Top Baby Items for the First Year.

Friends and family often ask “have you got any gift ideas for a new Mum?”, or, “what were your favourite baby items?”, so, here we go!

Better do this before I forget…

Cuski Black out Muslin

cu200s504_largeAround four months baby becomes more aware, so, this is the perfect cover to create a dark sleeping environment while on the move. Place over the capsule, buggy, cover a window, or use as a replacement forgotten swaddle. I wish I had this for my first born. This is brilliant.

$49.95 from The Sleep Store. Keep an eye online as often go on special.

White Noise

My second born was trained to sleep with white noise from birth. This has become a huge sleep association (along with swaddle or once older sleepsack). Studies have shown that babies sleep better with white noise as it emulates the noise inside the womb.

Baby Sleep Consultant or Baby Beyond

From the above point about ‘training’ my babies to sleep. With my first born I got help at four, 10 and 12 months, with sleep training as we weren’t sleeping through the night. It didn’t come easy. With Cooper, I trained him from birth with ‘shhh pat’, utlising the Baby Sleep Consultant techinques. It didn’t mean that he slept through the night until nine months, but it did mean that we had easier moments than with my first born. I highly recommend having an action plan, and setting up a great base from the beginning. That means employing a Sleep Consultant from the beginning. Baby number two is a much better sleeper than my first born ever was.

Pre-Birth Lactation Consultant

Having breastfed my first born, I wanted a refresher on ‘how’ to feed and things to look out for at birth to ensure success. As, having fed one, and knowing that it is not always easy to breastfeed and every child is different, it seemed logical. What should I do if my son has a tongue tie? How can I get good feeding habits in at the beginning to ensure success? Latch? Cheryl from Natural Breastfeeding formulated an action plan for the first 24-48hours of feeding for us, and the back up was a home visit if things weren’t going smoothly. In the end Cooper and I did have some trouble feeding, but we got help straight away before it got too bad.

Bodum Double Wall Insulated Glasses/Mugs

929863-zoomAlright, a little lighter topic, but a serious one…cold coffee/tea! These mugs have kept my tea hot for at least an hour. Perfect for when you put your tea down somewhere and forget about it, only to come back and realise it is…well in the case of these mugs, still hot! Yippee! Available in different sizes. A personal favourite are the large ones.

Mocka Highchair

mocka-designer-high-chair-free-harness-bdDon’t bother with a fancy high chair with fancy fabric, nooks and crannies. The food will only get stuck in the holes. This economical high chair wipes down easily. Heck, you could even take the outdoor hose to it if need be. Inserts and straps are available for younger babies.

Teething Babies: Weleda Teething Powder & Sophie the Giraffe

weleda-baby-teething-powder-wlbtp6Some babies teeth terribly, my boy did at four months (see below for dribble bib recommendations). These two products are a must have. Weleda Teething Powder for relief, and Sophie to chew.

Mum 2 Mum Bandana Dribble Bibs

bandana-yellowmMy son was a dribbly teether. Not to mention that at four months he couldn’t hold his head up so the saliva would pool in his little fat neck rolls (poor kid!). So, we would have rash. Well, we did have rash until we started using these bandana bibs. Going through five to seven cotton bibs was hard work at the end of the night washing them all. Made from 100% cotton, super-absorbent velour toweling with a nylon water resistant back keeps babies dry. Once we switched to these bibs the rash subsided and the number of bibs we went through decreased. Their ‘normal’ and ‘sleeved’ bibs are also fantastic.

Mumi 2 Bubi Solids Starter Kit

ssk-clear-trays-250hConsisting of two freezing trays with 42 cubes (total), these ‘big ice cube trays’ are a fantastic time saver. Once my kids hit time to start solids, I simply bulk cooked food and popped it in the freezer. Once frozen, popped the cubes out of the trays into labelled snaplocked bags and meal times were easy!

Love to Dream Swaddles / Sleepsacks

ltsu-50_50_with_pack_lo-res_72dpiMy kids were swaddled from day one. It became a sleep association. Even for sleeps on the go my babies were swaddled. The great thing about Love to Dream swaddle sleeping bags is that they simply zip – no fussing with fabric tucking, and they have a car seat ‘hole’ between the legs. Transitional swaddles are available for weening off the swaddling – one arm at a time. This was a treat for my kids. Though, I seem to remember around about four months with Isabella we were having a rough sleep patch, so, I just whipped both arms off, because, the sleeping couldn’t get any worse!

Capsule to Buggy Attachment

If you can, try and get either a car seat that attaches to your buggy/stroller. Or, a car seat buggy frame. This is a life saver. Particularly for number two. When teamed with the black out muslin above, I could move my son in and out of the car, from car seat base to buggy without waking him up. LIFE SAVER! We used the Maxi Cosi and Phil & Teds Navigator.

Angelcare Monitor

indexDo your own research, but for us, peace of mind with the sound and movement monitor pad was important. Now days there are monitors with cameras etc also.

Some other top tips and links for expecting or new Mum’s.

Have a look at other numerous blogs from me on pregnancy (just scroll down)

What’s in my hospital bag part one / What’s in my hospital bag part two

Follow The Bloom Method to look after your abdominals during pregnancy – often free videos and blogs

Pre and Post Pregnancy Exercise

The New Zealand Government has just launched SmartStart providing step-by-step information and support to help you access the right services for you and your baby.

Other blogs I like to follow include With the Whittakers and Anna Reeve.

If you are a new or expecting Mum – good luck, and I hope you enjoy your hot cup of tea. And for those on a different or supporting journey, good luck and enjoy!

CW xx