As a Mum to a now very active 14 month old, it seems crazy to me that just last year, I had a tiny little new born baby to take care of and keep alive! Those precious first months were very special, and ones that I will cherish forever, but of course, they wern't without their stressful moments. Were we doing everything right? Was the room too hot? Did he have enough clothes on? Was he getting the right amount of milk? Whilst we were preparing for our little bundle of joy to come into the world, we made constant lists, endlessly Googled and trawled through countless You Tube videos and reviews to try and select the best of everything we would need to make him as happy, contented and well cared for as possible and to make our lives a little easier when things were about to change forever.
I recently made a video about my new born baby and new Mummy essentials which i'll leave below if you would rather watch than read! It contains some of my top recommendations to make both Mummy and baby's life that little bit easier from day one.
Tomme Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
This is probably my top recommendation. It made our lives so much easier as parents that, for our own personal reasons had to formula feed our baby. I completely understand that breast is best, but this post isn't really intended to go into that debate. The Perfect Prep Machine makes fresh, ready to feed bottles in 2 minutes. You simply select how many ounces you want from the dial above, put your bottle under the machine, press the button and it shoots a 'hot shot' of boiling water into the bottle. This kills the bacteria in the formula you are about to add in. Once you've added the correct amount of scoops of formula, you shake it up and put the bottle back under and press the button again. This then fills the bottle up with filtered, room temperature water so that it's perfect to give your baby straight away. When we looked into how to prepare bottles, there were so many do and dont's that seemed either scary if we did something wrong of way too time consuming at 3:00am in the morning when your little one is screaming the house down. For us this was the safest, quickly, most efficient option and I'm so glad we made this purchase. If you want to see it in action, check out my video below.
lights by TENA
Now one for the Mummy's. I know that bladder weakness isn't something we all like to openly talk about, but as so many women are affected by it either during or after pregnancy, it should be something we discuss more. You're body's just been through something incredible to bring your baby into the world, so it's no surprise that there will be some after effects! Once you've been through the stage of having to wear what are, lets face it, pretty much nappies for 6 weeks after having a baby, lights by TENA liners are almost unnoticeable. And even if you aren't affected by bladder weakness, I know a lot of us Mum's would feel better with the added security that if a cough/sneeze/laughing fit results in an unpleasant 'leak' it's not such a big deal. I know for me personally that they were really helpful in the first 6 months after having Archie and would really recommend new Mum's to have some in their cupboard just in case. They come in a few different varieties and have Feel Fresh Technology too. And if you'd like to try a free sample pack, simply click here.
Angel Care Movement & Sound Monitor
Again, this was a product that I did a lot of research into and knew it would be a necessity for us. Hearing about cases of Sudden Instant Death Syndrome filled me with more fear that I could imagine so to have a monitor that not only allowed us to hear if Archie was crying or distressed, but to monitor his movement and breathing as well was a huge weight off my mind. Of course, I would never rely on a machine 100% and like everything else you have to be sensible. This particular monitor comes with a hard plastic square pad which goes under your babies mattress, and connects to the machine. You then have another machine with you that you can hear then on, but that also makes a ticking sound to show you that it's on. This can be switched off but to me that was little pointless so we always have it on. You'd think it would be annoying but you honestly don't constantly notice it until you listen out for it again. If it doesn't detect any movement for 30 seconds, (it detects the movement of breathing as well as bigger movements) It will alert you with an alarm. Yes, this is the most hideously frightening thing to hear going off in the middle of the night, and we've both shot out of bed on the very odd occasion it's gone off, but this has always been because Archie's decided to wedge himself into the smallest corner at the top of the cot and he's gone out of range for it to pick up his movements, but in all honestly this has only happened a handful of times. I think it does work best with younger babies though as they generally stay in one place instead of moving around the cot. Even when we moved him into his big cot, he looked so tiny and it seemed as though he was no where near the machine, it always sensed his movements. This is hands down one of the things that has helped me sleep at night and only check on him once or twice as a posed to 5 billion times!
Sanctuary Mum To Be Firming Cream
As expectant Mum's, the way our bodies will change and the possibility of stretch marks is something that crosses all of our minds. Back when I was pregnant with Archie, I was very kindly sent some Mum To Be products from Sanctuary Spa. After I had Archie, one of my favourites to use was the Firming Cream. It has extracts of cotton thistle, organic rose hip oil and shea butter, to help your skin regain it's elasticity and keep it soft and smooth. I was very lucky not to get any stretch marks this time but it also helps to improve the appearance of stretch marks. I also think that whichever range you try, or even if you stick to your favourite creams and skincare saviours, the most important thing is to set aside some time to pamper yourself. I know it can sometimes seem impossible but let your partner, your Mum, someone you trust have the baby, even if it's just for half and hour and remember that even though you're a Mum, you're still you.
These herbal powders, and granules dissolve in your baby's mouth when their little teeth are causing them problems. Teething is a really hard part of being a parent, and it's not fun for you or the baby. Archie got his first tooth at around 5 months, but they can start to cause problems even earlier than this. We tried lots of things, from teething toys, to Bongela and all of them I would recommend, but the granules/powders seemed to work really well. I'm not sure of the exact science behind it as they are all natural. Whether putting the powder in his mouth took his mind off of the pain or he just really liked the taste is still a bit of a mystery to me. But we're using them a lot at the moment, as lots of pesky teeth (including molars) are popping through so they again are a great thing to have in the back of the cupboard ready to go.
This is great for making sure the temperature in the room is right for your baby. And even at 4:00am, though blurry, sleep deprived eyes you can easily check if it's too hot or too cold because of the colour display. If it's too cold it'll show you the temperature in blue, just right is in orange and too hot is in red, pretty self explanatory! It was great through the hot couple of months we had after Archie was born, as I was so worried he'd get too hot. But this helps you to know if you need to cool the room down a little, or if your baby needs an extra blanket.
Oh I just fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! I knew that Prince George had come out of hospital wrapped in a sweet, little bird print blanket, but hadn't taken too much notice until I became pregnant myself and discovered that it was in fact a swaddle blanket by Aden & Anais. After that I knew I needed them for my own little Prince! The bird print blanket comes in a set of 4, you also get elephant's, monkey's and giraffes and they are just so beautifully soft. We've used them for so many things from a pram blankets, to play mats and currently we're enjoying using them to make under the table dens so they're very versatile! They aren't the cheapest muslin blankets you can get and there fore not really a necessity, but they're very good quality and will last for a long time, so worth every penny in my opinion.
Finally I have a few app recommendations I found really helpful either during pregnancy or once Archie was born.
The first being white noise. I'm pretty sure you can download white noise apps, but we found this one on You Tube and it worked fantastically well. It works to block out any background noise, and helps babies to sleep more soundly and fall asleep easily. There were times when Archie would be crying with 'over tiredness' we would put this on and he'd be asleep within 30 seconds. I also think this is one of the things that helped him sleep through the night from 9 weeks. Like every single thing i've mentioned, not everything works for every Mum or baby but as this worked for us, I would 100% recommend giving it a try.
The Baby centre app is brilliant for tips and advice from the day you find out you're pregnant, all the way to the new born stage and beyond. Plus, any time I type a baby related question into Google, one of the first websites that come up is The Baby Centre. The advise I've found on the app and website have been an indispensable fountain of knowledge for me as a first time Mum.
My Baby Beat
Even though this app recommendation really falls under Mum to be essentials, I thought I'd include it anyway in case you're currently reading this whilst pregnant. My Baby Beat is an app that works like a dopler to find your baby's heart beat, and when you do find it, it's a pretty incredible experience. However, I do say in the video and can never stress enough how important it is to remember that it is just an app. If you feel like something is wrong, always contact your midwife or hospital. The same also goes for not being able to find the heart beat though. It took me until about week 35 in my pregnancy to find it properly, and it's very hard if you don't have any training to find their heart beat at all. I think this app is more of a fun one to try out, but shouldn't be taken too seriously. I wanted to recommend it though as I loved listening to his heart beat and it made me so happy.
I really hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you would like to see more of these, maybe a pregnancy essentials and a toddler one too?
Love Kate x