Tag Archives: baby buys

25th April 2015

The 7 baby buys I’ve used every day for the last 3 years

I recently posted about the things I bought for my babies that were a complete and utter waste of money. Remember? Well today, I’ve decided to do the opposite, listing the things that were worth every penny (or dirham, if you are reading this in Dubai).

These are the things that I’ve used every single day for the last three years. And whilst they may not be the most useful (cots, pushchairs, and highchairs spring to mind), they are the things that stand the test of time as babies turn into toddlers.

We all mother in different ways, of course – and I’m not saying that everyone needs these items. What I am saying, however, is that you certainly won’t be throwing your money down the drain if you follow suit.

So here goes:


1 – Changing Table. When I was pregnant, a few people told me not to bother with a changing table. ‘You just need a mat and you can change a baby anywhere’, they said. I chose to ignore them – and thank goodness I did, as that thing has had a baby on it at least four times a day for the last three years (and for a long time, two of them). Firstly, poo stinks and I don’t want that anywhere near my sofa, or my bed, or my carpet. And secondly, it’s a very useful storage device for all the paraphilia that comes with nappy-aged children (nappies, wipes, swim nappies, sudocream, nappy bags, and the list goes on). So if you have the space, get one. Mine is a cheap one from IKEA and it does the job perfectly.

2 – Nappy Bag. My pregnant self wanted a big leather designer bag to cart around my baby stuff. I announced my intentions to a few mummy friends and they couldn’t conceal their unified hilarity. They were right. Pooey clothes, leaky milk bottles, and squashed raisins are not friends of leather designer bags. I have used various bags over the years, but always had one close to my side when out with the kids – and believe me, waterproof linings are your best bet. My current bag is from PacaPod.

3 – Sleeping Bags. I am a big fan of sleeping bags for babies and toddlers. In fact, both my boys still sleep in them now at 1 and 3. Not only do they keep little ones warm, but they do it safely – and as an added bonus, they make it harder for energetic toddlers to escape their cot (most of the time, anyway). I have got mine in the past from JoJo Maman Bebe (UK) and Just Kidding (UAE).

4 – Hooded Towels. I bought my hooded towels on a bit of a whim when pregnant as I thought the animal faces were cute, completely unaware about how useful they would become. Of course you don’t need hooded towels – any old towel will do, but children like to feel warm and cosy after their bath and I’ve found these make life easier, especially when bathing two children on my own – scoop child out bath, hook towel over head, and transport. I have recently upgraded to Cuddle Dry towel for both the boys from Baby Souk (see my last ‘Currently Loving’ post) and can highly recommend them.

5 – Jelly Cat Comforters. My oldest child’s Jelly Cat comforter (a blue bunny) was bought on impulse when I saw it shopping when pregnant. I took it to the hospital with me when I gave birth – and the two of them have been inseparable ever since. Some people aren’t bothered about comforters, but I have found them to be a very useful tool for both boys (Wilfred has a monkey) as they are always happy in their cot when clutching them. They are also a big help when travelling, instantly calming them when in an unfamiliar place. Use your judgement when it comes to comforters – I would never let a very new baby cuddle one, but they are breathable and can be used at night / naps when they are older.  Buy Jelly Cat here.

6 – Dr Brown Bottles. There was a brief period when the oldest child stopped drinking out of bottles and the smallest one was still in utero, but otherwise these bottles have been a permanent resident of my kitchen surface, sink, and draining board for the last three years.  If you plan to bottle feed – or swap to bottles at some point – I really recommend them. They help to keep air bubbles out to prevent wind and they are pretty robust too – in fact, mine still look good-as-new three years later. You can buy them at Mumzworld (UAE) and Boots.com (UK)

7 – Bath Thermometer. So when I posted about things that were a real waste of money, a few people mentioned bath thermometers. But we use ours every single night! In fact, I love it so much that I take it back to the UK with me for trips. Ours is in the shape of a duck and it lives in the bath, swimming around while the taps are running – and with one quick glance, I know I can dunk the boys straight in. It makes life quicker and easier, at very little expense. And I’m all for that! You can buy it from Truly Madly Baby (UK) here. If you are in the UAE, we got ours from Baby Shop three years ago, so it may still be available there.

Everything Mummy

14th January 2015

Things I Bought For My Baby That Were Totally And Utterly Useless…

yG2GCyVJCP3FvwlfAiQQDJ_us08wcv0HWThHgrqo1rQ,WkyiCi1jdH_qiAB3hfbrI3lK2ecdhaT_dwt8XLFS1QISCRATCH MITTENS. Oh cute, I thought. Little gloves, I thought. I’ll buy four sets, I thought. On the day he was born, I put on those little mittens, turned round to grab my camera at the cuteness – and by the time I turned back around, the things had disappeared. This repeated over the next few days, before I completely gave up. They have lived in the sock drawer ever since.

Lesson learnt: Buy babygrows that have the option of covering hands. Never buy mittens.

A MILK WARMER. For some unexplained reason, I thought I needed a snazzy electric milk warmer. In April. In Dubai. I used it twice – both times forgetting the milk was in there, allowing the milk to spill out the bottle and then evaporate. It has lived in the cupboard ever since. I mean to throw it away, but there’s always a worry at the back of my head: ‘maybe one day I will want to warm some milk’. I really should just throw it.

Lesson learnt: You do not need a milk warmer in the desert.

NEW BABY’ CLOTHES. When I was pregnant with Stanley, I waited until my 20 week scan to buy any clothes. And then I made a celebratory trip to Oxford Street to start his wardrobe as a way of admitting I really was growing a male human. I had done very little research about how quickly these male humans grow and purchased most of his wardrobe in ‘New Baby’ size. He wore most of these outfits once, perhaps twice if I really liked them. In terms of cost per wear, that trip to Oxford Street was more expensive than if I’d raided Selfridges for my own wardrobe.

Lesson learnt: Buy clothes in 0-3 months and 3-6 months

IMPRACTICAL CLOTHES. On the subject of clothing, I also wasted a lot of money on outfits that required a newborn baby to lie still for a totally implausible amount of time. Vests with dungarees over the top, for example. I didn’t even try getting the dungarees on him in the end. I got the vest on, admired it, held up the dungarees in an attempt to work out which bit to put over his head. After a few minutes, I threw them into a heap on the floor. So that was that.

Lesson learnt: Anything that requires more than a few poppers is an absolute waste of money.

A TOP AND TAIL BOWL. Whilst heavily pregnant, I saw on a list of essentials for your newborn a contraption called A Top and Tail Bowl. I waddled my way to the mall and bought one of these things. I still have absolutely no idea what exactly you are supposed to do with it. And it’s still collecting dust under the changing table holding some cotton wool, if my memory is correct.

Lesson leant: I still have no idea what to do with this plastic bowl.

A LIFETIME SUPPLY OF SIZE 1 NAPPIES. I thought I was being incredibly organized when I threw a pack of Size 1 Nappies into my trolley every few weeks during my pregnancy. I soon had an almighty stash. And then my son popped out at 7Ib7oz and only wore Size 1 nappies for a few nights before they leaked and we were told to move him up to Size 2.

Lesson learnt: Newborn baby does not guarantee newborn nappies.

BABY SHOES. As I worked through the list of what my baby needed, shoes seemed obvious. Of course he would need shoes! Why would he not need shoes? I bought several little leather pairs, a pair of mini ugg boots with his name embroidered on the back (cute, I thought), and a couple of mini converse just to be trendy. The first time I tried to put some on his feet, he curled his foot up in revolt. After several minutes trying to uncurl them and slip on the shoes simultaneously, I won that battle (YES!) and walked proudly out the door with the baby in the buggy. He looked so sweet in his shoes! A few minutes up the road, I looked down and one shoe was gone. And that was the end of that.

Lesson learnt: Babies do not need shoes