For some buying before baby arrives is seen as bad luck but there are some essentials you will need. A wishlist or gift list to some seems a bit rude I know but there will be close friends and family who would rather get you and your newborn something that you NEED and that will help you out financially instead of clothes. So baby wish lists are fine in my book!
Don’t get me wrong it was so lovely to get so many clothes for Sam especially as we didn’t know what we were having and everything I had bought was grey and white (shock!) He now has a wardrobe that will last him until he is about 18 months old! Infact I am a bit bitter at how many clothes he has!
Anything I got doubles of or bits which he didn’t get wearing I exchanged for bigger sizes (TOP TIP Keep the labels on everything incase they have grown out of something before you get a chance to put it on them! The likes of M&S, Next and Mothercare were fab at exchanging items or giving me gift cards) so his wardrobe really will last him a while but I would still say don’t be afraid to ask or suggest to close friends and family items from your wish list.
It’s the 21st century, I think even wedding lists used to be a bit of a taboo and let’s face it babies do not come cheap. If you can borrow bits then great! I did, but there are going to be things you may need so I would compile a wee list of items and send it on to those who ask (Perfect for a group of work colleges to club together).
Here are the items I had on mine:
• Tommy Tippie Perfect Prep Machine 🙌🏼 Saving Grace (there are horror stories and bad rumours about these things and Health Visitors are not supposed to recommend them because they should be seen to promote breast feeding but even if you do BF your baby will move on to bottles at some stage and this is basically the baby version of a nespresso machine!) So glad I have this and do not have to wait for boiling water to cool while trying to calm a screaming baby!
• A Baby Monitor – we went for the Angel Care monitor with sensor pads. This monitors the babies heart beat and if it should slow or stop sets off an alarm on the monitor! Great for peace of mind especially once they are out of your bedroom. There are a few versions on the market which even show the temperature of the room and of course some with screens on them too! These all vary price wise depending on which version you go for.
• Babyside Crib : I have written a post on this previously HERE. My parents bought this for us and it has been brilliant. Sam is 6 months old now and I have only recently moved into his cot. I previously had the side up and the crib away from our bed from about 3 months to get him used to 4 sides before we move him into his big cot. From birth though having him so close was such a comfort and so handy in those early days cluster feeding. It is suitable from birth up to 6 months. There are lots of versions of this bedside type crib on the market but you can get 10% off this one HERE by using code SISTERS10. Also a winner in the ‘Made for Mums’ Awards 2017.
I have previously written a blog post on buying your babies first set of wheels HERE. There is a lot to consider as it is a BIG investment. You really need to consider your lifestyle and what you need out of a pram/buggy/travel system. We went with the Jane Epic buggy, the Koos car seat and Micro Carry cot. See our VIDEO on it HERE. It is available in various colours but is currently reduced in the Red & Black down from £745 (for the full travel system package) to £499 HERE. PLUS you can get a further 10% OFF using code SISTERS10!
•Bouncer – we borrowed one but it is very handy to have one. I tend to put Sam in ours when I am getting dressed or bring it into the bathroom while I am in the shower so I can keep an eye on him. It gives you that little bit of time so treat yourself to drying your hair or even get a wash on! Anything that buys you 10/15mins of time is worth it in my book! There are a huge range on the market with music, vibrate features and swings. These range from £30 – £300.
• Thermometer– we went for the ‘Gro Egg’ by the gro company. This thermometer is for the nursery (or your bedroom in the early days) is really handy as you can tell if it is too hot or cold instantly going off the colour of the glow. It also helps gauge how many layers of clothing or blankets etc you may need. It also acts as a bit of a night light and you can get attachments which turns it into an animal shape if you wish.
• Ewan the Dream Sheep – I still used this! 🙌🏼 if used from early on it can become a real comfort for your little one. It plays sounds from the womb, a heartbeat sound and white noise. I put it on every time I put Sam down even for a nap to help him know it’s bedtime. Even if he stirs I play it and it can stretch him out another 15/20 minutes longer! Precious 💤 It has a velcro tail so it can hang to pram/buggy/cot/carseat. Just remember if you buy this as a gift buy batteries too! I always have batteries in the house now for fear of this running out!
• Bottles – I went for the Dr.Brown’S Natural Flow Newborn Feeding Set. This gave me enough bottles to get me started with two teet sizes. Kerry had used the Dr.Browns bottles with Zac as she was reccomended them by a friend who had a baby with colic. Zac and Sam both were fortunate not to be very ‘colicy’ (not even a word) but I did not use any other bottle so do not know if this was the reason for it. There is a bit of extra washing and sterilizing with these mind you. Whichever brand you go for try to get a new born set which has different sized bottles and teets.
• A Steriliser – My friend actually gave me hers and it is so handy! Plus it doesn’t take up precious worksurface space in your kitchen! Also great if you go away for the night/weekend or leave baby with your parents/in laws! This can go too! Here is the one I got given. There are some great steriliser and bottle set packages out there too so shop around.
• Gro Light – This night light has been great. We were given a Boots voucher for Sam and although tempted by their beautiful baby clothes I got this. We switch it on in our room all night, it is LED so not as expensive as a bulb to run. It gives off just enough light to see around the room, change a nappy and feed. We have now moved it into the hallway once he moves out of our room. A really handy and practical gift.
• Snug / Bumbo Seat – We were kindly given a voucher for Mamas and Papas and bought their snug seat which does from 3 months plus. It has a tray table so you can feed snacks here or meals and there is also a toy attachment. I find it useful for when I am making dinner and need Sam to be kept amused for 20 minutes. It is also really good to help him learn to sit up and support him. Kerry still used hers at 10 months with Zac when she is in the shower so he could not crawl away!
• Highchair – This was something my friend bought Sam. She was also well aware of my grey and white obsession. This Mamas and Papas ‘Snax’ highchair has various height options and recline settings. It has been great to help Sam to sit up. He really enjoys dinner time weather it be watching us eat as he plays with toys or as he is weaning. It is messy but this is all wipe clean and so easy to use. It also won the Made for Mums Award 2017!
• Play Gym – Kerry and Leigh bought our play gym for Sam along with a few other bits I had a list of. I didn’t mind asking close friends. We didn’t know what we were having so we kept it neutral with a Mamas and Papas one. They actually got it in the Black Friday sale so be sure to sign up to baby shop websites for online offers but also in store events! Look out for bank holiday events and seasonal offers and baby clubs! Here are just a few play gyms available. A play gym has been the best thing. It’s a safe place for Sam and he loves it, plus its great for tummy time!
• A Baby Bath – We both borrowed baths but Kerry later bought the Shnuggle bath and it has been great! Zac is now 11 months and is only really now growing out of it. It is suitable from birth, uses less water than other baby baths and is more compact to store too. Read our product review HERE. It is available in 3 colours, grey, blue and pink.
These are just some of the bigger ticket items which we found were a great thing to ask for from close friends/family or groups of work colleagues. It really helps cut down on the cost.
Other bits which are obviously handy are nappies, wipes and formula and baby hampers are a lovely idea and much appreciated so don’t be afraid to ask for the practical bits.
Hopefully this is a good list for any expectant mums to be out there but if you already are a mum let me know if there were any must have items you have used which I missed off!