BEST BABY ESSENTIALS FOR THE FIRST YEAR
After tackling the first year of parenthood, I thought it would be good to do a round-up of the best baby essentials for the first year!
We took the approach of "less is more" when it came to baby purchases, as we believed buying good products that could last multiple children was better than repeat buying. This has definitely paid off as Knox has tried his hardest to destroy most things which have thankfully survived!
As previously mentioned in my post 'What should you buy when having a baby?' I've included the Sleepyhead, Bouncer & Carrier and added a few more gems. And guess what, Baby Bjorn, are giving one lucky winner the chance to win a bouncer from their new Soft Selection! All you have to do is comment below and share (tagging me & @babybjorn so I can see who's entered) this post on your Instagram Grid for your chance to win!
Sleepyhead #affiliatelink (0-6 months) - This was fantastic. It allowed Knox to, quite literally, sleep anywhere. On the sofa, the bed (for safe co-sleeping), in his cot, you name it, we probably did it. We also bought the extra toy arch, so didn't need to buy another toy arch.
Baby Bjorn Bouncer #affiliatelink #gifted (0 - crawling) - There are various bouncers, rockers and soothing chairs, but we went for the no-frills, ergonomic design from Baby Bjorn. Super easy to transport, pack away and effective for bouncing, relaxing and napping, Knox lived in his!
Baby Bjorn Carrier #affiliatelink #gifted (3.5kg - 15kg) I was lucky enough to try a few carriers, but the Baby Bjorn Carrier worked best for us. It was easy to set up, with the one-size-fits-all approach, and anyone from uncles to grandparents were able to share that close bond with Knox. The fastenings also allowed for easy movement when trying to put a sleeping baby down after a walk. Be sure to check this when trying carriers, as it is super-hard to move your baby when there is no upper fastenings!
Skiphop Activity Table #affiliatelink (+4 months) We still use this now with some cute matching chairs, but this was literally a godsend when Knox turned 4 months. There was a stage, where Knox was desperate to get around but not quite strong enough to crawl (which he did at 6 months) so giving him a little independence in this table made such a difference. I used to bundle him in with a blanket and he'd spin around playing with the various toy fittings. It was hilarious seeing such a tiny baby hard at work. He looked like a little DJ mixing tunes.
Chicco Polly Magic Relax #affiliatelink #gifted (0 - 3yrs) If you hope to keep peaceful evening meals, then the Chicco Polly Magic Relax is your answer. I didn't find about about it until Knox was four months, when my friend said her baby loved his. As far as I'm aware, its one of the only chairs suitable from birth (in the correct position). Knox also suffered from colic and reflux, so keeping him upright really helped. Watch my review here.
iSafe Luxury Booster Seat #affiliatelink (up to 37lb) We take our booster seat everywhere with us. Being one of the only high chairs Knox can't escape from, we actually get to enjoy a few lunches out. It's also perfect for small babies that are already sitting, as they're secure. We now keep it attached to our dining table, for mealtimes with us!
Dummies (0+) Dummies are a real personal choice, but for us, they're like an off button. The silence is bliss.
Sheepskin Like the Sleepyhead, Knox adored snuggling up on a Sheepskin. Easy to chuck in the washing machine, I also used one in his buggies for extra comfort.
Breast Pump #gifted I had two pumps, not because I was obsessed (which Andy would say I was), but because I bought one and got one to try. The one I bought was the Madela Swing - I think 90% of pump-buyers buy it, and its amazing, noisy, but amazing. The other, the Yoomi, I actually think might be slightly more efficient and comfortable, but not as well known. The pumping action is slower and longer, which seemed to fill the same amount faster. Unfortunately I was only sent it just before I finished pumping at 6 months, but think I would have got on with it very well. The silicon fitting also fits around your breast much more comfortably.
Pushchair #gifted #affiliatelink In terms of pushchairs and car seats, its all personal preference. My best advice would be to go and try them all, pick them up as if you were putting them in your car boot, try folding them down with one hand, holding a bag. We have a few pushchairs that I love for different reasons, one travel, the Silver Cross Jet, one city, the Silver Cross Marie Chantal Reflex (watch the review here) and one all-purpose, super-sturdy, Rolls Royce of pushchairs, the Silver Cross Wave (watch the review here).
Car Seats #affiliatelink We have two car seats, both suitable from birth, one that fits our buggies from Silver Cross, and the Cybex Sirona S i-size, which Knox loves. After doing a lot of research, I've also got my eyes on the Cybex Cloud Z i-size if we have another baby. Mainly because it lies flat, which is ideal for long distance journeys, and Cybex do multiple in-house tests, as well as the required testing. As they say, you get what you pay for when it comes to car seats.
Steriliser #affiliatelink I couldn't live without the Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Steriliser. I also always have a stash of sterilising tablets, perfect for holidays. I think in terms of bottles, it's good for you to try a few until your baby is happy, but it's good to have one or two in the cupboard just in case.
So, not to overwhelm you, I'll leave my list as that. I'll do another post on the best clothing to buy for the first year too. Please feel free to message and ask for more detail on any of the products.
Any items that I was gifted, I'd extensively researched before, I've been lucky enough to be offered some fantastic products, which I don't always accept, as I only use things that we actually need.
I hope this is helpful, to even just one of you!