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What, if anything, did you buy, borrow or find useful please?

(40 Posts)
wildrose Sat 07-May-16 11:19:10

Good morning everyone!
My daughter is due to have her first child in July and, as she will hopefully be a regular visitor, we thought it might be a good idea to have a few things at our place so that they don't need to pack quite so many bits and pieces for their journey. We have bought a little bath, towels, toiletries and sponges etc along with a bouncy chair and a couple of spare bodysuits so far but I thought you might have more ideas....
My daughter just says "whatever you think would be helpful mum, we really appreciate it!" but I know she has lots of other things to think about at the moment. They will use their own travel cot so that baby gets used to the same one and will obviously have their changing bag etc but I'm wondering about a sterilising unit (I imagine they've changed design since the 70s!). I'm open to suggestions. SO exciting!

Pippa000 Sat 07-May-16 13:20:16

When DS & DiL had their first child, they visited us in Cyprus, and obviously could not bring a lot of things with them. DGD was 6 months old on that first visit. Although as your family will be driving they will bring many of the items with them.
Things we found we needed were
Cot (we did have our children's old one so she slept in her daddies cot grin)
Cot bedding
Sterilising equipment, although DiL was breast feeding we also bought a couple of bottles for water. We found a sterlising set that fitted our microwave.
Small bowls and feeding spoons
Disposable nappies and bin with inserts ( Tommie Tippy I think)
Baby bath and necessary sponges etc
Separate towels from the rest of the family and a towelled robe
Car seat
Play mat
Baby toys
Large overland all terrain buggy ( it is very hilly where we live)
It was great fun getting everything together and having a room as a nursery again.
Now both GC are 5 & 6 we have eventually given everything to the local CofE church to go to a home for abused women, so everything ( except for the cot) is having a second life. And of course as the family are here this summer I am on another spending spree, including a slide for the swimming pool. sunshine grin

Wendysue Sat 07-May-16 13:24:45

Congratulations to you and yours on the coming baby, wildrose! You say this is DD's (dear daughter's) first child. Your first GC (grandchild) too?

Anyhow, I'd suggest diapers - disposable or cloth, depending on the parents' preference. And, of course, the brand they plan to use - but not too many, at first, as they may change their minds or not come as often in the beginning as you think.

A steilising unit? For bottles and such you mean? So I take it DD plans to bottle-feed? Sounds like a good idea then. Well... unless she plans to bring ready-made bottles of formula with her... you might want to ask about that, but they may not know yet...

"Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it," as the saying goes... as long as you're prepared for the fact that the parents may simply not use what you have.

You'll probably have a better idea of what you need/want to have after they've visited once or twice. Enjoy!

Wendysue Sat 07-May-16 13:29:56

Oh, you may eventually want some sort of playpen/play yard/pack & play and/or gates for child safety. But you have time for that!

And sorry, I forgot that I'm on a British site and the word is "nappies," not "diapers." But I trust you understood me about that, LOL!

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 14:12:00

Thank you Pippa000 and Wendysue :-) Yes this will be our first grandchild. A few things there I hadn't thought of - play mat especially. My daughter is hoping to breastfeed so bottles will only be needed for water in time or if a supplement of formula is given at some point but I will ask her about the type they plan to use. I think I will read up about sterilisers and such. I realise we will be doing the visiting for the first weeks or months but it will be good to have our little "baby cupboard" stocked. Thank you for your good wishes Wendysue, a very exciting part of our lives ahead! And I agree that we will have a better idea of what's useful after the first few visits - so easy to pop out and buy things as needed these days!

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 14:18:38

Pippa000, I remember Tommy Tippee from all those years ago! I wish you a lovely Summer with your grandchildren and their slide and paddling pool. And Wendysue, yes I understood your diaper/nappy reference. Thank you both for taking time to make suggestions smile

Nelliemoser Sat 07-May-16 14:26:36

Look on freecycle or Ebay for many of these things. Not baby mattresses. Do you really need a bottle sterilizer you could probably do fine for the odd day with some steriling tablets and deep enough plastic food container.

Ikea high chairs come in at about £13 new they are very sturdy and very easy indeed to clean. You can buy them for about £5 on Ebay. My DD bought one from a seller who lived near to me and I collected it. If one is silly enough you could pay well over £100.

Baby gyms and other such things are worth looking out for but it depends on how often they visit. I have a travel cot which cost £12 in a charity shop. For "Grannies house" it's not worth spending a fortune on this stuff. When DGS2 grows out of it it will go back to the charity shop.

JennyB Sat 07-May-16 14:42:39

Congrats wildrose, I was introduced to mum2mum sales by a fellow granny and they are great. I have bought, clothes toys scooters. Anything very good gets taken home by grandson and dil, I have the not bad stuff for clothes changes etc. I usually know when stuff I thought was just good enough for granny doesn't come back, that it must have been better than I thought, which is great. I can go and spend £20, get a bag of clothes and some great duplo and jigsaws. Last year I bought a down coat and gilet, some relatives had bought them over from Scandinavia for a seller's son but they were only worn for a couple of weeks as her son was a bigger size. It's great as the mum's get some cash to spend on new stuff, probably at the same sale!

Indinana Sat 07-May-16 14:53:12

First of all, congratulations! A first grandchild - you must be so excited!
My DH restored and renovated the old cot my DC used and that is up in the spare bedroom, complete with a new mattress and bedding. We also bought a used moses basket for when she was tiny (I bought a new mattress). We had a bouncy cradle - so very useful, we couldn't have done without that. I bought it secondhand and washed the covers. When she grew out of it I sold it for the same price I'd paid for it!
We also bought a lightweight buggy so that if DD and DGD are coming out with us in the car (she doesn't drive), then we can more easily stow it in the car than her big pram. And rather than buying a highchair - even a fold-up one - we bought a little seat complete with tray and harness that straps onto one of our dining chairs. It folds away when not in use and is so handy to take with us if visiting people.
And then the bits and pieces: bottle, bibs, coveralls, bowls, spoons, nappies, muslin squares, wet wipes, nappy bags. Yes, DD usually brings everything she needs when she visits, but it's worth having them as a backup.
You will have so much fun shopping for the little one - I know we do smile

ninathenana Sat 07-May-16 15:15:30

We had ..
A light weight buggy
High chair
Baby grows and vests
We used a large saucepan and tablets for sterilising bottle brush and a couple of spare teats.
Nappies and wipes and changing mat
Toys and play mat
Stair gates
Car seat
a bed guard
Suitable cutlery and bowls
Sippy cup
They are 4 and 7 now and I still have a toy box in my lounge and a drawer full of craft stuff.
Congratulations, enjoy your first grandchild smile

kittylester Sat 07-May-16 15:18:02

My advice would be to think long term. We didn't spend much on our highchair as we were so excited to be having a grandchild. It really wasn't good enough for all 6 of them as it has so many nooks and crannies and it is decidedly the worse for wear. We bought a very cheap pushchair too - should have spent more as it is really heavy and cumbersome. We have our own travel cot which was secondhand. We have bibs, bowls, cutlery cups, sterilising stuff, muslins, baby wipes (I think I'll buy those for ever!) a night light, baby bedding etc and a car seat (or 3!)

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 15:19:43

Thank you Nelliemoser, yes I think you are right regarding the steriliser! A bottle of Milton and a bowl would be fine I'm sure. I love the Ikea chairs too so will keep those in mind when the time comes.
JennyB thank you too. Lovely to find that you made some great choices with your purchases smile Those sales must be helpful to so many young families!
Indinana thank you. Yes we are beyond excited especially now that the weeks are flying by! I love the idea of your DC's cot bring restored - what a lovely thing to do. And the portable high chair sounds great. I didn't know such things existed. Oooh I need to make notes now....

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 15:26:56

Hi ninathenana and kittylester, I think I do need to give some thought to choosing a decent lightweight buggy and, later on, a sturdy high chair of some sort. I will ask my daughter to be part of the buggy choosing so that she will feel confident leaving their "travel system" as it's called, at home. Thanks for posting.

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 15:28:03

Also a car seat is a must but I am having some input from my lovely SiL about that next week :-)

Pippa000 Sat 07-May-16 15:39:29

Wildrose - the pool is an 8 metre by 5 metre pool, a bit bigger than a paddling pool, ideal for the odd G&T or a glass of wine while floating on a lilo!!! wine

shysal Sat 07-May-16 16:25:43

All of the above plus a similar travel high chair to this which attaches to a dining chair. Mine used to pack away into a little suitcase size. Most are fabric, which while more compact, get filthy at just one meal.

wildrose Sat 07-May-16 16:56:03

Oops sorry about that Pippa000. We bought a paddling pool for my goddaughters yesterday and that must be on my mind. How fab to have a proper pool though! Enjoy your floating sunshinewine
syshal thanks for posting the pic. I am tempted to order that now that I have seen it!

Thingmajig Sat 07-May-16 18:56:49

We seem to have a house full of things for DGD!

We initially bought a wee play-mat (got it at an NCT sale) for her to lie on and a bouncy chair. I just used a big plastic container as a steriliser. Things were added on as we needed them, a wee booster chair that can be used at the table or on the floor, baby garden swing which she still loves. My brother passed on a basic buggy and travel cot he had used with his GS, although we replaced the buggy with one from Ebay which had better wheels for our rough terrain!
Potty time now of course, so one for downstairs and one for in her room if she ever gets to the no-nappy-naps.

Now we have a wee toddler bed for her (she's so wee and dainty a single bed seems too big!) and so much stuff/toys you'd think she lived here!!! Paints, crayons, play doh, books by the dozen, dolls, soft toys, garden toys ... the list is endless. We decorated her plain white room with lovely (cheap and removable) wall decals and it looks great! smile

Of course, the car seat for when he/she outgrows the baby size ... we went with the rear-facing till 4 advice, and one which has passed the extended Swedish test, so not cheap!

Grand-children are very expensive, but the greatest joy ever!

trisher Sat 07-May-16 21:01:19

A nappy bag that holds a changing mat is better than just a mat I think (fully transportable and packs away easily).
Ikea high chair is great-all white plastic so completely washable. (DS hoses theirs down in garden) Their foldable chair to fit a dining chair is good as well.
Don't go for too many bottles GD was breastfed and didn't like bottles went to sippy cup very early

Luckygirl Sat 07-May-16 21:16:26

We gradually added stuff as time went by. The stair gate is probably the most important thing so you can relax once they start to get mobile. We have a mothercare seat that fixes to a table that has been very useful. And we also have various bits of cutlery, cups etc.

The main things we have are lots and lots of books and basic toys - mainly bought second hand; and the pushchair of course that saves the children from having to fit theirs in the car. Extras are a paddling pool and a little tent to keep them out of the sun - and for them to have fun in.

Oh - and a harness.

Deedaa Sat 07-May-16 21:41:04

I knew I would be having GS1 most of the week when his mother went back to work so I had a good supply of muslins and babywipes. He was in reusable nappies but I kept a pack of disposables for emergencies. Obviously there were cups, plates and spoons, nappy cream, bibs, and one or two blankets. he either slept in his pram or on the sofa and I bought a second hand high chair on ebay. And of course over the years we have accumulated lots of toys and books. Mustn't forget the stairgate which has only just been removed after GS3!

Pippa000 Sun 08-May-16 07:03:26

We had a small pack away booster seat, which we used when we were out, very useful in places that didn't have high chairs. I also did a 'baby' bag for the back of our car, with the essentials - nappies, wipes, nappy bags, hand wash gel, nappy cream, spare clothes, small towel, etc, which was added to with necessities as they grew, such as plastic bowls, spoons, knife and fork, spare pants/knickers as they were being toilet trained, which lived in the boot of the car so it was always available when we took the children anywhere. We still have a 'thingy' which fits over the back of the front car seat, and can be reached from their car seat which stores toys, books etc for when the children are in the car.

The stair gates have been resurrected as we live in a house with marble stairs and the family visiting live in a bungalow, I would hate them to fall down the stairs in the middle of the night on the way to the loo.

kittylester Sun 08-May-16 08:18:51

I forgot the stairgate which we had to prevent puppies going upstairs and resurrected. They are usually on loan somewhere else. A friend has currently taken them to the seaside so she can keep her dog in the kitchen of their rented holiday cottage.

It's worth asking around if you are only having occasional visits and setting up a 'cooperative' with other grans.

sue01 Sun 08-May-16 09:35:10

One thing we always do - with grandchildren and the babies of family and friends - is to buy all the newspapers and magazines we can find, relating to the day of the birth.

Wrapped up, they make a wonderful gift to be opened when the baby grows up !

wildrose Sun 08-May-16 09:58:02

Thingmajig I love the idea of a little garden swing when the time comes! We hope to spend many happy hours together in our lovely garden - my DD and SiL don't have a garden as yet so am sure they will enjoy it here when they visit too, especially as we can take over to give them a rest smile
trisher yes I like the idea of a foldaway mat rather than the oblong affairs I used to have all those years ago. I think I will pop to IKEA to check out their chairs but my daughter has ordered a little portable one for traveling after seeing the recommendations on here smile
Luckygirl I am intrigued by the description of the seat that fixes to a table! We have been given two stair gates for when they become necessary so that's a great help and I can't wait to start a toy box. I remember my two loved tidying things away (very strange) once they had finished. No doubt I'll pick little bits up each time I'm out but, for now, we have rattles and stacking cups - the usual basic stuff. A harness will be a must too if my daughter agrees and we already have a little canvas playhouse that my DH couldn't resist!
Deedaa I won't be able to care for our little one during the working week as it's too far to travel but I'll be more than happy to do my bit at any other time when he/she is old enough to stay overnight (or when my daughter is happy to leave them) I have been stocking up on creams, wipes and Muslim cloths smile
Pippa000 ha ha I already have a "thingy" in my car smile It holds wipes for us and bags for rubbish but will be repurposed soon! Spare pants etc are a fab idea for later on. Marble stairs - wow! And ouch!
Kittylester that's a great idea. A friend of a friend has invited me to look through her stash as she calls it. I'm sure it will held some useful bits and pieces.
Thanks all!