I think one of the most difficult life events to plan for is having a baby. After all, as a first timer, it’s the complete unknown. As a mum-to-be I found it all quite overwhelming, I was being told I needed this, that and the other; then I was being told not to buy too much, just the essentials – but what were the essentials?
I was given lists, told things, read things but really, apart from the obvious (cot, clothes, travel system, nappies), it’s hard to know. Five months in I have more of an idea, so I thought I’d share my list of baby essentials that I didn’t know were essential!
This list is in no particular order.
- White Noise – this has proved one of the best tools for getting our little man to sleep. It’s inexpensive too – just a free app on the phone (we use Sound Sleeper) – a miracle worker!
- Baby Rocking Chair – our little man loves this chair and so do I! Whilst he still can’t sit up, it frees my hands up without having to lie him in his cot. The little man loves to be able to see what’s going on around him too and he safely can in the chair plus he’s completely entertained by the toys too. Obviously, as with anything, he’s never left unattended in the chair.
- The Steriliser – obviously this very much depends on how you’re going to feed your little one but if you’re bottle feeding, mixed feeding or expressing this steam steriliser is sterilising with no faffing about. Brilliant!
- Portable Mobile – a random purchase one day because we had no pram toys – one of the best €15 we’ve spent! It can be used on the pram and on the car seat, our little man has gone from spending ages just staring at it to now using his hands to move it around. It can entertain him for ages – great for when we’re out and about.
- Music – our little man isn’t good at napping in the day but one way of at least resting him is to lie him in the cot and put music on, he seems to love listening to music and has quite an eclectic taste from Mozart to ABBA!
- Angelcare Monitor – baby monitors are a minefield. Do you go for audio or video? We didn’t know what to do for the best. Then we were told about the Angelcare Monitor that monitors the baby’s breathing. Well, we heaved a sigh of relief when we heard about it. They are expensive but if you’re lucky, as we were, you can pick one up on eBay for a fraction of the price.
- Perfect Prep Machine – we didn’t get this until our little man was 3 months old but, my goodness, what a buy! It’s saved us a fortune on formula, we were buying the ready-made ones as making up the powder formula sounded crazy – boiling the kettle and then leaving it to stand for exactly half an hour before making the formula up. To me this is completely inefficient for a new mum, especially one who can’t gauge exactly when her little one will need feeding. So thank goodness for Perfect Prep – a feed ready in about 3 minutes! And another eBay buy!
- Baby gym – our little man loves this, and the great thing is that you can hang other toys from it too. It’s a great first play item for a baby. I highly recommend it.
- Disco lights – now this is one I’d never have thought of! This was a gift from a friend who has a toddler and she bought us gifts of items that she found useful when her little one was a baby. Our little man loves looking at lights (we joke he’s going to be an electrician when he’s older!) and he finds these really calming at night (and so do we!). The only thing I’d say is that I wouldn’t recommend these to anyone who has a condition, such as epilepsy, which is affected by flashing lights.
- The Star – another gift from the same friend and this has been an absolute godsend when we’ve been out and about. The star plays classical music and the face lights up too. It has two volume levels and I have walked around shops with it on the lower level, it is still loud enough but as I say, people would rather hear that noise than a crying baby! I honestly wouldn’t go out with our little star without this little star!
So there we are, some of my recommendations for baby essentials that you may just not think about – I know I didn’t. And now I couldn’t be without any of them!