Saturday, March 14

My Top 10 Baby Items

Top 10 Baby Items

We have two children and after initially buying everything physically possible for my first, there were definitely a few items that I couldn't live without and some that were not needed. Its hard to know what you will need especially when you have no real experience with babies and its different for everyone. Here is the top 10 things  I found most useful for my babies so far.

1. Car Seat Base

We initially got the base to go with our Maxi Cosi car seat as we had a three door car and live at the top of a very steep hill so thought it would be so much easier for us. This was such a good decision, literally one click to get baby in and out the car safely without having to worry about getting the seat belt on right every time, especially good with a crying baby in tow! Most brands have these available now and prices vary hugely depending on model but whatever the cost it is definitely worth while. As its rarely seen and not a very exciting buy it may be something good to consider buying second hand, even if this isn't usually your thing.

2. Fisher Price Jumperoo

These aren't to everyone's taste and do take up a fair amount of room to be fair but they are just brilliant. Both my babies have loved their Jumperoo and there is nothing cuter than seeing a baby only a few months old beaming with happiness as they discover they can bounce themselves to the music. As they get bigger it swivels round with them so they can play with all the little toys on board. The RRP is around £90 which is totally justified but they do go on offer at around £60 and second hand are around £35-40 for a decent one. Just always remember to check if its a smoke free home as it would be hard to get the smell out of some of the non machine washable parts.
There are concerns if you Google these about them being bad for babies hips and legs but if you use them as advised in short bursts they are absolutely fine, my son was an early walker and used his at least once a day.

3. Gro Bags/Sleeping Bags

Baby sleeping bags are great, they take away the worry of blankets getting untucked or pulled over little faces. They keep baby warm and are really easy to put on. They make them to use up to the age of three, though looking at my three year old i find that pretty funny! Up until they can use a proper little duvet though I think they are great and if they will still entertain them later on, then brilliant! You can get all brands and prices but really any are fine. The only thing I would say is that the official Gro Company ones I have last a lot longer as they are a lot more generous in length than cheaper ones. I stocked up on quite a few this time round, some from charity shops as they are around £5 each which is brilliant considering they will inevitably get puked on.

4. Blankets Blankets And More Blankets

Babies like to sleep and like to be cosy. Having a blanket dotted around means you can keep baby warm wherever they fall asleep. Blankets are also great to put over the sheets of moses baskets and cots to stop them waking when their little heads lay down, but nothing too warm. B&M stores sell the most amazing fluffy blankets for £2.99, I call these 'magic blankets' as they were the only thing that got my son to settle well in his cot. They are handy for extra warmth in the pram, blocking sun and all sorts, stock up! 

5. Thermometers

Firstly the bath thermometer has been great, It would be really hard to guess what temperature feels right by touch and I would definitely have it too cold if i did it by guessing. Baby baths can actually be pretty warm. 

The medical thermometer is something you need to get in, for those inevitable colds. We just have one that goes under the armpit but if you can afford it I would definitely get an in ear one like doctors use for when they are older and wont let you do it so easily. Its so important to have one  for peace of mind.

6. Digital Baby Monitors/Video Monitor

We have a basic digital BT monitor but I'm sure any decent digital one would be fine. If you can stretch to a video monitor then I definitely would. Being able to see what your baby is doing is lovely to watch and reassuring. Most monitors have the function of playing music to soothe baby or listen in extra sensitive mode so you can even hear their breathing and snoring. A really important bit of kit for any parent and needn't be expensive. Have a shop around, as the built in batteries seem to be something to go on these I would test a pre loved one before you buy.

7. Baby swing

I loved our baby swing, it was great to soothe baby when she was a newborn, especially with an older sibling to look after as well. I nicknamed ours 'The Nanny' as it was literally that helpful! They have different speeds and play music, some even have little light shows but I think a basic one is fine, we even used it still as much as moving. I did stop using it after a while as I didn't want baby to be too dependent on being rocked to sleep as she was such a good self soother but it was still one of my best baby buys this time round. If I could go back in time I would have got one for my first, it would have been a life saver!

8. Bean bag

There are proper baby bean bags out there but with pretty big price tags, mine was £15 from Asda and was actually for my older son but I used it so much for the baby when she was small and still now at 7 months though only when supervised in case she decides to roll. The movement of the beans means they shape to baby and are really comfy for them to lay and sit on, this would be my number one item to have at home if I ever had another baby.

9. Bumbo

I love our Bumbo, you can get similar things like the Mamas & Papas Snug seat but we were given a Bumbo with a tray and used it loads from around 6 weeks with baby one who refused to be laid down from about two weeks old! They are meant to be used from around 3 months but its really when it suits your baby. They are great for first food experiences and also for playing in before they can sit well unaided. They also look extremely cute and you can get them super cheap pre-loved. As they have the tray they are great to sling in the car boot when visiting people that may not have a highchair.

10. Baby Sling/Carrier

Baby wearing is such a lovely thing to do for you and baby as well as your partner. Its great to help with bonding, increase milk supply, help with anxiety and allows so many beautiful cuddles.

My favourite for a newborn is a basic stretchy sling which is long length of jersey or similar stretch fabric that you wind round and carry baby against you so they are well supported, warm and safe. When they get a bit older I like to use something more structured like a buckled carrier. I am currently using a Rose and Rebellion carrier which I love and is also in the most beautiful print. My favourite stretchy was my Tricot Slen sling as its so thick and supportive and also my Victoria sling lady one which is a little lighter weight and has been used and abused with both babies! They needn't be expensive but can be if you get hooked (I'm really trying not to). There are sling libraries in most towns where you can hire slings and get advice, you can even use them to hoist your bump up to relieve SPD pain and pressure. You can also hire from some Surestart centres but a basic stretchy is only around £20 and will get well used for at least 6 months from birth.

Useful Links

Baby wearning guidelines

Stretchy sling demonstration

For all things baby, a visit to their big store is a must if you can

Great for baby items, trying prams and car seats etc

Information on sleeping bags, Togs etc

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