If I’ve learnt anything since becoming a mum, it’s that babies are expensive! My wages as a part-time barista didn’t cover half of what I needed. Thankfully, I was extremely lucky with my support network; and so I had a lot of help with getting together a collection of baby must-haves.
Baby Wrap/Baby Carrier
As I’ve mentioned before, I tried to find ways of relieving Amelie’s reflux symptoms without relying solely on medication. I posted on Channel Mum to seek advice from other mums, and it was here that a baby wrap was recommended. Whilst Amelie was in the early days of reflux I couldn’t do anything as I was constantly holding her; to ensure that she was kept upright. One genius mum then suggested that I put Amelie in a baby wrap so that she is still kept upright, but I would also be able to get things done hands-free. I purchased the Funki Flamingo Baby Wrap and it’s needless to say that I was very confused as to how a long piece of fabric was going to support my baby, but here’s how we do it:
I’ve also previously mentioned that Amelie likes movement to settle her down, and so I simply pop her in the baby wrap and gently bounce on the birthing ball. I’m still not sure how we discovered this, but it works.
I can remember sorting through Amelie’s bits and bobs before she had arrived, and Cyril thinking that I was crazy for the excessive amount of muslin squares that I had bought. Turns out that we could have done with more. We use muslin squares at any given moment from breastfeeding in public* to swaddling. We also use them to wipe Amelie’s mouth, to put over our shoulders when winding, and to put on top of her mattress to protect the sheet from whatever. I bought most of my muslin squares from Asda for no reason other than they are inexpensive and have pretty patterns.
*Breastfeeding in public never really bothered me, but I still wanted to be as discreet as possible. I made sure that I wore nursing bras with clips, and a vest top underneath whatever top I was wearing. Wearing a vest meant that I could pull up the other top without over-exposing myself. I’d then tie a muslin square to my bra, and simply unclip it.
The very first baby product that I read about was the infamous Sleepyhead Deluxe. There are so many amazing reviews about this mattress, and I wanted to see for myself whether it was worth the hype. I can confirm, it is amazing! The Sleepyhead Deluxe retails for about £120, but the investment is worth every penny. Put it this way – if there was an adult version available, I would have one. The raised edges are very protective as they prevent babies from wriggling their way up the cot and hitting their head (which has always petrified me immensely). It’s also portable which means it’s easy for me to transport Amelie from room to room, or house to house, without having to move an entire cot or Moses basket. I never tried putting Amelie in a Moses basket, so unfortunately I cannot compare how well she sleeps in a Moses basket to how well she sleeps on a Sleepyhead. However, I do know that Amelie seems very content when she’s on her Sleepyhead mattress; and can generally settle herself to sleep at night. The Sleepyhead Grand is on our wish list, ready for when Amelie grows out of the Sleepyhead Deluxe.
Travel System and Isofix Base
When it came to pram shopping, anyone would have thought I was trying to look for a new car… I took it very seriously. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy pushing various prams around Mothercare. I knew from the start that I wanted a travel system (preferably iCandy, but they just seemed so out of budget) as they seemed so convienient. One chassis that is compatible with a car seat, carrycot and stroller seat? Sold! We looked at the Mothercare Orb Pram which is said to be a great dupe for the iCandy, with very similar features but at a much more affordable price. We very nearly bought it until we found a really good deal with the pram we had originally wanted – iCandy Peach Travel System in ‘Truffle’ . I would not only recommend this pram, but I’d recommend travel systems in general – they may be expensive to buy upfront, but they can last for up to 3 years!
Our chassis (with adaptors) is compatible with any of the Maxi-Cosi Car Seats (Cabriofix, Pebble and Pebble Plus), which brings me onto my next must-have – the isofix base. Cyril and I desperately wanted an isofix base as we have a 3-door car, meaning that it could have been a real pain trying to get Amelie in and out of the car in her car seat. The isofix base means that we can simply just click Amelie’s seat in, and a green light flashes to let us know that the seat is safe and secure; without us having to crawl into the back and faff around with strapping her in. What a game changer. However, different car seats are compatible with different bases; so it’s important to do your research beforehand. We chose to purchase the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus which meant that we had to get the Maxi-Cosi 2Way Fix.
Bottle Feeding Prep Machine
Last, but by no means least, is the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine. One of the many reasons I wanted to breastfeed was for the convenience – no washing bottles, no need to buy milk, no need to get out of bed to make a bottle. Bottle feeding sounded like hard work. The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine makes bottle feeding super quick and easy, and I am so glad that we discovered it as it causes very little fuss during night feeds. Here’s how simple it is to make up a bottle with this product:
Using the dial, you can select how many ounces of water you would like. Once you click the button, it will turn red (as shown). It firstly filters the water and then lets off a shot of boiling hot water to help kill any bacteria in the formula milk. You then add the scoops of milk into the bottle. I tend to do one scoop per ounce. So, I put 5 scoops into Amelie’s bottle. You then shake the bottle to mix the boiling water and milk, and then press the button again.
This time, the light will turn green. The remaining water (5oz for Amelie) then pours at body temperature, making it the perfect temperature; hence the name of the product. It’s also important to note that the filter must be changed every 3 months for hygiene purposes.
What are your baby must-haves?