Baby no2 is now 5 months old and we’re finally settling in to the new normal.
Living in London, it’s quite unusual to find someone at the age of 29 like myself, with two children already. I’ve been the first of a lot of my friends to have any children at all. To my great pleasure though, baby bumps are sprouting all over the place now and I’m very pleased to offer tips and parenting tidbits to my blossoming friends.
I find the most popular thing I’m asked is for a list of things you need to get in preparation for a newborn.
So today’s post is a…
The following is by no means a shopping list of essentials but more a checklist of the things I needed and found made life a lot easier.
You’ll prob find that quite a few things can be borrowed or you can refer to the list for family and friends to buy gifts from.
I find that nhs website has quite a thorough checklist for this:
7x vests (arm length depending on season)
1x pram suit with feet built in
1x fleece sleepsuit
4x Pairs of Mittens (for scratching)
1x Hat (woolly or cotton depending on season)
1x Outdoor mittens
4x Moses basket sheets
1x cellular blanket
1x fleece blanket
Gro sleeping bag *1
2x cot sheets
Cotton wool balls
Very small plastic basin (for warm water)
Top and tail towels ikea *4
Nappy bin (with tight lid)*5
4x hooded towels
Mild top to toe wash
Mild baby moisturiser
Non biological washing power/liquid*7
Old/cheap new toothbrush
Stain remover soap*9
Out and about:
Changing bag with compact changing mat
Small toiletry bag*10
5-10 tea towel sized muslins
3x larger muslins*12
Electrical breast pump
Milk freezer bags
3/4 bottles with newborn teats
Specialist bottle cleaning brush
Dummies (if desired)
Play mat/play gym
Manhattan skwish classic toy
Phone app with “shusher”*13
Baby Nail clippers
Soft hair brush
A dim-able bed side light for night feeds*14
Hand cream left next to sink
2xNursing bra (at least)
No snag hair ties
Clothes you can breast feed comfortably in
Books, magazines and DVDs to keep you awake in the night feed
You can also click HERE for a pdf printable of the list.
1* In the first few weeks you might feel more comfortable using blankets but I find that when they start moving around more gro bags are good for keeping them covered all night. You can use them from newborn.
2* essential I think for csection mums and probably better for your back anyway.
3* in the first weeks it’s recommended to use cotton wool and warm water as it’s milder on the skin. You can buy water wipes which are 99.9% water based. When buying wipes I recommend buying in bulk and supermarket brands are just as good if not better. Also try get wipes that have the clicking lid to keep wipes from drying out. My favourites have been asda fragrance free ones.
4* a large pack of colour tagged face cloth like towels. I use the blue/green ones for cleaning faces and the yellow/orange ones for drying after first nappy changes and shielding me from unexpected pee shooting little willies!
5*you can buy specialist nappy bins with built in nappy bag lining to control the smell. These can be expensive. We had them with our first baby and with the second we still have the same bin but just use supermarket basic value disposable bags that are less than 20p for 100.
6*for gently cleaning around belly button as umbilical chord heals and detaches. I would use cooled lukewarm boiled water with a little salt. Dip in cotton buds to water and clean around the chord. Don’t rub hard! Just wipe gently enough to remove excess blood etc. Allow to dry and fold down nappy at the front a little to avoid rubbing.
7*having had two children with sensitive skin and eczema I know not to put fabric softener into their clothes wash. You may be tempted because of the lovely smell and the softness of the clothes but the chemical will be more of an irritant. Try also buy the best brand you can. Wash the rest of your household laundry separately and in whatever you like to keep costs down.
8* for dealing with washing and soaking of poop explosions.
9* I like to use a pre wash stain remover rather than an in wash one so that it can be rinsed off before put in the washing machine for less irritating chemicals.
10*with one baby you can get away with having a small toiletry bag that you keep in your buggy at all times for small trips out to the shops. A larger bag may be needed for longer day trips away and for older or bottle fed babies.
11*I used a moby fabric sling for both my kids. It was soft, snug, warm with breathable fabric. They were very content to be there as it kept them very close to my body warmth, heart beat and smell and I believe replicated the conditions of the womb as close as you can do.
It’s tricky at first to get the wrap right but once you master it, it becomes second nature.
People are fearful or suffocation with these. I’ve read up about cases where this has happened and it tends to be with babies who have colds or breathing difficulties already,who are very young and carried in the bag style lying position.
My moby sling always held my babies upright with their faces kissing distance from me with a clear breathing space between the fabric and my body. ALWAYS follow the instructions given with your sling.
12*large muslins have a multitude of uses. Draping over you while breast feeding for privacy if you require it. Hanging over buggy for shade from sun whilst still providing ventilation. A cool loose cover for the baby in the heat. A light weight transportable large play mat for them to roll around on at other people houses.
13*I use an iPhone app that can record feeds, pumps, dirty nappies etc. I think it might be reassuring app for those with tricky feeding babies so you can see how they are doing but I don’t recommending getting too obsessed with recording everything if your baby is thriving.
The part of this app we use the most in our house is the “shusher”. It’s a noise making function that makes either a white noise or running water sound. It’s supposed to replicate the amniotic fluid of the womb and reassure the baby. If you have the white noise on loud it also creates a noise that is so distracting for baby they cannot concentrate on anything else and it then calms them down if they are distressed. Both send my baby boy off to sleep in minutes when he’s struggling, if I place it next to him in the cot or pram at nap time.
13*a dim-able bedside light has been one of my best investments for feeding in bed. It allows you to maintain night time mode so the baby doesn’t wake up too much and think its day light. It also doesn’t disturb your partner (even if you actually want to kick them up the arse for being so soundly asleep when you are awake). We use a Lumie alarm clock and light that’s also good for S.A.D as the bulb has got a good gradient from dark to light. You can also set it off when you’re giving your bedtime feed so that it gradually dims as you do so.