Hello lovely people!
There has been a bit of a baby boom in my circle of friends lately and with having had a tiny human, people are looking to me to tell them what I found useful. I don’t pretend to be an expert and I know that some things are a little controversial; I just know what I found really helpful in the beginning and what I used the most. This is a list of what I tend to recommend to people who are expecting or want to buy a gift for those who are expecting.
Now, I know there is some controversy around these little machines. I know the ‘boob is best’ etc. BUT the boob situation doesn’t always work out for some people due to several reasons and formula is needed. A fed baby is a happy baby right?
So, in my opinion this little gadget saved my life. It is essentially a coffee machine for baby formula (NB. You have to add the powder yourself!) It makes a bottle to the amount of ounces you need at the perfect drinking temperature for baby. No waiting around waiting it for it to heat up or cool down. Marvellous when it’s 3am and you need matchsticks to hold your eyes open.
Pros: comes out perfect drinking temp, takes 2 minutes (literally) to make a bottle, delivers a hot shot to sterilise formula first, perfect oz every time. Stylish, compact, range of different colours.
Cons: changing the filter takes a while (I found it needed to be changed every 3 months-ish). Filters are expensive, £10 for the Tommee Tippee ones. Machine is expensive; it can range from £60-80. It doesn’t put the formula in for you like I thought it did!
This is possibly one of the best purchases in my opinion. It works like your average monitor; monitoring sounds baby makes etc BUT it comes with a little sensor mat that goes under the babies mattress to help prevent Cot Death (SIDS). The mat is super sensitive and monitors the babies breathing and movements. If it doesn’t detect movement after a certain amount of time an alarm goes off and you can do what’s needed. (Let’s not go into too much detail on horrible possibilities…you all know what I’m talking about). I love that it tells you the temperature of the room on the screen as well as being able to turn the volume of the monitor down etc. It picks up nearly every noise, even a car door slamming outside so I can hear her rolling over and every movement so it helps to be able to turn it down once they’re asleep.
(There is also a video monitor version. Ive linked the ).
Pros: the angel part of the machine actually works as a nightlight as well. Not too bulky. Battery life on it is amazing as well as the signal strength.
Cons: as a first time mum I was paranoid at every noise that came through the monitor (I suppose thats something that you would get with every monitor though). Sometimes it loses signal and beeps at you; the first time it happened I shot up the stairs because I thought it was the alarm. Expensive.
Whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding this was easily one of the most useful products I bought. It keeps water super hot for a long time and the lid itself turns into a bowl for the bottle to sit in if you’re heating milk through. If you’re using the water to make formula up on the move then it has a clever safety feature where you don’t have to take the entire lid off to pour the water into the bottle. You just click the middle part and it releases a small opening for the water to pour through.
Pros: inexpensive, perfect for feeding on the go, doesn’t leak. No waiting for hot water in restaurants or coffee shops
Cons: bulky and heavy once water is inside.
We actually didn’t have one of these when she was born because we were waiting to see if we had a boy or girl. I think we bought one after 1 week because we needed somewhere to put her. I felt a bit mean putting her in the basket all the time when she was awake and wanted her to have some stimulation. We got this one from Argos; I was surprised my husband chose something so pink, but it’s great because it vibrates and plays music too. We found that when she was crying, turning the vibrate on would settle her. It was great to put her in when we were eating or I needed to have a shower or get ready.
Pros: Super light weight and easy to move around the house. Vibrate mode which she seemed to love and would send her off to sleep. Plays music. Not expensive.
Cons: unable to fold it flat so once its out, its out.
(The one I have linked is a little different).
We wanted somewhere for her to do some tummy time so we got this from Tesco. Phil decided there was enough pink in the house so we went for something multi-coloured. She is obsessed with the little characters that dangle off the bar. I’m not sure if it’s the big black and white eyes but she loves her little green bird. So much so I actually take it off and attach it to the pram on her fussy days. The mat has a mirror on and also a crinkly ear on the dog so it’s a bit more entertaining for her when doing tummy time. Its not her favourite thing so anything that helps.
Pros: good size, can fold flat and be put away. Washable.
Cons: could be more padded but comfortable enough.
I did try to breast feed for about 2 weeks at the beginning. With having a C-Section this pillow was a god send. It meant not having to support Sadie fully myself and I could lay her on this while I concentrated on getting a good latch for her. It came in really handy for visitors who weren’t 100% confident in holding a wriggly newborn because of the extra support it gave them.
Pros: good support when breastfeeding, back support. Cover is removable and machine washable.
Cons: cant think of any!
There are a few variations of this little gadget. I think the most popular is the Ewan the Dream Sheep. Whisbear is the same premise but it reacts to any noise that your baby makes over a certain decibel. I never had a sheep but from what I understand you have to switch that one on yourself when the baby starts crying; not fun at some ungodly hour.
Pros: it’s around the same price as the sheep, you can set it up before you go to sleep and your done.
Cons: it’s kinda creepy looking; it’s a bears head with 4 legs (I think the design is supposed to capture the babies attention so maybe this shouldn’t be a Con). Batteries tend to run out quite fast.
For something so simple it took me ages to find. I have the Maxi Cosi Cabrio Fix Car seat and while Maxi Cosi do make this kind of thing I found the Morrck blanket worked better. You’re not supposed to put a coat on babies if they’re going into a car seat as the padding means the straps aren’t tight to the baby. Its essentially a blanket that sits inside the car seat and the straps feed through it. This means the straps are tight to baby itself rather than the coat padding and baby manages to stay nice and cosy. I liked the Morrck because it wraps around the baby rather than a tight fastening so Sadie could get her arms out if she wanted to. She was never a baby that liked to be swaddled.
Pros: keeps baby warm whilst keeping them safe. Comes in different sizes. A lot of different colours to pick from. Machine washable.
Cons: a little pricey but worth it.
Kind of an obvious one I know. I just recommend getting one that it’s easily portable. Ours was from Asda baby sale and super light weight. We had to buy a stand separately but they are pretty universal. I personally didn’t want to put the baby down upstairs for naps until she was a little older (I had mum paranoia where I wanted to check her breathing every 30 minutes) so I wanted something that was easy to move from room to room. We would bring it down from our room in the morning and take it up at night.
This should go without saying but please, please don’t carry the basket with your baby in it. I read a story about a mum taking the baby upstairs in the basket and one tiny shift of weight from the baby and he toppled out down the stairs. He was perfectly fine but obviously not something you want happening to your baby.
Pros: somewhere safe to put your baby. Cosy and enclosed for them. Means they can be in your room with you as per recommended guidelines. Lightweight to move around the house.
Cons: bulky but necessary.
So they are my main items that I think could be helpful for everyone. As I said at the beginning I don’t pretend to be an expert but I just go by what helped me. Feel free to message me or comment below if you have any questions. 🙂