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Saturday, April 16, 2022

Newborn Essentials We Used Daily

Newborn Essentials We Used Daily - Best Products for a New Baby

As a new Mum, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all the products you MUST buy... but what do you really use when you have a newborn?

With Jensen now four and a half months old, we know exactly what we did and didn't use in those early days - as well as what we're continuing to use now - so with so many of you expecting your own little ones, I wanted to share our newborn essentials to help you get a better idea of what you'll use, what you won't use and what we recommend.

Here's what we've been using daily! >> 

Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker
  • Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker
Every time I put a photo of this chair on my Instagram story, I get so many questions and link requests – and it keeps selling out every time it comes back in stock and I share the link. (It is on there currently, but far more expensive. We only paid around $69 for each of our chairs).

This chair is Jensen’s favourite and is used so much we even bought a second for my parents house.

We have a swing which he also loves, however, I wanted a chair that he could sit in to play with toys or sit in whilst we gave him his reflux meds or ate a meal. I even use it so I can keep him close by if I have to have a shower whilst Jesse is at work or out of the house. 

Best of all? It can be used until your little one is 18 kg and converts to a toddler chair – so I know it’s something that will get long term use. 

Here is the AU link (currently available) and here is the US/International link for the chair.

  • Cubo AI Baby Monitor
We LOVE our Cubo baby monitor. We’re an Alexa family and have a few Alexa shows around the house that are always showing Jensen when he’s asleep in his crib.

I love that if I need to go and put some laundry out whilst Jensen is napping I can just open the app on my phone or put background audio on in case he wakes – or when I hear him in the middle of the night I can quickly check my phone and see what he’s up to. 

The roll over and face covering alerts have been SO good for us because Jensen decided he wanted to start rolling at 8 weeks. Because we thought rolling was a long way off, we were using a blanket tucked tightly at the end of the bed to keep his legs snug – but one morning. I was awoken by the face covering alert to find my 8 week old baby had wriggled and rolled himself under the muslin wrap that was covering his legs. 

Without it, who knows how many hours he might have been under there! From there we no longer swaddled him or had a blanket in the crib – but the Cubo rollover and face covering alerts were still essential as our little roller navigated his newfound skill – and often found himself on his tummy. 

  • Portable Change Mat 
Whilst we have the change table top on the dresser in Jensen’s room, that’s not the only place we change his nappy. 

We keep a basket tucked under our coffee table (it is supposed to go in the buffet unit but we change so many nappies it pretty much always stays out) with a portable change mat, nappies, wipes and nappy cream so we can quickly change Jensen downstairs.

We have a bunch because all of our nappy bags came with one, however, you can also pick up a travel change mat really cheap on Amazon!

Cosy Nest Infant Lounger
  • Cosy Nest
Now that Jensen’s older, he is awake for longer between feeds and naps – which means I often have things I need to do whilst he is awake. The Cosy Nest Baby Nest stays in our kitchen/dining room because Jensen loves laying on it and chatting to us or playing with his toys while we’re busy cooking dinner or cleaning. 

It is super cosy and the padded sides mean our little roller stays put! It’s also really easy to take with us to friends houses and is perfect for tummy time. 

Jensen has never taken a nap in it, but I wish I had have had it in those early newborn weeks as it would have been so convenient to lay him in it for a nap whilst we were watching tv in the loungeroom or when I was working in the office. New mamas, do what I didn’t and add this to your gift registry as it will be so well used!

Kmart Play Gym and Link Toys
  • Kmart Play Gym and Link Toys
Jensen LOVES hitting and kicking his toys with this play gym. We’ll use it when he’s in the cosy nest or his rocker chair and use the link toys to attach his favourite toys. 

I’ve also tied some ribbons to two of the link rings and it’s such a simple sensory toy. He loves waving them around or running the ribbons over his fingers.

He’ll also play with a bunch of the rings linked together, pulling them, stretching his arms out, chewing on them – you name it. A great budget friendly toy! 

Baby High Contrast Toys

But his favourite way to play with them? Definitely kicking these wind chime toys (also available in the US!) in his chair.

  • Baby Bum Brush 
When my Mum first saw this baby bum brush (we actually got ours from Amazon US as it was cheaper), she thought I was crazy… and then Jensen was born and she thinks it’s a genius idea.

Whenever I was nannying, I hated putting nappy rash cream on babies because I hated how it would coat your fingers and it felt like you could never get it all the way off. It would get stuck under your nails or just left a greasy feeling. 

The bumco baby bum brush makes putting on nappy cream so easy and mess free. We have the full-sized ones and the travel one in the nappy bag. Seriously. BUY ONE! We’ve sold so many friends on it already – and if your little one gets nappy rash, it actually makes it less painful to apply cream as it’s quicker and smoother.

  • Shnuggle Bath 
This is one you could totally skip, but I find it is so much easier to bathe Jensen in this Shnuggle baby bath than in our bath tub. We’re still bathing him on the kitchen bench of an evening and he loves his Shnuggle Bath (also available in the US). Now his head control is so good he sits up like a big boy and really doesn’t even need our hands there supporting him (but we still do – especially now he’s discovered how fun it is to splash in the bath).

  • Monti and Me High Contrast Cards
Jensen has always LOVED these Monti and Me high contrast cards - and honestly, I think it's one of the reasons why he has always loved tummy time! We started using them with him from when we first brought him home and still use them today!

The Self Standing Black and White Contrast Cards are only $19 and I cannot recommend them enough! Now that Jensen is older, he'll sit and "chat" to the baby on the cards for ages and thinks the prints are all so fascinating.
  • V-Tech Tummy Time Discovery Pillow
I also think this pillow has a lot to do with how much he loves tummy time! When he was really little, it made it so easy to prop him up so he could practice using those muscles.

Now he’s bigger, he doesn’t need the pillow as he can push himself up on his arms all the way, however, he actually loves to just lay on his tummy and use his arms to play with his toys – or will lay on his back on the pillow while I read him a story. Now that he’s practicing sitting, we use it around his tummy to give him some extra support.

Available on Amazon AU or Amazon US!

  • V-Tech and LeapFrog Baby Toys
Whilst Jensen has always loved his tummy time pillow, he’s recently become SO interested in toys. From about 6 weeks old, he loved his My Friend Fawn (this is his pram toy that he will fall asleep snuggling) and Snuggle and Cuddle Fox, but once he hit about 10 weeks he was super interested in his Learn & Groove Caterpillar Drums (perfect for tummy time because he’ll prop himself up for ages just watching the lights and listening to the music and now he’s starting to practice sitting he loves sitting up and hitting the drums) and in the last couple of weeks he’s become a bit of a racing fan with his Grip and Go Steering Wheel.

Bonus! Mama Essentials
It’s not all about baby (though, it is a lot about baby). Here are some things I’ve found really helpful over the last few months. 
I used to use BB cream on days where I wanted a little extra glow but didn’t want to wear makeup, but I’ve recently discovered Ultra Violette’s range and their Dream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil is a time poor mama must have! I love the coverage and the fact that it doesn’t go oily or patchy, just gives a natural glow and extra sun protection. It’s been touted as the best sunscreen for fair skin, due to its high SPF and great colour range – but I find the V4 is perfect for my olive skin! 

  • Multicooker/Pressure Cooker
I'm usually not a "cook in an appliance" kinda gal (I like to cook on the stove or oven), but we have been cooking dinner in this 11 in 1 Multicooker at least 3 nights a week and it makes it SO easy to cook a delicious meal without fuss. 

Our go-to is chicken. I’ll grab two chicken breasts, marinate them and pop them into the freezer and then when I am ready to cook dinner, add them frozen to the multicooker, add ¼ cup of stock and pop the multicooker on for 30 mins, then shred the chicken, reduce the sauce and serve it up with a side. We’ll then eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. 

It works exactly the same as an Instant pot.

Need some recipe inspiration? This week we made Ginger Garlic Chicken and added the following ingredients to 2 chicken breasts (then followed what I said above) – 1 tbsp minced ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup gluten free soy sauce, ½ cup chicken stock, 1 tsp sesame oil. Add some green beans, pop onto saute mode and cook until the green beans are soft, thicken with a bit of cornflour and serve over rice. Yum!

  • Cropped Jumpers
It’s getting cooler in Sydney now that we’re in Autumn and as I’m still breastfeeding, I’ve been wearing allll the cropped jumpers. They look cute and are so easy to feed in! 

Fellow breastfeeding mamas, feel free to share your winter outfit suggestions with me because I am all ears!

What we didn't use
So what didn't we use in those newborn days? 
  • Breastfeeding pillow after those initial couple of weeks. Whilst I loved the breastfeeding pillow in those early days when Jensen was so floppy and fragile and we were both trying to figure out the whole thing - but I quickly became confident with breastfeeding and no longer needed the pillow. In hindsight, I definitely could have just used an elbow/u shaped pillow instead.
  • Bibs we didn't use until recently because we just didn't need them. 
  • Hats we didn't use because Jensen's head was way too small. So many of his newborn hats still don't fit 😅
  • A diaper/nappy disposal system. We never bought one because I knew it wasn't necessary. Instead we use nappy bags and a regular bin.
  • Peepee teepes. Lots of people recommended these because we were having a boy. Whilst Jensen did like to pee on daddy a lot, we just used little wash cloths instead to cover the water pistol 😂


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