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My Baby Essentials

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The parenting world is a multi billion pound industry – we’ll do pretty much anything if it means a good nights sleep!  Becoming a mother again for the 3rd time and aware of the highs and lows of having a newborn baby, I thought I’d try out some new products and techniques to see if it makes a difference to my nights sleep and ease of being in the newborn fog again.

Seven weeks in and dare I say it – I feel alright! Much less sleep deprived than the other two babies.  Am I used to it or have these products made a difference?

Before I begin – I believe that all babies are born with their own personality.  What some babies like, others may not… but you’ll only find this out through trial and error. The products listed below are not part of a sponsored deal – they are recommended from one mother to another.  It’s true that some of these products can be pricey.  My advice would be, have a baby shower and ask all the guests for Amazon or John Lewis vouchers, then you can purchase all the things you need and not end up with 7 bunnies (true story with my first baby).   Alternatively look on places like eBay, Gumtree and sign up to your Mum’s community on Facebook.  Here you can buy all sorts of second hand things at great prices.

The Sleepyhead 

This is the first time I have used the Sleepyhead.  With my other two children I used a hand-me- down wooden cradle from my mother in law that my husband used to sleep in.  Cute to use it for sentimental reasons, but it made me realise how times and inventions have upgraded over time.  This wooden and probably uncomfortable cradle got the boot and I tried The sleepyhead instead.  It’s brilliant is all I can say.  It makes babies feel cocooned again like they are in the womb and it has made Inca sleep so so well.  Even when she is awake, I’ll lay her down in it so I can write an email or go to the loo and she is happy in there.  They are a little pricey at £150 but worth every penny…

The Shnuggle bedside cot

At the moment I am placing the Sleepyhead inside the Shnuggle bedside cot – which I’ll remove once Ince gets a little bigger.  This bed side cot is really wonderful.  A sense of co-sleeping safely and when she stirs in the night I can reach out and stroke her head.  Her knowing I am nearby comforts her and she goes back to sleep easily.  Also when I do need to get her out of the cot for a feed, it’s very easily done – and laying her down after she’s finished feeding after fallen asleep in my arms makes that careful transition a breeze.  Again, coming in at £199 it’s a bit pricey, but I asked for this when I had my baby shower – and all my friends contributed towards it.

The Dummy

This is a controversial subject… to dummy or not to dummy.  Again, with my first 2 babies I rejected them thinking they were a bad habit and worried they would get buck teeth.  With Inca I introduced it as I was intrigued and also thought it may be a helping hand when dealing with my two boys who seem to like a good fight at the moment.  The verdict is in.  The dummy is brilliant.  It’s like a nanny.  It calms and soothes her and again it means I can have some time to spend with the boys like reading them a bed time story or doing homework and Inca is happily calm with her dummy.  Also it gives my nipples a break when she only wants to suckle to soothe rather than eat. I know eventually I’ll have to wean Inca off it – but I’ve managed to wean bottles and nappies off the boys so pretty sure I can wean the dummy too. £8

The Swaddle

Swaddling a baby makes them feel secure and back in the womb again.  When a baby is born you’ll notice their arms and legs can be very jerky and they can end up scratching their faces without realising it.  Babies don’t understand their arms and legs are attached to them until weeks later, so best to keep them all wrapped up in a swaddle.  It helps with sleeping and a sense of comfort too.  Some swaddles are tricky to put together so I have used one from Ergo Pouch that you zip up rather than wrap around in a certain way.  Inca also loves being wrapped up in a blanket.  She knows now that blanket, sleepyhead and dummy means time to sleep…and she’ll drift off all by herself when I put her down awake. £26.99

 

The Hair Dryer

Great hack – your baby will cry when you are changing her nappy and will also cry with overtired.   Turn on a hair dryer and place it on the surface they are laying on FACING AWAY from the baby and on cold and watch the baby utterly zone out and stop crying.  The white noise and the vibrations take them back to the womb and they stop crying.  It totally chills them out. This hack is brilliant.  The white noise apps don’t work in the same way…

The Rockit

This is another great invention I wish I had with my previous babies.  The Rockit attaches itself to any pram, is battery operated and once tuned on it rocks your pram for you, so you don’t have to!  So when you’re out having that coffee or catching up on Instagram and your baby realises you’ve stopped moving and starts to stir, the Rockit will rock the pram for you.  It’s genius. £38

Ewan The Dream Sheep

Love this sheep! I actually used Ewan The Dream Sheep on my middle child and he loved it and now Inca does too.  The heart beat white noise and red light sends her off to sleep.  It’s also a very soft cuddly toy that she loves to snuggle into.  It’s the best thing next to hearing the mothers actual heart beat that they have listened to in the womb for the last few months.  The sheep smoothes and calms the baby.£29.99

The Breast Pump

There are breast pumps and then there are Elvie breast pumps.  Revolutionary.  This breast pump is like no other.  You charge it, place it in your bra, it pumps and you can get on with life.  I can cook dinner for the family whilst pumping, do laundry, write this blog post, get on a bus, whatever!! You have the freedom to get on with life and express milk AND it doesn’t make any noise.  I witnessed other women using it before I gave birth and was utterly flabbergasted at how discrete it was and how it was possible to multi task using it.  Three children rarely means you have time to sit down and pump!  At £250 it’s pricer than the other breast pumps I’ve used in the past, but being hands free and getting stuff done is priceless.

The Bath

Bathing your newborn is a bit like Marmite – the babies either love it or hate it, generally they like it but expect some cries! I’ve tried 3 different types of baths with all the 3 of my babies, and this one comes up top trumps! The Skip Hop bath that can be used from new-born up to six months and beyond. The mesh supports and comforts the baby and makes the whole bathing experience a piece of cake.

 

The Pram

Prams are there to make your life with your child a breeze (and look cool when out and about).   There are many to choose from, but for me there is only one pram I would like to use.  The one and only Bugaboo! With all my children I have used the Bugaboo.  With the boys I had the Chameleon and now with Inca I have the Fox that was kindly gifted from the brand.   Prams are used daily for about 2.5 years…maybe longer, then can be used again if you have another child so the investment in a new pram pays for itself.  It’s also very stylish and one of the key benefits Bugaboo are proud of is the sustainability of them and the fact the models are built and designed with high-quality materials that can be easily replaced, including the wheels and the accessories, so selling your pram when you don’t use it anymore will be easy to do – everyone wants a Bugaboo.  Obvs. £970

 

 

 

The Travel System

The Maxi Cosi is the go to for car seats – BUT this is the first time we used the ISOFIX in the car too.  This means the car seat slots in and out of the car with such ease and safety (the lights turn green and makes a noise to let you know it’s secure).  You can do what we did before which is use the seat belt and wrap it around the car seat, but this can take longer to do, is a faff and now as safe.  This has been a game changer – especially when you’re getting 3 kids into the car as quickly as possible.  You can buy adapters for the Maxi Cosi for all prams too.  The adapters from the Maxi Cosi onto the Bugaboo are here.

The Bouncer

This bouncer has gone through all my kids and is a great product to use when you need some time to without holding the baby to do those simple things like make a cup of tea or nip to the loo.  The Baby Bjorn bouncer is a great fix for this and I like that it’s totally cordless and doesn’t need to be charged.  It can be put anywhere anytime.   It reclines to how your baby likes it too.  My kids have spent many evenings in the bouncer with me rocking them with my foot whilst my husband and I enjoy dinner as well as chilling in there as I hang up the laundry. £144.99

The Cushion 

If you want spend that little bit extra, Babocush have an awesome comfort cushion that has built in vibrations and white noise such as a heartbeat and soothing music.  This cushion really helps with an unsettled baby – and can relieve colic, gas and reflux discomfort and is great for tummy time too. When I put Inca in this she zones out and stops crying. Amen.  I attached the Babocush to the Baby Bjorn bouncer too and this also really worked.  £139 for the Babocush cushion.

The Carrier

BabyBjorn comes in top trumps for me again with the carrier.  Used this with all my kids and not only do I love being hands free and pram free (sometimes it’s needed when you want to go into a certain shop but too many stairs to take a pram in or travelling on the tube) but babies love it as they feel so close to you.  They can hear your voice and heartbeat and fall asleep as you walk around. £84.99

 

The Water Bottle

One for you rather than the baby.  Breastfeeding makes you extremely thirsty and water should always be by your side.  You should drink lots of water regardless of breast feeding or not and this Munchkin bottle is great because you don’t have to open it open or shut – and if you drop it no water is spilt.  Reaching over to the water in the early house of the morning during a feed means no faff when opening.  It also comes with me in the cup holder of the pram and I can easily sip away without having to stop and open it.  Its the small things in life that make me happy…£14

The Placenta Pills

You’ll either love this or hate it – and I loved it.  I encapsulated my placenta with The Placenta Pro and took the pills every day until they ran out.  Great service – they came to the hospital the day I gave birth and picked up my placenta and the following day they were sent to my home address.  I don’t know if it was placebo or placenta but I felt great after giving birth and in those first key weeks afterwards.  My iron levels must have been great and getting all the nutrients I needed were there in my system.  I didn’t feel this energised after having my other two babies.  Inca being my third, and giving birth with the kids off school over the summer holidays, I thought would send me over the edge,  but on the contrary…  Worth a shot right? From £210

The Book

This book I have read with all my babies.  ‘Your Baby Week by Week’ is my bible for the first 6 months.  It’s a weekly summary of where you, and your baby should be in regards to eating, sleeping, nappies and what is happening to mum and baby.  Brilliant and well worth the read to know if you’re on track or not – and it explains that lovely 6 week growth spurt that can be so difficult!  Knowledge is power.  This is my power. £8

 

The Photos

I’ve added this just because I’m so pleased I did it…  For the first time I had professional new born photos taken of Inca and I wish I had also done this with my other children.  Babies change so much and so quickly but capturing those early days (Inca was 6 days old when we had the shoot) is priceless and now I’ll have these images forever.  We shot with Photograface who is based in Richmond.  Absolutely love all the images we have and so pleased we did it. From £99

I know this looks like a lot to get and can feel overwhelming with how much money you can spend on a baby, but fret not.(but prams I think should be new if you can).

Next time I’ll be writing up about fashion for breast feeding and how important being properly equipped for nursing is essential.  Please sign up  to my newsletters so you never miss a post – and please also subscribe to my podcast!

Thank you for reading, please share, comment and spread the word.

Louise x

 

 

 

 

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