As a first-time Mum, I found preparing for our newborn very daunting, as there are so many baby products available online to purchase. Some items seem super useful and some seem like a marketing ploy, making it very hard to know what are actually most useful. Below I have compiled a list of items that we couldn’t do without and will definitely be keeping or repurchasing in case we need them again in the future for round two. Trust me, we have a number of items that will be finding their way to eBay in the coming months as Arthur outgrows them.
Small travel nappy bag
Let us talk nappy bags. I wondered if I really needed one of those enormous hold-all nappy bags that you see in the baby stores, and to be honest, mine has come in handy. BUT not as handy as my Isoki travel nappy bag. Sometimes all you need is a couple of nappies, wipes and a change of clothes for those quick trips to the shops or to a friends place, so a smaller nappy bag is very handy to throw into the bottom of your pram.
Nappy Disposal System
One word – Smelly Nappies! Newborns poop ALOT, so we found this super helpful in the early days (and are still finding it super helpful). These awesome nappy disposal systems lock in the odor of poopy nappies allowing you to have a clean and fresh smelling babies room.
Hands Up Swaddle
These are an AMAZING!!! I have already decided that any friend who is having a baby in the future, that an Oohbubs Legs Out Swaddle will be my gift to them. Not all babies enjoy being tightly swaddled when they sleep, some enjoy having their arms available to them to help them self-soothe. Arthur LOVED his hands up swaddles from day 1 – In fact we had 4! Not only does it fit tightly, making them feel safe and secure, but the arms up sleeves actually stop the startle reflex. What is not to love when it comes to saving our sleep?
Happiest Baby on the Block
This will save your sleep! The first two weeks we brought Arthur home from the hours of 8 pm to 2 am were his witching hour. It was basically Nick and me taking turns to try and calm him with a cycle of nappy, feed, settle and repeat. We purchased the DVD: Happiest Baby on the Block and we were so thankful we did. As first time parents, all we needed were a few simple tips to not only help us understand why our baby was acting the way he was but also how we could help make him happy and settled. As of writing this post, Arthur now sleeps through the night with only one top-up feed at 2 am – magic!
The Wonder Weeks App
I think the Itunes explanation explains this one best – “The Wonder Weeks worldwide bestselling baby app is a personalized weekly calendar of your baby’s mental development that will keep you informed about the leaps and bounds and the fussy phases of your baby.” Basically, if your baby appears to be having a bad week, it can be correlated with a mental development that they are going through. Such an amazing app to be able to understand Arthur better and help him to work his way through his latest new found development.
Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor
If you are a crazy person, like me, who needs to check that your baby is breathing constantly then you need this in your life. I wish I had taken the Snuza Hero Baby Movement Monitor to the hospital with me because I got very little sleep those first few nights making sure he was okay. The Hero monitor is simple to use, it clips onto your baby’s nappy and keeps track of your babies breathing. 15 seconds of no tummy movement and the Hero vibrates to rouse your baby. After a further 5 seconds of no motion and the Hero will sound a sharp audible alarm! Best. Idea. Ever.
My First Years Travel Cot
When we were in the hospital we had the standard hospital bassinet that was able to be wheeled around with us, no matter where we were in the room. When it came time to come home we realised that our very awkward and heavy bassinet, that was beside our bed, wasn’t very mobile, making it almost unusable for the regular newborn naptimes during the day (unless we always wanted to be in our room). Hence our next-day purchase of the My First Years Travel Cot. We propped it up on the couch with us while we were in the living room and he would regularly nap in comfort and safety. The travel cot was also able to come with us to his grandparents or even outside into the yard for naptimes while watching the fur-kids play.
Pram adapter for car seat
Prams that allows you to use your car seat via an adapter are AMAZING. We purchased a Bugaboo Cameleon (recommend) and it successfully connects to a number of different car seats. This is just convenience at its best, PLUS newborns are TINY, so we found our car capsule wonderful for those first few months. We loved that we could let Arthur keep sleeping in his car capsule and put him in the pram to go for walks without waking him.
Babyhood Mesh Bouncer
Do you remember these from when you were a baby? I know I had one, so when I saw that Babyhood has reimagined the Mesh Bouncer I had to have one. Arthur loves his mesh bouncer. Now that he is older he is starting to bounce himself, but as a newborn, it was a great way to have chats with him and have him being able to look around without having to stare at the ceiling. The mesh is also great for the Queensland heat, allowing air to circulate around him, as opposed to laying on a thick blanket on the floor. The Babyhood Mesh Bouncer also folds away and can be taken with you when visiting friends and family.
Medela Breast Pump
I think, like most expecting Mums, I planned to exclusively breastfeed, or at least try my hardest to. As it turns out I do not produce enough milk so we had to supplement feed. Arthur would feed from my breast, and I would top him up with a mix of expressed breast milk and formula. This means that my days are a cycle of feed and pump, pump and feed. Thankfully my best friend gifted me a Medela Breast Pump, so when the realization came that I needed to pump exclusively, having a hospital grade pump on hand was a life saver (seriously). I would recommend getting the Medela Maxi Swing because it has two pumps which basically halves your pumping time – totally worth the investment. Plus make sure to purchase the Medela Easy Expression Bustier with your pump, it is worth every penny, and allowed me to be able to use my hands when expressing.
Another purchase I didn’t think I would need to make but super thankful that we did, was the Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer. Having to warm up breastmilk or water for formula can be a timely exercise and since microwaves are no longer recommended because of uneven heating, it can mean that waiting for the kettle to boil to warm the milk seems to take forever. Having something that gently and evenly heats 120ml of milk/water in 3 minutes was such a timesaver, especially with a crying baby! I went with the Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer because it was a great price, had great reviews and fits all size bottles (I use the Medela Calma Bottles).
SRC Recovery Shorts
These are a MUST MUST buy. Whether you have a natural birth or c-section, these recovery shorts provide light pressure to the pelvis, back and abdominal muscles providing you with the support to move more freely post-delivery and make lifting, feeding, bathing and caring for your baby much easier. The SRC Recovery Shorts aren’t cheap, and we all know that I am super budget conscious, but I can assure you they are worth every penny. I think I will even purchase the pregnancy shorts for our next child, as I had lots of pelvis issues through my last pregnancy.
Lastly, a quick honorable mention to the Bonds Wondersuit. BEST. INVENTION. EVER. Someone who has had children has thought up the easy access and practicality of these great jumpsuits.
I hope this list has been helpful to the new Mummas out there or if you are already a Mum please comment below and let me know your must-have items.