Here’s a potentially useful post if you’re expecting a baby. I’ve decided to draw up a super-smashing-great top ten list of baby items I’ve found genuinely useful and/or fabulous in this crazy eight months of motherdom.
When I was pregnant with Little J, I emailed my best girlfriends
(who both have two children) and asked them, frankly, what the essential items were that I needed to buy for my baby. I live in a bijoux (!) terraced cottage, so I didn’t want to go out and buy loads of crap that I didn’t need. They emailed me very useful and interesting lists of life-altering fantastic products, as well as flagging up a few must-avoid items that nobody really needs or uses.
Anyway, here are the first five from my list. I hope you find it useful and share your favourites too, so that all the new mommas out there might get a few ideas…
I’m also going to suggest if I think you should buy new, borrow or beg (i.e. get one of your friend’s baby’s hand-me-downs, or get cracking on eBay!)
1. Baby Jogger City Mini GT
Aaaargh I freaking LOVE this buggy. I drew up a list of everything I wanted in a buggy/travel system when i was pregnant, which stated that I required a buggy that was very lightweight, would fit in the boot of my Golf, was a three-wheeler capable of going off-road and dealing with the hills where I live, have proper tyres and would last for years. The Baby Jogger City MinI GT does all of the above and more. It’s wonderful.
It doesn’t come with a bassinet, but I didn’t really want one anyway as I live on a very steep hill! It lies flat for newborns which was perfect. My only slight niggle is that it doesn’t parent-face, but if you use a Maxi Cosi car seat, you can use baby-jogger adaptors to clip it onto the GT, and the baby faces you.
Additionally, the tyres are solid so they can’t pop or get punctures, and it has a fabulous sun canopy that pulls right down over the baby. I’m also pretty sure it’s the fastest folding buggy in the world ever! It’s just ace all round. And it’s not massively expensive either.
Buy, borrow or beg? My advice is to buy new – it’s money well spent on a sturdy piece of kit which will last you until your little one is a fully-fledged older toddler/small child. When it comes to add-ons such as the car seat adaptors, keep an eye out on eBay and save yourself some moolah.
Baby Jogger City Mini GT, £329.99, http://www.amazon.co.uk
2. A vibrating bouncer
My friend actually gave me a Mamas and Papas bouncer and it was fabulous in those hazy early days. They are super comfy for babies and allow them to see what’s going on around them – but make sure you get one with a vibrate mode. Younger babies (from newborn to four/five months) will be happily lulled to sleep or pacified with some lovely vibes!
My bouncer had white noise/music too which also seemed to captivate Little J. He had many a snooze in his bouncer, and it was a must-have item in those early months.
Buy, borrow or beg? I’d get one second hand or borrow from a friend, but if you do buy new, don’t worry too much about spending lots on a super pricy one with hydraulics or a drinks fridge for your G&T (that bit is a joke OBVS!), as long as it’s nice and snuggly and has a vibrate mode, your baby will love it.
Mamas & Papas Capella Bouncer – Stars £39.95 http://www.mamasandpapas.com
3. Lamaze pram toys
My Little J adores his collection of Lamaze toys even now, and we take one with us wherever we go. They are bright, colourful, sensory and super cute, and they keep young babies happy for hours with crinkles, colours, textures, mirrors and dangly bits! Our favourite is probably Freddie the Firefly.
Buy, borrow or beg? Buy new – for around a tenner your baby will get endless hours of fun and entertainment.
Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly, £10.99 http://www.lamazetoys.co.uk
4. Baby sleeping bag
Sleeping bags are an absolute revelation and make your life much easier. The baby sleeping bag trend was started by the Grobag company back in 2000, and according to their website, 95% of parents in the UK use one nowadays instead of blankets or covers.
They are designed to keep your baby at a nice temperature and can’t be kicked off. They also stop older babs getting their little leggies stuck in the bars of their cots.
I bought a M&S one from a friend and it was lovely – super soft and snuggly and just right for J. Just make sure you get the right size and tog for the season, and you’re winning.
Buy, borrow or beg? Beg – get one from a friend (they wash at high temperatures so why not?)
Mothercare Elephant Snoozie Sleeping Bag 2.5tog £14.99 http://www.mothercare.com
5. Fisher Price Rainforest Playmat
This has got to be one of the most popular play mats or baby gyms on the market. It’s extremely cute and ultra captivating for smaller babies.
Designed to encapsulate the sights and sounds of the jungle, the bright and colourful, sensory baby gym has so many lovely features. My Little J was quite taken with his from around four weeks – four months old, and I even had a go one day, lying on my back watching the gentle lights, listening to the charming sounds of the rainforest…
When J could roll over he got a bit bored with it, but it’s a nice thing to have in the earlier days to stimulate the senses of your baby.
Buy, borrow or beg? Borrow from a friend if they have one they’re keeping for the next baby. The mat part is machine washable, and your baby will only use it for a few months until they get more mobile. Alternatively, buy new, look after it and eBay it afterwards!
Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Baby Gym £49.99 http://www.argos.co.uk
There you go! The next five will follow…
How about you? What are your must-have baby items?