It’s taken me a while to get round to finishing this blog post but after a few of my pregnant friends have recently asked what items I bought whilst I was pregnant and what have I actually found the most beneficial, I thought it would be useful to document this for any Mum’s to be or new mums out there feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all – I know I did!
I actually started writing this post towards the end of my pregnancy as I was getting everything organised but it has been sat in my ‘drafts’ as Esme unexpectedly turned up 5 weeks early! Even more of a surprise was that she was a girl, I spent the whole of my pregnancy convinced I was having a boy! Luckily everything I’d bought was pretty neutral and this meant I have been able to add in nice girly touches along the way 🙂 Anyway here’s a round up of how I started baby shopping and what I have found to be the best buys, hope it helps and please feel free to ask me any questions!
We presumed that we’d be doing NCT and lots of baby classes during my pregnancy but unfortunately due to covid lots of things got cancelled and NCT was only available online, we looked into it but after speaking to a few friends we decided not to bother. We really wanted the face to face aspect of meeting new people and it just didn’t seem like it would be the same online and was still pretty expensive so I decided to invest in some good books and we chose to take the ‘Positive birth company‘ online hypnobirthing program instead. We found this to be an amazing way of preparing ourselves for the birth and approaching it in as calm a way as possible and looking back the breathing techniques really got me through the majority of my labour so I would definitely recommend this course to everyone.
Some books I read that I would also recommend are;
How to grow a baby and push it out By Clemmie Hooper, Your baby week by week By Dr Caroline Fertleman, The Nanny Connie Way By Connie Simpson, What to expect the first year By Heidi Murkoff, The baby book how to enjoy year one By Rachel Waddilove, Truly happy baby By Holly Willoughby, & Gina Fords books are great too for looking at sleep routines etc.
Now on to the baby stuff! Once you start looking into it, the amount of stuff you need for a newborn seems endless and there’s so much choice. I did feel a bit overwhelmed and clueless but hopefully this post can help with what you actually need from my own experience.
Choosing a pushchair is so tricky as there’s just so many to look at, I found going to the Baby show really useful as most pushchair companies are there and you can try them all out which is a must before you buy. John Lewis is also good for a browse! We tried the iCandy range at the baby show and absolutely loved them for both style and practicality, as we didn’t want to find out the gender we opted for the all black designer Cerium bundle and we’ve been so happy with it. It’s really easy to use and so cosy for Esme, she’s loved it so far and so have we 🙂
Don’t forget you will need some weather protection for your pushchair, living in England a rain cover is obviously a must buy! And one other item we discovered and have used loads is a snoozeshade, they’re honestly so handy especially on sunny days or when you want to block the light out and let baby nap in the pushchair. It’s made from breathable fabric and have a zip down the front so you can keep an eye on bubba, if we ever get to go on holiday this will definitely be coming with us!
Baby changing bags
Another area that’s a bit of a mindfield tbh, especially if you’re after something stylish and practical. After a lot of shopping around and asking friends I found there’s a few options which I’ll list below;
- Buy a nice tote bag with the goal of keeping this for future none baby days and just converting it to a baby bag buy buying some inserts and organiser bits.
- Buy an actual dedicated baby bag in which case there are some great brands on the market. You can also decide whether you are more of a backpack or a tote bag person, personally I love the idea of handsfree backpacks but being small I just never feel great wearing them it reminds me a bit of school! But I always see them on other people and think how great they look so don’t let me put you off 🙂 There’s also some fab smaller cross body bags that don’t feel so ‘baby’ but keep your essentials in for days when you don’t need to lug the whole house with you, I have this one from Jem & Bea and it’s so handy.
- Another option is just to keep your own handbag and have something small you keep under the pushchair like a changing clutch. These are great to have on the go whatever you decide, I’ve used my Jem & Bea changing clutch so much and I love the fabric and print of it.
You will definitely need to invest in a baby carrier for times when you don’t want to take your pushchair out on walks and even times when you’re at home and just need your hands free! I was sent a carrier from Infantino and it has been amazing, you can have the baby towards you when they’re newborn and then front facing when they are able to hold their neck a bit more and see the world 🙂
Again we tried a few out at the baby show and at John Lewis before purchasing ours. We definitely wanted one that swivels so you can easily get your baby in and out and also one that you can physically take out of the car and attach to the pushchair frame for those times you might not want to disturb a sleeping bubba! For us the Cybex Cloud Z i-size in Black ticked all the boxes and we’ve been really pleased with it, the only slight complaint I have is that I do find it quite heavy but I did find most of them pretty heavy so I’ve just looked at it as an arm workout lol. (Don’t forget your car needs to have isofix points in as you will also need to purchase a base for your car seat that fixes into your car. Most cars do have these but worth double checking). We also found that having a car mirror was nice so you can keep your eye on your little one.
Once we had the pushchair and travel system sorted we started thinking about the home accessories we needed. As the baby is advised to sleep in your bedroom for the first 6 months a bedside crib is a must. We ended up going for the Snuzpod bedside crib purely because I liked the minimal look of it and that friends had also recommended the brand to me.
I love that this bed side crib has the option to attach to the side of your bed so you can be close and it’s really easy to feed them through the night without getting up and down and lifting them too much. I also liked that you can rock it and tilt it if the baby is suffering from reflux, we put this setting on quite early and Esme never had colic so I’m pretty sure this helped with avoiding that. They come in a few colourways which are all really lovely.
I also bought a cute woven moses basket but only used it for the occasional nap downstairs, they look pretty but in my opinion you could probably do without one if you own the sleepyhead too.
I was sent Ewan the dream sheep, a white noise toy which is great for getting your baby to sleep. I definitely recommend some white noise options as babies love them! It also has a red glow to mimic the womb and a number of noise settings including a heartbeat.
Bedding and sleepwear
I bought the Snuzpod bedding to fit the mattress in the bedside crib and also the snuz waterproof mattress protector for any accidents! I also bought some cellular blankets as these are best for newborns due to the holes in them. I wasn’t really sure whether i was going to swaddle or not but Esme didn’t seem to love it so we didn’t really bother plus she was born in the middle of a heatwave so needed as little on her as possible for the first month. I did hear that swaddle sleeping bags are good and if she had been born in winter I would have probably tried one of these.
We also bought a Sleepyhead and found it so useful, so many Mums had told me they couldn’t live without theirs it really seemed like a must have and I would definitely recommend one. My only negative for the sleepyhead is they don’t last very long, Esme was a tiny baby so we got our use of it but they can be an expensive purchase for something only used for a couple of months as you then you have to buy the next size up if your baby gets used to sleeping in it. Luckily Esme has transitioned into her cot without needing anything so I won’t be buying another one. (My health visitor did say that it shouldn’t be used for unsupervised sleep so this is something to keep in mind)
I used the Egg room thermometer all the time when Esme was born because it was a heatwave and I was so paranoid about her overheating but it’s also a great night light to have in the room so a good 2 in 1 product.
We looked around and decided we liked the idea of having an overhead view of the cot for when we started putting Esme down for day time naps and eventually sleeping in her own room. Most monitors seem to have to be placed on something and you only get a side view but with the Motorola Halo monitor you attach it over the cot and can see your babies every move, it even plays music, a light show and has a night light feature on it – we’ve been really pleased with it so far.
We got the Babybjorn bouncer and it’s been super handy for times when you’re tidying up and need a minute! It’s really easy to move around the house with you, suitable for newborns up to two years and the bouncer is rocked by the baby’s own movements. It comes in lots of lovely colours and doesn’t look too ‘baby’ in your house. We were also given a 4Moms rocker which you plug in and it moves and rocks your baby and even plays sounds, Esme absolutely loves it and we always say we’d love an adult size one!
You don’t need to worry about fully bathing a newborn for the first few weeks, you can just top and tail them with warm water but when you’re ready for bath times to begin I recommend the Shnuggle baby bath. It’s so easy to use, has a plug at the bottom and a little seat bit that your baby can rest against. To make things easier for the first couple of months and because Esme was so tiny we also bought a large support bath sponge which you can put inside the bath to give a bit more support to a newborn and we found this really useful until they get a bit bigger and can hold their heads up a bit. Another good purchase is a bath thermometer to check the water temperature before putting your baby in there.
As I mentioned above, warm water is all that’s needed at first but after the first 4 weeks you can start introducing some baby bath and skincare products, I absolutely love the Childs farm range of products from the baby bedtime bubbles to the moisturiser they’re all really gentle and we’ve had no irritations from using them.
Whatever your plans are for feeding it’s good to have some options covered so you don’t have any stressful moments in those first few days out of hospital. I planned on breastfeeding and expressing so that my husband could also feed Esme to bond and also help me out especially at night! I researched into pumps and bottles and was so lucky to be sent a fabulous package from Medela which included their swing flex breast pump, milk storage bags, breast pads, nipple cream and even some lovely tea and treats for when I was out of hospital 🙂 This worked out perfectly as when I was kept in hospital for 5 days all the pumps they use are Medela too so it gave me chance to get used to using them and I felt quite confident using it when I got home. It’s a really easy pump and has something that actually encourages more milk production which is great. When you move your baby on to formula the Tommee Tipee prep machine is a god send!
I also invested in some good nursing bras as I’d heard from friends that your boobs can become really sore….they weren’t lying! Ouch things can get painful so comfort is key at this point – I found that Bravado’s range of nursing bras are so soft and comfortable and super easy to wear. I also loved the nursing cami top which I wore under things and it was as supportive as a bra but made me feel a bit more covered when I was feeding. Nipple shields when feeding are also a must have for me!
I absolutely loved the Olli Ella basket changing mat after seeing it on a few baby sites and I knew it would fit into my scandi style nursery perfectly so I bought the Nyla style along with the basket insert that you can wash after accidents. I keep this upstairs and then also have a wipeable changing mat that I keep to hand downstairs for changing throughout the day and actually, as much as I love the look of the basket style this one is much more comfortable for Esme I do find she can sometimes get scratched on the woven one.
I also have a nappy caddy that is always stocked with nappies, wipes and other bits and bobs that I can take around the house too which makes life easier – and that’s all you want to do once you have a baby, make life easier lol!
Other essentials – After trying out quite a few brands we’ve found that the Aveeno baby wipes are the best for Esme, some of the others have seemed to irritate her but these have been great. Pampers have been the best for Nappies and last but not least, stock up on Muslins you will definitely go through them! I absolutely love Aden + Anais they have such lovely prints and great quality but I also have some M&S and supermarket ones that we love too.
I think I’ve covered most things here but if anyone has any specific questions then please feel free to drop me a message, I’m always happy to chat! And before you say it….I know one HUGE topic I’ve not mentioned is baby clothes but I think this may have to be a seperate post as I already have so many brands I’ve discovered and love so stay tuned for that one! Amy x