I found the website babyhuddle today, and I thought, there really are so many different things that you can buy for babies now! I then remembered at how muddled I felt when I was a first time Mum.
I didn’t have a clue which products to buy, or where to start!
Therefore, I thought it would be helpful for some people out there, who are in the same situation as I was, if I was to compile a tried and tested essentials list.
You will be getting lots of companies trying to sell you all the latest toys and gadgets but, do you really need them?
1. Gina Ford The New Contented Little Baby Book
When you are a first time Mum, this is a must for settling into a good routine, which I found is good for both baby and yourself. Baby will love to know what is happening in his/her day and you will be able to plan a lot more knowing when baby will be having a nap or feeding.
Of course, following this book to the letter is not needed to see the benefits. My children’s routines were loosely based around this book and I had two very contented babies as a result.
2. BT 150 Digital Baby Monitor
I have tried a few monitor and, this one is by far the best! As it is digital , it is so clear with no interference! You are able to change the sensitivity too so that you can even hear your baby breathing. The lullaby function was fantastic at settling my Daughter back to sleep, which you can operate from the parent unit, so no need to disturb them. The night light is also a great feature so that you do not need to buy one. Also it displays the temperature of the room, so no need to buy a thermometer. The parent unit has a torch, which I found really handy if I needed a soft light on when I was feeding my children in my bed, or needed to give them some medicine. I honestly could not fault this product, and three years on it is still working well.
3. Tomy octopal bath toy
Third on my list is the Tomy Octopals bath toy .This toy really is great for all ages and stages of development. A young baby will love the bright colours and the feeling of the water sprinkling from the middle octopus head. Once they get a bit older, they can use the smaller octopi to squirt themselves, or you, which my Daughter thought was hilarious! Older still, and you can teach them number recognition, as each has its own number on its head and on the green base to match it too.
4. V-tech Baby Walker
I bought this walker in pink for my Daughter’s 1st birthday however; I would really recommend buying this for them before that. My Son has had his since he was 6 months old, and loved to press the light up buttons which helped with his hand and eye co-ordination. At 10 months he was using it to push himself along a little and at eleven months, he has now mastered the ability to steer it himself and is whizzing around the house all the time! This is great to strengthen leg muscles and to gain the confidence to eventually take his first steps.
I wasn’t sure if this would be needed but, was so glad that I bought it! It doesn’t cost a lot which is one bonus, and is so handy to have in the nursery so the nappy can go straight in the bin, without having to get out fiddly nappy sacks and clog up your own bin. I always find that even when they were in nappy sacks they would make the bin smell. This bin however; proved to be excellent at keeping the smells locked inside! I did buy a more expensive one by Tommee Tippee for my Son and wished I hadn’t bothered! Not only are the cartridges more expensive, if you use the twist and lock mechanism, it wastes so much of the lining! The lining is not as thick as the angel care and tears really easily. I also didn’t think that it kept the smell inside as well.
6. East coast Gymini Lights & Music Activity Mat
This is so good at keeping baby entertained when you need to get a few tasks done around the house. It has calming music and stimulating lights. Hand and eye co-ordination can be practiced by trying to bat at the hanging objects. Both my children got a lot of use out of this product.
7. Fisher price Rainforest Jumperoo
I cannot praise this enough. It may be quite expensive but, so worth the money. In fact, I would recommend one of these rather than a swing. My Son & Daughter hated the swing and would much rather be bouncing around in this! It has music, lights and a chair that spins around 360 degrees so that they can get to all the exciting toys to explore. It also has three adjustable heights, so that it can grow as your child grows.
8. A sleeping bag
As baby will not stay under the covers! Even when I swaddled my Daughter, she would wriggle her way out of it. These will make sure that they stay snug and warm all night. I found that The Gro Company Sleeping Bag was really soft and washed really well.
9. Tommee tippiee travel food & bottle warmer
If you are planning to bottle feed, this is a must have! Just fill the flask with hot water and it stays hot for hours! It has an easy pour lid with just a touch of a button it opens. When you are out just fill the outer casing, pop your bottle in and within a few minutes your baby bottle will be nice and warm.
10. Braun Thermos an 4020 Digital ear thermometer
I used to have a strip thermometer that you place on babies head, and I used to get so frustrated firstly, with trying to keep baby still long enough to get a reading, and secondly not knowing the exact temperature if the reading was showing high! I then went out and bought this, which is fantastic. Really fast at getting a reading, very accurate and has replaceable plastic caps to ensure it is hygienic.
You will probably notice that quite a few of the items I have recommended are for play purposes, and you are probably thinking well they are not really a necessity are they? However; once you have your baby, you will be thanking me that you are able to entertain your baby for a few minutes so you can make and eat your lunch, go to the toilet or just simply have a rest for a few minutes!
I really didn’t realise how demanding a newborn baby is (rather naively I agree), and wish that I had had these things from the beginning to make my life a little easier!