Over the last couple of months I’ve shared a number of titbits on my Instagram of our new life with our little boy. This includes bits I’ve bought, what products have worked (or haven’t) for us, and generally how we’ve found the early days of parenthood. I’ve been asked a number of times to share what products we found essential in the early days, so I thought I’d write a blog post on it.
I can’t stress enough, that this is what’s worked for us. It might not work for you as every baby is different. But hopefully some of what I share will be helpful.
For our first couple of nights at home we put our little boy in his bedside crib with just a simple blanket, as they did in the hospital. We found that he didn’t sleep well. Now of course this could be down to the fact he was a newborn and those first few nights are always going to be difficult. However, by night 3 we remembered that we had received a couple of sleeping bags at our babyshower. Luckily they were suitable from birth and as soon as we put him inside one of these (removing the blanket), he slept much better. We’ve continued to use them ever since and he sleeps quite literally like a baby!
They’re available in different togs, so be sure to check a temperature guide before buying. (For example we used 2.5 tog in winter and now we’ve purchased a 1 tog for summer). Also check what weight your baby needs to be to be able to use one, as I believe they all vary.
These types of nests for babies to sleep in have various reviews online. Currently in the UK they are not approved for sleep during the night. However we bought one for daytime naps and have found it an absolute essential.
The most popular brand for these are Sleepyhead. However, if you don’t have the money or don’t want to spend that much in case it doesn’t work for your baby, I’d highly recommend Lajlo.
Not only are they a much cheaper alternative, they also come in various colours and patterns, and are great for having on the sofa or floor during the day to pop your little one in for a nap. We’ve used ours since birth and our little boy took to it instantly. It comes with a separate piece to put under the baby, so that if your little one happens to wet themselves and it soaks through (it happens a lot in the early days), you would only need to wash this piece. You can find out more on their website.
Whether you intend to breast feed or formula feed, bottles can be helpful in feeding your baby, to allow your partner to also experience feeding, and give you a much needed break.
Before giving birth we stocked up on Tommee Tippee bottles in varying sizes – from birth to 6 months. Our little boy has been unable to latch onto the nipple, so we found that we had to use bottles from the word go. It wasn’t until day 3 when we had a home visit from a midwife, that we found he wasn’t feeding properly from the Tommee Tippee. He was finding it difficult to latch onto the teat and the midwife suggested NUK.
Neither of us had heard of this brand before. They’re German based and their teets are designed to mimic the nipple, with a flat side that is easier for a baby to latch onto. A couple more midwives recommended them also, and they really worked for us. They’re available in most pharmacies and online from the likes of Boots and John Lewis.
You can also buy both plastic and latex teets for the NUK bottles, and we found the latex was much softer and again easier when he was a newborn.
That being said, we have now moved back to Tommee Tippee bottles. This is because we’re now formula feeding, and once our little boy had to go up to a bigger amount, the next size in NUK bottles are very tall and don’t fit in our steriliser. Now he’s used to teets he’s fine with Tommee Tippee, but when he was a newborn the NUK bottles were our saviour. So it could be worth buying a couple just in case.
Vests vests and more vests! If your baby is due to be born in winter months like ours, you will need to pop a vest under everything they wear. Under bodysuits, sleepsuits, jumpers – everything. When they’re a newborn you can bet you’ll have a few nappy explosions too. Some could be so bad that the vest will end up straight in the bin. So stock up!
Zip sleepsuits are amazing! If you can buy these I would recommend them over poppers. They’re so much quicker and easier to do up when you have a wriggling newborn. Plus, when you’re sleep deprived and trying to change a dirty nappy in the darkness of night, countless poppers are quite infuriating!
A pacifier was something we were reluctant to buy beforehand, but it has been great to help soothe our little one to sleep. We chose Hevea because they are made from natural rubber. A lot of our friends use Bibs dummies, which I believe are similar. But we chose Hevea because if you buy the all natural colour rubber, it is made from just one piece. Meaning there are no seams between the coloured rubbers for water or soap residue to build up. So it essentially is easier to keep clean. However, I’m not sure how valuable that is when it’s advised that you change your child’s dummy every 2 months.
The teat of the dummy is also shaped in a way that is meant to mimic the nipple. Similar to the NUK bottles I mentioned above.
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
If you do decide to formula feed, I would recommend the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine. It is expensive but worth every penny. No longer will you need to boil the kettle, mix the formula and then wait for it to cool before feeding your little one. (Something near impossible when you have a screaming baby wanting food immediately). The Perfect Prep machine does the hard bit for you. It ensures the water is filtered and served at the perfect temperature for your baby to feed immediately.
If I think of any more, I’ll be sure to continue to add to the list. But for now I think those have been our best purchases. But as I said at the beginning, every baby is different and these products may not work for you in the same way they have for us. Let me know if you have any questions.