As Otis is approaching the 3-month mark, I thought it was time I shared my must have baby items. I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t live without any of them, as I’m pretty sure people made do without all of these items years ago, but for me they made my job a hell of a lot easier and got us through that fourth trimester.
When you’re expecting everyone will give you their advice. Most of which I took on board. The only mistake I’ve made is on the buggy front. We bought the Icandy orange which is super sturdy, but it’s also heavy and bulky and takes up far too much room. I know, I know, everyone told us not to get such a big buggy and I should have listened. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my top items so you can get prepared.
Otis loved his sleepyhead so much I even wrote a separate article about it being a parenting must have item for a newborn. This portable mattress was brilliant to use all over the house and to take with us when visiting family. It comes in snazzy prints too, so its interior friendly for that mum who doesn’t want to loose their style identity. The snuggly bumper design kept Otis cosy and he could use it from birth, and he's still using it now for afternoon naps. I didn’t get a moses basket, and in hindsight I’m glad I didn’t as they’re not in them for long, and I would have just ended up putting the sleepyhead inside it anyway.
The only downside is the size, but that goes for most baby stuff. Otis is only 11 weeks and he's starting to out grow it, so I might have to invest in the bigger size sleepyhead. **Otis is top of the centile, so I think most babies would be fine to use the deluxe up 8 months if they're smaller.
We’re lucky that we have a bath in our house, but the idea of putting a tiny new born in a giant roll top bath scared me so the Stokke foldable flexi bath with support has been briliant. We place the flexi bath inside our bath to wash Otis and the back support is cleverly designed to clip onto the edge of the box. It keeps Otis comfortable and relaxed, and saves you having to hold onto your baby. Its foldable design means it’s portable to take to the in-laws for his first sleepover so he hasn’t got to change what he’s accustomed to, and as its foldable we’ll definitely be taking it on holiday come September.
I’ll be honest, the baby bjorn bouncer bliss was a game changer. Around 4-6 weeks Otis was becoming more alert and wanted to sit and look around without the constant need to be held and cuddled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the new born cuddles like everyone else, but a girls got to shower now and then, and being able to put Otis in the bouncer while he watched me meant we could leave the house before 9am occasionally. The mesh fabric has also been ideal for this hot weather making him feel more airy.
No this is not an advert for baby Bjorn products. I paid for this carrier and it was, and still is the best £139 I spent. This carrier has enabled me to sterilise bottles, put the washing out and walk to the shops while keeping Otis near to me. It says it’s from birth to 3 years, and luckily Otis is quite a chunky baby, as the only downside to this carrier is that it’s not really suitable for small/ new-born’s and is better suited for babies 6-8 weeks + depending on their size. The positive is you can wear your baby in multiple positions facing you, front facing and on your back and its extremely comfortable due to the waist and shoulder straps which help distribute the weight.
This one’s controversial. You need a pram, there’s no question about that. But which one? I bought an icandy orange. Its sturdy, safe and has a huge shopping basket underneath. It’s also almost £800. Do I regret buying it? Yes. Do I wish I had listened to everyones advice, of course. If you live in a city or a house without a driveway, or have a narrow hallway like us, then this pram is not for you. It weighs a tone and takes up too much space. I’ve been advised by a lot of you on Instagram that the best buggy around is the baby zen yo-yo. Its foldable, light weight and even has a new born basinet attachment and it cost's less than £550. Lesson learnt.
I'm not saying you need to buy this exact car seat, but you will 100% need to buy A car seat before your babe arrives. Hospitals won't even let you leave without one, so make sure this item is top of your list to buy. (That goes for you car less folk too).
We bought the maxi cosi cabrio fix and the 2 wayfix iso base. You don't need to buy the iso fix base, but it does means Otis' car seat just clicks in and makes things much easier, than having to worry about car seat straps.
The cabrio fix is affordable and well rated and is also one of the lightest car seats on the market. You have no idea how much you'll appreciate having a lighter car seat until your baby is over a stone and you have to walk to your car.
We bought both the car seat and the base at the baby show with our icandy pram and managed to save £100 off the total package. Shop around and definitely don't buy second hand when it comes to the base or the car seat. (for other items second hand is fine, but car seats aren't recommended).
** The toy attached to the car seat has been the best £7.99 spent. Its by Bright starts and was bought from Amazon. Otis only started paying more attention to toys from approx 10 weeks old, but now he loves this. **
I had a nightmare with breast feeding. Bad latch, posterior tongue tied baby, blocked nipple (they call it a bleb), bleeding nipples, mastitis and a toe curling pain each time Otis latched on. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. Was I going to let it get me down, hell no! Otis is a big baby. Born between the 75%-91% centile at birth weight, he wanted a LOT of milk. They say feed on demand, and I was feeding all the time. I breast fed for 3 days, expressed for 6 weeks and combination fed with breast milk and formula. Then after our 6 week Dr check up at 6 weeks I quit the pump. I had my life back. I was able to leave otis with my mother in law for the night, I didn't have to pump in the night and day and be glued to a socket and otis started sleeping for longer stretches. The perfect prep machine makes the perfect temperature bottle. You just add water, select how many oz's, press the big dial and add powder, shake and its done. First it filters water, then it adds an initial hot shot of water which kills any bacteria present in the formula and helps it to dissolve. If you're planning to give any formula in the first year, then invest in one of these.
I'm not saying you need to buy an expensive baby bag, but you will need a bag dedicated to your babe for all the nappies, wipes and bottles that you need to carry around.
I chose a Tiba and Marl backpack as it was the nicest bag I could find, which didn't compromise on style. It's handy insulated compartments keep the milk warm, and the foldable changing mat is super handy for changing Otis while we're out and about. It also comes with a separate purse to keep your phone and keys in so you don't need to take another handbag out with you.
I wear it on my back, or on the handle bars of the pram, or even place it in the basket if its not full of my shopping.
It's also big enough to hold my laptop. Not that I get to do much blogging these days when Otis is awake.
We first bought the chicco next to us cot, but as soon as we assembled it we didn't feel it was very secure so we returned it and bought the snuz pod. The snuz pod is £199, so £30 more expensive than the chicco next to you cot, but it's worth every extra penny. The wooden frame feels sturdy and the frame even rocks sightly when baby moves. The zip front means you can pull the side down for easy access when feeding if you have the cot attached to the bed. Just to note, I did have the cot attached to our bed, but after my episiotomy I asked my husband to change sides with me as it was super painful to slide out for bed to go to the bathroom in the night. Plus I ended up not breast feeding anyway, so I've since detached it from the bed. **Top tip, buy a basket to keep your nappies, wipes, creams and nappy bags in to keep tidy**.
The breast pump is something I regret not buying upfront before Otis arrived. It just meant I had to send the husband to Mothercare to buy it when Otis and I were fresh out of hospital and he returned with the not only the most expensive pump, but the double version which came with an eye watering price tag. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but I didn’t realise these things can cost up to £180. Whether you choose to breast feed or not, no one can prepare you for the engorgement of your breasts on day 3 post-natal. The Medela swing pump was brilliant. It’s hospital grade so you can’t fail for its quality in pumping. My advice would be to shop around. You can buy them second hand and sterilise the bottles and funnel yourself. I’d also recommend buying the hands-free bra off amazon to free up your hands while your sat next to the plug socket. Those 15 minutes per boob is precious time to yourself.
I was only going to write 10, but I had to include our Stokke changing table. We keep ours in Otis' nursery on the middle floor of our home, but we also bought two cheaper changing mats so we have one on each floor- trust me, you'll need them!
This handy dresser is great for storage for all his clothes and the side compartment gives me easy access to all the nappies, creams and wipes.
I dress Otis on this every morning and dry him off after bathtime in the evening and get him ready for bed on it.
The top changing part comes separately from Stokke, which means I can use the dresser without the top once Otis is bigger.
Oh, and One last thing. You're going to need plenty of memory on your phone, so get clearing those old photos NOW and get ready for the baby spam!