One of my favourite things to read when I was pregnant, and something that helped a great deal when I was buying items for Rosie were blog posts about new mum essentials so I thought I would put my own list together to try and help any new mums out there.
Once the initial disbelief wore off that, yes we do actually now have a baby, and crap - our lives really are never going to be the same we have spent the first few weeks of having a child learning what works and what doesn't. We are very much trying to figure each other out at the moment. For the most part I have been incredibly lucky and she is a dream (I've heard the first one can be to lull you in to a false sense of security so you have a second!) but there are definitely some things that have helped when it comes to looking after her, especially in the first few weeks.
This is a recent purchase as she has only just started sleeping on her front on my chest but I am already so pleased I picked one up. It is already so much easier to get things done around the house and now that I am out of my two week bed rest period and my C Section scar is feeling much better I am ready to start helping with the housework again. Much easier when I can have both hands free, although I was enjoying learning what I could do with one hand, my biggest achievement to date being slicing a bagel in half. I got my sling from Amazon (you can find it here) based on reviews, and I have been really pleased with it. It's easy to put on, I love that it's in a neutral grey and it feels sturdy.
I cannot get enough of them, I'm so glad I listened to advice and bought hundreds. I thought at the time I was being crazy and it was too many but honestly I don't think you could ever have too many. We keep a stash in every room in the house and I'm learning very quickly that I need to have one on me at all times. They are perfect for dabbing her mouth with after a feed, using as an alternative to nipple pads and the obvious - as a cover when burping. You can't go wrong with picking up more than you think you need.
What a nightmare I had trying to find clothes for her in the beginning. She'd be crying, I'd be flinging bits everywhere and frantically checking labels for the right size, especially as she was a bit smaller.
Top tip: they make clothes slightly roomier than the label actually says so pick up a few smaller bits, Rosie was 7lb 1oz and she is still wearing Tiny Baby (7lbs) baby grows 3 weeks in.
Belo and Me were kind enough to send me some of their dividers and I cannot thank them enough because it's made such a difference to our mornings. I can now find what I'm looking for and although she still hates having her nappy changed and getting dressed at least I'm less stressed because of it. They do lots of different styles of wardrobe dividers and storage box labels to suit baby's (read: your) style. You can have a look at all the different designs here.
Baby Bath + Themometer
This item was on some people's yes list and some people's regret list but I went with my instinct and picked up a baby bath because why make things more difficult for yourself? Rosie doesn't hate bath time, but she doesn't love it either. What I do know is that it's made infinetly easier by having both hands free to actually wash her rather than trying to hold a slippery wriggly baby with one hand whilst washing with the other. It just makes sense.
One thing I didn't buy because I'd heard they were a waste of time was a themometer but my mother in law included one in the lovely hamper she put together for Rosalind's birth and dear lord I am thankful for it. I feel SO much better knowing the exact temperature the water is before I pop her in, it's just a load of my mind especially as I prefer my own baths on the hot side so I'd have found it hard to judge.
Here's a fun fact: Rosie HATES being blankets to sleep under, she just kicks them off. Not so great when you are trying to get a sleeping baby down and she's waking herself up every time she moves. I'd thought ahead and bought a grobag just in case and what a game changer it is. I just pop her in her bag and she sleeps. She can't kick it off, I'm happy because I know she can't slip down inside, and it keeps her warm and secure through the night. I'm just waiting for the next sale season so I can buy lots more, as the only downside is they seem quite expensive for what they are. Might be time to get Granny on the sewing machine for me...
Plural. We have one upstairs and one downstairs, plus her travel mat. It's a well known fact that babies are very good at filling lots of nappies and they weren't wrong. I'm glad we got a changing table/chest fo drawer combo because in reality we don't tend to change her on the changing table, it's normally done on the floor. Reasons for this are that I can't be bothered to go upstairs and change her when I've got a mat in the living room and at night she's already in our room so again - easier to change on the floor. I'm sure once she's older and in her own room I will make more use of it but for now multiple mats helps the lazy mum in me.
Of course, these are all items that have worked for Rosalind and I, and might not necessarily work with you and your baby but it will give you an idea of what to consider. Because I did a fair amount of research, we have also managed to avoid buying items that we haven't used saving money which I'm grateful for. Something I am guilty of though is buying things a bit too early - such as her monitor - she's always wherever we are so there isn't much use for that yet. Still I am the kind of person who has to have everything that minute, so there was no way I was going to hold back on some bits when shopping.
I have probably forgotten to add something to this list, my brain is definitely not what it used to be, but it's a small price to pay for her. Do let me know if you have any essentials you think I might find useful.
This post is sponsored by Belo and Me but all opinions are my own.