Throughout my pregnancy, I received many a snippet of advice and recommendation from friends and family about the key products and clothes which saw them through their early months of parenthood. It was all a bit overwhelming! In the end I decided to buy very little- and in fact the wonderful generosity of people in the run-up to and weeks following our daughter’s birth has left us with clothing and baby gadgetry a plenty.
Now that my daughter is here, I thought it was my time to give my recommendations to the world! I have thought about the things that I now couldn’t do without and find extremely useful.
The game changers.
So let share with you the top items in my mummy armoury!
Lansinoh’s HPA Lanolin nipple cream has been an absolute life saver right from the very beginning. I was completely shocked at how much initial pain I felt when starting breast feeding. It took a while to understand what a good “latch” was and how to hold my daughter in the best way to feed. This cream is brilliant because it can be applied whenever it is needed and does not have to be removed to breast feed. The cream is quite thick, so my tip is to warm up the tube first (I do this by sticking it under my leg if I am sitting down) which then allows it to be smoothed onto the skin easily.
Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser
I came across this little gem at a Baby exhibition. It simply sterilises dummies without the need for using big sterilisers, hot water etc. It really is so quick and easy to set up, lasts for twenty four hours and sterilises effectively in fifteen minutes. This little steriliser, nick-named the Pokémon Ball in our household, goes with us everywhere and has impressed lots of our mummy and daddy friends. We use a lot of Milton products at home, but this is our firm favourite.
Arguably one of the most important items needed in your life as parents is the humble muslin. A square/rectangular piece of material, decorated or plain, used to wipe up spillages, sick, urine, drinks, as a towel, blanket etc. The list goes on! I cannot stress this enough – there is no such thing as too many muslins. Stock up!
There has been lots of positive reviews about the Sleepyhead and I knew that this was a product worth spending a bit more money on. We were fortunate enough to receive the Sleepyhead as a gift; however, had we not been given it as a gift, it still would have been high on my list of things to purchase. Our daughter enjoys sleeping in her Sleepyhead; other positives include it being incredibly light and easy to transport, simple to wash and keep clean.
Tena Lady Pants
I have no shame in saying that Tena Lady pants were incredible in helping me cope with post birth bleeding. Forget maternity pads – too much faff. Pull on one of these amazingly thick, padded, soft pants to ensure as much comfort as possible “down there”. Simply dispose when finished with and then pull on the next pair as needed. Very comfortable underneath clothes and discreet. It isn’t possible to tell you’re wearing one.
Baby Travel Blanket
Another outstanding purchase made at the Baby exhibition – the Morrck Travel Baby Blanket easily fits inside car seats and keeps babies and young children all snuggly whilst travelling in a car. Car seat straps fit through the holes in the blanket, so that babies are safely buckled but without the hazard of a coat being in the way. There are different sizes and colours available. I purchased the first size blanket and used it as soon as my daughter was born.
Early on in my pregnancy I had to give up wearing normal bras. I was in a lot of pain and needed something with a bit of support, but more important to me was the comfort. Also the ability to wear them at night too. I came across these crop tops in Marks and Spencers; I loved them so much I own about four black and four white ones. Since giving birth, I continue to wear them, more so when I am at home and lounging around.
There are many gorgeous nappy changing bags out there; patterns, colours, designs, brands, styles, shapes, prices – too much choice! But a piece of advice that my Mum gave me made sense. This will be a bag I will need to carry everywhere. Babies need lots of different things and so a rucksack makes the most sense. Kinder to your back and shoulders! For me it meant also Sam would be comfortable wearing it too. I have my doubts as to whether he would have been comfortable carrying something bulky over one shoulder or a style that was extremely feminine.
A friend of mine recommended her Skip Hop Forma Backpack changing bag. I went for the classic black (other colours are available), knowing full well Sam would be very happy and comfortable wearing it too. It has tons of space inside, with various pockets. I was out in the rain recently and everything inside kept dry.
Having a baby born in the winter months means that going out with a buggy makes it necessary to wear gloves. At the same exhibition where I picked up the Milton Mini Steriliser, was a Swedish company called Elodie Designs, selling gorgeous baby items. One item in particular caught my attention – the stroller mittens. Black in colour, but lined with the softest fur, these stroller mittens are designed to attach to the handle of your buggy, allowing you to take your hands out without having the hassle of taking gloves on and off.
Such a simple idea but a life saver on cold and wet days!
Using a sling to carry a baby was something I had absolutely no idea about until my sister-in-law became involved with them. She is now a consultant for Wear My Baby and with that, she has a wealth of knowledge. It also means I have had first hand experience of wearing different slings, carrying around nephews and learning the various techniques. I found it to be mind boggling at first, but with a bit of practice I am getting there. It means that when I have forgotten to put in the connectors to carry the car seat on the buggy wheels (as per my IKEA trip the other week!), I was able to put on the sling and carry my daughter around with me – hands free!
I was given the Hana Baby wrap as a gift and I absolutely love it! Easy to wear, comfy for mum and baby, keeps baby in a healthy and safe position and is completely safe right from birth.
Slings are also a fabulous way of encouraging babies to sleep; all warm and snug right next to mum, dad or relative etc.
My eleventh choice is a little left-field, but vital all the same! I decided early on that it would be great for Sam and I to enrol in NCT classes towards the latter end of the pregnancy. My mum has life long friends from way back before I was born because of these type of groups. I really didn’t fully understand just how much support you get from a tutor point of view, but also the friendships themselves.
Now that all the babies have been born in our NCT group, we are always in contact with each other. Our “Mummies” WhatsApp group is constantly in use with various topics being discussed. It’s just so good to know that other mums are going through the exact same thing as me – especially at various times during the night.
Joining one of these groups was life changing for me – don’t know how I would have got by without the depth of knowledge given by the classes and the support from the other couples.
What things worked for you post pregnancy or which items can you not live without?