When you have a baby you are always inundated with people offering advice and suggestions of things that you will need, things you can’t possibly live without. By the time Max was born I had tried most of these ‘must-have’ items at one time or another – and surprise surprise, a lot of them weren’t necessary. A lot of them I could easily have managed without. But there were a few that shone through. A few products that I would now never be without.
- Grobag baby sleep bags. This is my number one baby item. I have used them with all 3 babies – purely for the safety aspect to start with. As a paranoid first time mum, I heard horror stories about babies suffocating under their blankets, overheating, and getting tangled and stressed. That was enough to convince me to use a sleeping bag – and we did, from day 1 right through until the children moved into beds with duvets. As well as the safety aspect, we soon discovered these snuggly bags offered so much more – they stopped covers being kicked off, so the little ones didn’t wake up cold. They worked as part of the bedtime routine – when the bags went on, they knew it was time for bed. We could even used them in the car seat and pram on cold days, as they have clever little slots for harnesses to slide through. All in all, most definitely my number one baby product.
- Muslins. Lots of them. All 3 of my children have suffered with reflux to a certain degree, with Max being the hands-down puking champion. So for us, muslins go everywhere. They have such a multitude of uses – sick cloths, burp cloths, wiping messy hands and faces, using as comforters, blankets and temporary changing mats. My favourites are the Faye & Lou Cozios.
- Bundlebean. The Bundlebean red star has fast become a favourite in this house, although we only discovered it after Max was born. In short, it is a multi functional piece of kit – it works as a weatherprooof footmuff, car seat cover, bike seat blanket, picnic rug, changing mat, sling cover – and many more besides – so you don’t need to carry a million and one products when your are out and about. It rolls up into a tiny little bundle so it will fit neatly in your changing bag or pushchair basket. A really practical, versatile item that I will never be without.
- A comforter of some sort. I always thought that ‘cuddlies’ were for making the cot look pretty, more than the babies actually needing them. How wrong I was. Both my boys have been obsessed with their comforters, and in fact Jacob still sleeps with his now, at almost 6. His comforter of choice was a Mothercare bedtime bear that he was given as a newborn. It sat in his SCBU cot and never left his side for about the first 3 years of his life. Max loves a zebra blankie that came from Corporate baby and I can see why – it is super soft and strokeable, and must be lovely to cuddle up to. He uses it as his sleep cue now – zebra means snoozing.
- A wrap or sling. Now before I became a parent, I always thought slings weren’t for me. I was firmly in the pushchair camp (and still have a huge pushchair addiction, but that’s a whole other post) and thoughts slings were a bit *ahem* hippyish. How wrong I was. When you have a baby that likes to be carried around all day (and yes I am talking to you Max) a sling is vital. It gives you your hands back! Max is happy because he is being carried, and Mummy is happy because I can make a cup of tea! The more I used a sling, the more I grew to love it, and we now use one on a regular basis. My favourite at the moment is the Papoozle – easy to put on and comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time.