I thought I’d write a list of things that I found very useful when my little one was just born as I was just thinking the other day about things that have become to be a ‘can’t live without’ and things that were a waste of money – the latter I will write a list on another time. Obviously as they get older this list changes – things come off and things get added. I have to say this wasn’t that easy whittling it down to just 10! Also please note – I have not be paid to promote any of the below linked products (I would let you know if I had!) these are things that I have myself used:
- Baby Swing: Don’t worry too much about an all singing, all dancing one flashing one when they are wee – the main bit you need is it plays noise and it swings! Do yourself a favour and invest in some rechargeable batteries for it
- White noise MP3s: I use the ones from “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (also a good DVD to watch to help settle your baby or if your baby has colic) . Get these for your phone and ipod – the phone for when you are out and about – trust me when they are going mental in Sainsbury’s you can just pop it on their lap in the pram and it calms them down! (cue some funny looks from people when you pass them with the sound of a hairdryer coming out your pram) your ipod is for bedtime and you will obvs need speakers… I don’t mean for you to pop little white headphones in baby’s ears while they sleep.
- ‘The Wonder Weeks’ book and app: This is a book (spanning 35 yrs of scientific research) about growth spurts – that’s the term for babies brain developments that occur around roughly the same time for all babies (around weeks 5, 8, 12, 15, 22, 34, 42, 50, 60, 75) these make them cranky, mental, impossible and very very tiring in the lead up to and during when they happen. When you know they are coming – and what is going on in babies head you can handle it and actually help them through it (these brain changes are quite scary for baby) – this book changes the script… They also have a app which warns you when one is due! if you have an e-reader download this as the book is quite big – hard to read when you only have one hand free (see number 6 for help on this..:-D)
- Sleeping bag: Much better (and safer cot death wise) than faffing about with blankets that come untucked or kicked off baby. My advice is to get 2 different tog sizes. You never know what the weather will be like in this country! (snow in July… You know the drill)
- Room thermometer: Again from a safety aspect I like to have one in the bedroom so you just ‘know’ the temp and just don’t even have to think about it. Optimal temp – as advised by the SIDS guidelines – for a baby to sleep is 18 degrees. I have often thought my bedroom feels cold but on checking the thermometer its like 19 degrees – just feels cold as we have central heating on in rest of house (but not in bedroom). We got this Avent one you can use in the bath too.
- Baby sling/carrier: When you get one of these after weeks of not being able to move (baby only sleeping/feeding on YOU all day and night) you will realise the beauty and true potential of a life with HANDS that you can use… An African style baby sling is great – you can even make one out of a bed sheet if you so wish and there are tons of sellers of various slings online – Oyster Baby is a good one. If you are wanting a carrier more than a sling we bought an Ergo sling which wasn’t cheap but its the best one for your back and the baby’s (don’t get a forward facing one – they can seriously damage baby’s spine and genitals) be careful with the Ergo though as there are LOADS of people selling counterfeit ones – I got sold a hooky one myself on ebay and luckily got my money back – if its seems too cheap then trust me – its a snidey one! Use a registered seller such as first signs.
- Electric BF pump / Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles: If you are BFing then please don’t even waste your money on a hand pump – a ridiculous contraption!! You’d be up all day and night. I was absolutely horrified by the thought of an electric one BEFORE I had a baby – trust me you’ll get over that!! When I was still BFing I wished I’d got a double one!! Do get one though- you need a break FFS and nice for Daddy to feed baby. If you are not BFing then the bottles I recommend are the Tommee Tippee’s – much more natural shape and our one turned her nose up at the Avent ones so I can’t recommend those. I also got the pump from TT as well.
- Lansinoh cream: Not a cheap cream but worth the money all the same if you are BFing – when you don’t need it anymore its great for any dry patches on baby’s skin – I’ve even read of mum’s applying it to baby’s eczema and it clearing it all up.
- Nappy bin / foam wipe clean changing mat: We bought an Angel Care nappy bin (they constantly have a half price deal running) that takes cartridges, costs about 15 quid for 3 and they last about a month each in the beginning, much longer than that as they get older.. Now some people say they dont ‘get’ these and just use nappy sacks but I think its great – no smell and no bags clogging up the bins in the house. Foxes are also partial to a nappy so your gonna get them trying their luck at your wheelie bin in the middle of the night with nappy sacks. I’ve also added a foam changing mat on here as we use that SO much but I didn’t want there to be 11 things on the list as that would be weird.. ;-) (OCD!) self explanatory that one and you’ll use all the time.
- Microwave steriliser: This is by far the best thing anyone bought us and the thing we use the most. When thinking about a steriliser try and avoid anything that involves boiling water via electricity. Did you know out of all the implements in the home the kettle is one of the things that uses the most electricity?! Bearing in mind you’ll always be using the kettle (umm try 100 times a day) you dont want to add to that by having a plug in steriliser (same goes for bottle warmers – WASTE OF MONEY!). If you get a micro one just don’t do what I did when sleep deprived – I put the bottle brush in with the bottles to sterilise it forgetting there was metal on the handle.. You know how that one ended up!
So what products were you unable to live without when baby was very small?