Hi, I’m Natalie. I am a new mum to 4 week old Michael.
I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert – quite the opposite. But as a complete beginner, I am learning every single day. What I have learned during my short time as a mum is that there are some things that I could not have lived without at this crucial stage. I was quite overwhelmed by what was the ‘right’ thing to buy – which pram, what car seat, what bottles or breast pump, what will the baby sleep in?! The baby market is so saturated that it seemed to be an impossible task to navigate.
I’d like to think I did my research. My main source was speaking to and comparing experiences and opinions of other mums. Alongside personal references, I pieced together their advice and used online review websites too. From these sources, I purchased the following items and would recommend them as my 10 essential items to survive the first month with your beautiful baby!
I loved being so close to my baby as he slept next to me. It’s super easy to comfort him and pick him up for a feed. It’s so reassuring to see his little chest rising up and down in a SIDS approved environment.
I researched the market for compact, easy to transport prams. We don’t have a car so we needed something suitable for getting in and out of taxis and on and off public transport. This pram fits the bill.
We purchased the 0-6 month version to use from birth with the ability to add the 6+ month version later on the same frame.
Little baby SG gave us a few freebies and $10 off as a new customer so it was the cheapest place to purchase. I would also recommend the parasol, rain cover and mosquito net which has saved us in a few thunderstorms and has given us peace of mind when walking around potential mosquito areas. Do not get the cup holder – it holds nothing and falls off super easy. And don’t forget to buy the car seat adapters.
I would also recommend the Buggy Clips by Uma to hook a range of items to the pram eg. my water bottle, toys and shopping bags etc. These haven’t failed me yet and can take the weight of my changing bag too.
There’s a huge range of car seats out there. What I found really useful is the maxi cosi website as it directly compares their car seats to help your decision.
The Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus car seat comes with an infant insert and is one of the lightest car seats on the market which helps when carrying your baby in and out of taxis. It is compatible with almost all prams/strollers and if you do have a car, buy the isofix base; that will see you through the next few stages of car seat too.
I was anxious about what my baby would sleep in. My swaddling skills are pretty poor and I was worried about material covering his face when he wriggled in the night (and my baby is a super wriggler!)
We tried grobags as well but the zips came up very high to his face, it would rub and he’d constantly be fighting to bring his arms up to his face where the material would gather over his mouth too. Baby has slept best in the Love to Dream Swaddle Up which allows him to sleep with his arms up. This means he can self soothe as he can move his hands to his face.
The Love to Dreams have a variety of sizes and togs and as baby gets bigger, stage 2 swaddles allow the arms to be removed with a zip so the swaddle becomes a basic sleeping bag.
his is a plastic suction pump – no complicated or electric pumps here. It is simple and easy to put on (my husband helped a lot as it does need 2 hands which is hard but not impossible whilst breastfeeding). I was actually surprised that I relied on this so much in the early stages of breast feeding. I hadn’t got around to using our Medela Freestyle Pump yet as I wanted to wait until we had developed a consistent milk supply and good latch, so I waited to introduce the bottle at 4 weeks.
I was so engorged at the beginning that being able to put the Haakaa on the other boob whilst I fed really helped. It helped to relieve the pressure and empty a little bit of milk which otherwise would leak out during feeds anyway. I was also then pleased to be able to start freezing a small supply quite early on which was reassuring too.
Sleepyhead is a multi-functional, portable baby bed you can take anywhere. Softer than a blanket or Moses basket, you can use it awake or sleeping, as a play pod, for tummy time or as a bed.
We use it for nap time whilst we’re awake next to him on the sofa. Sleepyheads aren’t SIDS approved but many parents also use it inside their cots/cribs as it is super snuggly and reassuring for baby.
We use this pack of 4 all the time, not just as a swaddle but as a muslin and as a light blanket too. They’re extra large so are really handy and soft. We use these daily so they make the top 10!
We don’t have this exact one but my friend has it and I love the little pods that it comes with. They’re great for dividing up nappy changing items, spare clothes, food etc.
We have an almost identical black leather rucksack which comes with bottle insulation and changing matt. The bag itself can be used for anything and my husband and grandparents enjoy carrying it around. It can also be hung on the handlebars of your pram if you invest in some clip handles.
We tried using a microwave steriliser but it didn’t fit a whole lot in and the items take a while to cool down. Also, once you have removed the lid the environment inside the unit is no longer sterile.
We switched to the Milton sterilising tablets. They kept 5L of water sterile for 24 hours per tablet as long as the container is covered. You can put your hands in and out and take the items you need when you need them. As long as they have been in the water for 15 minutes they are sterile and are good to go. I was obsessed with ensuring my bottles and pump were completely sterilised and found this the most reassuring method.
This was the best nappy rash ointment I used for my baby as he got very sore red bits in the first week of wearing nappies. I found the other creams were too thick and left white residue that sometimes formed a sort of paste. This was the best one for him and the red bits cleared up quickly after.
The list could go on and on but I hope I have included a range of items worth while considering and looking into.
I have also loved using this Baby tracker app. I tried a few and this is the one that I use as my brain fails me daily!
Banner Photo Credit: Evie Grace Photography.