(those teeny tiny fingers still make me broody! Throwback to 2015 when they didn’t have mud/food/I’d really prefer not to know what that is on them!)
If you’re pregnant, then you will have undoubtedly read long newborn essentials lists in magazines, that have your bank card running away in fear and you wondering how a teeny tiny baby can need so much stuff!
Truth is, babies don’t need a lot. They are happy if they are close to you, with a full tummy and a clean bottom. Of course there are some things that will make life easier, but don’t rush out spending hundreds on gadgets that ultimately end up languishing in a box. In the days of 24 hour supermarkets and Amazon Prime, if you do suddenly find yourself in desperate need of something, you can have it pretty much instantly (just make sure your other half knows what they are looking for!)
With my first baby, I overspent and overprepared in terms of ‘stuff’ – half of which never got worn or used. Second time round, I felt comparatively neglectful as my daughter was bought a mere smidgeon of what her brother was. But it all had a purpose and it all got used, day in, day out which meant what I had spent money on was worth it.
I’ll be asking other mums what their number 1 baby item was for a follow up blog post soon, but here’s my couldn’t-live-without-them newborn essentials list!
A stretchy wrap/getting oneself to a sling library
Babywearing is not only emotionally and physically beneficial to your baby, but to you and any other caregiver who carries your newborn close to them. That’s even before you get started on the practical benefits, like having your hands free to eat (#priorities).
I used a stretchy wrap second time round, and that’s what most mums who come to me with newborns for sling advice leave with, but it’s not always the right option for everyone. Book yourself a sling consultation or pop along to your local sling library to eat cake, peruse the array of baby carriers and see what’s going to work for you and your baby best. You’ll be glad you did when you the overwhelming power of sling sleepy dust lulls your screaming newborn in to the deepest sleep, so you can sniff his/her head uninterrupted while binge watching Love Island/Scandal/trashy tv show of your choice
You can find your local consultant or library here.
When it comes to muslins, size really does matter, and you want them to be as big as possible. The bigger, the better – they are perfect for mopping up milk, using as a comforter, a blanket, a changing mat, mopping sweat from your brow….you name it, your massive muslin can do it. Anais + Anais are the big mama’s of muslins, but I also got some cheaper versions off Amazon which were just as good. The best thing about them is that the more you use and wash them, the softer they get!
A mummy tribe/support circle
Without spending a penny, one of the most important things you can do in your pregnancy is preparing your support network for before baby comes. Antenatal classes are the obvious place to start, but you might also have a local pregnancy support group run by the Positive Birth Movement or NCT that will be ripe with women in the same boat, looking to connect. If you find striking up a conversation to strangers in person a bit awkward, then get online and see what’s out there for mums locally (and nationally!) With the likes of the Mush app, local mum Facebook groups, mumsnet/babycentre due date groups (I’m still chatting to baby forum friends I made many years ago!), Positive Birth Movement groups, babywearing groups, Home Birth chat groups and breastfeeding groups, there are a whole wealth of women ready and happy to chat, no matter how silly you think your questions are, and no matter what time of day/night.
(If you are in the Grampian area, the clickable links take you to our local groups)
An insulated, lidded mug
Because if you want to drink a hot cuppa some time in the first 3 years of your child’s life, then this is the only way. I love this one, available from SONA Mum.
A co-sleeping cot
Especially second time round having had a c section, I couldn’t have coped without my cosleeping cot, Being able to have baby right next to me, while still retaining a little of my personal sleeping space for at least a small portion of the night (yet still being able to see, touch and smell them) was a godsend. They are also bigger than a Moses basket, but often smaller than a normal cot. So for those who are tight on bedroom space, but want to adhere to the recommendations regarding safe sleep and keeping baby in your room for 6 months at least, then these are a perfect solution. We used the babybay but I know the snuzpod is also a very popular option, along with the Chicco Next2Me
Do any of my 5 newborn essentials feature on your to-do/get list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!