A change is gonna come

This is what my nappy changing table (Ikea Hensvik) looked like just hours before I had BUB.1.

Stacked almost psychotically neatly with clothes, nappies and creams, it’s testament to the amount of time you have on your hands prior to the arrival of children. At the time I swore blind it was the best thing we bought.

Turns out you don’t need a lot of this stuff, it’s just designed and laid out in pretty catalogues purely to take your mind off searing heartburn and constant, unsatisfactory urination during the latter stages of pregnancy.

Yes it probably saved a lot of backache and provided a lovely, safe, well-stocked place to attend to our baby’s bum needs but on reflection, a normal chest of drawers and the bed would have done. As it did the second time round.

This particular table does convert to a shelf unit once the changing table is no longer required, which might make it a good option if you have the space. We moved to a Victorian terrace before the arrival of BUB.2 and there wasn’t room for a changing table, so we do all our nappy changes on the bed or sofa. And it’s fine, really. You’d be surprise what you can live without. Which is pretty much everything.

There are many bits and bobs on this changing table that we NEVER used, including:

  • Burp cloths – BUB.1 was never sick. Not until he was well into his second year. They don’t put that on the brochure do they? They should!
  • Nipple shields – what are these? I’m still not entirely sure.
  • Johnson’s Baby Soap – having babies made me think about all the unnecessary chemicals in toiletries so we used organic baby wash, but the two bars of Johnson’s Baby Soap seemed essential. A rite of passage that ended up in the bin.
  • Paper maternity knickers – hilarious! What was I thinking? What is anyone thinking? Why do they still mention them in baby books and magazines? Several packs of gigantic cheap black knickers from Primark or similar is all anyone needs. I’m still wearing mine, which I hear is shockingly common and probably contributing to divorce rates in the UK. But once you’ve had gigantic black knickers you never go back.
  • The cute little peach bin – how many dirty nappies was I expecting? This bin would hold two at the most. Fast forward one week and you’d see a big black bin bag full of steaming nappies next to that changing table.

But if you look closely you will see a few bits and bobs on this table that we DID use:

  • Nipple cream from Portugal – my friend who lives in Lisbon sent it over, I applied it religiously prior to the birth and didn’t have any problems. Can’t have hurt, can it?
  • Sudocrem – also great for baby’s bum and adult spots, if your skin should flare up during pregnancy. Mine cleared up, perversely.
  • 100% pure Almond oil – perfect for that first tentative massage.
  • Zinc and Castor oil cream – great for sore bums. I think I’ve still got the same pot over three years later mind you. Bum didn’t get that sore.

So, there you have it. If you find yourself reading baby magazines and puzzling over the “suggested shopping list” then I think you have every right to be discombobulated. Most of it is utter twaddle.

That all said, feathering your nest with lots of unnecessary and mysterious items is all part of the process. But seriously, paper maternity knickers? Come on guys. We have disposable incomes and washing machines now, we don’t need disposable knickers.

  2 comments for “A change is gonna come

  1. October 18, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This really made me chuckle! I too have a changing table from Ikea. It’s stacked with hundreds of breast pads. Turns out I don’t have leaky boobs.

    We were really lucky to have loads of hand-me-downs from relatives but what we did invest in was all based around sleeping: carry cot attachment for the pram, Moses basket and Baby Bay. Tom had one test drive in the carry cot, slept maybe twice in the Moses basket and…well, sleeping in a co-sleeper cot wasn’t snug enough – Tom ended up in bed with us. Hundreds of pounds spent on trying to get the Monkey to sleep when he was happier in our arms or bed. Sigh.
    When Tom arrived I felt the need to stock up every time I went to a pharmacy – and became obsessed with finding a miracle cure for the Monkey’s wind/colic. We now have a cupboard dedicated to potions we tried and tested once or twice: gripe water, Infacol, Dentanox. You name it. We got it. And, no, none of them worked. Tom just spat them out and cried harder!
    I hear you on the big pants front. I also have a giant Primark ‘labour’ nightie, which I’m still wearing. Is that wrong?!

  2. October 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Nothing wrong with a labour nightie being put to good use! Especially if it’s got a particularly hideous print? Mine is salmon pink with white polka dots.

    Ha, breast pads! I forgot about those. Shows how often I used them too. I still find the odd one down the back of a sofa or wedged under a chest of drawers. And yep, we had a Phil and Teds cocoon, and a co-sleeper thing….but sure enough, our bed seemed so much easier. It takes such a short time to make them happy that way compared to the other tricks you can buy. I like easy.

    That said, I did borrow a hammock thing from a friend in Sydney which was amazing for the daytime for BUB.1. Must dig out a picture and write a post on that one – thanks for jogging my memory!

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