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Samantha Brett: 'I spent a fortune on bougie baby products. Then I used almost none of them.'

It was around midnight, two nights before I was due to give birth to my baby girl. I was headily ensconced in the typical “nesting” phase that suddenly hits mums-to-be.

That heady mix of pregnancy hormones and about-to-become-a-parent anxiety which thrusts us into a tailspin of manic shopping sprees, frantic reading of every baby book on the market and the urge to quiz seasoned mums with intimate questions about what to expect during childbirth (including all the gory details!).

Mums and non-mums answer questions about childbirth. Post continues after video. 

Video by MMC

I was in the midst of reading the SIDS guidelines for the seventh time when it suddenly dawned on me; newborn babies are supposed to sleep in the same room as their parents during the first six months of their lives. Oh no.

I woke up my husband to let him know that we urgently needed to move our brand new giant (expensive) baby cot from our newly set-up nursery into our bedroom. But we soon discovered our fancy cot was far too wide to fit through the nursery door, let alone into our bedroom.

Panicked, I began to Google what the heck to do at this point. I quickly realised that we didn’t actually need the expensive cot (at least not for a quite while), but instead we did need a bassinet or co-sleeper. What was a co-sleeper? And was Baby Bunting open at 1am?

Thankfully the next day, I was able to find an affordable bassinet on wheels (we opted for the Boori bassinet), which became the best baby buy on my list.

I was able to easily manoeuvre it around the house for sleeping and feeding and it had breathable mesh sides so I felt like I was co-sleeping anyway!

After my little girl was born, I quickly realised just how many baby products I had bought that I actually didn’t need, which became mightily taxing on my credit card.

 

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This beautiful soul, always putting a smile on our faces ???? #mumlife #lastnightsmakeup

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Surveying mums after the fact (and now armed with all the right questions), I found out that many mums had cottoned on to the new (cheaper) trend of buying a 3-in-1 cot.

The nifty contraption starts out as a bassinet and then later on, when bub is ready, transforms into a larger cot, before turning into a toddler bed. And some even extend it to a couch following that. Voila!

Not to mention I went through several different fancy bottle brands (I even had one with a supposed magic straw shipped from America), which all claimed to cure colic, (but it only seemed to worsen) until I finally discovered plain and simple brand Pigeon and never looked back.

I splurged big on a “capsule” which assured me it could transport bub from car to pram in one swift motion, but I found the capsule was way too difficult on my back following the birth and that a regular car seat and separate pram would do just fine.

The fancy singing, light-up toys for newborns were never quite as enjoyed as the simple bouncer that I could manually push up and down with my foot while I worked on my laptop or cooked dinner (or read another baby book).

And speaking of baby books, Midwife Cath was a lifesaver with her tome The First Six Weeks which takes the pressure off new mums by giving you an alternative to breastfeeding throughout the night, without making you feel guilty (hallelujah!).

Holly Wainwright and Christie Hayes chat to Midwife Cath and Amy Schmidt about breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and what to do when everything goes tits up. Post continues after podcast. 

My fancy feeding chair (now stained with spit up) was quickly swapped for one from Ikea with a slip that was able to go in the washing machine at a moment’s notice.

And all those exy baby clothes? Traded in for simple (easily washable) Bonds onesies.

Do you see a pattern emerging here?

While new mums are often pressured into having the latest “on-trend” baby bags, designer baby gear and an idyllic Instagram-worthy nursery, the fact is, babies are messy, unpredictable and choose comfort over costly every time.

Find out more when Samantha Brett moderates a panel at Sydney’s Biggest Baby Shower. Limited tickets are available here.

Samantha Brett is an author & Reporter for 7News & Sunrise. “The Juggle” is her latest book co-authored with Steph Adams and celebrates motherhood. You can follow Samantha on Instagram.

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