Ideal Baby Shopping List (for a mum not on a budget)

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CATEGORIES ITEM USAGE
Feeding the baby (Breastfeeding) Breast pump You will need this if you intend to breastfeed for long. They are manual pumps as well as electric pumps. Choose a pump that is easy to use and clean. Ask the shop attendant to demonstrate usage
Nursing Tops or blouse Make breastfeeding in public easier.
Baby Banda Nursing Cover Privacy during breastfeeding
Nursing bras The trick to buying nursing bras is not to buy too early and too many at one go. The reason: breast size fluctuates. Cup size is the largest during the early days of breastfeeding and will shrink after a few months of breastfeeding. It is important not to wear underwire bras during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding. Wearing underwire bras during pregnancy will affect the development of milk glands resulting in clogged ducts during breastfeeding. 100% Cotton is best as it allows air to circulate and prevents yeast infection.
Nursing pads An important item when breastfeeding; breast pads help prevent embarrassment and stains from leaking breasts. You can either get disposable or washable breast pads. Wearing soaked pads for any length of time is not recommended as this makes nipple conditions such as yeast more common. When washing reusable pads, be sure to avoid liquid fabric softener as it can impede the pad’s absorbency.
Baby Banda’s Breastfeeding pillow A nursing pillow allows you to breastfeed comfortably by supporting the weight of the baby. The Baby Banda Nursing pillow has multiple uses like supporting the back of the baby when he learns to sit and propping the baby when he is having nose congestion or for exercise.
Nipple cream To soothe sore and cracked nipples during the early days of nursing though the best natural remedy is to express some of your breast milk, especially the hindmilk, and rub it on the nipple then air dry your breasts.
Feeding the Baby (Bottle feeding) Sterilizer To sterilize the bottles you can use a sterilizer which allows 6 bottles to be sterilized at one go. This sterilizer also keeps the bottles sterilized for 6 hours if you don’t open the lid. However, if money is an issue one can purchase baby sterilizing liquids e.g. Milton’s, Sterol etc. Boiling and use of boiling water is also an effective way of sterilizing.
Bottles There is a wide variety of bottles to choose from in the Kenyan market. However, one should choose a bottle that is durable, easy to clean, and with a soft enough teat for ease of suckling by the baby
Formula container To be able to carry formula when travelling.
Bottle scrub brush Comes in different shapes and materials. Sponge brush cleaners clean better. They should also be sterilized and replaced frequently.
Bottle detergent Any non-toxic cleaning detergent can be used.
Teats Choose teats that are better for teeth development. Choose the appropriate size for your baby. Buy two initially as you need to change the teats when your baby grows. Please note that most teats are not interchangeable and might not fit a different brand of bottle. Most teats must be discarded after two months of use. Check the usage instructions for your brand of teats.
Nursery The Baby Cot or Bed The bed or cot should be firm and made of safe material. To save money, one can purchase a bed that is adjustable and versatile such that it can be used for a longer time, e.g. the sleeping height can change as the baby learns how to stand to avoid falls, etc.
Baby Banda Fitted Cot Sheets These are fitted cot sheets made in cotton or flannel fabric for bed sizes 2x4ft or 2.5x5ft. To save cash, one can purchase just the fitted sheet and where budget allows, can do a full set (fitted sheet and top flat sheet).
Baby Banda Cot Bumper This is very useful to pad the bed. All Cot Bumpers come with a removable cover. Comes in 2 Types: Single Cot Bumper (one full cot bumper) or Cot Bumper Set (one full cot bumper + fitted sheet + Baby Pillow Set).
Baby Banda Baby Pillow Set Small Baby Pillow and Tube Rest i.e. Lumbar roll. The small pillow is used to raise baby to prevent food reflux and the lumbar roll is used for Tummy Time. Tummy time for the baby is extremely important for the physical development of the baby.
Baby Banda Mackinstosh mat This is a mackintosh mat with a flannel top cover. It can be used for many versatile purposes like bathing or as a crawling mat for babies to exercise and play. It can also be used for diaper changes.
Moses Basket You can use this to lay your baby down for a nap when in different rooms or when visiting family and friends.
Chest of drawers To place all your babies clothing get a good quality non-toxic chest of drawers.
Layette (basic collection of clothes and accessories babies will need through his first few weeks) Tops Pants Rompers / Bodysuit Sleep Suits It is better to get front-button shirts instead of pullovers. It is sensible to get several sizes larger as kids grow at an amazing rate.
Receiving blankets To wrap the baby up. Some experts advocate for swaddling the babies and others don’t. Follow your baby’s cues. If they like it then you can go ahead and swaddle them.
Booties and scratch mittens Babies should wear mittens up to two months of age as babies at that age are trying to learn the world around them through their sense of touch. Try to get mittens and booties as small as possible for newborns.
Towels and face cloth Terry hooded cotton cloth towels that help easily wipe off the water after washing your newborn’s hair. You can also buy 2 big towels to use as the baby grows.
Bathing and changing accessories Bath Tub/ container for a sponge bath You can bath the baby even before the stump of the umbilical cord falls off which usually occurs in the second week after birth. You could also squeeze drops alcohol from alcohol swabs (made using cotton wool) onto the cord to clean and dry it. Always use cooled boiled water to wipe the areas around the baby’s eye and face starting from the cleanliest part of the face, which is the eyes. Buy a good size of tub taking into consideration the growing baby so that you might not need to change it too soon.
Bath Seat You may want to use a bath seat when the baby is about 4 months old so that you may use the showerhead to bathe the baby. It saves water and time.
Heater It is good to get a heater to heat the room as babies tend to lose their body heat very fast. Heat the room for a few minutes before starting the bath.
Baby Banda Changing Mats These are small mackintosh mats that are perfect for diaper changes. Fits snugly into the Diaper Bag.
Changing table It is actually not necessary but if you need to buy one, make sure that it comes with a safety belt to prevent the baby from falling off especially when the baby starts to turn. You can also use a changing mat placed on the bed or any stable surface.
Small dish container 10-12 inches diameter. To wipe the baby’s eyes and face. Remember to use only boiled water during the first month as newborns have very sensitive skin. This is also used for diaper changes as it is recommended that you use water and cotton wool during this time.
Bath sponge You can use a bath sponge as it is gentle on the skin but cleanses efficiently. Some people prefer to use cotton cloth hankies.
Cotton wool It is actually more economical to get big rolls of cotton wool than balls of cotton and they work equally well if you soak them in water.
Bathing gel and moisturizer It is important not to use soaps directly on the baby’s skin. Remember to place the bathing gel on the bath sponge first.
Cotton Buds They are not really recommended as sometimes the cotton can get stuck on any the baby’s small nose or ear. Use a piece of folded cotton hanky instead.
Sterile cotton swabs & Cord spirit To use on the umbilical cord. Some hospitals provide this, so check with your hospital.
Baby Wipes Baby wipes are convenient to use and most companies produce wipes with moisturizing properties. With such a wide variety in the market, you can experiment and find one that does not react with your babies sensitive skin.
Safety pins For use with cloth diapers but if you are using pilchers (pants worn over the cloth diapers) then this is not necessary.
Diapering necessities Disposable Diaper / Cloth Diaper Some people swear by cloth diapers as it is more economical and they claim it can “breath” better than disposable diapers. For cloth diapers, 24 pieces are good enough for a start. If you use disposable diapers, then get a brand that remains dry and is comfortable for your pocket
Barrier cream Popular brands are Drapolene, Zinc and Castor Barrier Cream, H & M Petroleum Jelly etc. The barrier cream you apply allows for the baby’s bottom to remain dry.
Cotton wool Using wet cotton wool to clean baby’s bottom is actually better than using baby wipes as wipes contain fragrances and some babies are allergic to them.
Nappy liners If you are using cloth diapers, you should get nappy liners as they are easier on the baby’s skin.
Travelling necessities Baby sling carrier Buy a sling that is comfortable for both you and the baby. It should provide enough support for carrying the baby. However, in Kenya, the age-old ‘leso’ works just as well as long as you have the right technique to tie it.
Pram Not a necessity but it does make moving around easier.
Car seat A baby needs to be well protected when they are in a car. Choose an age-appropriate one for the baby. Infants less than six months should have a recliner car seat as they not yet able to sit up.
Baby Banda Toddler Neck Pillow Excellent support for your baby’s neck when they are in their car seat
Hand wipes Use this to wipe hands before feeding the baby.
Diapering pack Disposable diapers, cream, wipes and Baby Banda changing mat
Bottle cum warming bag Can use it to carry your expressed breast milk.
Thermo flask/milk bottles/powder container For Formula-fed babies.
Others Baby monitor Good if you are staying in a 2 storey house but there is no need if you stay in a one-level flat, as you can hear the cries of most babies.
Thermometer This is very important. There are several ways to measure the temperature of a baby. You can use an ear thermometer or a digital thermometer. Ear thermometer: Measures the infrared heat of the eardrum, which is very close to the temperature control centre of the brain. Expensive but convenient. Digital thermometer: It is cheap and can be used to measure oral, rectal, and auxiliary temperature. However, oral temperature taking is not advisable for young children. Rectal measurements are slightly higher than oral measurements. An underarm measurement is impacted by room temperature, so accuracy is more difficult to achieve. Underarm measurements are lower than oral measurements.
Nail clippers Do not use it on newborn babies as the nail bed is still fused to the tip of the nail. Use a scratch mitten instead if you are worried that babies will scratch their faces. However, babies also need to learn to feel so at some point those mittens need to come off. Perhaps when you notice baby is more aware so that he/she will not unknowingly scratch their face.
Electric bottle warmer A bottle warmer is fantastic and especially useful in heating up expressed breast milk. It will not overheat the breast milk. Overheating kills the antibodies in the milk. NEVER microwave the bottle to heat the milk as the milk might be heated up unevenly and this can scald the baby.
Rattle Mirror Baby gym Toys for babies. Most babies won’t appreciate it until about a month old.
Electric flask Quick access to hot water especially during the confinement period.
Baby Banda Maternity Briefs Disposable Maternity Pants for women convenient before and especially after child birth
Laundry washing
2 –3 Pails Good to have a separate pail for washing babies clothes and the adults. Have a few pails to allow soaping and rinsing of clothes.
Basket for baby laundry A plastic pail is usually sufficient.
Books Clothes hanger for drying Hanger with clips or pegs for hanging the clothes.
Parenting and Babycare books The best you can do for your baby now is to read. Many pregnant mothers tend to spend too much time on pregnancy guide books and forget about baby care books. When the baby arrives, it will be too late as you will not have the time to read. So start your parenthood in the right way by reading early.