We all know that the baby market is massive. Always poised ready to capitalise on new/expecting parents trying to flog them everything under the sun because in their eyes it’s essential. How dare you think about bringing up a child without this product, they say. BULLSHIT.
Hands up, we fell for the immaculate advertising/sales pitches hook, line and sinker. I doubt there are many new parents who didn’t to be honest *MUGS*. A year down the line we are knee-deep in baby products we have either hardly used or just found pointless and thus a waste of our hard-earned cash.
Below, I have listed what I would say is the essentials list. Not conclusive but these will all be used within the first year of your darling bubs life. This list shouldn’t be taken as gospel as it’s all personal but it’s what we found most helpful.
Firstly, if your OH is jumping on the American bandwagon and having a baby shower, don’t be afraid to ask for stuff. It will save you swimming in 20 pairs of scratch mittens and more importantly finding a place for them.
On with the list…
Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Perfect Prep Machine. OK, this is basically my No.1 for a reason. Breastfeeding didn’t really go to plan for us and the OH managed 3 months. If you are in the same boat, I cannot speak of this with anymore high regard for it pure brilliance, time-saving, and safety. This machine will filter and heat water to the correct temperature, all for you to simply add your formula milk and you’re away. Within 2 minutes you can go from a screaming baby to calm relaxing cuddles. Initially quite an expense to fork out but when you are using it 3/4/5 times a day, work that for value for money.
Muslins & Dribble bibs. Sound pretty boring but probably one of the most practically items on the list. You never realise how much a baby can be sick or how much their little stomachs can hold when you are covered. I moaned about muslin’s being left around the house in my previous post: Baby Pet Peeves but at times they’ll save you from sofa stains and soggy clothes. Linked with muslin’s and bodily fluid there will be a time when teething starts and your baby become a drooling mess. The plastic backed bibs are the most effective.
Extra Bottles. If like us you plan/are using the microwave to steam sterilise, invest in a good amount of bottles. Not only will this give you a little leeway should you accidentally forget to switch the microwave on and wont leave you scrambling in the middle of night. Lifesaver tip there.
Monitor. Goes out without saying that this is an essential. There are hundreds on the market so find one within your budget and that you can use properly. We opted for a simple sound one. We shunned the video and pressure sensor additions for fear that we would be constantly checking him via the video monitor, and couldn’t handle the hair-raising alarm of the pressure sensor should he accidentally move off the pad. Lets face it, babies move a hell of a lot in their sleep.
Baby Chair. Or as they as sometime called bouncers. In an ideal world constantly cuddling/holding your baby would be perfect. In the first few weeks/months of their life its essential for bonding but there will come a time when you need to put him/her down. Just to give you a little break but also to help them self soothe slightly. Again, there is an abundance to choose from with all different features so take your time in picking one that you like…it will become the new piece of furniture to your lounge.
Thermometer. Not glam but great. This is one item the OH received at her baby shower. When it comes to caring for your baby a parents intuition should be the main voice of reason. There will always be pangs of doubt on when to medicate and when to ride the storm with naps and cuddle’s. We use our thermometer just to confirm doubts of a high fever. It’s almost just a reassurance tool but I wouldn’t be without it, hence its on the list.
Night light. My only words on this are find a nightlight is both calming & soothing but that also enables you to carry out tasks without putting on the ‘big light’. Being able to change a nappy or give baby a bottle without fully waking him/her will do you no wonders of good. Keeping your baby in a sleepy state will double your chances of putting them back down quickly.
Growbag. A relatively new product to the market. Founded in 2000 is product basically revolutionised babies sleeping all over world. When the transition from Moses basket to cot eventually comes (scary stage), don’t even consider blankets and get a sleeping bag. These look so comfortable and keep your baby warm without them being able to wriggle free.
Dreamgenii. Or the S Pillow. Dreamgenii is a brand so other are available and probably the items on the list that’s been used the most. The OH purchased this pillow to help support her growing bump in bed but we found it so useful post birth. It helped to make baby comfortable whilst holding him, sitting on the sofa, and is generally a good pillow to mould into any position for maximum relaxation. It’s still on our bed now to be honest so that’s saying something.
Soft Book. Babies don’t generally start to play/enjoy toys until around the 9 months stage. Up until then a soft teddy will keep them intrigued for a bit but our little lad loved his soft book. Full of colour, textures and sounds he was constantly amazed that when he was able to turn a page himself and most importantly keep hold of it to shake around.
So there you have it, my top 10 list of products that we found the most helpful in the first year. Did you find something super useful that we didn’t?