We’ve all been there: after the first fabulous weeks of pregnancy – if you don’t feel nauseous – there comes the moment when you devote yourself to force learning on the subject of “essential equipment for the arrival of the baby”. Usually dads begin, perhaps to feel more involved, or perhaps because as men are more likely to think that the right tool will make life easier (have you ever seen a man cook? My husband has a scoop that he uses only to turn pancakes, to say). Then come the future grandparents, uncles, friends, neighbors: each with great advice on what you absolutely need.
Why a birth list?
By my very nature I am very minimalist, and having a small house has allowed me to resize the generosity of my loved ones. If you, like me, don’t want to be immersed in the aisle of an early childhood store, and if you don’t want to find yourself handling unwelcome gifts, one of the wisest things you can do is create a birth list.
Where to compile the list
You can of course do it online – the Amazon wish list lends itself very well, you can make one dedicated to the unborn child – or use an ad hoc site such as giftsitter.com.
Alternatively, you can use the online services of physical stores such as Chicco or Prenatal: remember, however, that in this case those who want to give you a gift will have to physically go to a store in the chain, although not necessarily the one you chose to collect the gifts.
How and what to list
At first, creating the list of gifts that will welcome your child into the world can be exciting. Especially if you’re a real nerd like me and you’re fond of news, you’ll see a lot of things that will seem very useful to you. But I have to tell you a sad truth: the world of early childhood is a thriving market and companies know it. On the other hand, who more than the future parents is inclined to spend to give the best to his child? So be careful not to be beguiled by the most expensive and technological gadgets. They may not be the best choice for you and your family.
In general, my advice is to try to imagine what kind of needs you have and how your routine will be set. Let me explain myself with an example: the choice of the stroller. Everyone advised me to buy the “trio”, or a structure on which you can mount the carrycot (thus turning into a wheelchair), then the egg that is used for transport by car, and then the seat of the actual stroller.
This type of stroller is versatile but very expensive, and also has a problem: it weighs a lot – about 17kg for the entire structure mounted, depending on the model. Too bad I a) didn’t have a car and b) lived on the second floor without a lift. In practice an object totally unnecessary for us. Let’s face it, my daughter never wanted to be in a wheelchair – she was born a mussel – and that I ride only by public transport… it would have been a total failure!
For us, therefore, the baby carrier band worked very well for the first few months and then a “crossover” stroller from 5 months onwards (although we continued to practice babywearing until not so long ago).
Always ask yourself so sequel the object is useful for you and for your lifestyle, not for that of the saleswoman or “adviser” on duty! And then entrust yourself to the advice of a mother or father you trust, because some needs can only be understood a posteriori.
Another advice I can give you is to look for equipment and objects that have a long life and can be transformed over time. An excellent example of this is the Tripp Trapp high chair by Stokke, which, depending on the accessories used, can be used from the first few weeks until practically adulthood.
If you still want to have so many ideas to choose from and become an expert in baby gear, subscribe to Lucie’s List newsletter: you can enter the date of birth (current or presumed) of your child and you will receive personalized advice on what to buy depending on the age!
When to prepare the list
In this respect, too, there is no single rule. You can start immediately to inform yourself and do your own comparative analysis. Then you can start to draw up a draft, to be reviewed before publishing it. My advice is to share it with friends and family in the last trimester of pregnancy, so that they have time to choose and buy gifts. Or you could have an American-style baby shower: a party that takes place before the birth with the future mother and her friends, including themed sweets and gifts for the unborn child. Need ideas? Try searching Pinterest, Etsy and Canva!