Thursday, 29 September 2016

"These are a few of my (newborn) favourite things..."

It's been almost six months since our second little one arrived on the scene and I feel wiser when it comes to which items made our lives easier in those sleep deprived months and those that are more than likely to just be a trip hazard! So, you know what's coming, I thought it was about time I did a round-up of the things you might think twice about spending the money on but are really worth every penny. Settle down with a cup of tea for this one as, although I tried to be as concise as possible, there's still a fair amount to read.

Sleep's pretty essential isn't it? And for you to get sleep, you need your baby to sleep so it's not worth cutting corners when it comes to what you invest in here. We swore by two items: Shnuggle's moses basket and cocoonababy by Red Castle which we alternated between. We bought our moses basket from Mothercare, but I can't find it online so I've added the link to John Lewis and we were sent the cocoonababy to review, but here's the link to it on Mothercare's website
I was keen to buy the moses basket with our first and really should have, but wasn't sure whether I was drawn to it for the aesthetic and my love of grey, or whether it really was worth it. It is. It's silent, you can clean it easily (so no dust mites and other nasties), it's got the longest base of any basket I could find so your LO can use it for longer, plus it really is very pretty. I made the mistake of buying a stand online as the ones I really wanted were out of stock and although it's fine, I really would stick to one that rocks from side to side rather than end to end. My thinking was that it would be safer with an inquisitive toddler around, but sideways rocking really is better.

I hadn't heard of cocoonababy when we had our first, but it's now one of those products that we rave about whenever we get the chance and for my husband to rave about it, it must be good! You might be wondering why you should bother. I thought the same: I've got a moses basket and that will do me fine, but the cocoonababy really is a game-changer. I'm not sure I can put it as well as the brand can themselves, but it essentially makes your baby feel safer and reassured because of the semi-foetal position and tummy band. The shape of the mattress helps reduce reflux and something called the Moro reflex. The name might not be familiar so think of that startled awakening when your bubba throws their arms out in panic and that's the Moro reflex. Plus, the material it's made of helps limit flat head syndrome which is increasingly common with the back to sleep campaign and, reassuringly, the design means you can see your baby's face at a glance. It really did deliver on every promise and our LO slept longer in it than anything else.

Whether you bottle feed from the start or switch when the time suits, feeding is a pretty significant part of your day and having a bottle ready to go is key to preventing your sweet little angel howling like they've never been fed before. I wish I'd bothered with the perfect prep machine by Tommee Tippee first time around, but I didn't. I thought it was a gimmick and something that would take up valuable workspace. I was wrong. In fact, I didn't bother with it this time around until one of my besties thrust it into my hands when we were leaving her house claiming it was 'the dream' with a look on her face that questioned how we'd made it this far without it. So ours is a borrowed one, but don't let that take away from the fact that, if we go for baby number three or when we have to hand the perfect prep back, we will definitely be adding one to our shopping list. All you really need to know is that it makes up bottles in under two minutes that are good to go, as in at the perfect temperature. No more boiling the kettle or waiting for the scalding hot milk to reach the right temperature.

Getting out and about with a newborn is pretty difficult right? Well, with two it's like a military operation: perfectly do-able, but requiring some serious planning. Yet again, we should have bought the Bugaboo donkey first time around, but we opted for the cameleon. Both are brilliant and we are fully fledged members of the Bugaboo fan club in our house, but you need the donkey when you have  two under two. It's affectionately known as the doo-blay in our house. On the days when we go pram free or revert to the cameleon, we also swear by Babybjörn's carrier one. Ours is a gorgeous coral colour that we were sent from a limited edition range but you can get it in lots of lovely other colours. It's perfect for taking to play groups, days out, family parties and around the house when you're bubba needs soothing but you need to be on the move.

Playtime is pretty straightforward for babies really. Tummy time or time spent on a play mat is great and we relied on our Mothercare playmat (similar) once more. It's cosy and interactive and I wish they made one for adults! To get your LO more involved in what you and everyone else is doing, plus giving them a bit of exercise, a bouncer is key. Ours is another gem from Babybjörn called balance soft in one of my favourite shades of blue (they call it ice-blue fish, which I love!). It's a new design which is made from mesh to allow air-flow and has proven invaluable during the warm summer months. As with everything Babybjörn, it's not just about looking pretty; their designs are second to none and gimmick free. Their bouncer folds flat, which means we take ours everywhere it's ergonomic design means it's unbelievably supportive. In fact, as I'm typing this, our little girl is bouncing happily away and playing with the toy bar.

I really hope you found this round-up useful. All of the items have made life so much easier for us, so  I genuinely believe you can't go wrong with any of them and, unlike many items you'll buy, you'll be digging these out if you have another bubba!

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