Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Top 5 Newborn Must Haves

It goes without saying that when you find out you are expecting, you suddenly need to purchase an awful lot of baby items. From furniture, to toys. From clothes to nappies. There is what seems like a never ending list of things you need.
Sometimes you buy an item just because it's in the baby section. You have no idea how useful it will be, if at all. Very quickly some of the common, and not so common items become your absolute must haves. You don't know how you would have managed without these items and in the event of these items breaking, getting lost, or you having another child you would repurchase.
Here's my list of 5 Newborn Must Haves, along with 2 items I bought and wished I hadn't bothered.
Coming soon Five 0-3 month Must Haves, and Five 3-6 month Must Haves.
1) The first thing on my list is a bath seat. I saw this in Babies R Us. I bought it rather than buying a baby bath, but in all honestly half expected I would have to go and purchase a baby bath as well. I thought I'd give it a go so that baby could use our bath, rather than purchase yet another short-term item. I absolutely LOVE the bath chair. The one I purchased was the Sea Turtle Baby Bather. The material can be machine washed (one of my must haves with any baby product. Handwashing is not convenient with the amount of washing a child creates). It has two positions perfect for newborns to lie back and slightly older babies to sit up and interact more during bath time. It also has a head cushion and of course frees up your hands. It gave me a lot more confidence bathing a baby. It is one thing bathing a child who can sit and support themselves, but a newborn... well it's daunting. With the warm weather the seat was perfect for me to clean baby but yet not have him in a warm bath when he was already struggling with the heat. Now he enjoys sitting back playing with his toys while dipping his feet in the bath. It has grown with him and I'm glad I bought it. Certainly made bath times easier for mummy.
2) A baby carrier/sling. I probably didn't use mine as much as I could have to start. I mistakenly thought my son hated the carrier and decided it was easier to use a pram or to carry him in my arms than to put a screaming child in a carrier. One day, half baby brain, half genius(?) I put him in the sling the 'wrong way' so that he was forward facing. Not a tear in sight. Turns out my son is incredibly nosy, provided he could see what was going on he was happy enough to be in the sling. I love the sling, but certainly would save it for when you have someone else with you to carry the changing bag, as a sling and changing bag is a lot of strain on your back. However to be able to walk around without having to navigate a pram has its advantages. Would definitely try it sooner and use it more if there is a baby #2.
3) Lullaby/music/noise machine for nursery. The first week ... or maybe even month? my son (and I'm guessing most newborns) fell asleep very easily. If he woke it was for food or a nappy change. As soon as that was done he would go straight back to sleep and stay asleep until he needed his next feed or nappy change. However as his spells of being awake lengthened, and he started having 'naps' rather than "Oh wow, the baby is awake" moments, I realised that the bedroom was just too quiet for him to sleep in. Pull cord lullaby toys don't play anywhere near long enough to send a baby off to sleep, so unless you want to stay in the room constantly pulling the cord, instead of making the most of nap-time and grabbing some lunch and a coffee.. well I suggest you either put an existing music player or purchase a lullaby/noise maker in the room your baby sleeps in.
I purchased the slumber buddy. It plays 3/4 different lullabies and also a heartbeat noise. The back of the 'buddy' is a light projecter which projects stars on to the ceiling in different colours. I set mine to 30mins of noise and lights. Pressed play and gave myself a pat on the back for solving the nap time crisis. He can sleep without it now he is older, but if he's over tired, or just being a bit stubborn it certainly does the trick. He hates things being too quiet, and so the noise seems to soothe him.
4) A swing. We had ours bought as a gift, but regardless it's still a must have. I had a bouncer, and as a naive first time mum didn't see the point in both. Well didn't the arrival of the swing in my household absolutely shut me up!? The swing was perfect if he fell asleep in my arms, to place him in and leave him sleeping for half hour, it rocked him so he stayed asleep, whereas if I put him in the bouncer when he was already asleep he'd often wake up. Once again the swing gave me free hands, which means coffee & lunch... I see a theme developing in this list. I honestly loved cuddling and holding my son, but realistically I couldn't hold him 24/7! He loves his swing even now, although I see his little stubborn personality coming through saying if you thing the old swing & sleep routine will work then you have another thing coming mummy!
5) Room Thermometer. I did not see the point in these wall thermometers. Surely you can tell if it's warm or cold in a room right? Can't be that hard to figure out if baby needs a blanket or not right? Ok so now hold a newborn that can't tell you if they are hot or cold, stand a room that is just average. Neither warm, nor cold. Put them in a bodysuit & a sleep suit and then try to guess if they need a sleeping bag, or a blanket, or more than one blanket. What seems so straight forward when you don't have a baby, is suddenly very confusing. Filled with doubt and the constant words of Health Visitors telling you that a baby can't regulate their own heat so you can't let them get too cold or too warm....
Fast forward a few days and I was back in Babies R Us purchasing a thermometer that not only told me how warm the room was, but whether or not it was warm enough or cool enough. Added bonus the back of the thermometer told me how may togs each blanket, bodysuit etc was and how many togs a baby needs for each temperature... fast forward a few months. I never look at the thermometer any more. It's back to instinct but it certainly kept me going when I doubted if my newborn was too hot, too cold or just right.... regular little goldilocks.
Two Items I wish I hadn't purchased.
1) Scratch mittens. He never kept them on, and would be covered in scratches regardless. Once I discovered sleepsuits that had built in scratch mittens (sleeves that roll over and cover babies hands) I basically made my scratch mitten stash null & void. He doesn't wear them and I wouldn't buy them if I was to ever have any more children, I would stock up on sleepsuits with the scratch mitten sleeves instead.
2) Hooded baby towels. OK maybe it's just me, but I was seriously taken in by the cuteness of baby towels. Now some of them are too small and realistically... it's a towel with a hood. I feel like good old fashioned towels would have been just fine and basically I fell for marketing ploys and cute designs.
Hope you enjoyed my Newborn Must Haves. What are your baby must haves, must nots? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, thanks for reading!

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