Baby Equipment – What do you really need?

Expecting a baby and gone into nesting mode? Not so fast – before you start stocking up on ‘must-haves’ for the nursery, consider what you’ll really need and what might just end up on eBay.

With all the excitement of a baby on the way, it’s natural to think about the cute clothes you can buy for your bub, how you’ll decorate the nursery and which pram you’ll take on all those strolls with your new baby. But indulging in every baby-related whim is a costly affair – especially if some items don’t turn out to be as useful as expected.

When will your baby be born? If your baby is arriving in summertime, put down those miniature cardigans and baby beanies now, no matter how cute they are – it’s likely your newborn will ride out the season in singlets, and who knows what their size will be come wintertime?

Embrace hand-me-downs. Especially with a first baby, there’s a desire to want everything brand-spanking new. But if friends or family have good-quality baby clothes or equipment to pass on, accept it graciously. Chances are, it was hardly used or has plenty of life in it yet.

It pays to wait. You don’t need to buy everything before the baby arrives – that carrier you envisioned yourself wearing, with baby on board, may not get too much use if your newborn is too small to be carried in it comfortably.

Don’t buy an item just because your friend has it. An endorsement from a mum who’s been there, done that can be priceless – unless it doesn’t suit your lifestyle. A particular cloth nappy system may have been a godsend for your girlfriend, but you may find disposables are more your thing. The same goes for an expensive travel-system pram you might not have the patience to negotiate with each car trip.

Think twice before investing in baby baths, bassinets and change tables. Will the bathtub on its own do fine? Do you need a bassinet as well as a cot? Will a change mat on the bed serve the same purpose as a change table? If space is a premium, these are the first items to cross off your list.

If you need to use your credit card to buy your baby equipment and don’t think you’ll be able to pay off your card within the interest-free period, ensure the purchases attract a low interest rate – paying 20% or more on top of the cost of that pram could be a killer. Compare credit cards to see if switching to a different card could lighten the load with Mozo's Switch & Save Calculator.