baby Buying Guide

Necessity or Gimmick? The Must Haves For The Arrival Of Your Baby

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Well it’s been 13 years since I had my daughter so a lot has changed but one think that hasn’t is all the “new must have items” that you apparently have to have for your impending arrival.

In 2002 when I was pregnant with my daughter the essential baby items at the time were the Angel care monitor which detected sound and movement and alarmed  after 20 seconds if absolutely no movement is detected this is still around but back then the technology of this system was extremely advanced. It made a ticking noise to let you know the monitor was still working properly, great reassurance, but I became so reliant on it my husband and I ended up sleeping with the TICK for the first 16 months!

The next item on the list was the Tiny Love Symphony-in-Motion Mobile which plays 15 minutes of Mozart, Beethoven or Bach symphony music and featured black and white hypnotic spirals swirling around her head that hung from crazy multi coloured creatures! I’m sure my daughter ended up just giving in and going to sleep as I cannot imagine that this would be relaxing for anyone.

Finally on the top three must haves was the Dr Spock mattress protector, this still makes me feel ill thinking about it now! This was an overpriced large thick plastic bag that covered your baby’s cot mattress! The point of it was to stop your baby being exposed to any dust or bacteria from the mattress. Looking back I would much rather my daughter inhale a little bit of dust than a mouthful of plastic bag if it came uncovered!

Having a baby can be an expensive exercise especially when it usually means the household income is going to be halved for a period of time. New born babies on the other hand require very little when it comes to material items. Below is a list of what a 78 year tradition in Finland includes in their Maternity kits:


  • Mattress, mattress cover, under sheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
  • Box itself doubles as a crib
  • Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties
  • Light hooded suit and knitted overalls
  • Socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
  • Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colours and patterns
  • Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy cream, washcloth
  • Cloth nappy set and muslin squares
  • Picture book and teething toy
  • Bra pads, condoms

In 1938 Finland started a scheme where they offered new families either the choice of a one-off cash grant or a maternity kit. To be eligible for the maternity kit the expectant mother had to visit either a doctor or a pre-natal clinic to ensure mother and baby were in good health. The scheme was started to combat the high rates of infant mortality in the 1930’s.

In the 1930s Finland was a poor country and infant mortality was high – 65 out of 1,000 babies died. But the figures improved rapidly in the decades that followed due to the maternity kits and prenatal care.

It is easy to get caught up in the moment and feel as though you need all the newest baby accessories on the market, but all your baby needs most is a safe and secure environment which has people who love and care for it.

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