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Friday, October 29, 2021

New Mama & Baby Essentials (Must Have Items)

New Mum and Baby Essentials - What Should You Buy for Your First Baby?

With recommendations from midwives, seasoned mamas and professionals, we've rounded up the best products to buy and must have items for first time or new Mums with our New Mum Essentials Guide. From sleep aids to lactation cookies, swaddles, cot mattresses and more.

When you're pregnant, you're suddenly bombarded with advertisements of all of the products you and your baby need - but the truth is, they only really need a small fraction of those things.

Ask any Mum with a few kids and they'll tell you they had plenty of baby things that only got used once or twice - or maybe never used at all. 

It's the reason Facebook marketplace is always flooded with "like new" baby things and the reason why the baby industry produces so much waste - but what do you really need? 

Whilst I'm pregnant with my first baby, I was a nanny for quite some time and have been chatting with friends, midwives and professionals to put together a list with a few essentials you really should be adding to your list. 

Whether you're planning a baby shower and looking to put together a registry, or just want to know what things you actually need for your bub to be, this guide will provide you with some of our (and our friend's!) top picks.

So let's jump into it! >> 

Must Have Items for Baby
This list includes items for both Mum and bub - but let's start with baby. This list is a mix of essentials and really smart products that are designed to make life safer, easier or more enjoyable with a new babe. 

New Mum Essentials - Cot or Bassinet

1: A Cot and/or Bassinet 
Let's start with the most basic thing. Your babe is going to be doing a lot of sleeping (even if it doesn't feel like that at 3am!) and they're going to need somewhere safe to sleep. 

A cot will work for your baby from birth until they're ready to transition to a toddler or single bed, whilst a bassinet will work for those early weeks before they start rolling and sitting up. 

A lot of mamas think they need both - but you can choose what works best for you. Just be sure to check whatever you choose meets the safety standards in your country. In Australia, there are no safety standards for bassinets, moses baskets or co-sleepers - but there are for cots.

New Mum Essentials - A Safe Cot Mattress

The second essential goes with the first - a safe cot mattress. Whether you buy a bassinet or not, you'll need a cot mattress eventually and it's important that you choose one that meets safety standards.

Whilst you might think the best option would be the softest, fluffiest mattress you can find - it's actually important that your babe is sleeping on a firm mattress for their health and safety. Here are the current SIDS recommendations.

For me, I wanted something that met safety standards, but that would also be allergy friendly (I have dust allergies and it's likely our baby will do too!), washable and breathable - and the Ecosa Cot Mattress was the standout choice!

The mattress comes in a variety of sizes to suit your cot size and is completely washable - from the removable cover right down to the mattress itself - and they have a 100 Night Guarantee so you can return it for a refund if you're not happy. 

A sound machine and night light is definitely something that will make your life (and sleep!) easier and Glow Dreaming has both in one - plus an essential oil diffuser.

The Glow Dreaming is different than your regular sound machine or night light because it uses red light and pink noise. SAY WHAT?!

Don't worry, I wasn't sure what that meant at first either - so let's break it down!

LED Light - The Glow Dreaming uses a red LED light, the same technology NASA uses to stimulate the body's melatonin production so that the body knows it's time to sleep. This also assists with the development of a circadian rhythm - helping your babe to develop a healthy, non-habit forming relationship with sleep.

Pink Noise - We've all heard of white noise, but pink noise is a little bit different. Pink noise enhances the brain activity associated with deep levels of sleep. In addition to improving sleep, it also helps to improve memory, cognitive function and focus.

Essential Oils/Humidifier - Whilst you can't use essential oils for your baby until they're around 8 weeks old, Glow Dreaming's cool mist technology helps to ease breathing, prevent snoring and stop the spread of airborne viruses. Once your bub is a bit older, you can add Glow Dreaming's sleep essential oil blend to create a calming, relaxing environment that will lull them to sleep. 

The team at Glow Dreaming even gave me a discount code, SILBABY so that you can save an extra $10 on the Newborn Premium Pack - currently saving you $49 on the bundle. 

COUPON CODE: SILBABY - $10 off the Newborn Premium Pack

New Mum Essentials - Owlet Smart Sock Plus

4: A Baby Monitor and/or Owlet Smart Sock 
A baby monitor is definitely an essential - but for me, an Owlet Smart Sock was another essential I wanted to add to our list. 

The new Owlet Smart Sock Plus works from newborn to up to 5 years and it provides parents and caregivers with the ultimate peace of mind. 

Think of the Smart Sock a bit like your fitness watch or apple watch - only it's worn on bub's foot. Like your smart watch, it tracks their heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep trends and will send you alerts and tips if something is wrong or could be improved.

If baby's oxygen levels drop in the night, your Owlet station will alert you instantly so that you can check to make sure they're okay - and you can assess their sleep data to see how much sleep they're getting and how good that sleep is. 

For many of my friends, the Owlet Smart Sock provided them with the peace of mind they needed to get a good night's sleep. From mamas worried about oxygen levels after their newborns were sick with RSV or a virus to mamas who had lost babies and needed that extra level of security to put their minds at ease. 

The Smart Sock Plus is now available online from Owlet and comes with a 30 night peace of mind guarantee so you can make sure it's the right fit for your family. 

Baby Monitor Recommendations? There are so many to choose from and all with different pros and cons. We went with the Cubo AI Baby Monitor as we're an Alexa family and I love that the alerts can be set to come through Alexa. I also liked that the Cubo monitor will tell you if baby's face is covered or they turn face down and can also be set up with temperature alerts so you know if the room is too hot/cold. 

5: Baby Origami Double Wrap or Swaddles/Sleep Sacks 
I love swaddling babies - and when I saw the Baby Origami Doublewrap, I thought it was a genius idea. 

You see, whilst I am very confident swaddling babies, Jesse isn't because he's never really had to swaddle babies before. If youy watch the above video, you can see how easy the doublewrap makes swaddling your babe.

The organic cotton Doublewrap™ is designed to help parents and caregivers wrap their baby the same way every time. The two layer design has a fixed inner layer to keep baby securely swaddled, minimising the effects of their ‘startle reflex' and securely wrapping them for a good night's sleep. 

There's no zippers, no fasteners and no fixtures - just two layers of organic fabric and a design that makes it easy to swaddle your babe - and the lovely owner Belinda gave me a code, SIL20 so that you can get 20% off your purchase.

COUPON CODE: SIL20 - 20% off your purchase

New Mum Essentials - V-Tech Baby Toys

6: Baby Toys from VTech 
Do babies need a heap of toys? Absolutely not - but I think it's always a good idea to purchase a few great toys that will keep them entertained and also help with their development. 

We love VTech because their toys aren't just fun, they're functional - designed to assist with coordination, development and learning. 

The Tummy Time Discovery Pillow is definitely a newborn must for us as tummy time is so important - and this pillow makes it fun for even the fussiest baby. Designed to grow with them, the pillow works for those early days as well as when they're sitting up and includes 3 take along toys that you can attach to the pram or bring along with you. 

My Friend Fawn is a sweet comfort toy that includes a pacifier holder, teething toy and soothing nature sounds as well as a soft and cuddly blanket. 

The Snuggle and Cuddle Fox is another fave with its crinkly ears and legs and soft fabrics that provide sensory stimulation and fun phrases, songs and melodies designed to provide auditory stimulation. 

If you're looking for a mobile, VTech's Lullaby Lambs will calm and soothe your baby with over 70+ sounds and songs and built in light projection. This would actually be perfect for over a change table if you have a fussy baby who doesn't like to lay still!

New Mum Essentials - Dreambaby Baby Carrier and Thermometer

7: Dreambaby Carrier and Thermometer
Two essentials to add to the list - a great carrier and an easy to use thermometer to keep in the nursery. 

Dreambaby specialise in products designed for safety - and these two are no different. 

The Oxford Carrier is ergonomically designed to be comfortable and adjustable for both you and baby with three EzyFit carrying styles.

The Non Contact Fever Alert Thermometer is simple to use and makes it easy to quickly learn whether your baby has a fever. Instead of trying to remember temperatures in the middle of the night, the thermometer displays your baby's temperature in green, yellow or red so that you instantly know if there's cause for concern. If they have a fever and alarm will also sound to make sure you know.

Must Have Items for New Mums
Whilst technically these items are for Mum and bub, these are the items that are more focused on you, mama! 

New Mum Essentials - SRC Recovery Shorts

8: SRC Pregnancy Recovery Shorts
This is one of the most talked about items on the pregnancy groups I'm in - and for good reason.

Pregnancy is not easy on a woman's body. Whether you're having a c-section or a natural birth, you've still got recovery time ahead of you and these recovery shorts are highly recommended by medical professionals as well as Mums. 

SRC Recovery Shorts and Leggings have been designed to help with abdominal separation, perineal wounds, c-section recovery and back support and come in three different lengths.

The leggings provide compression support for your legs whilst also supporting your stomach and abdominal muscles.

The shorter knee length shorts also provide some venous return and support your stomach, whilst the mini length is a great option to wear under shorts, skirts and dresses - providing you with full support of your stomach and abdominal muscles without restricting what you can wear. 

Because our babe will be born at the start of summer, I chose the mini shorts so I can wear them under shorts, skirts and dresses as I recover from my c-section. 

Sizing is SO IMPORTANT with these garments and it's important that you're properly fitted. There are size instructions available on the website - and you may also find that your OB or midwife can help you with sizing. My OB and midwife both highly recommended these garments and were happy to provide sizing measurements/advice. 

New Mum Essentials - Storksak and Babymel Nappy Bags

9: Storksak and Babymel Nappy Bags
The nappy bag - it's the one thing you really don't want to leave home without (oh and don't forget the baby!). 

I love Storksak and Babymel's designs and have actually used some of their bags as handbags over the years because they're stylish and so clever. 

For me, I wanted a nappy bag that felt stylish and more like "me" - as well as one that was a bit more gender neutral so Jesse was comfortable carrying it (though he tells me he will proudly carry "my" one as well). I also wanted a handbag style and a backpack style so we could choose what suited what we were doing. 

For our backpack style baby bag, we have the Georgi Eco Convertible Backpack which is made from recycled plastic bottles and features a water resistant/wipe clean fabric, built in wipes pocket, changing mat, multiway straps, stroller straps, insulated bottle pocket and seven internal and external pockets so you have room for all the essentials. 

For "my bag" I went with the Storksak Lyra Bag in black leather. With a handbag style, this stylish bag also includes an insulated bottle pocket, padded changing mat, stroller strap, shoulder strap and long detachable strap, gold hardware, metal feet and six generously sized pockets. 

New Mum Essentials - Gluten Free Lactation Cookies and Glass Baby Bottles

10: Feeding Essentials
This will different for every mama and will depend whether you're breast or bottle feeding.

For breastfeeding mamas, I highly recommend Franjo's Kitchen Tanker Toppers for boosting milk supply. I have multiple mama friends who swear by them - and as one of the few companies who also offer gluten free lactation cookie options, they couldn't be a better choice for me! I have a tin of the chocolate chip tanker topper biscuits and coconut and currant tanker topper biscuits ready to pack in my hospital bag!

The challenge will just be keeping Jesse from eating them.... 😅

For bottle feeding mamas, there are so many bottle choices out there - but one of my faves is Lifefactory's Glass Baby Bottles. They're easy to clean, dishwasher safe, easy to fill and BPA free and come in a variety of sizes with different nipples/bottle tops so the bottle can grow with your babe!

Other Items We've Bought and Best Baby Product Recommendations

Of course these aren't the only things you'll buy for baby - so we thought we'd include some other items we've bought/recommendations we've received that you may also find helpful!
  • Pram/Stroller - We purchased a Babybee Rover (2019 model) after getting so many recommendations from friends/you guys. 
  • Change Table - Instead of a traditional single purpose change table, we bought the IKEA Hemnes Chest of Drawers and Vadra Change Mat. Whilst the Vadra fits perfectly across the Hemnes drawers, my Dad is making a change table tray so we can face the drawers and change bub that way. Stay tuned for our nursery post as I'll be sure to include photos of that there!
  • Baby Nail Care - We bought the Haaka Electric Baby Nail File rather than traditional cutters as it's so much easier, safer and stops bub scratching themselves with those freshly cut nails! I've used it on myself (there are adult files in the set) and it's SO good!
  • My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow - Can you use a regular pillow? Absolutely - but as someone with a shoulder disability and having a c-section, I decided to splurge on the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow as I think it will be really helpful for me (but not for everyone!). I only really find it comfortable to hold a baby on one side (head on my left) because of my shoulder/arm but that doesn't work with breastfeeding so I think the extra support will be excellent. 
  • A Nursing Chair - This wasn't actually a buy as we already had the chair. Rather than buying a rocker or glider, we're using my favourite armchair in the nursery as it's big, comfortable and has plenty of room to rest your head. We looked at gliders and rocking chairs but found most weren't that comfortable or had short backs where you couldn't rest your head - so don't feel like you have to buy a "baby chair".
  • Hiring a Capsule - Instead of buying a car capsule, we're planning on hiring one for 3 months and then extending it or purchasing a convertible car seat. Hiring works out cheaper even if you have 2 kids (3+ it's probably more economical to purchase one) and you then don't need to store it. Outside of COVID times, we are quite social and often not at home so decided the capsule would be great for easily taking bub in and out of the car - especially as it's a capsule that we can fit onto our pram.
  • Baby Shusher - Whilst we have a sound machine for at home, I bought a Baby Shusher for the pram/car/when we're on holidays or at my parents etc as I've used it whilst nannying and photographing babies and it seriously works.
  • Taking Cara Babies - There are SO MANY sleep training programs and sleep guides out there, but Cara's is one of the best. I used it when nannying (6 month+) and have many friends who thank Cara for their sleep so we've just bought the first five months bundle. Sleep training is pretty much impossible until babies are older, but Cara's guides will provide you with tips and advice to get through those first few months whilst beginning to establish healthy sleep habits.
But tell me! 
What are some of your must have Mum/baby items? 
Any recommendations we can add to the list? 


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As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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