The word baby, like wedding, signals a time of major consumption. When pregnant you find yourself being sold just about anything and everything. Well, at least I did. But then I am one of those people who gets tempted by the chewing gum and dying flowers being sold at the front of the till.
Not only is having a baby an expensive game its an absolute minefield of gadgets, gizmos, toys and teethers. There are 100’s of different types of teets for a baby bottle, fifty or so different types of nappy cream and then you have to consider if you have a sleeping bag or swaddling kind of baby. If you are a disposable diaper or Eco-friendly reusable nappy kind of parent. The choice is epic and it can all be very confusing. With babies and parenthood, you really have to trust your instinct with just about everything – every child is different and only you can decide what is best for your child. But when it comes to baby buys there are a few things I found that really helped us. So, in the interest of parental guidance I will happily share all the baby buys that we couldn’t have done without in those first few months and even still now.
My ultimate newborn baby-buy is definitely the Cocoonababy. It is an ergonomic portable foam baby mattress. It was initially created in France to be used in hospitals for premature babies, but the clever people at Red Castle have created a larger version which is brilliant for all newborns. We absolutely loved that it could be used anywhere and everywhere, we used it in a regular swing crib, in the middle of our bed, on the floor, in the pram just about anywhere that had a flat surface (although guildlines recommend that it be kept in a standard Cot). It meant that baby could enjoy peaceful sleep time anywhere and didn’t limit me to being stuck in the bedroom watching Netflix and eating chocolate – although in the early days that is pretty much just what I did. The Cocoonababy is designed to help with reflux and colic due to its shape which supports the babies head and lifts their knees up to aid digestion. You are supposed to stop using it at around 4 months when the baby shows signs of rolling over, sitting up but we managed to keep our skinny minnie in it a little longer and I was dreading the transition to a flat mattress. Thankfully, she was fine.
When your baby is first-born you find yourself spending copious amount of hours shushing, rocking and lullaby-ing. You will pretty much try anything to coax them back to sleep. To save your voice cords and patience I would totally recommend the Prince Lionheart Bear. It’s a cute teddy bear that comes with the most brilliant portable little sound machine. The sound part fits in to the palm of your hand so can easily be taken when you are out and about and nestled in to your pram. It also has a sensor so if baby wakes or cries in the middle of the night it will turn back on and do the shushing for you. You can even record a cute message to play to your baby, which is just fun quite frankly. I think it makes a great baby shower gift too priced just under £30 and the teddy is great quality and super cute.
As much as my little one loves my iPhone there is another mobile we couldn’t have done without in the early months – the rotating lullaby singing kind that every baby crib is incomplete without in my humble opinion. I was actually recommended this baby mobile by my local baby store, Just Kidding. It was given to us as a baby shower gift by some friends and we seriously couldn’t have done without it in those first few months and even now my little lady still loves its cute animals and calm inducing melodies. The Tiny Love Magical Night Mobile, is super cute – it’s a nightlight with an overhead canopy projector and also projects stars on to the ceiling, as your child grows it can be made in to a night-light that stands upon a table; you can also detach the animals and use them as pram toys later on. I think its great to have a nightlight or a wall projection to help your baby follow objects and train their eyes to look further. It’s also super sturdy so I’m hoping it will see us through to the next child at least.
Baby Bathing was the most daunting processes for me, I was so worried about her slipping out of my soapy hands. Luckily, we avoided all underwater experiences until I decided to pay for the pleasure with her WaterBabies lessons. I had received the Angelcare Baby Bath Support as a baby shower present again and only started using it after a few months. Initially, I used the sink for my little lady as she was just so little and then a traditional separate plastic baby bath, but found that you had to hold up baby while soaping rinsing and trying not to drop them all at the same time. The bathroom was always a soggy mess and so was mummy. This bath support goes in to your full size bath, you fill it a 1/4 full and place baby on to the support. It has a brilliant silicon mesh panel in the middle which ensures all the soapy water drains away from your baby’s body whilst retaining the heat of the water and ensuring a slip free bath time. It has been a god send, I can actually play with her in the bath, make sure she is properly washed and remain perfectly dry. Every baby household needs one!!!
Baby wearing has had a bit of a renaissance in recent years. The historical practice of using a piece of material to attach your baby to your body is as old as time, and is a super easy way to be mobile with baby. There was a vast number of differing methods of baby wearing throughout the world – woven wraps in South America, coats with pouches in Alaska, mei-tais in China and unbelievably nets sacks suspended from the forehead in Papua New Guinea. Nowadays, we tend to consider fewer options; sturdy ergonomic baby carriers, ring slings and a number of wraps. As with everything baby related the choice again is monumental so I would suggest finding your local sling library and going along to try what works for you, it’s also a great way to meet some local mums. I however went through the trial and error of buying without trying. I started with the Hana Baby Bamboo wrap. This felt amazing and was essentially an incredibly long long piece of cotton you origami on your body for baby safe-keeping. I always got myself in to a faff, so that was returned. Next, the ominous Baby Bjorn carrier. I had the original version as I borrowed my sisters and found this way too taxing on my poor shoulders. The Goldilocks for us was definitely the Beco Gemini, it has an added belt around the hips that supports the weight of baby across your body so is a better option ergonomically. My little lady absolutely loves the Beco, she’s so close to us and high up so it’s great for exploring and bonding and she’s had some pretty major naps while attached to her daddy! I would definitely suggest trying a few out once baby is here as you will only really know then what works for you and for your baby.
Prams are a pretty personal thing, like cars. You maybe a sports car kind of driver or electric car kind of driver, or an anything from A to B kind of driver. Currently, the trend seems to be all about the bugaboo – you see them everywhere and everyone I know has one. However I fell head over heels for the Icandy Peach 3 in Truffle. I initially loved the Stokke and the Joolz was pretty nice too, but I guess I am just like an american rapper and all about the bling! The peach3 is pretty heavy in fact one of the heaviest on the market and folds in to two pieces, but it is so sturdy and great to drive. Its been through the mean streets of London, to urban farms and lots of public transport and it has stood up well in all conditions; with the bonus of being able to convert into a double buggy it makes sense long-term too. My little lady loves the pram and falls asleep very peacefully in recline, whilst in upright position I can even feed her at the table if we are out and about thanks to the new boosters they’ve added. I would suggest visiting your local John Lewis department store and booking in for a nursery advice session. Not only do you get to test drive the vast choice of prams available to your heart’s content but they will go over all baby essentials and even treat you and your partner to a coffee and cake afterwards. Who can say no to free cake?