SCRATCH MITTENS. Oh cute, I thought. Little gloves, I thought. I’ll buy four sets, I thought. On the day he was born, I put on those little mittens, turned round to grab my camera at the cuteness – and by the time I turned back around, the things had disappeared. This repeated over the next few days, before I completely gave up. They have lived in the sock drawer ever since.
Lesson learnt: Buy babygrows that have the option of covering hands. Never buy mittens.
A MILK WARMER. For some unexplained reason, I thought I needed a snazzy electric milk warmer. In April. In Dubai. I used it twice – both times forgetting the milk was in there, allowing the milk to spill out the bottle and then evaporate. It has lived in the cupboard ever since. I mean to throw it away, but there’s always a worry at the back of my head: ‘maybe one day I will want to warm some milk’. I really should just throw it.
Lesson learnt: You do not need a milk warmer in the desert.
‘NEW BABY’ CLOTHES. When I was pregnant with Stanley, I waited until my 20 week scan to buy any clothes. And then I made a celebratory trip to Oxford Street to start his wardrobe as a way of admitting I really was growing a male human. I had done very little research about how quickly these male humans grow and purchased most of his wardrobe in ‘New Baby’ size. He wore most of these outfits once, perhaps twice if I really liked them. In terms of cost per wear, that trip to Oxford Street was more expensive than if I’d raided Selfridges for my own wardrobe.
Lesson learnt: Buy clothes in 0-3 months and 3-6 months
IMPRACTICAL CLOTHES. On the subject of clothing, I also wasted a lot of money on outfits that required a newborn baby to lie still for a totally implausible amount of time. Vests with dungarees over the top, for example. I didn’t even try getting the dungarees on him in the end. I got the vest on, admired it, held up the dungarees in an attempt to work out which bit to put over his head. After a few minutes, I threw them into a heap on the floor. So that was that.
Lesson learnt: Anything that requires more than a few poppers is an absolute waste of money.
A TOP AND TAIL BOWL. Whilst heavily pregnant, I saw on a list of essentials for your newborn a contraption called A Top and Tail Bowl. I waddled my way to the mall and bought one of these things. I still have absolutely no idea what exactly you are supposed to do with it. And it’s still collecting dust under the changing table holding some cotton wool, if my memory is correct.
Lesson leant: I still have no idea what to do with this plastic bowl.
A LIFETIME SUPPLY OF SIZE 1 NAPPIES. I thought I was being incredibly organized when I threw a pack of Size 1 Nappies into my trolley every few weeks during my pregnancy. I soon had an almighty stash. And then my son popped out at 7Ib7oz and only wore Size 1 nappies for a few nights before they leaked and we were told to move him up to Size 2.
Lesson learnt: Newborn baby does not guarantee newborn nappies.
BABY SHOES. As I worked through the list of what my baby needed, shoes seemed obvious. Of course he would need shoes! Why would he not need shoes? I bought several little leather pairs, a pair of mini ugg boots with his name embroidered on the back (cute, I thought), and a couple of mini converse just to be trendy. The first time I tried to put some on his feet, he curled his foot up in revolt. After several minutes trying to uncurl them and slip on the shoes simultaneously, I won that battle (YES!) and walked proudly out the door with the baby in the buggy. He looked so sweet in his shoes! A few minutes up the road, I looked down and one shoe was gone. And that was the end of that.
Lesson learnt: Babies do not need shoes