Expecting a baby soon? New parents are constantly being sold stuff (especially the first time around) and buying it all can seem a good way to calm the nerves and feel more in control. But let’s face it – nothing can prepare you fully!
You really don’t need all the things you think you do. Make life easier with a few of life’s modern luxuries, so there’s more time to enjoy being a family.
(I’ve had this post drafted since January, but have only just managed to finalise it this weekend!)
So, what did we actually find helpful?
1. A pram. Big wheels and/or inflated tyres makes walking much easier. We’ve had three different brands/prams and our Out ‘n’ About pram (gifted by the PR, review in this post) is firmly the favourite. As soon as Kittie’s big enough we’ll go back to using that, but just now we’re using a double Uppababy pram as Nathan still needs it at times. You can buy a newborn attachment for the Out ‘n’ About though – if it’s your only pram you’ll need the newborn carrycot as well as the pushchair itself.
2. A gym/jumparoo. Before you know it (see number 3 on the main list) your baby will be alert and ready for action. A baby gym is basically a mat with some toys dangling over it. You lay the baby on the mat and watch them have the time of their life. It’s worth it for the chubby leg kicking action alone. Likewise, the jumparoo is great for when they are that bit bigger and are strong enough to sit-up properly and hold their body weight – you pop the baby in the seat and let them bounce up and down while playing. A great way to contain them while you hoover, or just enjoy a hot cuppa.
3. A car seat. If you drive and have two cars, just get one car seat, two Isofix bases. Enough said?
4. A good video monitor. We actually have a new one, the Lollipop baby camera, which was gifted to us by the PR. It was easy to set up and has many great features, like attaching to the cot side using a bendy, silicone handle and connecting to your phone via the app, so you can access the picture and sound at any time to check on bubs. You can even play music or white noise into the room. Honestly, I couldn’t have been without a video monitor when I had Nathan, but the one we have was so well used that it has to be plugged in constantly as the battery is useless now. The Lollipop baby camera for Kittie has been brilliant. The quality of both the camera and the sound is amazing which saves my lazy a** from dashing back and forth every few minutes to check on her, and it’s great that I can move around the house doing my bits and bobs and be able to see her on her using my phone, which is usually by my side anyway. I’ve also downloaded the app to my iPad in case I need to use my phone. I’m loving the fact I can mount the camera wherever Kittie is (moses basket, bedside crib, big cot) quickly and easily so I can keep an eye on her while I do dishes/laundry/put shopping away, etc. And yes, I’ve even mounted it on Nathan’s cot during his nap even though he’s two! (How did that happen?)
And for formula fed babies:
5. A Tommy Tippee Perfect Prep machine. The perfect prep machine does all the counting of ounces/mils for you and takes four minutes to make a bottle at the perfect temperature. No risk of scalds, no panic-cooling in a bowl of cold water. A godsend for those night feeds.
6. A steam steriliser. Much less hassle than using sterilising fluid or tablets, which are great for travel but not so great for every day at home, so I’d definitely suggest getting this neat appliance which needs nothing more than a bit of water in the bottom to make sterilising a fuss-free job. Important when there’s so much other stuff going on.
I hope this post has been somewhat helpful for any first time or new parents. Please know that this is all based on my own experiences of having babies – I am by no means a healthcare professional, and you might well find something else useful. Feel free to share your tips and experiences in the comments below, I’d love to hear them, and find out what your can’t-live-without items were.
Images: Kris Miller.