Quite a few friends have asked me what things I’d recommend they get ahead of their baby arriving. There are a few things that me and hubby rate and here is our list of must haves. (Please bear in mind not all parents will agree with our recommendations, they are what work for us, so may not for you. But it’s a place to begin, right?)
- A sidecar cot.
This is so much better than a Moses basket in the bedroom because you don't have to get out of bed to fetch baby for night feeds (in the first weeks/months there are LOADS of these), simply roll/lean over and pick up baby. We used a Bednest which we loved - you can buy or hire and NCT have other similar ones available.
- Moses basket.
Great for the first 12 weeks for downstairs in the house. I got a lovely secondhand one with stand off Gumtree for £10.
- A white noise maker
In the first 6 months we found white noise an actual life saver. 9 times out of 10 it would calm Baby D down within 30 seconds and often send her off to sleep within a few minutes (in conjunction with cuddling!)
We ended up using a few different methods which were good for different times and places:
- One you can leave in the crib we use 2:
- Ewan the Dreamsheep - stops playing after 20 minutes perfect for bedtime
- Sound Spa - plays continuously for as long as you want or on timer for 30 minutes - this is better than Ewan really but once baby gets grabby it's all over for this one!
- one for your phone for when you're out and about is Sound Sleeper app. See my top app post for further details.
- Clothes in 'newborn' size.
We had loads of 0-3 months size which Baby D wasn't big enough until she was about 6 weeks old! Who knew? Not us. Luckily a friend had bought us a pack of sleep suits in newborn size so we had something for Baby D to wear straight away that wasn't huge on her.
- A stretchy sling for when they are newborn.
We used a Moby but if you had a caesarean you may find a Close Caboo better as there isn't a bit that wraps around your wound area. Holding baby close when you're out and about or just wanting to do some chores around the house is not only extremely useful but also really lovely and cuddly. See my post on babywearing.
I like to be able to see if Baby D is ok, asleep, been sick or whatnot when I'm driving. I got one for £2 at a secondhand sale but the basic ones are not expensive.
- Breastfeeding pillow
Some people love them, some hate them. I use mine all time and love it. In the first weeks I found it invaluable to prevent Baby D from laying across my caesarean wound. I also used it to sit Baby D in before she was able to sit up herself. I still
use it for night feeds over 10 months on.
- Nipple cream
use it for night feeds over 10 months on.
|propped up in a breastfeeding pillow!|
- Nipple cream
Vital in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. It keeps them supple and soothed and helps healing without cracking. Using ones that are safe in baby's mouth are best. You can use Lansinoh lanolin cream which many mums swear by or if you don't want something animal derived (lanolin is derived from sheeps wool) you can make you own like I do, see my post about it.
- Lots of nice booby things to ease the discomfort of breastfeeding in the first few weeks. Also see my breastfeeding journey post. I used my homemade booby cream (see above), Muti-Mam compresses and Savoy cabbage leaves in the bra. Yes you read that right...Savoy cabbage leaves in the bra. This was a great if odd tip from the leader at our NCT group. Apparently there is a chemical in Savoy cabbages that is very soothing, just keep one in the fridge and pop a leaf in each bra cup whenever you need.
Possibly get a breast pump but you may not want/need one. It's a good idea to choose the one you want then if and when you decide you want or need one send your partner out to get it. They are quite expensive and you may find you don't need one. I used and still use now a Medela Swing and find it efficient and quiet. Plus you can put batteries in it so don't need mains wires all over the place.
- This one is a bit of a luxury: Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair. It's from birth to big kid! I got ours second hand including baby seat for £50 off Preloved. We wanted Baby D to be able to sit to the table at meal times as early as possible to get her used to it, so she feels included and so I could keep my eye on her. I found a newborn seat which simply clicks onto the high chair on eBay so she was at the dinner table with us from birth! It's suitable up to 6 months/sitting up unsupported by which time you'll need the baby seat for weaning.
- Birth to potty cloth nappies.
This is not for everyone but if you're concerned about landfill and/or chemicals in contact with baby's bum constantly they are worth considering; see my cloth bum post. We like Close Parent Pop-in Bamboo nappies but there are loads of different ones around. We used disposables for the first 11 weeks while we got used to things. We have 24 nappies which is just about enough - I do a wash every 2 or 3 days on the whole.
- Bamboo wet wipes (reusable).
Disposable wet wipes irritate Baby D's skin not only on her bum but anywhere on her body. She ends up red raw so I avoid them at all costs. I use washable little flannels. They are very simple, I just soak them in Chamomile & Honey tea and keep in a tuppaware box for use at home and pop a couple in a wet bag (they have great ones in H&M in the makeup section for only £1.99)
There's a website that does great ones that are a good price. They are called Easy Peasy bamboo wipes. I have 50 and never run out.
You'd be surprised how few you need to use. Even for cleaning up a poonami I only ever need 2 or sometimes 3. With disposables I'd end up using half a pack!
My top tip is to get white/cream ones. I have a few lovely brightly coloured ones but you can't always tell if you've wiped baby's bum clean with those...sorry for being gross!
So now I use white/cream ones for Baby D's bum and wash them with the nappies and use the coloured ones for face and hands and wash them with her clothes.
Well that's my list. Hopefully you or someone you know may find it helpful.