing more than a quick fix. And what I call an Elastoplast method! These include the Lulla Doll (it sounds like an alien and chews up batteries like no tomorrow). The Glow Dreaming (a red night light) – night lights damage the retina and interfere with melatonin production. Next up is the Shusher is a white noise machine that plays the shush sound constantly. You’d be better off using white noise on an app if you have noisy floorboards. https://babyshusher.com and https://glowdreaming.com and https://lulladoll.com/products/lulla-doll
This is a very expensive cot devised by a paediatrician, Dr Harvey Karp. And based on his 5 S’s techniques. Basically, the baby is placed on a very hard and thin mattress and strapped into a swaddle/straight jacket. With their arms down by their side and firmly swaddled in position. This is so they cannot move, roll or get themselves comfortable. You then press a button and it rocks the baby in a swishing motion and emits white noise. Basically it takes you the parents and your loving, nurturing touch out of the equation. And lets the SNOO do it all for you. I’ve been to many homes where the parents have purchased an SNOO hoping for a peaceful night in exchange for $1303 USD OR $1871 AUD. And all they’ve got is a costly ornament gathering dust. You control everything via an app on your phone.
The problem starts with the 4 – 6-month stage when babies want to roll. Well in the SNOO the baby can’t move and it’s too snug to be used past 4-5 months with most normal sized babies. I recently did an overnight visit where I helped a mum wean her baby off the SNOO. This was because the wean off button on the device didn’t help her baby. It took one night and a lot of protest crying to get her self-settling. You may recall a previous article on similar lights, camera, action cot I reviewed in the Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/04/09/cot-designed-to-simulate-moving-car-is-actually-a-parents-worst_a_22033042/
An expensive swaddle suit such as love to dream, ergo pouch cocoon, merino kids swaddle is not needed. Swaddling is a very Australian parenting pre-occupation. The UK does not allow swaddling at all because of the risk from SIDS. Most babies prefer to have their hands free and this is how they are in utero. True self-soothing is being able to put their hand or thumb or fingers in their mouth and put themselves off to sleep from being fully awake. Once fabric interferes with this which swaddling does then it is not self-soothing. Tucking babies in firmly with sheets and blankets manages the startle reflex and allows the baby to calm themself. You may have heard of the weighted blanket which is used with ADHD? Well, using layers of blankets of natural fibres (merino wool, cotton and bamboo) achieve the same thing a calm and unstressed baby.
A purpose-built changing table
This can take up a lot of room and doesn’t add anything to a room other than unnecessary clutter. Instead, try using a foam changing mat placed on top of a chest of drawers or change your baby on the floor. Nappy changing is something you will be doing 7-10 x a day for 6-9 months so you want to choose an option that works best for you. Changing tables retail at $200-600 whereas a simple foam change mat retails at $29 AUD, a bargain.
Bassinet vs a cot
There is no reason why your baby has to sleep in a bassinet for the first 3-4 months. A cot is a perfectly good option and again saves on unnecessary clutter in the house. If you’re wanting to create a snug environment for the 4th-trimester use layers of natural fibre blankets to create the snug and cosy feel of the uterus.
I hope you enjoyed reading my top 5 things a baby nursery can do without and I hope it saved you a whole motza of cash along the way.