You’re pregnant for the first time and suddenly everyone’s an expert. Sound familiar? We know everyone wants to pass on their tips and tricks when you’re going to have a baby. But while your experienced friends and family mean well, their advice isn’t always wanted!
A baby’s needs are simple: feed, sleep, change, repeat! But what about what mum needs? What about those must-have baby items that’ll make life so much easier?
We’ve looked at the six newborn necessities to help you through your first few months of motherhood – even if you’ve been told you don’t need them!
6 Must-Have Baby Items
1) Changing Mat
They’ll say babies sleep anywhere – you don’t need a special bed.
But we think babies shouldn’t be left in something that’s not designed for long periods of sleep. Car seats, baby bouncers, rockers and slings are great for letting your baby drift off, but your little one shouldn’t lie in them for hours (and never unsupervised). Sleeping in a sitting position for a long time can pose health risks like suffocation.
That’s why the second on our list of must-have baby items is a cot. A cot gives your baby a safe, enclosed space to sleep. This also helps to establish their bedtime routine as babies will eventually realise their cot is the right place to sleep.
Most importantly, the NHS advises babies should sleep on their back, in a cot and in your room for the first six months to prevent SIDS. Remember babies need a new, clean and firm mattress which fits snugly in their cot.
3) Breast Pump
They’ll say you don’t need a pump if you’re breastfeeding.
But we think breast pumps are one of the most useful must-have baby items if you want to build and maintain a strong milk supply.
Not all babies take to breastfeeding immediately and struggle to suck. But you can still give your little one breast milk by expressing into a bottle – and a breast pump makes expressing milk much easier.
There are many other reasons why you’d want to express. Perhaps your partner wants to feed your baby, or maybe you need to be away from your baby and can’t breastfeed.
Many women suffer from engorgement, which is when your breasts become too full of milk. Engorgement can be very painful but expressing the extra milk can help.
Increasing your milk supply will save a lot of time – you can even freeze it for up to six months. Ask your midwife or doctor for advice on which kind of breast pump to buy.
4) Baby Bouncer
They’ll say baby bouncers are only good for six months.
But we think they’re incredibly useful for when you need a break!
Baby bouncers are very versatile and are perfect for both playtime and naptime. Babies can lie back and relax while you rock them to sleep. Or they can enjoy the super-springy motion and have some bouncy fun!
But baby bouncers aren’t just great for little ones – they’re handy for mum too. Whenever you need a short break (and trust us, you will), pop baby in their bouncer so you can grab a few minutes to yourself. Need to make dinner? Take a shower? Guzzle some coffee? Baby can stay in the room with you, safely strapped into their bouncer chair while you take a moment.
Although baby bouncers can’t normally be used once your baby’s six months old, they’re too important to pass up.
They’ll say just use a sling.
But we think a pram is much more useful than a sling.
You can explore the outdoors with your little one whenever you both feel healthy and ready. Fresh air’s beneficial for both mum and baby. A quick stroll around the park will make you feel good and help your little one make sense of the world.
While we love the idea of carrying baby round in a sling, the reality is a pram has more advantages in the long run.
What happens when your baby’s too heavy for you to carry? A pram can hold much more weight than your tired arms. That includes any extras you need to lug around with you. If you’re going shopping, store bags in the pram tray. Or use the handles to hang your pram bag – much easier than over your shoulder.
What if your baby has reflux? We’re sure you don’t want baby sick down your front!
What happens in bad weather? A sling can’t protect your baby from heavy rain. Or if it’s a sunny day, both you and your little one will get very hot if you’re bundled up together.
For us, a pram is one of the essential must-have baby items. You could always get both, but if you want to cut the cost of having a baby, just go for the pram.