Over the last five years of parenthood I have discovered (or been recommended) some fab products that have been so useful. I am by no means a parenting expert and this isn’t, of course, an exhaustive list but I thought I would share a few of my favourite go-to items when it comes to caring for your littles. It is always good to get recommendations and many new parents worry about what to get, what not to get and of course wasting money at a time when every pound is much needed!
In the whirlwind that is the early stage of parenthood anything that makes your life that little bit easier is definitely a must.
I used plain water and cotton wool for nappy changes in those very early days then moved onto Water Wipes which are great for sensitive skin (both my girls suffer with dry skin)
Stylefile Nipper Clipper
Something I didn’t realise is that newborn baby nails grow at an extremely rapid rate and they love to scratch themselves too (!) I found that these Stylefile Nipper Clipper nail clippers with a little ‘viewing window’ were SO useful, I had them as a gift for my baby shower and I am still using them five years later.
My Mum bought me a pack of these with my first daughter P and they were SO useful. I can’t stress enough the importance of using a changing mat in the early days, newborn babies are constantly surprising you with nappy explosions and I learnt the hard way (cream carpet, new jeans, white bed linen…sigh!) Using one of these on the change mat helps prevent the mess from spreading and from baby lying in a pool of their own wee on the mat (been there too!) They are really absorbent, easy to wash and great to throw in your nappy bag to use as a clean layer on public toilet change tables (eeew)
Aden and Anais muslins
Muslins are an absolute staple for any new parent whether bottle or breastfeeding their baby. They can be used as a burp cloth, to clean up milk spills, as a play mat, a swaddle,a comforter, a play thing (‘peekaboo’ is a favourite game in our house at the moment)…so many uses. Say no more. My absolute faves are by Aden and Anais, whilst they are on the more pricey side they are so soft and wash so well. My eldest has had her Aden and Anais favourite muslin since she was born and she is now 5! Wow talk about staying power.
When my eldest was very little she loved her Sophie Le Giraffe and it still remains a best selling classic. Second time round we are loving Matchstick Monkey, my 8 month old X has two and she loves them. The little bristles are soothing on their gums and the wiggly shape makes them easy for little hands to hold onto.
Kokoso Coconut oil
This coconut oil is so gentle and nourishing on delicate skin. It can be used a nappy balm, a massage oil and a moisturiser. Both my girls have sensitive skin and it is perfect to sooth those dry patches, I pinch it for my own hands and nails all the time too. It also smells so delicious!
Metanium nappy cream
This botty cream is the absolute BEST. Just a small amount applied at the first sign of redness and boom the next day it is gone. Can’t say much more, its a must-have, readily available and great value for money.
Bonds Baby Wondersuits
These sleep suits are my new obsession! They have built-in feet and scratch mitts which can be folded back as baby gets older and more mobile or stops clawing at their own face (!) They have a zip that can be zipped from the top AND bottom which is great for quick nappy changes. The prints are also so cool, I don’t use them just for bedtime, my youngest regular rocks hers whilst we are out and about.
Anti-bacterial spray and wipes
Milton wipes have been so handy to use on teethers and toys which inevitably get dropped whilst out and about, they are also brilliant for use on restaurant high-chairs (!) before use. I always carry a pack in my nappy bag. I also have a mini Vital Baby spray which I use from time to time too if I am in a rush, its great for toys, surfaces, teethers and even hands although the Milton wipes are probably my fave.
White noise is an absolute must, I have found a few effective options which I have used for both of my babies and also whilst photographing newborns in my studio
A great free app is Sound Sleeper and this includes vacuum noises as well as sounds that work well for older children too. We use the vacuum noise to drown out the general noise at home during daytime naps, (this has really helped when delivery drivers knock loudly on the door during nap time!)
This womb noise is one we discovered early on after bringing Xanthe home from the hospital and it worked really well at bedtime – Sleep O Phant
The list above includes some great, affordable gift ideas for a baby shower. I hope this has been helpful, be sure to share this with any new parents or mamas-to-be that might enjoy the read. I would love to hear about your must-have products, please leave a comment below. To see more of my newborn photography visit my gallery or join me on Instagram.