Top 10 Newborn Essentials
It's been 6 weeks now since I had my baby and OH MY GOD what a crazy time it's been. Everyone says it, but nothing quite prepares you for life with a newborn baby.
When I was pregnant, I found it really useful exploring what other new mums found helpful in the early weeks with their babies, so I thought why not share with you some of the things that I've found have made my time with Harry that little bit easier. Some things we were given to us, others we collected ourselves both new and second hand.
These are my top ten newborn essentials but I'm always interested in finding out those things others couldn't live without, so if there's anything you think I need to try, let me know in the comments below.
1. Swing Chair
Pre-baby, I remember visiting friends who had babies and wondering why on earth they had such large and lets face it ugly looking baby items taking up space in their living rooms. How naive of me. If you come to find yourself with a baby that will only be rocked to sleep, get one of these and liberate your biceps and reclaim a fragment of your sanity. We have this Bright Starts one but I didn't pay this insane price for it. I got mine second hand for a much more acceptable £25 on ebay.
2. Baby Gym
Instinct tells new mums that when our babies cry they either need to be picked up, bopped about, winded, changed or fed. It took me a while to realise it, but sometimes babies like to just be left alone with something nice to look at. Hence baby gyms. We were gifted this Mamas and Papas one and Harry loves it to have a kick about on.
3. Baby Bath Seat
Originally I bought a baby bath. You know, they mini plastic versions of our own bathtubs. It seemed to make sense, until I tried to fill the thing and move it between bathroom and living room. We used it three times before ditching it for a bath support seat. We were given this Angelcare one by a family member who no longer needed it, but if I needed to I would have definitely paid the £20 for this over a normal baby bath. It makes bathing Harry WAY easier as you have better use of both your hands, which for new parents is seriously a load off the mind. No one wants to dunk the newborn.
4. Digital Bath Thermometer
Okay so it's not exactly totally essential. People have been getting the temperature of bath water right with a simple wrist dip for decades, but for neurotic new parents like me the comfort of a digital thermometer is something I require. I bought this one from Vital Baby for £10. It doubles as a room thermometer too so don't bother with that extra Gro Egg, you won't need one if you have this.
5.Orthapedic V Pillow
Breastfeeding snaps your back off. If you let it. I had terrible posture and tended to stoop when feeding Harry. This helped with that. They're a lot like the Boppy Pillows you see people rave about but are only about £7 on ebay as opposed to £30. I would definitely recommend getting one of these both for feeding and for during pregnancy as they are really comfortable to sleep on. Also maybe buy your partner one if they are the jealous type or risk having it stolen from you 'by accident'.
6. Gro Bag
I used to think these were overrated, gimmicky and overpriced items that could be easily duped by using, well, a blanket. That was until I developed an acute fear of 'tucking-in'.
Harry would fall asleep on me, I would slowly lower him into his moses basket and then be faced with the impossible task of tucking his blanket under his arms and around the sides of his mattress without disturbing him.
Nine times out of ten I'd wake him up and have to rock him back to sleep before trying again. I am scarred for life from that process.
As you'll have seen from my most recent update, I ditched the blanket and the moses basket at 4 weeks in favour of his cot and a Gro Bag and have never looked back. No more waking up tucking in, plus guaranteed warmth. Winner.
7.Tommy Tippee Baby Grooming Set
It seems obvious now though I didn't think about it that much while pregnant, but babies have nails that need cutting, hair that needs brushing and bogeys that need to be removed from their nostrils. This handy kit has a device in it for all three of these requirements plus many others and you need it from day one. A true essential in my book. That bulb type sucker thing is the snot extractor. Nice.
8.Muslin Swaddle Blankets
These things are everything. Quite literally. They're a burp cloth come blanket come sun shield and at times of extreme crisis- a make sift terry cloth nappy (not had to but take comfort knowing I could). I love them. We have a couple of these Aden and Anais ones but if you saw this TKMaxx Haul I did when I was pregnant, you'll see there are plenty other more affordable versions out there that are just as good.
If you saw my recent postpartum update you'll know that Harry's been suffering from some pretty brutal trapped wind. I didn't know you could actually buy such a thing as Infacol until Ed's mum arrived on my doorstep with a bottle and we tried it. It's a horrible looking white fluid that smells like oranges. Harry hates the taste of it, but for him it works to get his wind up. It's not for everyone, but I'm glad I have it close to hand for those grim times at the crack of dawn when wind has gathered overnight and is cruising through your baby's bowel looking for a way out, and failing.
10.Family and Friends
Whilst there are endless products out there that have helped ease me into parenthood and baby care, of course I couldn't have made it through these first 6 weeks without my family and friends. They really are all you need to get you through, though the odd gadget here or there is nice ;)