Newborn Essentials

It can be quite overwhelming planning for your new arrival. The baby market is bursting with items, and it's all too easy to start thinking you need absolutely everything! Here are the items that we relied on in the first few months after Henry's arrival...

Izziwotnot Gift White Wicker Moses Basket
When I pictured my ideal moses basket, I envisioned something beautiful and fresh looking. The Izziwotnot White Wicker moses basket is exactly that - classic in style, long lasting and with an heirloom quality. The white cotton hood paired with the leather straps and soft waffle of the coverlet looks timeless and elegant, and the neutral colour means it can be used for both little boys and girls.

What particularly drew me to the Izziwotnot moses basket was the wicker. Not only does it look lovely, but most other moses baskets available seem to be made from a corn husk material, which doesn't seem to hold the shape too well. The Izziwotnot basket has a solid structure, which gives good sturdy support, especially when paired with the stand. We knew Henry would be safe tucked up in this basket, and his back would be supported and straight at all times. The basket also includes a wipe clean foam mattress, with a sealed waterproof PEVA cover which can easily be wiped clean, and an adorable little soft toy.

Kiddopotamus Swaddle
In the early weeks, we tried Henry with blankets, a sleeping bag and the Kiddopotamus swaddle - and it was the swaddle which gave him the most settled sleep. Henry would often be laid down in his moses basket asleep, and a few seconds later his startle reflex would wake him up, so a swaddle kept him feeling safe and secure. This one is made of micro fleece so it kept him lovely and snug during the cold winter nights, and he looked like a cute little parcel in it! It's easy to wrap baby in this swaddle as there are velcro tabs so it won't come loose, and it enables you to change nappies without taking the whole thing off. This swaddle was also helpful on the occasions when Henry would scream and scream inconsolably. Wrapping him up in it calmed him down and enabled us to rock him to sleep.

Ubbi Nappy Pail
Some kind of nappy bin is an essential for any nursery with the thousands of nappy changes which will be taking place. I looked around and they were all ugly plastic things,  often needing special cartridges which are quite costly. Then I discovered the Ubbi Nappy Pail. Available in a gorgeous array of colours, from pastels to primary shades, and made from coated steel - it looks incredible - something I thought I would never say about a nappy bin! It's simple to use, easy to clean, and can be used with any tall bin bag, so there's no need to buy expensive refills. It holds a lot of nappies, which is a small saviour in the newborn days when you're getting through more nappies than you ever thought possible. The rubber seal is really effective at preventing odours from escaping and it even features a child proof lock, so mischievous toddlers won't be able to open it up and cause havoc with dirty nappies!

Every parent is advised to use cotton wool and cooled boiled water on baby's delicate skin in the first few weeks. We attempted this and realised it just wasn't practical - I don't think anyone has time for cooled boiled water at 3am when your little one has just had a nappy explosion! WaterWipes claim to be the world's purest baby wipes, made up of 99.9% purified water and 0.1% fruit extract. We've used these since Henry was a newborn and he has had no reaction to them, despite having sensitive skin and suffering from eczema. We buy them in bulk from Amazon which seems the easiest way to ensure we always have some on hand.

My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow
After researching a few nursing pillows, I came across 'My Brest Friend,' which seemed to be the best of the bunch. Unlike others, it wraps all the way around the waist, giving back support as well as a place to rest your arm and baby. These are pretty pricey at £45, so I headed to eBay and bought a second hand one for around £15. Using the pillow made breastfeeding Henry so much more comfortable and stopped the backache I experienced when I tried to feed him with no support. It was especially useful during the many night feeds when I could quickly and easily clip it around my waist, so I didn't need to keep Henry waiting whilst I propped pillows all around me. The cover is removable and washable, and also has a little elasticated pocket on the side, which is a great feature for keeping any essentials like Infacol, lip balm or a muslin nearby.

Cloud B Sleep Sheep
White noise is often suggested as a sure-fire way to soothe a baby. I had a look around, and although Ewan the Dream Sheep had excellent reviews, I wanted something more neutral, so I opted for the Cloud B Sleep Sheep instead. This cute little lamb has 4 sounds and two timer options - 23 minutes and 45 minutes. The sound machine which is tucked inside can be removed, so when Henry is older we can take it out and he can use it as a cuddly toy. We opted for the 'On the Go' version, which is smaller and easier to transport. Most of the time this stays velcroed to Henry's crib, but we've also attached it to his car seat and taken it with us to his Granny and Grandpa's house to use alongside an unfamiliar travel cot. There have been so many times when we've reached over to switch this on when Henry has woken in the night and it's settled him back to sleep. I have to admit, Matt and I also enjoy the soothing sounds of waves as we drift off!

Baby Connect App
This app has been so helpful and I can see myself using it for many more months to come. It enables you to log everything to do with your baby - feeds, sleeps, nappies, weight etc. It was so useful in the exhausting newborn days when the sleep deprivation meant I couldn't remember which breast Henry last fed from, or when. It also proved invaluable when we needed to know the number (and consistency!) of dirty nappies that Henry was having when we on the road to diagnosing his cow's milk protein intolerance and reflux. If I didn't have this app, I wouldn't have been able to answer the questions about how often Henry was feeding, or how long the feeds were. It was also handy when we started to introduce a rough routine, as we could see any sleep and feeding patterns emerging. Well worth the £2.99 it costs, I highly recommend it to all parents!

What have been your newborn essentials?

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