When I first found out I was pregnant, I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of things available to buy for babies. I didn’t realise having a baby would be so expensive! Here’s my list of the things I have found most useful during the first two months of motherhood.
1. Purflo Nest
This is a cheaper alternative to the Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod. The idea behind these nests is that they create a cosy, womb-like sleeping space which in turn help babies sleep better. They can be used on their own or within a crib or cot. The Sleepyhead retails at £120, but you can pick the Purflo Nest up for as little as £40. The sleeping area of the Purflo is in fact bigger than the Sleepyhead, and the Purflo is also breathable and therefore suitable for night time sleeping (many Sleepyhead imitations are not).
In my opinion it’s a no-brainer to go for the Purflo Nest. Isla has slept well from day one and I thank this product entirely for that.
2. Ewan The Dream Sheep
Ewan the Dream Sheep was one of the first products I put on my shopping list when I found out I was pregnant. I had heard great things about it, and everyone told me that this sheep is a miracle worker.
Ewan replicates the sounds baby heard within the womb, and the creators Easidream claim this helps babies sleep more peacefully. I’m a sucker for a gimmick and had to have this sheep.
I have to say it took a while for me to be convinced, but two months on I wouldn’t be without Mr Ewan.
Isla’s favourite is the harp and she’s normally asleep by the end of the first round of music. It didn’t work from birth, but gradually she has started to associate the music with falling asleep, and now it works like a dream (pun intended).
3. Graco Contour Electra Travel Cot
I decided on buying a travel cot for our living room as an alternative to a moses basket.
We have used this for daytime naps from day one and it is fantastic. It has a vibrating mattress which has really helped with the colic and reflux issues Isla has had. It also has a nightlight, music and changing table.
As Isla gets older we will use the travel cot as a playpen so Isla can play safely, so we will really get our money’s worth out of this, unlike a moses basket which would have lasted just a few weeks.
4. Joie 2-in-1 Serina Swing and Rocker
I spent a long time research swings and rockers when I was pregnant. I was tempted by the ridiculously expensive 4Moms MamaRoo, but in the end I went for this product from Joie, and I am so glad I did.This is a 2-in-1 product, and is both a swing and a rocking chair. The swing moves both side to side, and back to front. The chair can also be lifted off and used as a rocking chair. The seat vibrates, and the swing has a nightlight, music and nature sounds and different swing speeds.Isla loves the swing, but the rocking chair comes in handy too. It isn’t too heavy and is really portable. I take it upstairs with me when cleaning up, and she sits on it in the kitchen whilst I am cooking.
This is without a doubt one of our best purchases, and a bargain at £129 compared to £259 for a MamaRoo
5. IsofixWhilst Isla is my first child, I have done a lot of babysitting over the years and one thing I have always struggled with is strapping in a car seat. I was never sure if I was putting the seat belt in the right place and it was just a whole lot of hassle to get the car seat in and out of the car.
Thank God for Isofix!
This system means you can fit a car seat directly into a car without messing about with a seat belt. An Isofix base is installed into the car and the seat simply clicks on to this. No seat belt needed meaning no stress!
6. Over-cot Changer
When I was pregnant everyone laughed at me for buying an over-cot changer. ‘You will be changing nappies on your knees within a couple of weeks’ or ‘Just change her on the sofa’.Err, no. After a couple of poo explosions and sneaky mid-change wees, we quickly decided we won’t be doing that.
We bought the Tutti Bambini changer, but there are plenty of others available. Saves taking up precious space with a full unit and does the job just as well!
7. Muslins… lots and lots of muslins
We use muslins for everything! Mopping up sick and dribble, to stop the milk flow when my boobs have decided to spray all over Isla’s face and even as an emergency cover up when we’ve gone out and forgotten a blanket.We have over 50 bibs that we’re still yet to use because muslins are so much easier.
We’re not loyal to a particular brand – I’ve bought them from Boots, Aldi and Matalan and they all do the same job.
Muslins are brilliant… buy them in bulk!
8. Munchkin Baby In-Sight Mirror
An absolute essential for anyone using a rear facing baby or childs seat is a car mirror. This one is huge and allows us to see exactly what Isla is doing when we are travelling
9. Medela Swing Breast Pump & Haakaa Pump
I was not one of these people who was hell bent on breastfeeding. I bought bottles and formula when I was pregnant but said I would give breastfeeding a go. Turns out it has been pretty easy for us, and because of that I have stuck to it.I am not confident when it comes to breastfeeding in public however. I have an oversupply and have to contend with milk spraying all over the place and a baby choking from gulping too quickly.Because of this I started expressing very early on using the Medela Swing. The suction is great, it’s quiet and does the job brilliantly. It can also be used with batteries so is perfect for use when out and about.
The Haakaa is a more recent discovery. This is a silicone suction cup that can be used to express. I instead use this to collect my let-down whilst feeding on the other side so nothing goes to waste. It’s so easy to use and I often get three or four ounces with no effort at all.
The safe sleep guidelines suggest a constant room temperature of 16-20°C to reduce the risk of SIDS and the Gro-Egg is a product that makes keeping an eye on the temperature of your house easy.
The Egg changes colour to indicate the temperature. It doubles up as a night-light and is a straight-forward and easy to use nursery essential.