Newborn Essentials & More
I am guessing if you are reading this you are a new mum or dad to be or perhaps your little bundle has joined you in this world! Or maybe you are searching for a useful gift to buy expecting friends or family!I have been writing this piece for rather a long time, which must seem ridiculous as it isn't the most in-depth piece of writing, it has just been the ability to find moments to sit down and put this together. When Amandine is awake I feel my moments need to be focused on her, and when she is asleep often it doesn't last long..in fact as I am writing this intro she is wiggling away on the baby monitor and I am willing her to sleep just that little bit more...ohh eyes are open!
I have been through all of the below on my podcast 'MUM TALK' so if you are after more details do check out the podcast on iTunes or Spotify. This is a totally honest account of what we have been using, for me a lot of this has been pretty essential but we all have our own take on what's essential and it may be that perhaps a baby bath isn't an essential for you which is of course totally OK! I have tried to keep it as succinct as possible and link everything...so here goes;
Lets start with bedtime, no night is the same! Currently Amandine is sleeping with me in her SnuzPod 3 , we have it in the Espresso colour way and I absolutely adore it from a looks point of view but Amandine also seems to love it. The mattress is firm but comfortable and the best feature for us has been the reflux incline feature which means the bed can be on a slight tilt. After Amandines night feeds I found that if I put her down straight away without holding her upright for a moment she would seem very uncomfortable, but once I had inclined the SnuzPod I am now able to put her straight down and she goes straight back to sleep. Being able to have it alongside the bed means I don't have to get up and out of bed to pick her up for a feed, which certainly makes the 3 am just that little more doable. The bassinet is removable with a rocking function, we haven't made the most of this feature as we have a bassinet downstairs but I can imagine it is genius if you need to lull your little one off to sleep whilst you are doing jobs!
To protect the mattress in the SnuzPod we use The Little Green Sheep Organic Mattress Protector and on top of that their gorgeous Organic Crib Jersey Fitted Sheet they truly are luxurious. Amandine has really sensitive skin so I love knowing that Amandine is on the softest, hypoallergenic sheets.
So as you may know Hendrik loves white noise, so we knew about white noise before having Amandine, and I truly do believe it calms them. I was lucky enough to be gifted rather a few white noise machines, each have their own fantastic features but what I would say if you are getting one, is do get one with a cry sensor. When Amandine wakes up, the white noise machine comes on and soothes her back to sleep. We use Ollie the Owl for nighttime, Ewan the sheep in her big girl cot for daytime naps and MyHummy for travel (featured below along with my chocolate stash in France) and downstairs naps - they have just released some mega cute teddies!
Ok so one learning I had from coming home from hospital is - know what you are going to put your baby in to sleep for their first night and have it ready at home! I panicked and felt so unprepared and it was possibly about 11pm at night....knackered and freaking out about the first night! Amandine now sleeps in her trusty GroBags which takes so much stress out of sleep time, I think I use their 'what to wear' section on their website most nights depending on the temperature of the room. I have a temperature reader right next to her bed. I never swaddled Amandine, we started with sleep suits and blankets which worked really well for us but the minute she started kicking off the blankets it was grobags all the way!
For Amandine's daytime naps we started off using the Sleepyhead which she loved because I think she feels like she is still being hugged. The best thing about the Sleepyhead is you can carry it around the house, ours is never in the same place for more than 5 minutes.We don't use the Sleepyhead for unsupervised naps or overnight sleeping. I only have one cover for mine so I cover the sleepyhead with giant muslins...I have some gorgeous ones from The Little Blue Nest and Etta Loves.
We also use the Mokee Woolnest which we have downstairs which she adores. Amandine has a rather big reflex so she hits the sides of the Moses basket at least 4 times every nap...the great thing about the woolnest is it is made of felt so just absorbed her little hands when they hit the sides, rather than a wicker one which would probably hurt if wacked by baby hands. I also have the fab Little Green Sheep mattress protectors and sheets in the Moses basket.
Recently in the day time I have been trying to settle Amandine in her big girl cot (thats what I call it) in her nursery so when it is time for her to go into her own room she will be used to it, also it is where our baby monitor is set up so if I need to crack on with some jobs it is reassuring to be able to see and hear her. We bought the Motorola monitor from John Lewis, its pretty good, I have two slight issues with it; the battery life isn't great and sometimes it takes a while to go into night mode when there is a little bit of light coming into the room but I have no idea how it compares with other monitors, I would buy it again. In her nursery we have the Mokee Mini Cot in stone teal with the natural mattress, it is the perfect size in my opinion at 120x60cm, plus it turns into a bed with one removable side when baby gets a little older.
During her daytime naps I just pop a blanket over her rather than putting her in her grobag again, her absolute favourite blanket is from Hope & Fortune.
Bath time is pretty straight forward. I bought a fluffy fluffy bath mat from IKEA as we have a very cold tiled bathroom floor and we also have the Groswaddledry. We did buy a baby bath and it has been fab, we opted for the Shnuggle baby bath as she can sit up in it without me holding her which is lovely as I can play with her and sponge her down. I bought a Kokoso baby sponge for bath time from one of my all-time fav stores Scandiborn.
Recently I have also been using Little Aurelia Sleep Time Top to Toe Wash which was given to me by a friend at my baby shower, I have been reluctant to use anything on her skin but I use the tiniest amount and it smells amazing and apparently puts her right to sleep! To check the temperature of the bath which is absolutely a must, they say not above 38 degrees, I just use a traditional in mouth thermometer and it works fine, no need to buy a bath thermometer in my opinion.
For our changing table I bought an old antique(ish) chest of drawers from facebook market place and it works perfectly, perhaps a little high but I really am trying to find fault. I replaced the draw knobs with ones I found on Etsy and washed it thoroughly with water and lemon.
I am not a lover of big plastic changing mats so I went for the Reva changing basket from Ollie & Ella with the cotton inserts. The cotton inserts are lovely but don't provide much padding and also when you have a few poop explosions they have to go straight in the wash, and I'm telling you we had a lot of poop explosions so it was getting a little annoying washing them all the time. So I made a little foam insert by cutting a piece of foam to size and then I bought some Changing cushion covers from Scandiborn which fit the foam shape well and are wipeable and washable... little hack for you there!
On the nappy topic we started with Kit and Kin which actually worked really really well for us, great fit and no nappy rash! But I do believe it is all very specific to your baby! During the nighttime I was changing her when I fed her but I stopped that at about 6 weeks old and we have now moved to Pampers Pure which are not biodegradable but they really are amazing and truly keep Amandine dry as a bone for a whole 12 hours so I don't need to change her and fingers crossed she has never pooped in the night yet! During the day we are giving the reusable nappies a good try and are using Bambino Mio which are working well so far. I only have eight so we certainly are not exclusively using reusables but we are trying.
On the topic of changing bags, I still haven't found the perfect one so am using the Joolz one we got with our pram which is an over shoulder bag. I would rather a backpack and when I need to use one I am just using an old Roxy backpack I have but I will keep you updated on my finds!
Possibly the most asked question on my podcast and social media..which baby carriers do I use?! We were kindly gifted an ErgoBaby Omni 360 Mesh..which I and Amandine loves. It was a little big and uncomfortable when she was a newborn but from about 8 weeks on she fits really well and I am a lot more comfortable. So I use this carrier for bigger walks and I use a wrap for around the house and little outings where I am not walking too fast. My absolute favourite, most beautifully soft wraps are Fornessi Wraps and I also have the ErgoBaby Aura Wrap which is also lovely but not as soft.
For when you need to shower or need 5 minutes!
Ok so when you need to shower or need a few minutes to do a couple of errands and just need to put bubba down, definitely get some kind of chair. We have both the Nuna Leaf and also the Babybjorn, she loves both!
For the car seat we went with the Kiddy Evoluna iSize for its lie-flat ability and I have to say it has been fantastic for us and the amount we drive.
For the pram we decided on the Joolz Geo 2, I love it, such high quality. The car seat fits really well with adaptors, it has a huge basket and is really easy to put up and down. Again perfect for our lifestyle.
I am the first to admit that, like a lot of new parents, went slightly overboard on what we needed clothes wise for Amandine. This all depends on the weight of your baby when born, time of year and I guess how fast they grow....Amandine was 7lbs2 and lost her 10% so she was in her newborn clothes for quite a long time. I would say, if you are looking for advice on clothes you probably need around 4-5 sleep suits with feet and hand bits that cover over (I am sure there is a technical name but I don't know it obviously). We bought a few zip up sleep suits which are great but I don't find they fit as well as the popper sleep suits. 4-5 long sleeve body suits, 4-5 vests, some little booties, a few hats, little scratch mits (although we didn't end up using them) and then perhaps just a few outfits. Maybe leggings or trousers and a couple of jumpers or cardigans. I found, and still find really bulky things very difficult to breastfeed in as there is just too much in the way so I prefer thinner but more layers. My favourite place for sleep suits and clothes are Baby Mori, Pigeon Organics, Frugi and Zara.
Dressing a baby in the winter without making them look like the Michelin Man can be quite tricky. I have found layering is key, especially if you will be breastfeeding whilst out and about....the less material the better! I love the Zippy Up one pieces and rompers, they are super soft, so easy to put on baby and very easy to layer underneath! The best for on the go nappy changes also!
Right now I am only breastfeeding so I don't have a huge amount to share with you on this. I do have a couple of glass Minbie bottles and teats in my cupboard and I also have the NatureBond milk saver which I have used twice to try and put a little breastmilk in the freezer for emergencies. Those few times it was great and I will use it again soon...it just takes a little added effort. Perhaps some muslins would be useful, Amandine is very good at keeping her milk down so I don't really have much use for them, it is useful to have a few!
I am absolutely sure I will be following up this blog post with things I have forgotten, but I hope for now this helps! If you would like more details on the above do click through to the links or check out MUM TALK podcast where I talk at length on all these things!
If you have any questions please feel free to message me through my contact page, on instagram 'emmajaulin' or at firstname.lastname@example.org.