What you need for your baby …. even if he is a prince …

Having a baby is one of those joyful tinged with panic situations.  That last 9 months, or however far along you realise you are pregnant.

If you are adopting or having a baby through another route, the time line may be longer or get compressed into two frantic weeks.

Baby magazines, product advertising and all the “punt my product” blogs and forums make it really hard to buy what you need, and not find yourself blowing your salary on a chair that is pink, and for what ever reason costs R6 000.00 but you just must have it!

Right now my heart goes out to anyone pregnant with a baby – especially a boy child.  Because the media is going to go Little Prince crazy – and you are going to see heaps of items that you “just must have” but the reality is that you probably will never use.

I acquired a ton of things when Connor was joining us.

Georgia I also made sure I was organised – though the fact that she was a girl came as a bit of a surprise and required fast dashes to the closest Woolworths by Kennith when she made her entrance into the world, as I realised none of the “green” items were going to do.

Isabelle was a much calmer affair.  I knew what I needed, and it really was not a lot.  I did not spend much on all the new fangled items – and in most cases trolled for second hand items – let’s call them pre-loved or vintage which sounds so much better than second hand.

My friend Joyce asked me to a baby list in 2011 and I went to look at it again this morning – so here is ANOTHER BABY LIST that you probably don’t need, but there we go.

Not a comprehensive list, but just some thoughts.

Basic must haves:

Breathable cot mattress + mattress covers x 3 (this you buy new from Toys R Us after you have the cot as mattress must fit your cot)

Normal bedding – fitted sheets – usually you do not really buy duvets + pillows etc, as they can be hazards to a baby in a cot, so I tend to buy them because they look pretty not because they are a necessity.  I bought from Treehouse factory store, but you can get these anywhere.  Isabelle sleeps on a mattress + sheet, and then I put loose blankets on top of her.

Bumpers (to stop baby’s feet getting caught in the bars of the cot) are usually recommended for small babies, but I found Isabelle kept pulling hers down – so I ended up purchasing two great sets and never using them)

Changing mat – you need one that goes on your compactum –  big thick thing with raised sides.  Treehouse is good for this.

Box/Container for toiletries that stands on your compactum – I suggest a wooden one from Builder’s Warehouse or a plastic one from Plastic Warehouse.

Polar fleece baby blankets x 3 – 4 – I use these a lot, and just layer them when baby is cold.

Receiving blankets – 4 – 6 of these, also used to keep baby warm, used underneath baby, used to add layers, I am using some of Connor’s ones with Isabelle, so these are great to hand from one baby to another, and have a thousand uses.

Towelling nappies – not as nappies, but as puke cloths – buy a pack from Jet – fairly good quality and you just need something to reach for every time your baby up chucks.

Sleeping wedges – can buy anywhere – basically to stop baby rolling over on to his/her back, Toys R Us have these.

Baby towels – I ended up with dozens of these, and the hoody part is nice, but really not a have to have — and you always end up getting a dozen of these.

Kango Bath support for baby – you can pick these up anywhere, and they are pretty useful stuff.  I had a purple one and it was brilliant.

Microwave sterilizer – you can pretty much buy these anywhere – stick with the cheap and cheerful R89.00 one, no need to dip into the R450.00 one which just looks jazzy but essentially does the same thing (stay away from Miltons – used to clean bottles)

Decide on a bottle system – I use NUK, but different people use different ones.  The problem is the bottles/teats are not interchangeable, so once you decide on a system, you are pretty much stuck with it.  I got a free NUK one, and then just used it since.  Bottles are expensive and you need about 6 of them, so it is one of those things you buy, then do not open, and if you see baby is using them, then you open them.  (you do not open them so you can return them if your baby for some reason just does not like the particular system)

Bottle brushes – do not try to purchase the NIMBUS 2000 range, buy what ever is being sold at PnP or where ever.  I can’t say I used this that often …..

Decide if you are going to use a dummy – and then purchase – I opted for NUK (because I liked the bottles and the product) – but dummies are not a necessity, and you need to make a decision upfront as to whether you want to go with one or not.

Nappy bag – for your sanity opt for a backpack styled one.  (contents spare clothes, food, dummy, wipes, nappies, traveling changing mat – something that is always packed and ready to go, so if you need to go somewhere, you grab it – so it has duplicates of what ever you use for baby, and the idea is to have it packed so when ever you have to go somewhere you grab it and go)

DO NOT BUY CLOTHES, I HAVE MORE THAN ANY CHILD WILL EVER WEAR AND MOST WITH LABELS.  People give you and buy you clothes, and if you are feeling vaguely like watching your bank balance, people will drown you in baby clothes that all seem to arrive and look like they have never been worn.

However if you want to dress your child in Keedo/Naartjie/Earth Child, then please buy clothes.

Shoes are a total unnecessary purchase and are purely a “cute” purchase.

The only thing you need to purchase are probably vests – I prefer the ones that do not clip at the crotch, but most prefer the ones that do.  Your baby will be little in winter, so you need to purchase these as you will need one to two per day.

 Toiletries:

Nappies – I suggest you start with Pampers and go from there.  Buy from PnP and if you decide you do not like them, cannot use them you can return to PnP for a refund!  You average about 5 per day on a young baby.

Bum cream – I swear by Lucoderm – can buy from any chemist – comes in a tub, lasts for ages.  One tub will pretty much see your baby through from birth to about university, so no need to buy the full range of nappy creams.  Many of them are not great, and other than smell nice do not do a whole lot of good.

Wipes – buy what you can afford, Cherub works well, and is a good price, but I also like the Pampers ones.

Baby wash – I tend to use Johnsons Baby Top to ToeWash

Baby Powder – I use Johnsons with Camomile (purple label) – because I like the smell.  But most professional nurses would suggest an odourless plain powder based product without any frills or fuss.

Medication to keep on hand: Calpol, Empiped (suppository), Voltarin (suppository), Nurofed *****, Panado – you want to keep a ready supply of medication to combat temperatures, young babies pick up a fever quite easily.  Have a stash of short syringes (no needles) as getting medication into the back of a baby’s mouth/throat is a trick and a syringe will be a great tool.

Very useful: nappy sacks – fragrant plastic bags to dispose of nappies.  I use these when I go out – it makes me look civilised even though I have baby shit under my finger nails.

Pack of cotton wools makeup swabs – I find them useful for every day – wiping little areas and so on.

Johnsons Aqueous Cream, which I use on occasion.

Bepanthen cream – good for odds and sods, bites, dry areas, and so on.

Bathroom Stuff:

A non-slip mat in the bath.

Bath toys and one of those little bags that clip on to the side of the bath to put toys in.

A bath caddy for baby’s toiletries.

Baby toothbrush – I started with a baby toothbrush really early, so they get familiar with the brush and the toothpaste in their mouth, so that when you start brushing life is easier as it does not become a problem.  Easier to start with this in the bath when they are little as a game, so it just becomes a non-issue.

Sanity purchases (your sanity):

Mechanical/electric bounce/swing chair – try to find one second hand.  This was my tool of sanity with Isabelle who never stopped screaming.

Curtains or blinds that block out light totally – quite a good idea to do this from the start.

Rocking chair/wing backed chair/small single couch in babies room – will saving you standing rocking baby, and sometimes you end up sitting in babies room when baby is sick.

Electronic thermometer – buy from PnP – cost probably about R400.00 – total sanity purchase!!!  You will use it forever, I have a Braun Thermoscan and it is still going strong and I think it is 5 years old.

Mobile above cot – having one with music is a nice touch – the music and the moving things do sooth baby, but you can buy this second hand.  Really nice for baby to look at and the music does sooth some babies – I must confess that Isabelle liked hers while the other two kids were not that interested in them at all – so I think the mobile was for me, so I could stand and look at it when I was rocking one of them to sleep.  So buy a mobile you like – maybe Robert Downey Junior has a mobile!

Night light – I preferred not to use one, but some people do use them.

Baby Monitor – buy new – like a walkie-talkie – one goes in baby’s room and one in your room, so you do not need to keep going to open the door to check on baby, quite useful, but really not a necessity.  They do however help you to stop going: ‘Did you hear something?  I am sure I hear something.  Do you hear something?  I am going to go in and check.”

Floor doughnut – its that pink or blue cushion thing they lie and play on, with cushioned sides so they do not roll off.  You use it quite a lot even when they are sitting up.  Eventually the dog will go and sit in it, then you will say “Gee, I am glad I bought such a cool dog bed from Treehouse!!”

Seat cover – goes under the baby seat to protect your car seats – no matter how much you swear your child will not eat and drink in the car, sadly we all succumb to throwing Marie Biscuits into the bag with a bit of Oros and praying it buys us 10 minutes of quiet time.

Front seat cover – it fits over the front head rests and has pouches facing backwards – great to prevent baby kicking and damaging the back of the front seats, and nice to store odds and ends.  There are really expensive ones, but you can pick them up for dead cheap and car type stores, rather than baby type stores.

Window sock – slides over your window, so that baby in car seat is not sitting in direct sunlight.  Really nice – need to buy ones that fit your car, quite expensive, so a nice to have, not a must have.

Tiny Love – Gymini Kick/Play – baby lies on the floor underneath this thing and then plays with the things above it.  Sort of daily useful, but not a must have.

Big Purchases:

Wooden Cot (buy second hand)

Travelling Cot (fold down type) – not a necessity, and really only something you will use if you go away with baby.

Compactum – with drawers (buy second hand)

Narrow cupboard with drawers – little baby stuff fits better in drawers so if you buy a wicker basket draw thing or similar it does make life easier as you rarely put their stuff into a hanging cupboard.

Picolo/Snug and Safe – Baby car seat, carry around thing that you use for baby – it tends to become a baby feeding chair when baby is small, and where baby sleeps while you are in a restaurant, so find one that has an easy to clean cover.

Pram + Car seat (this is also the Piccolo/Snug and Safe – so you need to decide to buy this as a unit i.e. Graco Travel System or as two separate item.

(Car seats are by weight, small babies are strapped into a Piccolo and are rear facing – and they stay like this until they around about 12 kg I think, then move to a forward facing car seat – so best to leave the purchasing of a front facing car seat for a bit later.  Discovery does give a voucher for this, which is great.)

Good place for second hand stuff:

I can’t think of the company’s name – I think it is called Second Time Around or something – 021 762 2474, 309 Main Road, Kenilworth – but the owner is really nice, it is a small shop crammed with stuff, and good to touch base with her and explain what you are looking for and then she looks out for it.

Good place to shop for bedroom things:

Treehouse in Parow – corner of Zelda and Jagger Street, Goodwood, 021 591 1814 – really good to lurk around there, can pick up some really good things on sale.

Gumtree is a good place to lurk around – someone is always selling something.  Just use your natural Nancy Drew alertness when dealing with anyone.  Do not meet or go to anyone’s home – meet them in a public place, ensure you check them out before you meet them (if all they have is a gmail account and a cell number, then maybe rethink that meet).  I have been lucky and have bought a lot of things through gumtree, and saved a ton.

I hope that list helps you a bit ——-

I decided not to include this item, but now that I look at it, well, there are a few ideas of how I could use this —- at my desk with tea …. I like the way the packing has “stew/cocoa” on it.  Because those two tastes go together so damn well.

bizarre-products-1

Has white South Africa lost touch with reality this week?

I cannot imagine that feeling where your stomach drops out your arse.  The person at Woolworths who signed off on the copy of their latest recruitment advert must have had their entire large colon fall out of their sphincter.

I think only the person who sits at the PR desk at Woolworths really knows how he/she feels.

Between them they must be absolutely sh*tting bricks this week. They could not print press releases fast enough to stop the social media/cyber bitch slap they are getting this week from all sides.

Facebook and Twitter have gone berserk.  People are raising their eyes to the heavens, there is hair pulling and their are threats of shoppers taking their custom else where.

It is as if all the good work they have done on My School Campaign and ensuring you make the best roast chickens in the world has all been shot to hell.

People are bringing up the Frankie thing, and then there is the Christians who are/were offended that Woolworths threatened/suggested taking Christian literature off their shelves.

I seriously feel empathy for that poor Woolworths sods.  Where ever he or she is – who ever approved the copy on the recruitment advert.  Odds are they were working off template they have been using for the last 5 years – but for what ever reason someone had the time to do a cut and paste a copy of the advert and drop it on Facebook ….and then everyone went ape shit.

I am not sure quite what people are making skid marks in their pants about.  A huge corporate ran a job advert asking for only black south africans to apply.  The horror.  The shock.  Really this is a problem – now ?

Has anyone who is ready to smite Woolworths to fire and brimstone ever looked through a job advert?  A good +80% of them say the same thing.

If you are black or coloured please apply, if you are white, really sorry you are not what we are looking for this week.

What ever Woolworths said, I guarantee they are saying nothing that most other recruiting companies have not said before – actually cut and pasted the same copy.  I can well imagine several ads that were due to appear in the weekend papers that have been pulled so copy editors and PR specialists can maybe re-tweak the copy a bit.

Are people up in arms because Woolworths needs to employ only black people for this particular recruitment campaign?

Are people upset because there is an advert running that specifically asks for only black people to apply?

Are people upset because Woolworths should have worded their advert with a bit more care?  But it was okay to make it clear that they wanted only black people to apply i.e  This is an affirmative action recruitment campaign/We will be recruiting against BEE protocol/We would like to hear from candidates who only speak Xhosa  and so on.

Is it news to them that a corporate recruits against a very specific “black empowerment” “affirmative action” “BEE quota”… what ever the phrasing is of the advertisement?

White people are going nuts.  Then again nothing gets white people going like being able to “LIKE” a social media page or JOIN a group on Facebook.  It makes them feel like they are really getting behind a cause.  For them it is the equivalent of a mass action …. a 2013 version of toy toying in the streets, for white people, whilst they drink their latte at Vida, and wait for their nanny to arrive!

I am amazed that white people are surprised/stunned/enraged that corporates hire along colour or race lines.

Was it a secret until they saw the Woolworths advert?

Or is it that Woolworths who really is everyone’s go-to-store, has offended their white customers who would prefer not to be reminded of this as they happily skip through aisles and decide whether the pesto or the creamed mushroom sauce is right for tonight’s dinner?

I worked in recruitment for several years from 2000. I have been retrenched 4 times and have had to scour the media for positions available – most ads I see are clear that I need to be black or at the very least coloured to apply.

Why exactly is Woolworths being crucified on the lawn for doing the same thing that most/all companies have been doing since 1994.

If it is all the same with you, I am still going to drop in at Woolworths for my weekly supply of Chuckles and the best roast chicken!  I will happily admit that I cannot live without Woolworths.  They will need to do far more to distance me as a loyal customer.

Woolworths will issue a well worded press release or a full-page Sunday Times advert picturing rainbow children who love each other, and then Joe and Jane Constantia will continue to shop at Woolworths like nothing ever happened.

A total storm in a corporate styrofoam coffee cup!

How the hell does Kate do 8?

I am not a big television fan.

I get home, I tend to do what I need in terms of dinner/bath/bed for kids, and then attend to myself in roughly the same order.  Out of choice I would rather read a book, but Kennith has other plans, and Kennith is the one who holds the remote.

Any the way, I don’t DSTV channel surf much, as I am seldom allowed to hold the remote.  But now that I am at home and I sit in my little pseudo office, I turn the television on and switch to a documentary and leave it in the background.

That being said I have managed to catch several inserts of Kate Plus 8 or Kate Makes 8 – or what ever it is called.  Key point woman who is divorced, has a set of twins and then a set of sextuplets (is that the correct word?) and all these kids are under 10 years old.

Any the who, most of the shows I have caught are her on outings with her 8 / EIGHT kids – I seriously have no idea how she does it.

Today I fetch the kids from school.  I stop at Woolworths, and I want to run in – I want to leave all three of them in the car and pop in.

Isabelle starts screaming her head off as she wants to come with me.  Georgia and Connor start screaming – not raising their voices – but screaming “I’M THE BOSS, I’M THE BOSS, I’M THE BOSS…” and then arguing vehemently about who will be the boss whilst I am away.

I am sitting in the driver’s seat wondering if I should just gas us all now – but then I think of how dos Kate copes with 8?

She always appears to have good hair, well french manicured nails, no roots showing, and usually is wearing heels with shorts.  She sometimes appears a little ruffled, but I never hear her cursing at her kids or going ape shit – maybe they edit those bits out.

I am just trying to pop in to Woolworths for a Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon (I had a craving) and I can’t even do that without my three going totally bat shit.

I have no idea how Kate Gosselin does it.

To get divorced and not fight for the other parent to take custody – with 8 kids!!!  That is really one of those times when you want your partner to take the kids, and you get visitation every second Wednesday night for three hours, up until they are about 12.

Anyway, I am going to google Kate (with 8) and figure out if she is on medication, because god’s truth there is no way any earthly person could look that good, have eight children and not be drinking by 10am!!

Don’t kick me in my balls …. a family planning solution ….

I am at Woolworths today picking up odds and ends.

I have Connor and Georgia are with me.

I must confess, that Georgia did warn me that unless I agreed to leave Connor in the parking lot, in the car, where I could not see him, she was afraid that they would fight in the store.

I am a pretty shitty parent, but even I do not leave my kids in a parking lot, in a car.

I do however wish to explain that I do leave Georgia or Connor in the car if I fetch the one from school.  I have to run in and sign them out.

In my defense I have taught Georgia that “if the car catches alight get out the window, but other than that no one in and no one out..”

I also roll down the windows about 1/2 way to make it easier for her to get out should she need to.  It is all about the details, right?

We are in the store and the infractions that occurred were (and not limited to):

1.  Georgia putting her fingers into Connor’s bum – she said she was helping to pull  his pants up.

2.  Connor kicked Georgia.

3.  Connor and Georgia were arguing about pork and chicken (as you do!)

4.  Georgia was screaming that she wanted to sit in the trolley – though I had said no about a half a dozen times.

5.  Connor was explaining – in detail – the book on Goosebumps that he had read.  He was relaying the book verbatim.  By the time we got to the meat aisle, Georgia screamed – YOU HAVE NOT STOPPED TALKING SO I CAN TALK! Of course she had been talking non-stop since the bread aisle.

6.  They were arguing whether the ficas plant was real.  Connor said it was. Georgia said it wasn’t.  And they argued.

7.  There was a red-haired boy in the store, who had a “clay class” or what ever t-shirt on. Georgia screamed (like shrieked) at him – “There is a clay boy, there is a clay boy!”  I must confess I was confused for some time, as I could not see the print on his shirt. I just stood there and smiled apologetically at his mom as my daughter was screaming “Clay Boy” at a totally unknown red-haired child.

8.  I am trying to unpack the trolley at the till, and the kids are arguing (still).  I can’t actually tell you what it was about as I had started to filter them out. I could just hear Georgia screaming I AM INNOCENT, I AM INNOCENT!

9.  The cash clerk looks at me and goes: “You have a really strong-willed girl there. It’s really great.” I look at her and explain I am an advertisement for why parents should think about only having one child. I am a walking “family planning” advert.  She is laughing, but in a manner that I know she is agreeing with me.  At that exact moment Georgia screams: ‘You KICKED ME IN THE BALLS, YOU. KICKED. ME. IN. MY. BALLS!”

I may no longer be welcome at that particular branch of Woolworths.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 626 other followers