I finally feel like we’re out of the new born baby stage. Rory is sleeping through the night (yay!) and napping in his cot. He’s come on leaps and bounds and you can see his little personality shining through. He is currently fighting day naps (yay to the sleep regression :l) and doesn’t want to miss out on anything. He’s such a cutie!
I thought it would be useful to pull together a list of new born baby essentials we found invaluable for the first 3 months. Hopefully this will also serve as a reminder if we have another and helpful for others! I find it helpful hearing what others found useful at different points so here’s my contribution. As a reminder, all the below are my thoughts and opinions.
- Zipper baby grows – my sister sent lots of these over from the US and they were ideal. No faffing around with poppers especially during those late night changes!
- Trousers with feet – no need for socks and wondering where they’ve fallen off.
- Muslins and looooots of them! Get some super large ones (perfect for swaddling) and normal size ones for spit ups and catching sick to save your clothes too. Great as a light blanket too! We got some from Baby Mori and Muslinz.
- Dribble bibs – this was more from 3 months but once he started he hasn’t stopped! Yesterday we went through 3! We got a bunch from Muslinz.
- Themometer – See here for the healthcare kit we got.
- Changing mat – getting a wipeable one has been ideal and means we can easily wipe off the wee and poo that without a doubt escapes or comes out of nowhere. We have one in the nursery and another downstairs.
- Sainsbury’s nappies – we used pampers for a while but then realised that Sainsburys nappies did a good job too and were a fraction of the price. The size 1 and 2 have wee indicators which are handy to know when they need a change.
- Aqua pure wipes – these are mainly water and perfect for sensitive skin. They’re a bit more affordable than Water Wipes. We get ours from Amazon and order the pack of 18.
- Sudocrem – Rory had a very sore bottom for the first 8 weeks and this really helped with the redness and sores.
- Nappy caddy – we got one as a baby shower pressie and its perfect for keeping changing things tidy downstairs. There are many different types on Amazon.
- Nappy bin – we had the Tommy Tippee one which we got as a hand me down from friends. We weren’t sure if we’d carry on using it as you have to buy the inserts, but we’re still using it 4 months in and its great. It keeps the smell concealed but you do have to change the bin every couple days as it gets filled up quickly!
To keep baby occupied:
- Play mat – we got the Tiny Love playmat and Rory loves it. He can entertain himself on it for ages now. When he was little he loved staring at himself in the mirror but now loves grabbing at all the toys and trying to get them in his mouth!
- Baby Bjorn bouncer – another hit! Great for popping Rory in when I want to have 2 arms free. Rory used to love sitting in his bouncer looking into the garden while we bounced him with our foot. These days he’s finally discovered the play bar across the front and its lovely to see him enjoy it. See here.
- Swing – we didn’t get one until Rory was 11 weeks old and I wish we’d gotten one sooner. At this stage Rory still wouldn’t be put down and this meant I could put him in the swing and get my brekkie/ lunch/ dinner. It was definitely a game changer! Rory doesn’t use it so much now but for a few weeks it was so useful. See here.
- Freddie the Firefly – a little toy which we attach to the pram for Rory to grab at. We have one in the car and one on the pram. See here.
- Black and White Book – we got given this by a friend and used it from a couple weeks old. Black and white are the first colours babies focus on and would captivate Rory for ages. We’d sometimes have it around his changing mat, sometimes in the pram and other times just around him on the floor during tummy time. These from Amazon look great and are perfect for when they inevitably end up in baby’s mouth!
- Rattle – again another present for Rory from a friend. Rory would love us shaking it for him before he could grab it himself. A great little toy. This is the one we have.
- A mirror – as mentioned above, Rory would love staring at himself for ages before he started playing with his mat toys. Definitely a great sensory toy for newborns. We use the one which came with his play mat but he also loves looking at any mirror we pass.
Out and about:
- Changing bag – it’s so easy to spend lots on and we nearly did. In the end we went for this £30 back pack from amazon and it’s been fantastic. Definitely big enough with multiple compartments and straps which attach it to the pram. We went for a grey so that Tim felt ok carrying it about too.
- Ergo baby carrier – we ended up going for the adapt carrier which has been great. It was especially life-saving when Rory was little and wouldn’t sleep anywhere except on me. It meant I could put him in it and have 2 hands free and get house bits and bobs done. It’s definitely an investment so make sure you’ve researched before you buy. If we were to get a carrier again we’d go for something like the Omni or 360 so it can be used outwards facing from 5 months rather than just inwards. I ended up buying a second hand Baby Bjorn active carrier on Vinted for £20 which we’ll be able to use as an outwards facing carrier from next month. This model is no longer sold but the mini is very similar!
- Bugaboo Fox 2 – luckily we managed to go and have a look at some travel systems before lockdown no. 3 happened otherwise we would have been a little stuck seeing any in person. We ended up going for the Bugaboo Fox 2 as it impressed us the most with being all terrain, easy to assemble and dis-assemble and fairly light weight. No regrets here! We don’t need to worry about it being easy to use around a city like London or for travelling atm but when we’ve used in Birmingham or Solihull it’s been fine. We looked out for deals and went for the grey as it was on special offer. Always look out for deals! We got the whole travel system (bassinet, pram, car seat, car seat adapter, isofix base and a waterproof cover all together from Mamas and Papas.
- Car seat – this came with our travel system and was the Nuna Turtle Air. The hospital won’t let you leave without one. We’d definitely recommend it. It comes with a newborn insert so your baby is more secure. This was fairly lightweight too which was important for me as I am a weakling! Look for a carseat with an isofix base. It makes taking the car seat in and out of the car so easy. You click it in and the base points go green on either side. If they aren’t in correctly they’ll be red. The adapters to put it on the buggy base make it so easy to transfer a sleeping baby from the car to out and about super easy and mean you don’t wake them up unnecessarily.
- Car seat mirror – hangs on the headrest of the seat and you can keep an eye in your rear mirror on baby. We got something like this.
- Dock-A-Tot (previously Sleepyhead) – we ended up getting one of these from my school friends and brought a couple additional covers. (See here.) It was definitely a good idea to have a couple covers so that you’ve always got a clean one for when the sick covered ones in the wash! Check out eBay to save some £!) To save it getting too sicky, put a muslin down over it. It definitely took me a while to get used to how much babies get sick (new mum who worried about everything!) but it definitely helped save washing the cover all the time by putting a muslin over it. We also found that in those early weeks, the Sleepyhead was the only thing that Rory would go down to sleep in. There’s a lot of controversy around using a Sleepyhead but we did a lot of research and spoke to lots of friends. Pods/ nests aren’t recommended by the Lullaby Trust for safe sleeping, but after doing out own research our opinion was that the sleepyhead was breathable. We found that similar to friends, it was the only thing our little ones would sleep in in those early weeks. It feels like a safe environment for them, more enclosed and womb like that a big open crib for example. I would say I felt unfairly judged by my midwife when she came for our first post birth check-up for having one and she said we shouldn’t be using it. But like the instructions say, you supervise your baby when they’re in it and are in the same room as them when they’re sleeping. But you do you. For us, it was a life saver and Rory slept in it day and night for several weeks until he was big enough that he felt safe in his Snuzpod without it. By 3 and a half months he was bursting out of it and stopped him from moving about in his sleep so was annoying him. So we stopped using it and got ourselves a travel cot instead which he could stretch out in downstairs during the day. But like I said above, do your own research. The above is what worked for us and we’d definitely use it again if we have baby no. 2.
- Snuzpod – we weren’t sure whether to go for a moses basket or a beside the bed crib and ended up going for the Snuzpod. We loved that it had a drop down side and made it easy for night time feeding. It was also easy for checking on him during the night – just quickly peak across without having to get out of bed. I’d definitely recommend a beside the bed crib for the first 6 months!
- Sleeping bags – can only be used once they hit a certain weight but mean you don’t have to worry about baby getting caught up in their sheets. Rory has also started associating bedtime with getting changed into his sleeping bag.
- Cellular blankets – great for swaddling in those early days and as a blanket. We always have one in his pram. Each time you fold it over it adds another tog. Also great as they are breathable. We have a couple of these ones from JoJo Maman Bebe.
- Gro Egg – We’ve used this every day and night since Rory came home. It tells the temperature and is a great visual indicator to know how many layers to dress them in. It can be annoying when it hoovers between 2 temperatures and changes colour though but is a good night light for checking on Rory. See here.
- White noise machine – We got Ewan the Sheep and paid extra for the one which is meant to switch back on when they move/ make noise but wish we hadn’t bothered. We’ve found that it doesn’t turn back on so you find that you’re turning it back on when it turns off after 20 mins. We got a white noise cloud with the Snuzpod which would have been fine. It’s great for taking out on walks or for calming him down. It also occurred to us that Alexa has a setting that you can play continuous white noise. So rather than us buying a continuous white noise machine we’re going to use Alexa instead! We’re going to set it up in his nursery for his day naps tomorrow!
- Baby bath – We got our baby bath from my brother and it’s been great. It means we’re not wasting lots of water giving him a bath. It fills up nice and quickly which is particularly handy if we need an emergency bath after a poo explosion! See here.
- Bath thermometer – this took the guess work out of knowing what the temperature of the water was. We use this for every bath. I can’t find our exact one but this one looks great!
- Hooded towel – we have several and they’re great for keeping baby cosy after a bath. Babies get chilly quickly so wrap up your baby as soon as they’re out! See here for some we have from John Lewis.
- Huckleberry – This was a great way to track wet and dirty nappies in the early days when the midwives wanted to know how many nappies Rory was producing in the day. It was also handy for feeding and remembering which side I last fed off. At about 3 months, I used it to time Rory’s naps and sleep time. It served as a handy reminder of how long he’d been up and why he might be fussy. I only recorded his nappies and feeding those first few weeks and stopped using the app at about 16 weeks for naps as I found it was stressing me out. These days I just keep an eye on his wake windows and if he starts being fussy/ yawning I know it’s time to start trying to put him down.
- Wonder weeks – A handy app for understanding the leaps and development stages your baby will go through. It’s worth taking it all with a pinch of salt as babies will develop and hit mile stones when they’re ready, but it’s a good indicator. It also gives suggestions of games to play with your baby to help them towards a new skill.
- One Second Everyday – I love this app! You add a 1 second video or photo for every day and can then watch it back. It’s such a lovely memento and I love looking back over how much Rory has grown!
Not essential but nice:
- Baby milestone cards – These are a nice way to document your baby at different ages. With Rory arriving early I forgot to buy these before he was born and only got them when he was 6 weeks old oops!
To be honest the early days don’t require much at all! Nappies, wipes, muslins and sleep suits and that’s it!
Things that weren’t worth getting:
- Baby shoes – Socks do just fine and are less likely to come off. Although they do slip off every now and again so worth keeping an eye on your little ones tootsies!
- Top and tail bowl – This kept getting mentioned as being something to get when you’re cleaning your baby with cotton wool and water, but we just used a little bowl instead!
- Moses basket – We didn’t get one of these but from talking to friends they’re great for the early days but they grow out of them so quickly and they’re hard to store. We just used the sleepyhead during the day which was much easier to transport around.
- Baby dressing gown – not really needed when you have a hooded towel. But they do make for a lovely picture op!
I’d definitely suggest the John Lewis baby nursery appointment. It was super helpful even if because of COVID we had to have it remotely. The lady we had was so knowledgeable and really helpful. She wasn’t pushy or salesy at all but just informative. It was meant to be an hour long but she stayed with us for an hour and a half talking through all the different things and sharing her screen to show/ talk us through different bits and bobs.
Looking back through those pics just makes me feel so happy! I can’t believe how quickly he’s grown up in the past 4 months. It’s true what they say the time flies by… the days are long but the years are short – so true!
I hope this has been some help! Something to look back on as well if we decide to have baby no 2!