I am starting to think ahead in a month or so I will be bringing my new baby home and I have to say it feels a little overwhelming when I think of all the things we might need to get in place ready for that time. But, like most things once you start to make a list it feels a lot more manageable.
You’d think having done it once before I would be an expert on all things newborn. However, I think no matter how many times you do it, there are new ideas and you do things differently each and every time. Before I had Alfie I bought everything and I mean everything. Half of the things we never used so I thought it would be useful for me to share the things that I deem essential for those newborn days. It is important to mention that the word “essential” should be taken with a pinch of salt because of course all the baby really needs to thrive is to feed, sleep and feel safe … but of course there are products and contraptions that can make all of those things a little easier.
Now obviously the newborn isn’t the only person who needs caring for, there is tonnes that you as the Mother will need but I will save that for another blog and focus purely on the baby for this one.
Often during the first few days (or weeks if you’re lucky) your newborn will be really sleepy and you may even find you have to wake them to feed. This quickly becomes a thing of the past when they wake up to the world and need lots more from you. These are the things that we used, or are planning on using this time, that really help with sleep.
When it comes to baby sleep it is important to remember that no two babies are the same. The way one baby likes to fall asleep will be the opposite to the next so don’t worry if something that works for your friends doesn’t seem to be working for you. Make sure to have a read through the safe sleeping guideline on the Lullaby Trust website.
What you put your baby to sleep in will depend very much on your set up but here are a few highly recommended cribs that you might like to have a look at.
SNUZPOD BEDSIDE CRIB
They come in a variety of colours, I love the Dove Grey. Amazon bundle the mattress and sheets together for a good deal.
CHICCO NEXT TO ME MAGIC 2 CRIB
So handy if you want to move it around, as has wheels on the base, 11 adjustable heights and also a rocking function.
HALO BASSINET SWIVEL SLEEPER
Loved for it’s 360 manoueverability. This one is meant to be really good if you have had a c-section.
SNOO SMART SLEEPER
The ultimate cot with the ultimate price tag, but well known for it’s soothing and calming capabilities.
This natural palm leaf basket is nice and light, making it easy to pick up and move around the home. It creates the most natural sleeping environment, chemical free.
In the baby’s first few weeks and months, they can’t control their reflexes yet and often their arms will fly up above their head in the middle on their sleep which ends up waking them so swaddling is a way to prevent that from happening. We of course youtubed the technique and the nurses in the hospital swaddled Alfie so effortlessly and he looked so snug in there. Fast forward to us trying it at home and it looked nothing like that, and before long his arms were out and it was doing nothing whatsoever so we ended up giving up!
ADEN AND ANAIS SWADDLES
This time we have got some of the velcro swaddle blankets to help make it easier. There are lots of different brands but I love these ones.
It depends on what time or year, or what country you live in when your baby is born as to what they sleep in. Alfie was born in the biggest heatwave in the UK so he literally slept in a short sleeved baby grow when he was first born. But once the weather cooled down a bit we used these sleeping bags. If you are not a fan of swaddling then these can be a great option too.
There are many brands to choose from, but these are the ones we used and loved them. 100% cotton and the zip is really handy.
This can be a contraversial topic and not everyone wants to give their baby a dummy which is fine. For us we found it really settled Alfie and helped him sleep so will be stocking up on newborn dummies again just in case it is the same for baby number two. We introduced it at about 3 weeks once feeding was properly established so as not to cause confusion and for us it worked well, but of course it totally depends on you and your baby.
MAM GLOW IN THE DARK DUMMY
Glow in the dark MAM ones were super helpful for finding them in the night when it had been spat out.
TOMMY TIPPEE DUMMY
These ones were the most successful dummies at staying in his mouth that we tried.
FEDETKEY NIGHT LIGHT
This belongs in the feeding section too as it was incredible helpful for the nightfeeds, but also for just prepping the room for sleep and allowing the baby to get sleepy and not overstimulated from too much light. It also helped me see what I was doing during a feed, whilst not completely waking us both up.
It is so important that you re able to feed your baby in a comfortable position, whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding as often you are there for a long time and even though they may not seem heavy to begin with, even the tiniest of babies feel heavy if you’re holding them in an awkward position.
WIDGEY MATERNITY PILLOW
You can use your pregnancy pillow to create a comfy position for you and the baby, or there are pillows like this one that are designed specifically for feeding.
No matter how you are feeding your baby, it can often get messy with spilt milk or baby sick. We had a particularly sicky baby so we ended up with muslin cloths dotted all over the house so we were never far from something to wipe our shoulders, or the baby’s clothes down mid feed.
I would recommend buying a few multipacks of plain, inexpensive ones as you will often get given beautiful ones with lovely prints on them as gifts. Of course they’re nice, but in the middle of the night when you just need something to wipe you down you won’t be bothered about the pattern I promise!
PLAIN WHITE MUSLIN CLOTHS
A pack of 6 is useful, maybe buy 2 packs, you’ll never be without one over your shoulder.
ADEN AND ANAIS
The jungle pattern soon turned into our favourite, this is such a great brand with all sorts of patterns to choose from.
Again, to try and minimise the number of outfits your baby needs to wear each day we found these dribble bibs a god send and he wore them all the time.
HAAKAA SILICONE BREAST PUMP
Personally I didn’t leak much milk whilst I was feeding so actually didn’t use this first time around but I know so many women swear by it and say it collects so much milk as they feed which makes total sense to me. Trust me, you don’t want to waste any of that stuff!! Perhaps worth seeing how much you leak when you feed and then ordering one if you need one.
PORTABLE BREAST PUMP
If you decide to breastfeed, you might want to also pump and store up some milk for bottle feeds too. The elvie pump is ideal for those of you who might be wanting to pump whilst on the go as it goes directly into your bra and is silent and discreet so no one needs to know. You can get a single or a double, depending on your preference.
AFFORDABLE BREAST PUMP
I used this one for Alfie and found it to be very effective at getting milk but it is not discreet as it does make a pumping noise. For me it worked very well as I was always at home pumping so being discreet wasn’t a necessity for me. You can also get a single or double option, as well as a bra so that you can be hands free.
Every baby will latch differently and therefore prefers a different style bottle so it is hard to say which one is the “best” because it really depends.
We used the Tommee Tippee bottles first and found them to be great so never ended up trying other ones
MAM FEEDING SET
I know that the Mam bottles are very popular too so will link them both here for you to have a look at.
TOMMEE TIPPEE STERISLISER
Cleaning the bottles becomes like a military operations once they start having more and more so we found this bottle steriliser really handy and easy to use.
This is something we still use now that Alfie is 18 months old so definitely worth it for us. You set a temperature and it keeps the water at that temperature so you can leave a bottle in there to warm up knowing that it is going to be the perfect heat when you need it.
TOMMEE TIPPEE STARTER KIT
We actually bought this Tommee Tippee starter kit which we found super helpful. We used every part of it so ended up being a great money saver for us.
It doesn’t take long until the baby needs a little more stimulation as they start to open their eyes and see more and more.
TINY LOVE BLACK AND WHITE GYMINI
I remember being so shocked at how amazing this mat was. We put Alfie on it when he was about 10 days old and it kept him happy and calm for up to an hour sometimes. The black and white patterns on it were fascinating to him and you can hang different things off it as they get older. This is one of my favourite things we bought as it just gave me time I needed to eat breakfast or have a shower etc.
BABY BJORN BLISS BOUNCER
Sometimes they don’t want to be lying flat so we found that a bouncer came in very handy and he was very happy in it up until he was crawling basically. We used the baby bjorn one and took it everywhere we went as he loved it so much.
CHICCO HOOPLA BABY BOUNCER
There are plenty of other bouncers from different brands that are on the cheaper side such as this one from Chicco.
TAF TOYS MINI MOON PLAY ARCH
You can also buy different bars to go on the bouncers (or buggies) that he loved as he got a little older and needed more entertainment. This one was brilliant.
BLACK & WHITE ACCESSORIES
Newborns love to look at black and white patterns so it is useful to have a few things with these on to help calm them down, or keep them occupied if you’re out and about.
FIRST BLACK & WHITE LITTLE LIBRARY
Little books to keep in your baby bag.
SAMUEL SENSORY DEVELOPMENT BOARDS
Sensory cards are great for tummy time.
TAF TOYS CLOTH BOOK
Black and white buggy entertainment – this is great to put in the buggy if they’re awake, or you’d like to keep them awake as it gives them something to look at. It can also be used at home for tummy time or for anything you want really.