Thursday, 9 October 2014

Top ten essentials for life with a baby

I meant to write this when D was more "baby" than toddler. But life happens, combination of work and D distracted me... But here it is, better late than never, my top 10 essentials for a baby*:

* which I stand by now having a new baby again!

(In no particular order)

1. Blackout blind

The holy grail of getting your baby to sleep longer (apparently). We don't have an actual "blind" - more a concoction of black cardboard pieces taped to the window and a dark blanket over the top... But it makes the room dark so at least D knows its bedtime. 

2. Carrier 

I think a baby carrier is one if the most essential things. Especially if you live somewhere like London and want a social life that doesn't always involve "accessible" routes. A carrier leaves both your hands free, means baby gets nice snuggsies and you can access anywhere you want.

Personally I L.O.V.E my ergo. I could go on and on and on about how much I love it (apart from this minor downside). But if I did that we'd never get to my next 8 essentials so I'll be brief... Basically I hate baby bjorn carriers. With a passion. They are bad for babies hips, make them dangle by their crotch (oww who wants that?!) and can lead to overstimulation. But the ergo... Oh it is great. So comfy, no backache even after wearing it for hours. Baby falls asleep within seconds of going in it. Toddler can be back carried in it. Has useful pocket for my phone :) what's not to love?

Look how cosy I am :)
3. Giant muslins

Everyone loves muslins. Well giant muslins are just *that* bit better. They have a million uses - for swaddling, as a blanket, a blackout cover in the buggy, a breastfeeding cover, vomit mopper-up, etc. The uses are endless. We've even used ours as a whole body cover when there was a super poonami and we had no spare clothes with us... and draped over a hospital cot to try and darken the super-bright room so D could get some sleep. I always carry at least one with me at all times :)

Use as a light blanket, swaddle, or to cover your hospital cot!
4. Video monitor 

So useful to know if the moaning baby is settling to sleep or building up to a crescendo scream. And to see if the toddler is lying down or galavanting around his cot. Or for peace of mind when you hear a little noise and aren't sure what it was. I wouldn't go back to a non-video monitor ever.

So cute when they're sleeping....

5. Giant playmat

Everyone has the little square playmats but why settle for that? D outgrew his pretty quickly and as soon as they're able to roll it only takes 2 or 3 turns for them to be off the mat and on the floor... Our giant playmat (about 1x1.5m) is great - room for even toddlers to sit and play (or all 6 babies at our NCT reunion!). Iz can roll and roll to her heart's content and still stay on the padded area :)

I love my giant playmat!

6. Lion mobile (or equivalent)

Ok so this is a specific example of a general "group" of items. We had a lion that clipped onto D's buggy and when you pulled it at the bottom it played a tune for about 60 seconds. D quickly associated it with falling asleep when in his buggy and so anytime he needed to sleep on-the-go all we needed was the lion. Fingers crossed it has same effect on Iz!

He's clutching the lion mobile in his right hand after it had it's desired sleep-inducing effect

7. Ewan sheep

A lifesaver when you want baby to go/stay asleep but don't want to have to stand there saying "sshhhh sshhhh sshhhh" for hours on end...

Ewan - also good for wrestling...

8. Sleeping bags  

Never have to worry about blankets riding up and covering their face? A deterrent to them being able to climb out if their cot? An extra layer to stop them scratching their eczema-affected knees? Win. Win. Win.

9. Clothes pegs

No one will tell you this as a new parent but invest in clothes pegs. Always have at least 3 on your person at all times. Then when your precious darling falls asleep (finally!) in the pram/buggy you can rig up one of your giant muslins (see above) and you have a way of securing it strategically so baby stays shaded and in darkness with no risk of dislodgement or being blown off into oncoming traffic (this may or may not have happened to me...). Hello baby nap time and mummy coffee time :)

Clothes pegs = staple

10. Inco pads

You know the ones? You probably had them under your sheets as the end of pregnancy approached in case your waters broke one night? These are great as on-the-go nappy changing mats. And when a bit of poop gets on them --> bin it. When D had a vomiting bug we lined his buggy with them so he could still go out but there would be no horrific cleanup if the worst happened... Very light and portable with a million uses.


So what do you think? 

Did you have all these? 

Or did you have a different "top 10" list?

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