Getting Ready: Stuff, stuff and more stuff.
I never realised how small my house was until I started acquiring stuff for the babies. Please don’t follow a list published by Mothercare – it’s in their interest to make you buy loads of stuff you simply do not need, and trust me; no matter how big your house is it’s not big enough. I decided to get my thrifty sister to write me a list of bare essentials and then source as much as possible from people I knew with children. This approach was amazingly productive: bagfuls of clothes, bouncy chairs, changing table, cots, even nappies and maternity clothes. People love giving passing this sort of stuff on, mainly because most of it has been used for such a brief period of time. Accept everything and then filter what you don’t need or want – remember; you will be passing everything on before you know it. Due to having such a short shelf-life baby clothes are the perfect second-hand acquisitions. Find yourself a master washer and you are quids in! Many of the nicest jumpers and dresses I acquired were clearly gifts; some still with the labels on. Ebay is also brilliant for bundles of vests and babygros.
I know it’s really tempting to buy loads of pretty outfits, but I would literally buy a load of babygros and vests and leave the rest for the present-buying brigade. Just remember to get some small sizes and a couple of 0-3 months as well as newborn in case you have a tiddler or a whopper. You will need to wait to see what sizes your babies are before you get all the clothes you need so resist the nesting instinct and hold off until the babies arrive. Family members are more than happy to do a trip to Mothercare to buy babygros. My smaller baby was still wearing a couple of 0-3 month things at 7 months so just use the sizes as a guide! Also sizes in different shops seem to vary a lot so a newborn from Tesco is bigger than a newborn from Gap. Here is a basic guide to sizes:
Early baby: up to 3lbs
Tiny baby: up to 5lbs
Small baby: up to 7.5lbs
Newborn: up to 10lbs
It’s difficult to say how many babygros you will need as it depends on how often you can do the washing, whether you have a tumble dryer (I don’t), if you have a baby who is sick a lot or who has explosive nappies. I found having about 40 in circulation worked quite well for two babies and I kept white for night-time and coloured for day-time. I did this to make a distinction between night and day which I found quite important at in the early days when you are doing the same thing round the clock. It gave some structure to the day before I established our routine.
When you want to start putting them in something that looks more like clothes go for comfort as they are still going to be sleeping for a lot of the day (and hopefully night). Sweat pants for boys and leggings for girls with a long-sleeved vest is a quick and easy outfit for around the house. Add socks if the trousers don’t have feet, make the vest short-sleeved in warm weather and add a cardigan if it’s chilly. Always go for the easy option: cardigans are easier to put on than jumpers, hoodies are easier than separate hats, trousers with feet are easier than socks.