We’re here. Piglet is 4 months old. We’ve officially survived the newborn stage and lived to tell the tale! I have 2 older sisters with 5 children between them, plus a sister in law with 2 children. When I was pregnant I asked around on what we should have ready and all 3 gave us completely different answers.
We all have different parenting styles, different preferences and completely different babies! But here are my 6 newborn must haves:
- Water Wipes – (Or From the USA) The recommendation for a newborn is to just use warm water and cotton wool when changing their nappy. Thats all very well at home – but what about when you’ve ventured out of the house?! As Piglet was in the neonatal unit for 8 days we used the cotton wool there, but as soon as we were home we changed straight to water wipes. They are a lot more expensive than “normal” wipes but they have no nasty chemicals and are safe for sensitive new bums!
- Muslins – I had heard that you needed them before we had the Piglet so I thought I had stocked up (I had about 6). It turns out I was wrong. Very wrong. Alexander likes to be sick at inopportune times, so having a muslin on hand makes my life a lot easier. They’re handy with both breast and bottle feeding, when burping, used as a sunshade…. you name it we’ve done it. Now he has started to become rather attached to them and seeks them out to suck on (I don’t see the appeal personally!). One thing I do wish is that I’d splashed out on a few nicer patterned ones as I’m already a bit sick of plain white or grey stars!
- Swing – Ours is the Fisher-Price Rainforest Take Along Swing and Seat (also available from the USA) and, as with many of our larger items, is being borrowed from my sister. Why buy when you can borrow right?! I actually love this one because it is brightly coloured and totally unisex. It can be used as a swing, or simply as a seat with a vibrate function. It is designed to be easily transportable (which we’ve actually never done) so it folds away quite small when you’re not using it if you want. The swing is one of the few places I could put Alexander down in the early days and he was happy. Even now at 19 weeks he will sit as it swings for 20 minutes or so having some pretty serious discussions with the elephant (always the elephant….. never the lion). The straps are adjustable so it can grow with him and keep him secure.
- Ewan the Dream Sheep – (Also from the USA) Or any other baby sleep noise maker. I’ve also heard the Whisbear (available in the USA) is good as it has a built in cry sensor. I received Ewan as a baby shower gift and kind of forgot about him. Then on Piglets 2nd night home he would not settle. I suddenly remembered about it and was digging around to find him, open the packaging and get him on the go asap! I can confirm he comes complete with batteries – he’s ready to go straight out of the box! Its hard to whether he actually helps or not…. I think he does but I think that it is perhaps because he is simply part of our routine. When Ewan is playing his music Piglet knows its time for a proper sleep as opposed to a cat nap in his pram.
- Nipple Cream – If you’re breast feeding then you’re going to want this! I started off with a small tube of Bennetts Nipple Cream (available in the USA) which I really like. My only gripe is it is quite expensive for the amount you get! I then got the Derma Mum Superior Protection Nipple Balm which I bought from Boots but it doesn’t appear on their website now, but you can purchase it from amazon. It is more greasy and is more like Vaseline in texture but it works a treat and you get a really big tube for your money.
- Sling or Carrier – Not all are suitable from birth. I had planned to borrow my sisters Baby Bjorn (available in the USA) carrier but I found I was wanting to use it early on and Piglet didn’t weigh enough. My friend recommend the Caboo Close when he was around 4 weeks old and I love it. I wish we’d had it sooner. It is suitable from 5lbs upwards and even has a way of using to breastfeed – perfect for a newborn. It is a good compromise between the soft wraps (which scare me, I’d be too worried I’d done it wrong) and the carriers with clips and straps. It is predominately wrap material but is stitched at the back for the cross over and the sides held with rings that lock. In those early days it would have been so helpful to have my hands free to get bits and pieces done around the house while still having him close. Nowadays I use it when walking the dog and the rocking motion of walking sends him off to sleep (if he’s not being nosey!).
The most important thing to remember – shops will still exist when your baby is here. Your newborn won’t know what you have and what you don’t. You don’t have to have everything under the sun upfront, you can work out what you want or need and then buy it. Since Piglet pitched up early we weren’t totally “ready” but it was nothing a couple of trips to Mothercare/ASDA/my sisters loft couldn’t solve!
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