Learning that you don’t have to buy anything for the baby but you can hire it was the best thing I learnt when looking for baby stuff. I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of having to buy a pram, car seat and everything else that was needed.
I had a vague memory when my brother and sister were born of my mum hiring capsules, and an old colleague talking about having to pick up a hired capsule. So, I started researching this and then mum mentioned she’d actually hired the first pram she had for the twins. It was a light bulb moment.
So, I got googling, I was weary based on my colleagues’ experience because you know I wanted only the best for my baby.
But I found in Sydney there are loads of baby hire equipment places, in the end, I ended up going with Rock-A-Bye Baby Equipment Hire. We ended up hiring so much from them including the car capsule, the pram, toys and even a cot at one stage.
Some things we eventually replaced with more permanent items like the pram and car seats but most things we just sent back when we had finished using them, and I was quite relieved I didn’t have to work out how to sell it on Gumtree or Ebay. The things we ended up replacing we either inherited from friends or got something more suitable for older babies/toddlers. Hiring gave us the freedom to test before committing and working out what was needed and what wasn’t.
We worked out that some (by that I mean most) things we needed only for a couple of months before it was obsolete and wasting hundreds of dollars wasn’t necessary.
Buying Baby Stuff
There are so many baby shops and so many different opinions out there of what you need. And honestly, I was so overwhelmed by it all, I just tried to avoid it for as long as I could.
My number 1 tip is not to buy too much before baby arrives. Remember you can always hire what you need and you’ll be given so much. Every baby has different needs including which nappies they prefer (something our second born taught us!)
One good straight up friend told me about Baby Buntings and how they knock off 10% if you find a better price elsewhere plus they have great sales so pretty much you won’t find better prices elsewhere, you can order online and they deliver. It’s a pretty good deal.
A word about nappies. I was so clueless when it came to nappies, I just thought I knew about them. But I didn’t’. No-one ever really talked about them.
If you’re going down the disposable route don’t stock up on one brand in new born size get 2 packs of newborn and the next size up. Get a few different brands and work out which ones work for you, it’s all trial and error. Also, shop around and see where they are on sale, between Baby Buntings, Chemist Warehouse, Woolies and Coles you pretty much never have to pay full price once you’ve found your brand. Always make sure you have one box of the next size up on hand because one day they are in one size the next they have outgrown them. Once you’re done with them and you’ll always have left overs you can donate them to a friend or The Nappy Collective.
If you’re going down the reusable route, hire a few different brands to work out what works for your baby. Use a laundry service for the first few months when nappies are in high rotation and you are resting and learning. You can join a local Facebook group that is dedicated to reusable/washable nappies that can be useful and a good place to pick up second hand nappies.
It’s no secret that living in Sydney is expensive. Before baby arrives is the time to sit down with your partner and have a conversation about money.
My accountant said to my husband and I when we first shack up together ‘it’s no longer your money and my money. It’s our money.’ He went on to say your incomes will yoyo throughout your lifetime but at the end of the day it’s one combined income.
With so many couples breaking up over money. It’s a good time to make sure you’re on the same page about money.
Going and talking to an accountant or financial adviser is a great investment at this stage. You can also get good tips on the SmartMoney website.
The wait lists are long and depending on where you live there’s either a lot of places to choose from or hardly any. It is advisable to get your unborn child onto a few waiting lists early but trust that when you need it you’ll find the care you need, it can be easy to get stressed about it but really there is no need until you are needing the care.
A good place to start is your local council. They’ll either have council run centers or links to local centers and family daycare in your area. Go and check them out and get a feel for them before you enroll but it’s not necessary at the wait list stage. When it’s time to start preparing to get your child into childcare call the one or two you really want weekly so they remember you.
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