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Monday 25 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
# parents panel
12 parents share one baby item they had to splurge on - from a posh nappy bag to a designer bouncer
‘Well, I wanted it because it doesn’t look like a nappy bag.’

WHEN IT COMES to being pregnant, or parenting a newborn, everyone’s just figuring things out as they go. That’s why it can be so helpful to hear how other people are getting through the mess of it all, from the first nappy change to the countless sleepless nights.

Our Newborn and Baby Parents Panel is made up of parents and parents-to-be, all raising little ones aged up to 24 months.


This week, we asked parents about the a baby product they splashed out on when they had a new baby, whether a special car seat or a fancy diaper bag. 

What’s one baby item you just had to splurge on? 

One item that I had to splurge on was a good breast pump. While no baby items are cheap, I really invested in pumping apparatus. After finding out my baby had a tongue tie and had problems drawing down milk, I rented a hospital grade breast pump when I was stuck and housebound. Medicare was great and did next day courier delivery. But when I could, I ordered a Spectra S1 online. I was fortunate to get it on sale but it was worth it. 

Also, during those initial crazy days of post c-section fatigue and all around general inability to do much, I ordered loads of mini bottles and teats online (like the ones from hospital) so that I wasn’t spending tonnes of time sterilising and trying to negotiate that minefield. At times like that, you’d spend anything to make your life easier and I’m so glad I did!

- Kathryn Walsh

shutterstock_573616660 Shutterstock / Africa Studio Shutterstock / Africa Studio / Africa Studio

My biggest spend was on my Joie Spin 360 car seat. It’s fantastic for so many reasons. I have a bad back so the swivel feature is a god-send. It’s extended rear facing so my three-year-old can still rear face in it and will do until she reaches the weight/height limit for it. Finally, it’s such good quality! No matter what my toddler has thrown at it, it still washes really well and looks new. My four-month-old will go into it when his sister grows out of it.

- Amy Molyneaux

I decided to splurge on a side-sleeper crib. After talking to a new mum friend, I purchased a side-sleeper crib, and it was brilliant. Now my baby is five months old and still sleeping next to me in it. It makes night feeds so easy because I can just scoop him up. It also eases the ‘is he still breathing’ anxiety because I can simply reach out and touch him without having to get out of bed. I love it.

- Martha Mernagh

I got the Marc Jacobs Eliz-a-Baby nappy bag. I wanted it because it doesn’t look like a nappy bag! It fits all I need and has different compartments. I have been known to use it as my own overnight bag when I get a rare night away. 

The Baby Bjorn bouncer was also a good investment. It’s a bit more expensive than some other bouncers, but my son loved it and would bounce away happily for ages while I got a few jobs done! It also folds totally flat, which was a huge plus for me because it was easy to transport in the car!

- Valerie Murray

My husband came home with a new microwave big enough for the steriliser. I was determined to breastfeed and although I accepted a hand-me-down steriliser from my sister, I never expected that breastfeeding just wouldn’t work for me. Home from hospital less than 24 hours with a starving, screaming newborn, I sobbed to my husband to “just make her a bottle,” only for him to discover that the steriliser didn’t fit into our microwave. Knowing absolutely nothing about sterilisers, he took off to the shop – and came home with a new microwave, big enough to fit three sterilisers.

- Aisling Drake

The bottle making machine also looked nice in my kitchen. The one thing I had to splurge on when my son was born was the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep bottle making machine. It makes a bottle in two minutes, saves so much time and can be used with any formula. If definitely made life as a first-time mom a little bit easier. 

It also looked nice in my kitchen – a lot of people commented on it and thought it was a coffee maker.

- Julie Ann Walsh

I’ve spent and saved a good bit on my cloth nappy stash. I’ve spent (and saved!) a good bit amassing my collection of cloth nappies, particularly in search of certain prints. My other half would definitely agree that I’ve splurged on the nappy stash; there was a period of time where I received post near daily, and it was usually a new nappy. It was so bad that I used to just work the new addition into the rotation with hopes it would go unnoticed! While I think it’s complete right now, that could go completely out the window once number two arrives in a few months!

- Jess Mushanski

The one thing we splurged on was our baby carrier, and we’ve never looked back. We spent close to €200, but it left me hands free in the early days when baby is small, and when our baby got bigger, she loved nothing more than being put in it facing out and having a good nose at all and sundry! So I can get out and get some grocery shopping done without having to push buggy and basket around the shops. 

- Niamh Roche

shutterstock_1162413211 Shutterstock / Africa Studio Shutterstock / Africa Studio / Africa Studio

The best item we splurged on was a Venicci travel system. The pack came with the buggy frame and three different seats for different stages of our babies development. One of the seats is a car seat and the Isofix base was included for free. We were able to set up an account and add anything else we needed to the list, which we paid for over about six weeks.

- Alex Quinn

A car seat was at the top of my list. I used to work in a mother and baby retail store and we had extensive trainings on car seats. For that reason, a car seat was at the top of my list and Maxi Cosi was the brand I wanted, even though we chose a Silver Cross pram. We decided on the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus with the familyfix base and later we got the Maxi Cosi Pearl car seat, which fits the same base. I have nothing but good things to say about these car seats; my son looks really comfortable in his seat, even if he falls asleep. It was an expensive purchase but definitely worth it.

- Paula Lynch

We decided to get an isofix base for the car seat. For our second child, we decided to get an isofix base for the car seat. They are expensive but so well worth it when you are trying to get a small child and a baby in and out of the car. 

- Olly Keegan

We wanted a good, rear-facing car seat. With my first born we were very clear on the fact that we want a good, rear facing car seat. It was almost €500, but it was really worth it and knowing that he is safe is the best feeling. Our second born will be using it in a few months, so that €500 will go long way. 

- Marta Lisiecka

We’d love to know in the comments – what was your biggest baby splurge? 

More: 8 mums and dads share the parenting rules they thought they’d never break – until they had kids

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