Top 10 Newborn Essentials

I have been in the newborn bubble for ten weeks and I am LOVING every second! Our baby girl came into this world on the 15th July and we have been in the haze of nappy changes, breastfeeding and endless cuddles for a couple of months now which has initiated us quickly, but firmly, into the parenting world. With a little time for reflection, I wanted to pen this blog post to share my must-have essentials for every new parent. 

1. Snuzpod3 Bedside Crib

If you tell me I don't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to feed my baby, I'm sold! This bedside crib is harnessed onto the bed for safety and has an optional fourth wall that can be unzipped so you can peek into your sleeping (you hope) baby in the night. It makes the transfer from crib to boob seamless.

2. Newborn Swaddle

You've got enough to learn being a new parent and swaddling is, let's be honest, a faff! Enter this marvellous hack: velcro swaddles. Ryan bought this 24 hours after we came home and no longer had the midwives on hand to help with the technique. Even though Evie is growing rapidly she still fits into this newborn swaddle at ten weeks old (and 6kg!). She tends to kick her legs out of the bottom section now but loves to have her arms swaddled which helps avoid the startle reflex from waking her up. It's super quick and easy to wrap her up and put her down for the night and provides easy access when she wakes me up at 4am for another feed. 

3. Zipped Sleepsuits

Game. Changer. Poppers are your arch-nemesis when you're on your umpteenth nappy change of the night, utterly bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived. The zip is by no means a new invention but it amazes me how many baby clothes are still fastened with a gazillion poppers! Just make your life easy and purchase as many of these zipped sleep suits as you can. This will be what I buy all new parents in the future!

4. Ewan the Dream Sheep | White Noise Machine

Your baby's best friend (after you). Recreating the noisy sounds that your baby has been used to in the womb (fun fact: it's as loud as a lawnmower in there!), this white noise toy plays different tracks to soothe your baby to sleep. Our favourite track is the heartbeat and it works like magic on me too! We also have a Bennie the Bear that lives in the car and I've been recommended Ollie the Owl by other parents depending on your animal preferences!

5. Seraphine Skin to Skin Top

I credit this skin-to-skin top for helping establish such a good milk supply. In the early days I knew that skin to skin contact with my baby was super important for bonding and encouraging breastfeeding. While a purpose-made top may not be an essential purchase for many, it offered me a bit of dignity (i.e. my boobs were actually concealed from the masses) without compromising that closeness with my baby. I spent the whole of day three in this top with Evie laying on my chest and by the evening my milk had come in. I still wear this top to date even though Evie has grown so much as it's lovely to be able to keep her tucked in close to me. Seraphine offers lots of different designs, though I think one is enough unless you get unlucky with an exploding nappy!

6. Baby Tracker App

It's free and it's a life-saver. Those newborn days really are a haze of feeding and nappy changes, feeding and nappy changes, oh and grabbing moments of sleep whenever you can. Suffice to say you're not on your best form for keeping count with feeds, changes and naps. When your midwife, GP or Health Visitor asks you how many dirty nappies or how long between feeds, this app collects all this information so you have it at your fingertips. After ten days of keeping a hand-written log, this app took all the stress out of tracking! 

 

7. Placenta Encapsulation by Placenta Practice

A controversial one and it has certainly raised eyebrows amongst my friends and family, but I am a big endorser of placenta encapsulation. I had read many reviews online from second-time mothers saying they had been amazed by the result and wished they had tried it with their first baby that I didn't want to have the same story, so I signed up a couple of months before my due date. I figured I had grown this organ myself, and I'd be damned if it was going to get chucked away in a bin somewhere. While the benefits may be too wooly for some, I was happy to pay even for a placebo effect if it helped my mood and energy levels post-delivery. As I ended up having an emergency c-section and losing a considerable amount of blood, I honestly credit taking these placenta capsules with how I was able to feel so positive and happy despite my physical recovery from surgery being a tough one mixed with sleep deprivation. I used Placenta Practice - the UK's first government recognised specialist - and opted for the Simple and Traditional Chinese capsules. It's quite a commitment logistically given it has to be stored correctly so bear that in mind and expect raised eyebrows from the hospital staff but it is worth the hassle (big thanks to my mum who kept it in her fridge while waiting for the courier to arrive!). I will definitely do this again if I grow any placentas in the future!

8. Elvie Breast Pump

If you're reading this blog post, you've probably also been targeted by Elvie's digital advertising too. This relatively new fem-tech brand are bringing to market some pretty impressive products and having invested in the pelvic floor trainer (thank goodness, my baby weighed over 9lb!), I had my eye on this wireless breast pump. However, the price tag is something to make your eyes water to the point I was put off. Very kindly a friend of mine had lent me a different (but still very reputable) breast pump which she no longer used BUT within minutes of opening the box it had sent my husband into a tailspin. In his utter exhaustion and following a long weekend grappling with the minefield that is sterilisation, he took one look at all the wires and promptly ordered the Elvie breast pump for me. HALLELUJAH! It's a revelation!! Super discreet and tiny enough to slip into my maternity bra, it can be controlled via an app where you can set a timer or manually on the pump itself. I pump from one side as I feed from the other or, better yet, while I walk around the house doing whatever the hell I want because I have both hands free while I'm expressing up to 140ml per bottle. Love, love, LOVE!

9. Tommee Tippee GroEgg Digital Room Thermometer

If there's one topic of conversation new parents love to hate, it's what to dress their baby in to sleep. Thank goodness for the GroEgg which displays a digital temperature and changes colour accordingly so you can switch up those layers to ensure your little one stays aptly snug. Given we had a summer baby and a heat wave landed not long after we arrived home, this little device played a very important role. Though I will add that the 'red' colour does scare the pants off you even though it can be 0.1 degree warmer than the recommended sleeping temperature (16-20 degrees Celsius). However, a handy guide none-the-less.

10. Cybex Car Seat

I'm ending on a biggy but, frankly, the most important newborn essential. Seeing as you can't leave the hospital without one, a car seat is a very important pre-birth purchase. My husband and I did a lot of research and ended up going with the industry leader; the Cybex Cloud Z iSize Baby Car Seat in Deep Black.  It fits an ISOfix base and adapts as your child grows so has longevity which helps justify the price tag. The biggest selling point - aside from its safety, of course - is that it can be changed to a lie-flat position outside of the car so you can leave your sleeping baby to snooze comfortably. And that, dear reader, is invaluable!

COMING SOON: I'll be sharing more of my breastfeeding journey and the items that made it possible to exclusively breastfeed.

Please let me know in the comments section if there's any newborn essentials that you couldn't live without?

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