Ok, so maybe the title of this blog is a bit strong, I most probably could live without them as most third world women do every day and thousands of years’ worth of mothers have done before me! But these are the things I find have made being a buba mama a little easier.
First time around I bought into everything, convinced it was going to take an army and the contents of Mothercare to raise my baby – stocked with silly bath buckets and special hooded baby towels I soon found I had an excess of baby dedicated products that, like many before them, would end up at the carboot! All the clever little marketeers had to do were utter the words “it will make your baby happier” and I was there, with three of X under my arm, scared rigid that if I didn’t purchase said happy-item I would be letting little sprog down!
Then there’s the things that you didn’t realise you were going to purchase at first or when pregnant,but when your lovely little bean makes an appearance only to continually cry with wind or not want to sleep (at all!) you rush out to buy in the very small hope it might make an exhausting situation a little more bearable. Those are the really cunning marketeers who you didn’t see coming, preying on vulnerable tired parents with their – “this book will make your baby sleep in 3 days”!
So, third baby down the line, and, as usual, I’m not professing to be any sort of guru on the matter, I’ve honed my baby necessities and have found myself being asked by other would-be mamas for my opinion! Yes, they actually want to know what I would recommend – I really must look like a know what I’m doing!! At least on Instagram!! So, I have compiled my little list that I would be heading out with should baby #4 (heaven forbid, oh maybe!!) ever make an appearance.
- Swaddle Blanket. Now I don’t mean just any old stretchy piece of material, nor do I mean a super huge muslin (both have their uses just not here). I’m talking about the stretchy piece of material with all the flaps! I’ve used these with 2 and 3, both slept like a dream with them – even at 13 weeks now, Casper sometimes thinks he wants to wriggle free to sleep with that flailing arm hitting his own face just as he doses off, but no, ah-ha, mummy’s one step ahead with her ninja swaddling skills!
- I was after something to catch Casper’s eye if he was laying in his cot in that in between awake and sleep state – but not something too overstimulating, step in…. The Tranquil Turtle. This little guy is my go-to come bubs’ bedtime and any stirrings in the night. He turns the bedroom ceiling (and walls) into an underwater retreat with his wavy blue light (not Pacha style!) – which hypontises Casper into a stupor and if that wasn’t enough he can gently “shhhhhh” wee one to sleep with the lapping ocean noises. Might seem pricey, but well worth it!
- The Baby-Bay. With my first we fannied around with a moses basket for all of a week before moving him into a cot – he wasn’t ever going to be a great sleeper but needless to say this sudden transition into a different bed and different room (we moved our bed into his nursery for a while as our bedroom couldn’t accommodate our bed and his cot!) didn’t help. Second time round I opted for the uber trendy Stokke Sleepi – starting with the little crib size, soon moving onto the larger size – this was all very well but it’s oval shape wasn’t helpful when trying to put it up near the bed/anywhere near a wall. One thing I’d learnt with my first two – regardless how hard I tried to resist, they always slept better when they were on or near me, sooooo… third time I gave into what mother nature wants for her little bundles and went with a co-sleeper. What a difference a co-sleeper makes! Wow! Our little man has been in his Baby-Bay since day one, right up to my side of the bed – I sleep better knowing he’s right there and being able to sense anything he needs and he sleeps so well – being soothed with just a gentle hand (or flick of the Tranquil Turtle). The only thing we’d change (we discussed this last night) is… we would have opted for the Maxi, instead of the original – that way we could keep him with us longer!
- The carrier to beat all carriers – The Juno from Mountain Buggy! Super Soft, comfy, easy and most importantly Casper loves it! In my time I’ve stressed over a whole load of carriers and their straps – we started with the rather pricey Stokke MyCarrier, but argh, quite a faff and not that comfy!
- Muslin squares – don’t need to be fancy ones, some of my faves are from Asda and Sainsbo’s! I just use them to mop up everything baby related, great sun shades, cool summer cover-up and Casper’s become so attached to muslins that he can’t nap without it touching his face!
- Baby-Monitor – I’m not into the fancy “Big Brother” style monitors – I prefer the cheap as chips versions with just the noise, a good range is essential though- I can wander up to 350m (if I really wanted to?!) and still hear the whimpers. I’m not crazy about the cameras, thermometers and movement sensors – but this is personal, I just like to learn bubs’ cries to judge his needs – a mother’s ear is way better than being able to see him on a little screen.
- Urban Jungle – trust me, I tried EVERYTHING in the buggy department: Bugaboo, Quinny, Microlite and whole load of others that went on the “something really bugged me about it” pile! I could list my gripes for a lifetime on some buggies, but that wouldn’t get us very far and this is definitely a case of “horses for courses”, but if you like a sturdy push chair, which can handle an off-road dog walk as well as a city stroll, with ample storage, from birth right through to big toddler walking, easy for even Grandmas to use without too much explaining – I think I’ve listed nearly enough pro’s – then this is the pushchair for you!
- Car Seat Wrap – my first two were winter babes and one of my most stressful memories was getting them in and out of snow-suits/winter coats. We’d both end up hot, sweaty, flustered and exhausted – all before we’d got to the front door! Welcome this fab little fleece contraption which was a complete life saver with Casper – not one stressful car seat/buggy/leaving the house moment!
So, there you have them – the eight items that would have made the last 13 weeks a lot more difficult without! What’s your must have baby item?