Third baby in – and I think I’ve finally nailed the mum kit. And by that, I mean that I’ve gathered together the things that really do make motherhood easier. Those clever inventions that cut corners so you can spend more time enjoying your baby. And whilst these aren’t necessarily budget buys (I see another post in that), I can promise you won’t regret investing in any of them. So without further ado, here are my top 10 buys for new mums and mums-to-be – and I’ve included a UK and UAE link for shopping for all of them, so mummies in both countries can make use of my list….
In a nutshell: A portable bed for your baby, which you place inside their cot.
I reviewed this incredible invention here – but it’s essentially a snug bed that you place inside a cot, bed, or other flat surface for your baby to sleep. I don’t know how exactly it works, but babies just seem to love it. It’s like they are being hugged I guess, but whatever the science behind it, Mabel happily self-settles and sleeps like a dream.
UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0o0ok #aff
UAE – Sleepyhead GCC – http://sleepyheadgcc.com
In a nutshell: A bedside cot that allows you to sleep safely next to your baby.
We ended up co-sleeping a lot with Wilfred, as he was just one of those babies that didn’t settle well – so I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy with Mabel that I wanted a bedside cot. I enjoyed co-sleeping with Wilfred, but I always worried about the safety of it – so this would allow me to sleep alongside my baby and get to them quickly when they woke in the night, but they’d have their own space too. Out of all the cots on the market, this was my favourite as it’s big (it should last Mabel until at least 6 months) and it looks really lovely as a piece of furniture. Expensive yes, but I’m pretty sure they will sell on well second hand.
UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0m13k #aff
UAE – Mumzworld – www.mumzworld.com
In a nutshell – A baby chair that bounces and sways, just like parents
This chair is quite simply amazing. You plug it in, choose the setting (including car ride, tree swing, kangaroo, rock-a-bye and ocean), and choose the speed. It isn’t cheap admittedly, but I would have palpitations if anyone took it away from me (my babies have never been able to resist sleep when on ‘car ride’ on the fastest setting, which I’ve resorted to more than few times). We used a voucher given to us by work colleagues to buys ours when Wilfred was born and have passed it onto friends when they have had little ones. It’s definitely one of my top baby buys.
UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j0liis #aff
UAE – The Baby Boutique – www.thebabyboutique.com
4. The Ergo
In a nutshell – A baby carrier that can be used comfortably as your baby grows
I’m not really a baby wearer as I like pushing my babies in buggies, but a carrier is a necessity when you fly as often as we do – and after trial and error, the Ergo is definitely my favourite. The weight is carried around the hips (rather than shoulders), which means you can use it for longer as baby gets heavier. We had a different carrier when Stanley was a baby and I couldn’t carry him past 4 months without pain in my shoulders – but I carried Wilfred very happily in the Ergo until he was 18 months. Highly recommended.
UK – www.ergobaby.co.uk
UAE – Mumzworld – www.mumzworld.com/en/ergo-baby/
5. Snuza Hero
In a nutshell – A breathing monitor that clips to your baby’s nappy when they are sleeping
I know there is some controversy about breathing monitors, as they can make mothers even more anxious – but the peace of mind I feel when I clip this little monitor onto Mabel’s nappy is definitely worth it. Without it, I’m one of those mothers that wakes up in a cold sweat to check their baby is breathing every 10 minutes – but with it, I can go to sleep knowing this little device is monitoring that she’s breathing at least 8 times in a minute. If she doesn’t, it vibrates gently to rouse her. And if there is still no movement, an alarm would go off to wake us. I’ve used one with all three of my babies from the moment they are born, right up until them being old enough to yank it off (I’ve stopped at around 8 months in the past).
UK – Amazon – http://amzn.to/2jcv925 #aff
UAE – Just Kidding – www.justkidding-me.com
6. Milkies Milk Saver
In a nutshell – A silicon device you pop in your bra to catch milk when you are feeding the other side.
What exactly is a milk saver? Well it’s a simple silicone device that you pop on the other boob when feeding and it collects all the milk that would usually be wasted in your breast-pad (it’s amazing how much you get, which can then be saved in the fridge or freezer for when you need to do a bottle feed). I’ve used it with Mabel since she was born – and this simple thing has saved me pumping and has therefore been a lifesaver (I hate pumping). Midwives and lactation consultants have all been amazed by it – and I never knew I could love a strange milk catcher thing quite so much.
UK – Amazon – http://amzn.to/2id7Oiq #aff
UAE – Order via Amazon and Shop & Ship (as above).
7. Boppy Pillow
In a nutshell – A cushion to help support your baby during breastfeeding
Talking of breastfeeding, I have been totally reliant on my Boppy Pillow with all my babies. I’ve tried smaller, more compact cushions, but none of them have compared to the Boppy – and I’ve even carried it onto flights (great way to comfortably cuddle a small baby on a long-haul by the way!) I got a really gorgeous cover for mine at Pottery Barn Kids in Dubai, but that’s just a luxury extra that you don’t really need if you are on a budget.
UK – Argos – www.argos.co.uk
UAE – Pottery Barn Kids
8. Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets
In a nutshell – Giant muslin cloths that can be used for all kinds of different things at home and when you head out.
My first two babies loved to be swaddled as newborns, but not Mabel – oh no, she wasn’t having any of it. She cried and struggled and fought her arms out – and when we finally gave up, boom, she started sleeping through the night at a week old. So as great as these swaddles are for actually swaddling (and they are the best), that’s not actually why I’m recommending them. I’m recommending them as giant muslin cloths, which have so many different uses with newborn babies around the house. Lightweight blankets for warm weather, sick moppers, bottom sheets for the pram basinet, window drapes to block the sun in the car… The list goes on. Basically they are brilliant – and worth the extra money to get the big ones!
UK – John Lewis – http://bit.ly/2j2AdbX #aff
UAE – Baby Souk – www.babysouk.com/
9. Cuddle Dry Apron Towel
In a nutshell – The best towel for newborns, allowing you to scoop them out the bath and cuddle them without getting soaked.
When I was first sent this to try (thanks Cuddle Dry!) I must admit that I thought it was a bit pointless – but then I started using it, and wow! It’s amazing. You pop it over your head, scoop your newborn out of the bath, and pull them into you in a cuddle. There’s a pocket at the bottom that you fit over their head as a hood to keep them warm – and the towel between you stops your clothes getting soaked (and having two boys that splash a lot in the bath, anything that stops it happening with the baby too is a real bonus!) Highly recommended!
UK – Amazon – http://amzn.to/2idn0vZ #aff
UAE – Baby Souk – www.babysouk.com/
10. Water Wipes
In a nutshell – Baby wipes made from 99.9% purified water for easy nappy changes and healthy bottoms!
With my first baby, I used cotton wool and water for weeks – and then gave up and started using pure wipes, which made life so much easier. With my second baby, I decided not to take on the meconium and start with the pure baby wipes – cue a horrible weeping nappy rash that made me sob every nappy change. So I wasn’t going to make that mistake again with Mabel and decided to invest in 12 packs of Water Wipes for my hospital bag and early days at home. They are made with 99.9% purified water and 0.01% fruit extracts, making them the world’s purest baby wipes. I love them so much that I have restocked my supplies and will definitely be continuing to use them for Mabel as long as possible.
UK – 12 packs at Amazon – http://amzn.to/2iXfIuK #aff
UAE – Deliver 2 Mum – www.deliver2mum.com