This is a much requested blog post, it’s just taken a little longer than anticipated to get around to it, which is the story of pretty much everything in my life right now!
It’s not an exhaustive list of everything you need for a newborn, for that go here, for nursery stuff go here. It’s just a mini round up of things we loved that made our lives easier in the beginning.
We’re entering month four now, so it’s all change! Our cuddly little newborn is now an independent lady who knows just what she wants, and that comes with it’s own set of struggles… and gear! Thankfully almost everything on this list is a longterm investment, so she’ll continue to make good use of them.
- A moses basket (and rocking stand). Sadly this falls into the category of something they’ll grow out of pretty fast, so don’t buy one of the fancy, couple hundred pound ones. Having said that, this was worth its weight in gold for the first three months. A cosy bed for her to sleep in, that we could carry around the house and pop down wherever we wanted. Beside a window when she was a bit jaundiced, in the kitchen when we ate, beside us at night. We kept her with us at all times (obviously) and made sure we talked at full volume through her naps, used the hoover, watched tv, let the dog bark, to ensure she could sleep anywhere and everywhere. Lots of people advised us against the rocking stand, saying it would spoil her, but because it’s not mechanical you only use it now and then, she never became attached to it, and now sleeps in her cot perfectly well. It’s a god send in the middle of the night when you can reach one arm out and rock her back to sleep!
- Jingle Bunny. This was a gift from my sweet nephew and it’s the most delicious idea for a newborn pressie. It’s a Jellycat bunny with a difference, it has a jingly bottom. When you shake it, it makes the most beautiful chiming noise that distracts baby and soothes them. Not as hectic as a rattle, it’s just really lovely! Great if you’re stuck for a gift for a friend’s new baby.
- Burt’s Bees Baby Wash. The nicest baby shampoo and wash I’ve tried. Plant based, tear-free, smells like honey. Easy to lather up with one hand and rinses off easily.
- Whale Waterfall Rinser. Essentially a cute jug to pour water over the baby in the bath. I don’t know whether it’s the colour, the smiley face, or the way it disperses the water, but Lily loves hers. Makes it easy to wash away shampoo without getting it in her eyes. Yes you could use a mug, but whale… why not splash out?!
- Rockit. This. This has been the best purchase I’ve potentially ever made. It was suggested by my followers on Instagram and I’m so grateful! People sneak over in restaurants to ask where they can get one, honestly it’s brilliant. What is it? It’s a little rocket that attaches to the side of your pram and jiggles it! Obviously not a good idea to use it all the time or at home, incase they get attached, but if baby starts fussing in a shop or a restaurant, you just press the magic button and they drift off. Leaving you to finish up and enjoy yourself, hands free! If you’re looking for a baby shower gift to blow the other guests out of the water (that’s the spirit!), this is it. (US version here.)
- A baby gym. Ok, it may seem a little early, but it’s not. After a few short weeks you can pop baby down under one of these and watch as they gaze in awe at all of the colours. Don’t expect much interaction in the early days, just know that the bright colours and shapes are aiding their development hugely. Within just a couple of weeks they’ll be swinging hands and legs at the toys, and within a couple of months they’ll be shoving them into their little mouth with glee, leaving you time to have a nice cuppa and breathe. You’re going to want one eventually, I figure you may as well get one early and get all the use you can out of it. Obviously there are aesthetically pleasing Scandinavian options, but babies like bright colours and they help the ol’ cogs turn better than shades of grey. This one is particularly hideous, but she loves it and it’ll turn into a ball pit when she’s older. Architectural Digest aren’t popping round anytime soon, so I don’t mind.
- Sheepskins. So this one’s somewhat controversial, so I very much recommend doing some reading and research of your own around this one, before thinking of getting one. Some people consider anything other than a cotton sheet a hazard to sleeping babies. My personal view is that babies have been sleeping on skins for thousands of years, there’s evidence to suggest that babies who do suffer from fewer allergies and asthma when they grow up (though I imagine this is tricky to test as I think sheepskin type people probably make other life choices that impact this…), but mostly they’re extremely cosy. So Lily has one in her pram and had one in her moses basket. In winter we had medium length fluff, once it got warmer we switched to short.
- This cheeky chappy hangs over her pram bassinet and has kept her entertained since her first week on earth. She’s nuts about him.
- A changing basket. We have a changing station in the downstairs bathroom with this taking pride of place. It’s so beautifully made, it looks smashing, but most importantly she can’t roll out of it. So even if someone useless (no names mentioned) were changing her, and they looked away for just a moment, she’d still be fine. Which is handy!
- A cotton car seat cover. So much nicer than putting her straight into the car seat, which can get quite sweaty on hot days. I bought one from Holland & one from Spain. The Spanish one takes the cake, is beautifully made and very chic, but more expensive, and the Dutch one works perfectly too. So I leave it to you.
- Lotus Bath Pillow. This handy little pillow goes into your kitchen sink to make the most marvellously comfortable bath. You don’t have to worry about slippery little newborns getting away from you or banging their heads, which is a relief! Whenever possible I have Lily in the bath with me, when it’s not, we use this. (USA version here.)
- Baby Bouncer. Now, let me just say, I have no idea why this is so expensive. Honestly, it’s so unreasonable, it’s a metal frame topped with a fabric cover. But it is really great. You can strap baby in and put her anywhere, the bathroom floor to watch you get ready, the kitchen table so you can have lunch together… they can’t escape, you know they can’t get upto mischief or eaten by a pack of wild wolves, it’s brilliant. Humbug.
- Swaddle bag. I only wish we’d discovered these sooner. A foolproof way to swaddle your little monster, and they won’t escape no matter how much they wiggle, even if you put them in it half asleep in the dark. Snug as a bug in a rug.
That’s all I can think of at the mo! If anything else comes to mind, I’ll let you know.
If you have any must-haves of your own please do pop them in the comments below, you never know who could do with your well earned pearls of wisdom!
Perhaps you’re a less is more sort of person, but you know me, I’ll take everything and the kitchen sink!