When I was expecting Ava, I was literally inundated with information about all the things I MUST HAVE in order to survive life as a mother... I had maternity leave that didn't involve toddlers running around, so I did crazy things that you never get to do in subsequent pregnancies like read books on parenting, and browse baby catalogues and actually go into physical shops and look at products.
It can all feel a little overwhelming!
There are obviously things you NEED... Ultimately this boils down to three things...
* Somewhere for the baby to sleep
* Something for the baby to travel around in
* Something for the baby to wear
Let me start this post by saying, as long as you have those three things covered, everything else is marketing. You don't need it... You might want it, but you definitely don't need it.
That said, there are some pretty brilliant things out there, and one of the joys of expecting your third is that you have a bit more of an idea about the difference between what is actually really useful, and what is just marketing ploys of baby companies who want you to think you won't survive without their product!
So I thought it might be fun to share some of our favourite newborn products... These are my genuine opinions and I have received no incentive from any of the companies mentioned here... Other than the fact that we have loved using their products.
So here you have it... A few of our favourite things!
1. Booties... That stay on their feet!
Oh my... I got inundated with shoes and booties every time I had a new baby. Gorgeous little footwear! But would any of it stay on? Barely! It's most frustrating when your baby has a gorgeous little pair of booties on that everyone keeps admiring, only to discover half way round the shopping centre that one of them has gone missing. Babies kick. A LOT. So finding booties that actually stay on their feet is a bonus! We love this style of booties pictured above the best... They have been the only shoes that have stayed on the girls feet despite the constant kicks, and they make them right up to age 4. Even now, at 2, Heidi will not keep her slippers on unless they are this style... They are available from Jojo Maman Bebe or on Amazon. They are a bit more pricey, but one pair of them is worth ten pairs of any other kind! If you aren't fussed about shoes, then Sock-Ons are a worthwhile alternative investment!
So many pretty little outfits; I remember just wanting to put these gorgeous little dresses and funky little outfits on the girls which looked so cute but were totally impractical. For the first couple of months, all you want is baby grows... that have poppers up the front...preferably central. Trust me, this will help in cases of sicky babies, explosive nappies, and middle of the night changes. You do not want to be faffing with poppers up the back, or even attempting to bend little limbs out of side-popper babygrows in the pitch dark with only a night light to aid you. Been there. Done that. Not fun.
OK... So I said there were only three things you needed... Maybe make it four. Muslins are a must have if you want to prevent yourself and your baby looking like you need a shower every half hour. Muslins have about 101 uses and really deserve their own post - sick moppers, changing-mat warmers, sun-blockers, food catchers, breastfeeding covers, peekaboo players, bedtime comforters... You name it! Get yourself some quirky ones too... Every mother under the sun has muslins if they have any sense, so if you want yours to be easily identifiable, it's worth going for a cute pattern or some bright colours. The thought of sending your child to bed with a comforter that actually turned out to be someone else's sick mopper isn't the most pleasant of thoughts...
This one is definitely not a must... It is a luxury item...but if your going to go for one luxury item, make it this. The tummy tub is a European-wide, medical professional recommended, beloved phenomenon that basically recreates the womb experience at bathrime for your baby up to six months old. Our girls LOVED their tummy tub... They could be ratty and squealy and grumpy, but lower them into that glorified bucket of warm water, and they would become the happiest of little people. It was bathing at its best!
These bibs are actually just the best (I did review these guys a few months ago, so check out that post here)... They are fleece-lined so soak up everything and don't leave your baby damp underneath... Plus, they're pretty cute and I've always found the bandana style to be way more practical than the square bibs... They just seem to catch a lot more. Definitely recommended!
6. Swaddling blankets
I still maintain that these gorgeous gorgeous swaddling blankets from Grobag were one of the major reasons Ava and Heidi slept through the night so young (11 weeks and 5 weeks respectively). Babies startle in their sleep, they are used to small, cosy spaces, and they do NOT like being moved from the comfy cosiness of your warm arms to a cold cot. Swaddling blankets help with all the above. AndI am one of swaddling's biggest converts. Seriously. Invest! And practice the art of swaddling... It's worth it! Just make sure not to wrap their legs in too tight. :-)
So there you go, as we await the arrival of our latest, we are armed with all the above (except the little shoes... Want to wait to see if we're team blue or team pink first!) And yes, we have at last got the Moses Basket, Car Seat and Buggy bits down from the attic, so we've got the three needs covered too!
Now all we need is for this baby to arrive!