Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Newborn Wish List

Everyone knows that having a baby can be expensive business. This is especially the case when it's your first, and you don't actually know what you need, what will be nice to have and what will gather an impressive amount of dust, making it easy to over spend. I came across one too many 'checklists' on the internet when pregnant which suggested we would have to sell our car and hitch-hike to work in order to be fully prepared. 

Now, I am clearly no expert and if I have learnt anything from being a mum it's that every baby is different, but I thought it might be useful to share the products which we have genuinely been impressed with, and which made things a little bit easier when Teddy arrived. These items aren't 'essentials' like car seats, blankets, clothes, and somewhere to sleep etc as if you're reading this you're probably aware that babies can't sleep in cardboard boxes (cats however definitely can). They are more like 'added extras', but ones which would cause mild panic attacks if lost or broken :-)

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine I would sell my soul for one of these! Obviously this is much more useful for parents of formula fed babies (or combination fed) as opposed to breastfed. When a newborn wakes up in the middle of the night 9 times out of 10 they're hungry, or at least mine was! And this must be hunger like you and I have never known, given the rage that comes with it. To be able to go downstairs and prepare a bottle, at the right temperature to be given immediately, is a beautiful thing. Having got used to this product by day 2 of Teddy's existence, the idea of trying to soothe him at 3am whilst waiting 15 minutes for a bottle (made the traditional way with boiling water) to cool down filled us with dread. Ridiculous and over dramatic, but true. It's not just for night time or the early days either, we still use it 3 or 4 times a day almost 8 months in. A wonder product. 

A good quality changing bag (that looks nice). There's no getting around it, the changing bag will replace your favourite handbag and become your new BFF. I am so glad that I convinced myself that "the too expensive but gorgeous and practical leather bag" would be worth it because it so was. In fact I love it so much I'll write a whole post on it. For now just know that I didn't pay full price, and that a bag with lots of compartments which won't fall apart after a few months will make your life easier. 

Baby Bath Seat We never bought a top and tail set, we just used two plastic bowls for the first week before bathing Teddy and thereafter for change of nappies until we switched to just wipes. We put Teddy in the bath when he was one week old using this stand/seat. Up until last week it was used almost daily, and made bath time so much easier. I liked the fact that Teddy was almost lay back in the water as it made sure he stayed warm, plus it gave us our hands to wash him and play with toys/splash, as opposed to having to hold him steady with one. For the amount of use we have had this item is a bargain, and the towelling cover can be easily removed and put in the washing machine. 

Micorwave steriliser We opted for this over the traditional plug in steriliser simply due to lack of worktop space in the kitchen. I would however choose it again even if we had a bigger place, as it has come with us on weekends away or been packed off with Teddy's things when he's stayed over at grandparents. 4 bottles are sterilised in 8 minutes meaning its quick (although I think the Avent one is done in half that time!) plus it's compact enough to fit into our tiny microwave. 

Baby Book I initially wasn't going to bother with any kind of baby book, but came across this on another blog and a few people had commented saying how useful it was so I decided to check it out. I really found it helpful in the first 12 weeks ish as I would read what might be happening in the upcoming week and it pretty much matched Teddy's movements which was reassuring. It is broken down into very small chapters, and sections within each on feeding, sleeping, playing etc. The bite size chunks meant Chris also used to dip in and have a read too. Definitely worth checking out (or borrowing from me!)

Soft Toy When we found out I was pregnant one of the first things we bought was this Jellycat giraffe which lives in Teddy's cot and which he hugs whilst sleeping most nights. I really wanted him to have a comforter for bed time which would help him self settle. However also having a smaller teddy like this striped monkey was great for soothing Teddy in the first few weeks during the day, whether just downstairs or out and about. He loves playing with the tail and pulling the long limbs, and it is the perfect size for him to put over his eyes when he just wants to block the world out and sleep! It's a hard life after all. This was a gift from my sister and comes with a matching bib, so points all round. I would defo recommend having two familiar soft toys, one for the cot and one for out and about (they could be two of the same). 

Ewan the Dream Sheep Talking of sleep, this product really did live up to the hype. Used from day one, we would turn on the lullaby sound when Teddy was first put down in his moses basket (we only used it at night initially) and then again after his night feed. This plus swaddling seemed to do the trick for us, and touch wood Teddy usually got back off to sleep pretty quickly. There are four sounds to choose from, three of which replicate sounds of the womb but the lullaby remains Teddy's (read Chris') favourite and we now use it during the day too when he goes down for his naps. He can turn it on and off himself, it's really easy to use and he now knows that the sound signifies sleep time. Ewan also works on adults FYI! When Teddy moved into his nursery at 10 weeks old Chris very nearly went out and bought one for our room, before realising we could still hear it through the monitor. Seriously. 

Nursing pillow This was kindly lent to me and has come in so handy, despite me only being able to breastfeed for a couple of weeks. We used to place it on the sofa and Teddy would sleep supported by it, or happily play away with a toy in his hand whilst laying against it. When he got old enough to sit on the floor we would tuck this around his back and it cushioned him as he frequently toppled over! It was also good for me to sit against when I first got home, rather than sink into the sofa, as getting up from that was no mean feat!

So there you go, well done for getting to the end! As I say, what works for one baby might not for another but hopefully you have found this helpful. Feel free to leave any comments on what wonder products you would recommend! 

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