When you’re pregnant, everything starts to change. You are preparing to bring a tiny human into the world, and suddenly you’re swept up into a world of nappies and prams and multiple Sophie the giraffes! It is incredibly overwhelming, especially when you actually have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.
I remember trying to purchase a car seat and a stroller – because they are basically two of the big things you need ASAP (well the car seat anyway). But you end up in this never-ending vortex of details such as how many wheels the pram should have, what kind of wheels (like seriously???), and then just when you think it is all getting a bit much, they ask if you want it to come with a bassinet fitting or not – and that is when your head finally feels like it’ll actually explode.
I’m sure there have been posts like this around, but I thought of writing this list because I remember a conversation I had with a friend who just became a new mum. About 2 months ago she messaged me to ask what kind of pram/stroller I had – because lets face it, you need to ask you mummy friends these questions otherwise you’re stuffed.
This gave me an idea to actually document this list on my blog so that – (a) I can remember for baby number 2 if/when they arrive, and (b) I can hopefully helps one other mummies along the way.
So here it is.
1. A swaddle bag (I recommend the Love to Dream swaddles) / Sleeping bag (which I recommend Plum Collections).
This is the absolute, number 1 ticket item I wish I knew about beforehand. This item changed our little Starfish’s sleeping for the better. In the hospital, you swaddle with the muslin wraps, and let’s be honest folks, unless you are a swaddling-ninja like the midwife we had, it isn’t going to be great. I’m so thankful we had a mum friend show us the light after a month in, but what I would have given to know about the swaddle bags sooner. I will always have a soft spot for the Love to Dream swaddles, as that is how we gave Starfish his glorious nickname. However I’ve recently gotten onto the Plum Collections Sleep Bags (more to come soon), and they are AMAZEBALLS for when your little one is going wings-free.
2. A pram with a bassinet fitting
Why oh why was I not convinced of this? I think we found the pram shopping the hardest, because let’s be honest, unless you have a baby and know what you’re doing, THEY ALL LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME (but they’re not – that’s the biggest lie!). I first realised a bassinet fitting would have been heaven when our mother’s group decided to go to the ‘Bring your hub’ movie session. You get a spare seat to PUT YOUR BABY IN with the bassinet. And here I am, carrying my chubby little Starfish like a sucker. So new mums – invest in a pram that has a bassinet fitting but converts into a forward-facing stroller (and possibly can be extended to include multiple children later down the track). In regards to number of wheels, we went with 3 and a pram that is not used for off-road – that was also a rookie error, as I’ve gone on many a walk and I’m finding the wheels are wearing down. So if you plan on being fit, choose the strollers with the more enduring wheels.
3. Baby Carrier (Or a Peek-a-baby Australia wrap)
Even though I didn’t have the magical bassinet-fitting pram, we were lucky enough to invest in a baby carrier before Starfish came along – what a great investment! We bought a Baby Bjorn style carrier, which is great early on but if you are like me and have boobs, it becomes increasingly more difficult the older and chubbier they get (yes Starfish I’m talking about you…). I was lucky enough to recently win a Peek-a-baby Australia wrap and it is awesome!
4. A Bouncer for bubs to chill in
Now I didn’t even THINK about what baby would be doing most of the time (surely I didn’t think I’d be HOLDING him 24/7? He’s too heavy for that!), so I’m sure glad my sister offered to lend us her bouncer seat. Even from 1 month on, we could sit our little man in the bouncer while we did things, like go to the toilet or brush my teeth (oh, the crazy life us mums lead!). Even now at 4 months he happily sits in the bouncer, which has music and a vibration option – and has been particularly great as of late to help him sit upright after feeding (take note any reflux-y babies!). Seriously a great investment!
5. Teething toys or anything else they can get their gummy choppers on (I like Jack & Izz and Cheeky Chompers)
You may be SUPER lucky like us, and have a bub who starts early teething. You’re completely unaware because everyone tells you it happens around 6 months (and every baby is exactly the same, right?!), so you have nothing around to help relieve those chewy gums. I found the teething toys from Jack & Izz (see my product review and a 20% discount code for them HERE) excellent because they relieve his gums, and are small and portable so he can carry it with him in the stroller, in the car, anywhere! We also love the neckerchief bib from Cheeky Chompers, since it also takes care of the drooling dilemma.
6. EXCESSIVE amounts of clothes (Pepe Corner)
So everyone tells you not to get too many clothes because you’ll get them from the baby shower and when baby is born. Maybe this is the case if you know the gender, and sure we did get some clothes, but it wasn’t enough. We had poo explosions coming out the wazoo (literally!) and actually ran out of clean clothes before we could wash and dry the dirtied ones. We had to call on the grandparent team to bring in reinforcements. In those early days, we had some cheap onesies from Target or Kmart to get us through, cause lets face it, we barely left the house in those early weeks. But who doesn’t love some Bonds wonder suits too? I’m also in love with the collections from Pepe Corner, so make sure you check them at HERE too!
7. A Baby monitor to keep you SANE (Angel care)
Yes, we’re probably those standard overprotective first-time parents, but a baby monitor has actually kept us SANE. You feel scared and worried about your baby WHILE YOU’RE HOLDING THEM, so imagine what it’s like when they are in a different room. It’s especially been a massive relief for us since moving Starfish into his own room at night time. We use the Angel Care monitor and love it (although watch for where you place the sensor pads – the other night we had the alarm sounding because it detected no movement, because Starfish had rotated himself off the pads. That is where the second pad comes in handy).
8. A Baby Tracker App (I used ‘Baby Tracker’, funnily enough)
I may be a perfectionist, and I may like to be organised, but we have found it so useful to have an app to time the little man’s feeds, his sleep times and monitor his nappy’s. Especially in the early days, it’ll be such a blessing. We were very fortunate not to have to worry about Starfish’s weight, but I’ve found it useful to see how long he feeds for, and especially monitor his nap/sleep times. Although sometimes this can be super depressing when the time isn’t nearly as long as it should be. I’ve found lately I’ve become a bit lax with using it as I’ve had a billion other things going on, but the first 4 months at least I used it all the time.
9. A White noise machine or app (we bought the Homedics SoundSpa Lullaby which has a gazillion different options plus timer)
It may be something that you never hear about or are told until after you’ve had your baby, but some sort of white noise is brilliant. In the early few weeks, when we were hermits and lived with Starfish basically still attached to our bodies, we youtubed a white noise clip and left it running on hubby’s phone. We only invested in a white noise machine about a month ago (so you can actually go back to using your phone and being semi-social)
10. Expressing equipment and bottles/teats (I HIGHLY recommend the Medela Swing set with the Calma teat)
Before we had Starfish, I never actually knew if I would express or not. I kept umming and ahhing about whether to get expressing equipment, and I am so glad I did. Our health care nurse, who visited in the first week, suggested offering the little man a bottle once or twice a week from about 4 weeks old so that he would be used to taking one if he ever needed it (baby sitting, feeding issues, etc). So that’s what we did – and went one step further and gave him one bottle of expressed milk almost every day until now. This was great to give hubby bonding time with Starfish as part of his bedtime routine, and has also made it easier for him to take a bottle when he’s needed it (like when I was extremely sick one day so hubby gave him the bottle for the day). The Calma Teat is BRILLIANT because it works very similar to the boob – bub has to actually work at suck on the teat for the milk to flow (so no need to worry about slow, medium or fast flow).
BTW, my friend gave me the best hack for expressing that is reasonably inexpensive and super helpful. I’ll share it in an upcoming post soon!!
Who doesn’t love the awesome extras? Just because I love buying everything baby, here are some other key things you’ll most likely want to purchase in the early stages.
* An Adjustable sun hat (Toshi)
You don’t really think about it until baby arrives, but then you realise you carry them around all the time and they’re in the sun, which is bad. Toshi sells an adjustable hat which works from newborn upwards (although it was a bit big on him for ages even adjustable – but still worth the purchase). (Plus how cool are the Idol Eyes adjustable sunglasses? Seriously – the coolest baby out there!)
* A Pram liner (Keep me cosy)
Seriously, who would have thought that you needed one of these?! I sure as heck didn’t. But around Starfish’s 6 week mark, I attended a sleep seminar where there was about 60+ mums and bubs, and by golly EVERY SINGLE ONE of them had a pram liner. And here I was feeling like an awful mum for letting my son go without – so I bought one! At least it keeps the pram clean and he has extra cushioning.
* All purpose baby cream (Chubby Bubby)
You never know if our baby will have sensitive skin or not, but let’s face it – they’re all bound to get nappy rash at some point right? Well Starfish also seems to get some sort of heat rash thing in his rolls (because there are soooooo many of them!), and we’ve been trying different creams and moisturisers to try and help him out. I’ve just started trying the Chubby Bubby natural stuff, and so far it seems to be good. Fingers crossed it’ll help our poor little man’s skin. (QV cream works pretty good too).
* Water wipes
On top of the sensitive skin thing, we’ve found that Water wipes (the actual brand) have helped Starfish’s skin immensely as it contains – you guess it – mostly water. A bit more expensive, but worth it for us if it helps bub with his skin.
So they’re the items I wish I knew about (besides the very obvious options of nappies, car seats, nappy bags, etc.) What would you add to this list?