There are so many lists out there about the things that you need when a baby comes along and everyone will have different opinions on what is considered ‘essential’ and what you can live without. For that reason, I’ll start here by saying that this is what we found to be essential in the first months with Ella. Each baby and all parents are different, so you may not find all of these items to be vital, but I’m putting these products in this post as I would say that they were things we used daily. Obviously if you are exclusively breastfeeding, the prep machine will not be relevant, equally if you are co-sleeping, a bedside crib won’t be appropriate, but by giving you our 12 essentials, then I’m just giving you an idea of those things you would look into getting.
BABY SWING – We used this a ton in the beginning, when we felt Ella needed a break from being held by us and could just chill out to the slow swing and watch what was going on. We used this a bit later as a way to keep her occupied whilst we prepared a bottle for her or to let her wind down at the end of the day without too much stimulation from us [link].
BOTTLE PREP MACHINE – We’d seen others use this and knew we’d want it when it came time to move on from breastfeeding. Makes bottle preparing a breeze, especially in the middle of the night, so would definitely recommend to any parents whose little one is bottle fed from the beginning [link].
BEDSIDE CRIB – This is where Ella slept as soon as we brought her home. It was perfect as it could be attached to our bed and the side came down, which made for easy transition when breastfeeding or soothing at night and could be raised at one end to help with her reflux [link].
BABY+ APP – I used to log all breastfeeds and naps in this app during the first tired weeks, just to keep an eye on patterns and to make sure she was feeding well. It also kept track of which side she’d fed on last, as who needs to remember that themselves?! [link]
BABY SLEEP SHHH… TRACK – White noise was something I read about somewhere in the first few weeks after baby girl made her appearance – and we are still using it any time that she sleeps. I definitely think it helps to calm her to sleep and to settle in between sleep cycles, so I would recommend to anyone, as strange as it sounds to begin with [link].
TEETHING TOYS – Ella loves her teething toys now that every object gets popped into her mouth and gnawed on to ease some of that pain in her gums. We have a bunch of these toys, but her favourites seem to be the cheapest ones actually and ones that are easy enough for me to wash off in between her chewing on them and throwing them around the living room [link].
NURSING PILLOW – We used this most in the first few weeks, both to help keep Ella and I comfortable when she was breastfeeding but also as a comfortable seating aid for baby girl when she was teeny tiny [link].
GRO EGG – I will probably keep this in her room until it breaks or she moves out, as that’s how useful I find it. Ella was born in the middle of July and we had some super hot weather in her first few weeks, so keeping an eye on the temperature where we all slept kept my mind at ease on how I was dressing her to sleep and doing what we could to keep the room not too hot and not too cold [link].
AIR PURIFIER – This winter, baby girl has had a couple of coughs and colds and I read it was a good idea to keep the air in the room she sleeps as clean as possible to aid in clearing her nose and chest. It has made a huge difference in helping her breathe clearly when it’s too cold to keep the windows open and I really believe that it aided in a quicker recovery from her last cough [link].
VIDEO MONITOR – I love this monitor (the one in the picture is the one we have) and it gives us great peace of mind when she’s sleeping and we can see her. I know if we didn’t have a video monitor I’d be up and down the stairs all the time checking on her when she made a noise, but because we can see her, we can see if she’s actually awake, or just stirring in her sleep [link].
TRAVEL MIRROR – I like to keep an eye on baby girl when we’re in the car, because she generally hates being in the car (or her car seat, not sure which) and I like her to be able to see me back while I’m driving instead of just the back seat [link].
ACTIVITY MAT – A lovely, colourful activity mat was perfect for keeping baby girl active whilst lying down and she soon learned to kick the bottom piano section to play music and grab onto the hanging toys, so this was something we used a lot and still do. Because the piano also moves, we’ve also used that separately when she started to sit up [link].