Every new mum-to-be does it, scouring the parenting and baby magazines looking at recommendations for ‘must haves’ for your newborn. I admit it, I’m one of them. I bought several magazines (complete with their free gifts) offering articles on their ‘Top 10 buys’ and their ‘essential baby products’ lists. I also joined a couple of forums soaking in the advice from other experienced mums and listened to family and friends who offered their ideas on things that we’d definitely need. Of course, these items suit their lifestyles and sometimes didn’t appeal to us.
7 weeks on and here’s our list of ‘must have’ baby essentials we have found to be worth every penny making life with a newborn that little bit easier.
1) Bottle warmer – If you’re bottle feeding, the latest advice is that you should make every bottle fresh but at 4am with a screaming baby in your arms, a bottle warmer is a god send. We make up a couple of bottles in advance with boiling water and then fridge them for when we need them; pop the bottle in the warmer whilst you’re changing little ones nappy and the bottle will be ready for baby to drink.
2) Muslins – whether you’ve got a sicky baby or not, you will use muslins to mop up dribble, spilt milk and sick; use them as make-shift curtains to darken a carrycot and wiping off excess water from warming up bottles. Our favourite muslins are from Boots, Asda and Aldi. They wash really well, are good quality and relatively cheap. We have some from Mamas and Papas but were disappointed as they were a bit pricey and shrunk to half their size in the wash!
3) Bath Sponge – I’m not talking your regular bath sponge here. We bought a big sponge with the shape of a baby cut out of it for less than £4 (You can buy similar ones here) and it is brilliant. Olly isn’t keen on his baths but we’ve progressed from hysterical screaming to gurgling now with the use of this sponge. You pop it in the baby bath and then lay baby on top, making bath times a whole lot more manageable.
4) Ewan the Dream Sheep – Believe it or not, babies are used to noise so when you settle them down into their own crib at night in silence, it can be a bit unsettling for them. Ewan is brilliant, he comes with 4 different soothing sounds (womb, harp, hoover and rain) combined with an actual heartbeat sound and a light in his tummy which acts as a night light. Each sound lasts about 15-20 minutes and magically sends baby off to sleep. Olly settles in his crib to the rain setting, even at 4am in the morning and I’ve got to say it’s probably helped me drift off to sleep too!
5) Baby sleeping bags – When Olly was in hospital, the midwife swaddled him but he always managed to get his arms out. He loves sleeping with his arms up by his head so after many failed attempts to swaddle him at home, we put him in his sleeping bag to sleep. You can buy different varieties; we’ve got a Mamas and Papas Dreampod and a Grobag and they come in different togs to suit the seasons. We’re currently using a 2.5 tog and Olly is sleeping in a short sleeve vest and sleepsuit. It’s important to mention that you must ensure that baby’s head cannot slip under the fastenings to prevent any accidents and some brands recommend that baby is a certain weight before using them.
6) Travel dummy steriliser – this mini portable steriliser is perfect for those who like to get out and about and worry that their little one is going to project the dummy across dirty floors or if you’ve got dogs at home who like to run off with your little one’s things. Pop the dummy in to the steriliser for 15 minutes and the dummy is sterilised and ready to use again.
7) Vests – Plenty of them. We were incredibly lucky to have been blessed with lots of lovely gifts for Olly, mainly outfits ranging from newborn to 9-12 months. We didn’t however have enough vests to go under said outfits. I’m guessing it depends on what time of year your little one is born but being a February baby and born in the midst of the coldest Spring for a long time, Olly wears vests under his sleepsuits and outfits. We have found Tesco, Asda and Boots own brand vests are the best. They wash well and are a good size.
So there’s our list of must haves so far which I’m sure we will add to over the next few months. Don’t just buy something just because a friend raves about it, think about whether it’ll fit into your way of life and if you’ll actually use it. For example, we’ve never bothered with a nappy bin, we just a small waste paper bin which is emptied on a regular basis. We use cheap nappy bags (300 for 35p at Tesco) to dispose of used nappies. Hope our list helps!
P.S This isn’t a sponsored or review post in any way, just a list of some of the items we have bought, have used well and would recommend.