When you’re pregnant the list of things that you need to buy for your future little bundle of joy is endless. We tried to limit it to the “essentials” and even then, this resulted in mammoth shopping trips and an endless amount of research trying to identify what we needed!
My list below doesn’t concentrate on things like a pram or crib but those things which I have found super helpful with Rishi in my first three months as a mum and to be honest, things that I didn’t even think of before he was born.
- A Mirror: Rishi likes mirrors. A lot. When I was walking around with him in the early days he always calmed down when we walked by the mirrored back to our oven. This was an absolute saviour and if he’s having a melt down it can really help. My trick now is to have a mirror to hand wherever I am! I have a mirror for the car (in the form of a peak-a-boo wooden book), a mirror shaped like a crab for bathtime and a travel toy with a mirror. As soon as he catches a glimpse of himself, he transforms from a screaming nightmare to a little angel. It really works!
- Shnuggle Baby Bath: we didn’t give much thought to baby baths beforehand and stumbled across this brand in John Lewis. This is a self-contained little bath which means you don’t have to lean over into a bathtub (which I imagine is not comfortable with a C-section). There’s a little ledge inside the bath which means you can prop the baby to sit up (so no need to worry about them falling down the bath). Rishi disliked bath time at first (it was not the relaxing bubble-fuelled experience I had dreamt of) but after a while (when I say a while, I mean 5 or 6 ear-piercing screaming hissy fits) he started to love it. Shnuggle have lots of amazing products and if I had known about them before I would have got the changing mat aswell!
- Insulated mug: one of my favourite mummy hacks. Two things you need to know about me, I love coffee (but only decaf at the mo) AND I like it hot!. After Rishi, I kept finding I would make my coffee and then there will be a job I’ve forgotten or Rishi needs me and suddenly its 20 minutes later and I have a stone cold coffee…and if by some miracle I am able to drink my coffee as soon as its ready, I find myself trying to feed Rishi with a boiling hot drink. So this insulated mug is essential. It means I can enjoy a hot drink knowing that Rishi is safe. I keep a couple spare for visitors just in case!
- A starlight: Rishi loves this so much I am considering buying another in case the first one ever breaks down. When Rishi started to show signs of getting tired at the same time each night I wanted to create an element of familiarity for his bedtime routine – the starlight gave us this. We pop the stars on just before his final night time feed. It’s totally distracting and seems to calm him. There’s a few settings on the one I purchased but I’d recommend not using the blue light at bedtime as this can be stimulating so we use the white and red lights which seem to work.
- My sling: a good friend lent me her sling. I was keen on one which was easy to use and didn’t involve me using an instruction manual to put it on each time. Rishi, like most babies, likes a cuddle and needs to be kept upright for a wee while after each feed after he had shown some signs of colic. The sling was a massive help all round. It meant I could do jobs around the house and generally move around and keep myself sane which anyone with a colicky baby will understand. I’m not 100% sure how I’ll cope when he gets heavier but I will probably use the baby carrier which my husband has grown attached to (and makes him apparently feel like a “real dad”!)
- The Sleepyhead: Again, we were fortunate enough to have a loan of this. I know to buy it’s super expensive and if your baby doesn’t like it, it’s a lot of money to waste but if there’s a way you can try a friends or you’re happy to purchase one second hand, I would really recommend it. Rishi didn’t take to swaddling, but he liked to feel something close to him so the sleepyhead is just perfect for him to sleep/nap in. It’s also a great thing to take to other people’s houses for them to nap on!
- Infacol: this was a baby shower gift (x2) from two recent mums. I had no idea what it was but it has become a product which we carry with us at all times. Infacol helps with colic and releasing wind after a feed. For Rishi, Infacol made a real difference; all of a sudden he was burping like an adult after each feed. It can be given from birth and has orange flavouring so Rishi seemed to actually like it! One thing to say is that doctors views on the product vary and it’s not for prolonged use. Some mention that it can make babies constipated but we have not experienced this issue!
- Ewan the sheep (or any white noise machine): this was another baby shower gift. First few times I thought it made no difference (but that was in that early stage where I thought I would never sleep again). Now, it’s invaluable and I actually find it really relaxing to have on myself. I think the sheep works well as it only plays for a 20min period and then automatically switches itself off (so not something that continues through the night) and it has the option to have sound or a light or both. There are lots of options for white noise machines so I think it’s just finding something that suits your needs and budget!
- Amazon Prime: In short, Amazon Prime has saved me! No matter what shopping you do prior to the baby arriving there will always be something you have forgotten. For us it was a spare set of sheets for the Snuzpod and a waterproof mattress cover. On our first day at home we were still getting used to … well … everything (and not just for the first week) and we had a few bed-time mishaps which led to wet sheets and a very unhappy baby. Fast forward a few days and with the help of super fast deliveries we were all sorted.
- Bouncer: at first it seemed like our little man hated the bouncer but as I have discovered with most baby related items. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Now he seems to quite enjoy his time in the bouncer. I don’t think you need a specific one, just one that suits your budget. We have ended up buying two – one for downstairs and one for upstairs (we grabbed the second one on Facebook Marketplace for £7 (a steal and the marketplace is a fab way to find great baby items)). Grabbing a second one meant I wasn’t carrying the bouncer up and down the stairs. I use a bouncer upstairs for while I’m getting dressed or languishing in the shower for 60seconds.