There are so many decisions to make before baby arrives: names, hospital birth, home birth, birthing partner and then there’s the STUFF that is needed. I remember feeling so totally overwhelmed by the volume and variety of products on offer. Where to start?
We started off by looking at prams which was interesting and then when we moved onto car seats and I thought my brain was going to explode. The technology that has evolved since I was a baby is amazing, so impressive but requires a degree in engineering to fit together!
I appreciate that not everyone has the same budget but the following ten items are ones that we chose to either invest in, buy second hand or were kindly gifted by family members. Also along our journey in getting ready for baby I cannot recommend John Lewis enough, the level of service we received from staff at Vanguarde York was exceptional and on most occasions we never went anywhere else. They really know their stuff and would always take the time to answer my million questions. They have a great range of products and if they don't have what you need in stock they will always order it for you.
1. Car Seat: Maxi Cosi Rock
A critical piece of kit that they will not let you leave the hospital without. Now just like phones and cars there are always new versions and models coming out so I’m sure our make is now considered ‘out of season’. However I remember when selecting it we went for the ‘middle’ one in terms of piece as there seemed minimal difference with the most expensive. Maxi Cosi as a brand had been recommended to us prior to purchase and it is brilliant. Sturdy, strong, yet comfy. It has a newborn inlay that’s really cuddly for the newborn stage. This is removed once they grow. There is an inbuilt hood which is fantastic for shielding them from wind and rain and it is really easy to use.
The 3 Way Fix base was bought with it and that is where the magic truly happens. Three green lights will show when the chair is correctly locked into the car, a red light and beeping sound will sound if somethings wrong. The base attaches to the iso fix points in most modern cars and is then positioned so it’s at the right angle for your car and with the press of one button the chair is released and you can lift it out of the car. Brilliant.
The only downside is that the chair and with baby in it is a little weighty! Definitely a work out for the arms. But cannot fault the design or technology that holds it in place.
Base 3 Way Fix : https://www.johnlewis.com/maxi-cosi-i-size-3wayfix-car-seat-base-black/p4075586sku=238033825&s_ppc=2dx92700046626661510&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=CjwKCAiAuK3vBRBOEiwA1IMhulYz9K0e8EvTZAc5KH3eA4xaV8LK3D-EkTg7mWF3dUtypf99u_0TQhoCWrkQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
2. Moses basket:
In terms of night time sleep there are again many different options and models to consider, are you going to co-sleep, not co-sleep? There are next to me cots, cradles and baskets. We opted for a moses basket which I actually picked up second hand, there are often quite a few on Facebook marketplace or similar if you don’t mind second hand. The mattress however was bought new from Mothercare. Unfortunately, they have since gone into administration which makes me very sad and so cannot link.
3. Baby Carrier:
This has been a life saver and continues to this day to be something I don’t leave the house without. She is a huge fan and once you have used it a couple of times you can pop it on really quickly, plus it is really easy to adjust. When she gets a bit bigger she will be able to face outwards which I think is a huge plus and you also have the option of wearing baby on your back. Its really sturdy and robust and there is some back support which is really important with these items as they grow and get heavier. At the time of purchase I felt it was quite pricey but has honestly been worth it for the amount of use it has had already. Also if on days when I need to get a few bits done around the house and she won’t be put down I pop her in this and crack on with the use of two hands. Priceless.
4. Pram: Joolz Day 3
This is a fantastic piece of kit however all the named brands are fantastic, all well made and offer lots of travel options for your little one. With everything there is a price spectrum and it very much depends on your budget, prams can run into thousands with all the extras or just hundreds, its completely up to you and what you need it for. I wasn’t set on any particular brand or style before choosing this one. In the end it came down to personal choice, price (there was a £200 off deal when we got ours) and height weirdly enough. Both myself and my husband are relatively tall and this model just offered a couple of extra inches in height so as not having to bend down even further.
Over the last couple of months it has had a lot of use and I love the wheels and the way the bottom half collapses and fits in the car. Super easy. The built in ventilation sections within the basinet were really useful during the summer and the design of the hood offers real protection from both the rain and sun. The basket at the bottom of the pram is a good size and you can fit plenty of essentials or shopping in there.
5. Baby gym: so I picked this up second hand through Facebook marketplace but it is originally from Ikea. The reason why I went for it was firstly because its wooden (which I just think is great) and secondly because its portable, its not fixed to one mat in one position. I can use this with her bouncer, on her play mat or just on its own. The bright colours are great for her cognitive development, the pieces make noises when they move and over the weeks she has begun to reach towards them, grab them, pull them and of course wanting to put them in her mouth.
Easy to clean and wipe down, robust and all around engaging. Its £19 brand new but I paid £10 for it second hand.
6. Vests: you can never have enough!! Simple! I’ve linked the M&S ones but Tesco and Sainsbury’s are also brilliant. I love a white sleeveless bodysuit under all her outfits as they help to keep her that little bit warmer but equally offer an extra layer when it comes to those epic baby poos that always happen when you least expect them. This means that the vest usually takes the brunt of the explosion hence why you can never have enough due to the wear, wash, dry rotation. Also a fan of sizing up, they will always grow into them and a bit of extra room always helps to accommodate nappies. You can get coloured ones as well if you don't want white.
7. Baby bath: so this was a gift from my mother in law and I didn’t even realise that I needed a baby bath until this came along. It’s just brilliant and well worth the praise and awards it receives. There is a clear MAX line so that you don’t over fill it. It’s portable and can be used wherever you need throughout the house. The overall shape of the bath ensures baby can sit up comfortably and obviously it helps that she absolutely loves bath time. Who knows if its because of this lovely bath or if its just her but nonetheless I would highly recommend this to all mommas to be.
Again this was purchased secondhand, during my pregnancy I would scour the internet looking for one of these as I had heard some amazing reviews, however they are quite pricey brand new and you don’t know if your baby will like it so I just felt it was a bit pricey to buy one brand new incase she didn’t like it. It is a great piece of kit, very comfy, easy to wash and great for using all round the house. We used it a lot in the early newborn days for her to nap in down stairs, but since about 12 weeks we have used it less and less as a sleep aid instead I’ve used the soft sides to help with tummy time. She initially didn’t like being on her tummy on the floor so I would lay her over the sides and this really helped so that she could develop some initial strength. I have linked the sleepyhead website but you may want to source one second hand.
9. Black and white book by Tana Hoban
So this is something that you can use as a book, look through, talk through with baby or it can also be opened out and left for baby to look at. I used this most in the six to twelve week window when babies eyesight is still developing and are most stimulated by black and white.
I love this so much because she loves it so much, the colours, the faces, the noises. Its portable and so clips onto her moses basket, the pram, her cot and potentially her high chair in future. It’s just perfect for helping focus and now she is a bit bigger she hits and plays with the animals.
It took ages to arrive but since it arrived she has used it almost every day, it really helps to keep her entertained whilst you grab a quick shower or coffee.
I have tried to link as many of the items as possible but if you have any questions about any of the items listed please let me know. You never know what you baby will like/dislike so its a huge game of trial and error and these are just some of the things that have worked for us. Hope you found it useful.
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