Top 10 Products I Just Couldn’t Do Without as a First Time Mum
Becoming a mum for the very first time is daunting to say the least!! No matter how much, research, discussion or planning you do, you never truly know what it’s going to be like and how you will cope until your little one actually arrives.
For me, becoming a mum for the first time was the complete unknown but what I did know was that i wanted to be as prepared as I could be. I wanted to know as much as I could about different things and that way, I could make a better informed decision.
After lots of reading and research, we made quite a few purchases before our little Maisie arrived and we were lucky enough to have been gifted lots of items from our lovely family. We are now 4 months in and we have found that there are a fair few items that have made our introduction to parenthood much easier. Today, i’m going to give you a brief overview of these items and why we love them so much! These will be in no particular order…… here goes!
The Sleepyhead is something that we have never been without. Maisie has slept in it every night from the first day we brought her home. When she was really tiny, we brought the Sleepyhead downstairs and she would take her daytime naps in it. We either put it on the floor or by us, on the sofa. My thinking was that if Maisie became familiar with it for sleeping, she would feel more comfortable in it at night as it would be a familiar environment. Maisie turned 4 months old yesterday and I honestly believe that this must be some kind of record but; she has NEVER woken up crying during the night, ever!
We have also found that the Sleepyhead is great for travelling. We often go up to stay with Nanny and Grandpa in Sheffield and take the Sleepyhead with us. Again, for Maisie, she is still in her usual environment so she still sleeps like an absolute dream.
I am aware that some particular brands of baby sleep positioner have been in the media recently. I feel it important to acknowledge this in this section however this post is not about these ins and outs of these.
Top Tip – simply cover the Sleepyhead with a large muslin (I love Aden and Anais ones) to protect it from dribbles and sickies. Saves the whole thing being washed then.
The Snuzpod is a 3 in 1 bedside crib. The thing that drew me to the bedside crib was the fact that baby could be close to you without actually bed sharing. Since Maisie came home from Neonatal Care, I can honestly say that I have felt totally relaxed about her sleeping during the night. I’m sure that as new mum’s, we all have those moments where we stop and pause, staring at the little one to make sure they’re okay? Admittedly, I have and do occasionally do that but sleeping has never been a problem for me since day 1. Maisie is literally right next to me in bed, she can hear me and I can hear her and I think that helps us both relax. I do think that a happy mummy equals a happy baby and thanks to Snuzpod, we have been exactly that!
Top Tip – Pop some storage boxes/cubes underneath the Snuzpod on the built in shelf. You don’t realise just how much extra storage you need for such a little person!
With 4/5 out of 5 for product ratings at John Lewis, it seems that i’m not the only one who loves Ewan the Sheep! Ewan plays white noise and replicates the sound of mum’s tum with heartbeat noises in the background. Ewan creates a soft glow when switched on so that, combined with the soothing noise really does work to settle little ones to sleep. We pop Maisie upstairs in her bed at night, turn all the lights out and switch Ewan on. She lays there under his soft glow and listens to the sounds that he makes which never fails to send her off to the land of nod. Perhaps its true what they say about counting sheep?! Ewan the Sheep is available at all good retailers.
Top Tip – Ewans tail is velcro. Use this to fasten him to the corner of the Snuzpod to ensure he stays in place.
To begin with, we started off with a MAM Microwave Steam Steriliser, Although this was great and was handy in that we could store it inside the microwave (therefore less clutter on the kitchen side), it was also quite small. The size of it meant that we constantly had bottles, teats and breastmilk bottles on the sink waiting to go in. We couldn’t put them in the steriliser until what was in there was ready to be taken out (and once out it is not sterile). One weekend, we went to visit my parents in Sheffield. They don’t have a microwave but the great thing about the MAM Steriliser is that it can be used as a cold water steriliser too so this is what we did with it at Nanny and Grandpa’s. Well…. this was the turning point! I didn’t realise until now that cold water sterilising was sooo much easier! You can wash the bottles etc pop them in the cold water tank and just leave them there until you need them! This way, they remain sterile and there is no mess and clutter all over the sink. The Milton Cold Water Tank is the one that they used when Maisie was in the Neonatal Unit. It is brilliant. It holds 5litres of water and you simply pop 1x Milton Sterilising tablet in it, changing the water once every 24 hours! What a doddle!
Top Tip – Don’t forget to clean your bottle brush! We clean ours after every wash and just keep it inside the sterilising tank.
We went for the Mamas and Papas Apollo Bouncer, I think I only really chose this one initially because I loved the look of it and it matched our living room decor! Despite this, it seems my instinct was well founded as it is a lovely product and has had a lot of use! It is so soft and comfortable and the vibrate function of it is Maisies favourite! I bring the chair into the kitchen so she can sit and watch whilst i’m cooking and its a great comfortable place for her to sit and interact. She has used it from coming home as a preemie and will continue to use it until she’s too big which will be a long while yet. Every parent should have a bouncer chair. Theres just something about the motion that little one’s love!
Top Tip – Remember to always keep some spare batteries in the drawer for the vibrate & bounce settings. You don’t realise how much little one loves that until it doesn’t work!
The Meelight is a recharchable, dimmable and portable light that can also attach to your clothing, perfect for the night feeds. There is nothing worse than getting up in the night scrambling round trying to find things or alternatively, turning on the light and waking everyone up! The Meelight creates a soft glow that can be used to feed baby and even change their nappy without over stimulating them and waking them up….. oh, and the other half!
Top Tip – use the clip on the back of the light to attach to your clothes for changing. Saves turning on the ‘big light’ (thinking if Peter Kay as I type) and waking up your little one more than is necessary.
This very simple but effective device has been great for helping to clear Maisie’s nose. She gets frustrated when she can’t breath through her nose due to congestion and the NoseFrida clears her little nostrils quickly and easily. It’s one of those things that you don’t buy until you realise that you need it but is definitely a great thing to have!
Calpol Nasal Saline Spray is also great for clearing tiny nostrils. It is a quick and easy nasal spray, just one quick spray each side and it works pretty much straight away. I would say that this is a medicine cupboard essential for any parent and provides natural relief from congestion.
Top Tip – Get Daddy to do it….. its gross!!! (But it really does work! :-))
Initially I wasn’t sure whether we needed to get a baby bath as I thought it was probably a waste. There was no reason why we couldn’t just bath her in our bath? However, the more I thought about it, our bath is quite wide and needs lots of water even just for a shallow bath. It would be an awful lot of water each night just for a little person. Also, looking back…. I had a c-section and theres no way I would have been able to bend over the bath to bath Maisie each night.
I had read lots about the Shnuggle Bath and the reviews were brilliant. I did think that they were perhaps a little pricey for what is essentially a plastic bath but really, you can’t put a price on the amount of fun and enjoyment that Maisie has in the Shnuggle bath. The bottom of the bath has a ridge which supports her and helps her to sit up unaided. I think this is the part that Maisie loves the most. The back rest is rubber which is also soft and warm. Again, the rubber prevents it from being slippy. Bathtime for a new parent can be quite nerve wracking, water, baby wash and a slippy baby…. eek! The Shnuggle Bath however alleviates all of that because the support is in the bath to begin with.
Top Tip – Make sure the air temperature outside the bath is not too cold to avoid tears before and after the bath.
Baby Rear View Car Mirror
The AAP recommends that all infants ride rear facing starting with their first ride home from the hospital. All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least 2 years of age or, preferably, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.
When we brought Maisie home from the hospital, she was still only very tiny as she was a preemie baby and the car seat seemed to drown her! The journey home from the hospital was an hour long and sitting in the front seat not being able to see her was awful, I just couldn’t relax. I had had a c-section and therefore driving myself was out of the question for a while so I was able to sit in the back seat with her. When I was finally able to drive my self the Rear View Baby Mirror was an essential! It simply clips to the rear headrest and the driver is able to glance in their rear view mirror to see that little one is okay! It makes driving any length of journey much more relaxed and pleasurable. I couldn’t be without ours! Rear view mirrors are available from all good retailers.
Top Tip – If your back seat doesn’t have head rests, check the fixing type of the mirror before purchasing as most fix onto the headrest.
I began using a Medela Pump whilst in hospital. Maisie was in the Neonatal Unit for a while and I was lucky enough to be able to stay in the family room there. I used their Hospital grade Medela Pump for the duration of our stay and it was brilliant! As soon as i got home I began using my Medela Swing. I can honestly say that there is no difference in quality between that and the hospital grade pump!
I didn’t really get on with breastfeeding from the start, however Maisie is now 4 months old and still hasn’t had any formula. That is down to the fact that my Medela pump has made it possible for me to exclusively express. Admittedly, at times it has been difficult and tiring but the Medela Swing certainly does its job quickly and efficiently. To be honest, it is sometimes quite nice to sit down with a cup of coffee and relax for 20 minutes whilst expressing.
The unit is small and is able to run on both main and battery. It is therefore portable. Many a time i have taken it on journeys in the car and expressed milk. Today I even used the clip on the back to attach it to my jeans. This meant that whilst using the battery power, I was mobile and was able to continue with some household chores. You’re probably wondering how I did this one handed as you have to hold the pump to the breast right?? Well…….. Medela do a Bustier/Bra which holds the suction cups/flanges in place allowing you to continue as normal without sitting in one place holding the pump! These are well worth investing in an can be found here.
Top Tip – If you are given one of the disposable breast pump accessory packs whilst in the hospital, be sure to keep it as it fits the Medela Swing pump. I’m still using mine. Its great to have more than one as there is less pressure for washing up and sterilising.
I’d love to hear about the items that you could not do without and also your experiences of the products i’ve mentioned. Is there something you think i’ve missed out on by not using yet?
Post in the comments section below some of the items you couldn’t do without……. 🙂