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.