Pregnancy is one of the most exciting periods of a woman’s life. However, while you are eagerly anticipating the birth of your sweet babe, prepping for this new tiny person’s arrival can be overwhelming. Just walking into a big box baby store like Babies’R’Us or Mothercare can freak any first time mother out. There are so many options, and so many brands and so much to buy – it can be intimidating. When it came to stocking up for Jack’s arrival, I looked to friends for recommendations, along with some extensive online research. Now that our babe is here, these are our tried-and-tested baby essentials:
Amazon Prime: If you can afford it, I highly recommend forking out for an Amazon Prime account. For an annual fee, you get free shipping on Prime eligible items (usually 2-Day Shipping) and a host of other perks. I have the Amazon app and I order pretty much all my essentials on it – formula, nappies, wipes, household cleaning products etc. Order from the comfort of your own home (or during night-feeds if you’re like me) and save yourself a trip to the shops!
Cleaning Service: Again, if you can afford it, set up a weekly cleaning service for the first 3 months postpartum. You won’t have time to clean and it will drive you mad looking at all the housework that needs to be done.
Fisher Price Rock n Play: I didn’t want our small house to look like Babies’R’Us had vomited on it, so I resisted purchasing a rocker at first. I lasted a whole week after Jack was born before caving in and buying the Fisher Price Rock n Play. Don’t make my mistake – it’s a lifesaver! It really is the best rocker around and most babies will actually sleep in it from Day 1. In fact, Jack only transitioned to the cot at around 8 weeks and up until that point, he had been sleeping 6-8 hours in the Rock n Play at night. I’m not advocating this as the crib is the safest place for babies to sleep, but it was a godsend for us. This is the model that we have, but it comes in a variety of designs, including a chic Jonathan Adler design.
Swaddle Blankets: I love the Aden and Anais Swaddle Blankets. They’re soft, light and pliable, making them perfect for swaddling. We also use them as a regular blanket. They come in some really beautiful designs and fold up nicely so you can throw them in your bag when you’re out and about.
Halo Sleepsacks: There should be nothing but a mattress and a fitted sheet in your little ones crib. Sleepsacks make a great alternative to blankets, keeping your babe safe, cosy and warm. We received a Halo Sleepsack from UCSF as part of the national “Back is Best” campaign and we are hooked! They work great as a swaddle, with velcro to keep babies arms in check, and can be worn arms out once they start rolling over. They come in a variety of designs and materials – we have the fleece, cotton and muslin sacks.
Burp Cloths: Babies spit up a lot so it’s handy to have multiple burp cloths. I keep some in our living room, some in our bedroom and one or two in my purse at all times. I find the Aden and Anais or the Green Sprouts brands really absorbent, and they wash well. The Aden and Anais brand is more expensive, but they do have a clasp to convert it into a bib when your little one starts on solids.
Mattress: While your babies crib is the focal point of your nursery, the mattress you choose is the more important purchase. Focus on finding something as natural as you can afford that will last you a few years. We have the Serta Eco Firm Mattress. It’s GreenGuard gold certified, and has a firm side for infancy and a softer cotton side for toddler years. It’s also waterproof and fits our crib snugly.
Night Light: A night light is helpful for night feeds. We bought this light after testing some other models and it’s great – I actually keep it on the ground and tap it on and off with my foot (helpful when you have a baby in your arms!)
Pack & Play: Our house is split level so we set up this Pack & Play downstairs to avoid having to walk upstairs all the time. The changing table clicks in easily and can be removed when the baby is napping in the bed. We’ve yet to use it when traveling but it folds up easily and comes with a storage bag for portability.
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Diaper Pail: We have a mischievous pup so a secure bin for nappies is a necessity. This model works with any trash bag, (mostly) contains odors and comes in different colours and designs.
Ergo 360 Carrier: There are a lot of baby wearing options on the market but the Ergo 360 is a great all-round carrier. It has four positions, is ergonomic (hence the name) and very comfortable to wear. We use ours all the time when we take Jack out for walks, hikes or when we need two hands around the house (such as folding the dreaded laundry). It’s also great for calming him down when he’s having a meltdown – he calms down straight away and almost always falls asleep.
Wubbanub: Another lifesaver for us – Jack loves these cute pacifiers. The soft toy makes them harder to lose, and gives baby comfort holding onto them. We have Gerry the giraffe, Dermot the dog and Larry the lamb – naming them is normal, right?
Bathtub: Jack hates the bath, he screams every time we put him in it. We have this bathtub, which comes with a sling for newborns, making it easier to keep a grip on him when he’s wriggling around. The sling is removable for when he’s able to sit up and (hopefully) splash around and have fun.
Have you any must-haves that aren’t on our list? If so, let us know!
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