Top 10 Baby Products every Parent ought to have - Part 2
Welcome back to our two-part series of baby products that every new parent ought to have. As I said before in Part 1, it’s not an exhaustive list of newborn products that you will need. For example, I haven’t included baby clothes, swaddles, muslins/burp cloths, sleep sacks, cots, changing tables, car seats, activity mats and nappy bins because I personally think there are a number of great options out there to suit all tastes and budgets.
Instead, I’ve focused on some of the products that I spent a lot of time researching because they vary greatly and can be a total hit or miss. Hopefully your family will love these products as much as mine did. We used these products EVERY day. Both my children loved them and so did my husband and I because they really did make our lives easier.
Whilst Part 1 focuses on products that make bathtime and bedtime more relaxing, Part 2 lists some of the products that helped make daytime a little less stressful. Here we go.
TOP 10 BABY PRODUCTS EVERY NEW PARENT OUGHT TO HAVE: PART 2 (cont. from PART 1)
Not every mum would consider a breastfeeding pillow an essential baby item and some get on well without it (just like I managed without a pregnancy pillow...).
But for me, having to breastfeed hunched forward in combination with sleeplessness really made my neck, shoulders and upper back ache. Using a breastfeeding pillow helped to raise my baby up without putting pressure on my arms and shoulders or hunching over to bring my breasts down to my baby.
I liked My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow, which has a firm, flat cushion and straps around your body to stop baby from rolling and the pillow from sliding away. It also allows you to rest your arms and elbows, which takes pressure off your shoulders.
The Baby Bjorn bouncer with toy bar is one of our top newborn buys. It’s worth every penny! Even including the toy bar, which comes as a fairly pricey add-on.
We tried two bouncers before realising THIS was the bouncer all the other parents were talking about and finally joining the fan club.
If I ever managed to shower in the mornings or eat hands-free it was largely thanks to this product. My son loved it and my daughter would sit in it for 10-15 min, which was HUGE for someone who mostly wanted to be carried for the first 10 weeks.
Both of them favoured the upright position and eventually learned how to kick their feet to bounce themselves. The googly eyes toy bar kept them totally mesmerised. First they would just stare at the black and white googly eyes but eventually they would whack the toys and watch them spin.
Although it’s lightweight and easy to move from room to room, with two kids under two to look after I ended up getting a bouncer for downstairs and one for upstairs. It gave me a safe place on each floor to put my newborn whilst I tended to no 1.
Considering how durable they are, it’s worth looking for second-hand options, should you not wish to pay the full retail price. We picked both ours up second hand, used them until our children grew out of them and passed them on to friends, who as far as I know have passed them on again…
My daughter just did not want to be put down for the first 8-10 weeks. So I carried her EVERYWHERE, using our expensive wedding present pram to push the groceries in instead.
But as long as I carried her she would sleep for hours on end. A carrier is great for getting out of the house, keeps your hands free and saves you lugging a pram on to public transport (where ramps and lifts are a rarity...). It was also a LIFESAVER when flying on my own with my baby!
We opted for a Baby Bjorn Carrier One, which you can use from newborn (at least 3.5 kg) and which has a wide, sturdy waist belt that supports your back and relieves pressure off your shoulders.
You can carry your child facing inwards (it has two height positions), facing out or on your back.
The Baby Bjorn One also has thick soft padding on the shoulder straps, a fully adjustable seat area that ensures a comfortable and ergonomically correct position for your child’s hips, inbuilt infant insert and adjustable head support.
It was redesigned and relaunched last year to make it softer and more flexible, with a wider seat area and higher head support.
We loved ours but choosing a carrier is very personal, so it’s worth spending a bit of time speaking to other mums, researching options and reading reviews online. Which?, for example, has published a review of 10 popular baby carriers here.
For the first 12 months I carried my daughter everywhere in our Baby Bjorn One carrier.
We spent AGES choosing a pram. Ultimately it totally depends on what you’re planning to do with it (e.g. do you plan on running with it? Travel? Or does it need to hold a whole grocery shop in the basket?). But as long as you’re not looking for a jogger or plan on regularly walking it through rough terrain, I would highly recommend the Babyzen Yoyo+.
It’s super lightweight and easily folds into the size of a small carry-on suitcase. If space if limited, this is a great option! Including if, like us, your first car was a banger with minimal boot space.
Whilst airline travel seems like a distant memory (remember how we used to be able just hop on a plane and go to europe for the weekend if we fancied?!) it’s a life-saver for flying or travelling by train! Especially if you’re travelling on your own or with several children. You can take it all the way to the gate and into the aircraft.
It’s also compatible with most car seats and comes with all the standard accessories (sun shade, rain cover etc).
With the newborn insert you basically buy a pram and pushchair in one, so although it’s expensive (£399!) it’s a worthwhile investment if you're looking for something light and foldeable.
PRAM AND CARSEAT TOY
My ALL time favourite! Now here is a baby product every new parent definitely ought to have! Our kids LOVED the Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile To Go Travel Toy. We have ended up giving it to several friends as baby gifts and everybody says their baby loves it.
Your baby will grow out of it as soon as he or she is able to pull and grab its dangling graphical cards, but even then it’s well worth the £8.99 (on Amazon UK).
The Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim Mobile is our go-to baby gift for any new parent friend.
Found this useful? Haven’t read our "Top 10 baby product every new parent ought to have - Part 1" yet?
Martina is the founder of NINE+QUARTER, a brand new range of maternity and breastfeeding clothes.