SafeMotherhood
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The rest of your life

What do you need to buy for a new baby?

You can spend a lot of moneyon equipment before your baby is born - and then find that she's toobig to fit in the newborn sleepsuits you stocked up on, that the Mosesbasket was a waste of money as she refuses to sleep in it, and thefluffy teddy you just couldn't resist joins the ranks of the many othersgiven her as a 'welcome-to-the-world'.

Of course it's part of the fun of preparing for your new addition toget a room ready, and naturally you'll need to have some clothes to puther in. But if you haven't got money to burn, there are plenty of waysto save some cash and make sure that you only buy what's reallyessential for the first few weeks. After that, you'll have a much betteridea of what's practical and what's not.

Don't forget that you can buy a lot of items second-hand - NCTNearly New Sales are a good source of booty (click above to find outwhat's going on near you) - or borrow from friends or family. But neverbuy a second-hand car seat (they are useless if broken by being droppedor having been in an accident), and each baby should have a newmattress.

And ask other parents what they really valued - the answers maysurprise you. Here we've broken down the baby equipment wish list intothe essential, the nice to have, and the 'wait and see':

Essential:

Clothes:

• Eight stretchsuits (for nightime, lazy days at home, under snowsuits etc).
• Four vests with envelope necks (long or short sleeve depending on season).
• Eight bibs - soft cotton ones (babies can be messy feeders and bibs protect clothes).
• Two cardigans for an extra layer.
• An all-in-one snowsuit in winter, or light jacket in summer.
• Warm hat in winter, sunhat for summer.

Choose colours that can go in the wash together; white is good asit's unisex so can be saved for another baby, and it can freshen upeasily - these first clothes will take a lot of washing. Don't buyeverything in 'newborn' sizes, and keep packaging and receipts - yourbaby may be bigger than you think.

Equipment:

• Pram or pushchair for a newborn (one that lies flat). Ask aroundto see what features are most valued. Try plenty before you buy.
• Car seat for a newborn.
• Car blind for Summer.
• Cot - buy a new safety mattress if you inherit a cot.
• At least four sheets.
• Three cotton cellular blankets for layering.
• Nail scissors.
• Nappies and changing mat.
• Plastic bowl for 'top and tailing.
• Cotton wool.
• Babywipes.

Nice to have:
Clothes: a couple of 'outfits' to dress your baby up for special trips out.

Equipment:

• Moses basket or crib for the first few months.
• Baby bath or foam 'cradle' for your big bath.
• Baby sling.
• Baby gym for baby to play with on mat.
• Changing bag.
• Bouncing chair.
• Nappy changing box or station.

Wait and see whether you need:

• Travel cot.
• Rucksack style back carrier.
• Swinging chair for baby.
• Almost all toys (you may be surprised what you receive as gifts).
• Additional clothes.