When you’re pregnant you’re bombarded with advertising, everyone wants to sell you something and every gadget is absolutely essential for your unborn child’s wellbeing. You have to contend with tailored Facebook ads (grr) leaflets in Bounty packs (double grr) and earnest sales women in John Lewis.
Whilst pregnant with Luisa I tended to swing between deranged panic thinking we needed everything and being totally zen and minimalistic. Needless to say, she’s survived in my charge for 15 months so I must have done something right!
I thought I’d share some of the products I personally think are worth the hype broken down by age & type. Of course I didn’t try everything under the sun so there’s lots of great stuff I can’t pass comment on. For example we really wanted a co-sleeping crib but none would fit to our bed and within the confines of our tiny bedroom. Anyway, hopefully this is helpful to you whether you’re pregnant or just have a baby a bit younger than Lu.
The crib we went with was a slim design from Mothercare called the Hyde. It’s thin and long and only costs £40. It lasted Luisa until she was 6 months as she was a tiny baby. I’d really recommend the Hyde, as I said we wanted a co-sleeper but it wasn’t to be. The slim design of the Hyde meant I could keep Lu close which was very important to me.
When Lu was very small we used swaddles by the Gro Company. I loved the designs and patterns they had and the swaddling action was comforting for Luisa. Another product from the Gro Company I love is the Gro-Egg Room Thermometer.Even if it does drive you batty on those hot hot nights it’s a great tool and saved us worrying about L being too cold in a piercing Edinburgh winter.
Lu amassed quite the collection of Lamaze products in the early days. I really rate their toys as a lot of research goes into designing them. Each toy has loads of interesting colours, textures and sounds. They also last a really long time. All of ours are still in perfect condition.
Another thing we used a lot was the black and white pram book from Taf Toys, you can read more about it in my post here.
Luisa’s first outing was at 5 days old to Starbucks, she travelled in style in the NCT Close Caboo. This baby carrier was my best friend for a good 5 months, we really did use it daily. I felt much less anxious taking my tiny baby out when I could keep her close. Luisa really took to baby wearing and this carrier got us through some difficult days.
Whenever Luisa wasn’t in the caboo she was swishing about in our Cosatto Giggle. We went for he bright yellow ochre design which I still love to this day. The carry cot is a fab site and we used it until Lu was 7 months old. I’ll actually be writing a full review of the travel system soon as I’m really loving it still.
Best of the Rest
My nursing pillow was just a cheap one from Argos but it was a totally essential for me. It saved me from many a dead arm and was handy for propping L up when she was older.
GroBlind <— Check out my review
Video baby monitors are super expensive but I found a really cheap alternative. Read my review here –> Clever Dog Smart Camera Baby Monitor
When baby transitions to their ‘big cot’ it’s totally normal to worry about them! Wether you make the move after a few weeks or keep them in with you tis they’re 6 months or older is totally your decision. One thing I found really helpful was the safe breathe cot wrap from BabyBundle. It’s a mesh wrap that goes around the bars of your cot to stop baby from getting stuck in them. Unlike a bumper it’s totally safe and gave me such peace of mind. You can read my review here.
As L got bigger we stopped using swaddles but stuck with Gro Company. I loved popping her into their sleeping bags and I really like the way they have different togs available.
As Lu got older we introduced more books, rattles and teethers. I really like the Gumigem teething necklaces and also the classic sophie the giraffe – although she was a bit heavy for Luisa at first.
Luisa’s favourite toy remained Mr Panda (another Lamaze beauty) for a long time but she also really liked her rainforest playmate from FisherPrice.
Best of the Rest
At this stage we were still using the cot wrap from babybundle and grobags with Lu most nights. The cot we went with was the Gannat from Ikea, it has a removable side and storage underneath so it’s really practical. If you’d like to see it in more detail keep an eye on my YouTube for a nursery tour next week.
Luisa got a jumperoo for Christmas when she was 7 months old. I wish I could say she loved it but honestly it was only amusing for a while – so disappointing! Silly baby.
Now the fun really starts! I have loads of opinions on and post about weaning. We decided a babyled route was best for our family and so we didn’t really start until L was about 7 months old. She honestly wasn’t fussed before then.
I really couldn’t have done without the soft fruit feeder from munchkin. It’s basically a little mesh pouch with a handle, you pop soft fruit or veg in the pouch and it means baby won’t choke or have the food slip out of their hand. You can read more about my favourite weaning products here.
Our highchair is the Sprout from OxoTot. It’s a convertible system so that means Lu will be able to use it for years to come. The tray is fully removable and the seat height adjusts to accommodate growing child. I really love this highchair and think it’s very stylish. I’ve written more about it in my Oxo Tot Sprout High Chair review.
We really love our Snoozeshade and Munchkin stroller organiser, we use them both with our cosatto giggle and our lightweight stroller from Joie. I thought the organiser would be much of a muchness but it’s proved invaluable. It’s fab for popping to the shop or out for the afternoon when you don’t want to bring a whole changing bag. You can also read about my holiday / travel essentials here.
Phew! Well there you have it, my top picks for the first 12 months. If there’s anything you’d like to see a detailed review on do shout. As I said you can expect a nursery tour and full pram review soon 🙂