Before Elsie was born, before I was admitted to hospital, a little post sat in draft on my computer, detailing all the lovely baby things I had ready for our new baby. Not so new any more! Now she is three weeks old, this post is written retrospectively and perhaps with a little more certainty too. The original post was intended to be all about the things I had ready for the new baby; things I felt were essential to buy ahead of the big day. And although it’s not vastly different, it is now a collection of things I know are essential to have before baby arrives. With a luxury item from Stokke for good measure…
Sleep is important! And with a newborn you don’t get much of it all in one go either. But newborns do sleep a lot, and you need somewhere for them to do it in, both day and night. For each of our babies we’ve always had a moses basket for daytime sleeps downstairs. The School Boy and The Toddler both used the same basket in fact, so much so that the wicker basket is now frayed a little and the stand completely snapped when we were packing it away… so we were over the moon to be asked to review the wonderful Shnuggle basket.
The Shnuggle basket is not like the traditional basket. Firstly, there is no wicker to fray! The baskets are made from a strong moulded shell which is fully ventilated and built to last a lot longer than the usual baskets do. They also come in five different colours, are lightweight to carry and cosy for baby.
We have the pebble grey basket with a rocking stand, and I’m pleased to report that they are easy to assemble, since I made this one all by myself!
First impressions: we were impressed with the roomy basket (it comes with a mattress too) and generous hood that actually has a locking system to make sure it doesn’t fall down like previous basket hoods have. It also looks beautiful and the cool pebble grey of the basket works so well with the crisp white of the fabrics and rocking stand. We’ll let you know how it’s been working out for us soon!
A pram is essential for most families when a baby is on the way, but this one is actually a luxury. I bought the Stokke Xplory when The Toddler was little so didn’t actually need to buy a new pram this time around. Still, I found myself twitching as my pregnancy progressed so to scratch the itch, I invested in a winter kit instead. I went for the new cloud grey and couldn’t be happier with it! The lovely ladies at Babycare of Dagenham were fantastic with my order and the kit arrived the next day, beautifully packaged.
Just five days after Elsie was born, the clocks turned back and the British winter began. Perfect timing! The winter kit is wonderful, looks fab, and keeps baby nice and warm in her carry cot. Living up north, it’s nice to know that the pram is that little bit more insulated, and I cannot tell you how much I love the hand muff too. I told you this was a luxury item! I’m using the winter kit with the Xplory in carry cot mode, but it fits just as well in the pushchair mode too.
Aside from the practical functions of keeping mum and baby warm, the Stokke winter kit also looks fantastic too. Each and every time we go out, we are complimented first on baby and then ont he pram. Sometimes we are only complimented on the pram, but don’t tell Elsie.
The hand muff and the detachable hood trim are such a lovely touch, and really finish off the look perfectly. They’re made from real sheepskin fur so Stokke send you a special brush for maintenance too.
I know it’s not an essential, but the winter kit makes me happy and keeps Elsie warm, so I make no apologies! Besides, when the snow arrives at least I know she’ll be snug and warm in there.
The hospital won’t even let you leave the hospital without an infant car seat. It’s part of the discharge check list so if you don’t have one, your baby is going nowhere. So this one is an essential, and when I tell you about the infant car seat from Doona, you’ll be adding one of these to your list!
We were sent a Doona car seat in storm grey to review and I will be dedicating a few more posts to this, so keep your eyes peeled.
The most ingenious thing about the Doona car seat is the wheels hidden underneath that turn it into the most clever baby essential around. No more aching arms from carrying heavy car seats from car to building. Instead, one press of a button releases the wheels and turns the seat into a buggy quickly and easily. We left the hospital with Elsie snug inside her Doona and I have to say that more than one person stopped us to admire both her and her clever set of wheels. We also left the hospital content that she was safe, and that is the most important thing of all.
The breast pump
If you’re not planning to breastfeed, then this is not an essential for you. But if you are, and you plan on expressing some milk for bottle feeds, or later for use during weaning, then this is the breast pump for you. I’d already used a Medela swing electric pump so I knew that the double swing would be a fantastic essential to have before baby arrived.
This was sent to us to review and I have to say that it turned out to be one of the most important baby items we had. Due to Elsie’s struggles with feeding, being able to express milk quickly and easily has kept us from being re-admitted to hospital for tube feeding. I cannot stress the importance of this more, and how grateful we’ve been to have it.
The fact that this is a double pump is a double bonus too. Elsie rarely finishes a full feed on one side, so to maintain my supply I am able to express from both sides efficiently and still be on hand ten minutes later to deal with the rest of the kids. Look out for a full review on this pump very soon.
Day time sleep can be sorted with the moses basket, but that means that you need another option for night time sleep. In the past, we’ve carried the moses basket upstairs for night time sleep, but we knew that once Ghostwriterdaddy was back at work, taking the basket up and down the stairs by myself was going to be tricky. We also knew that as we intended to co-sleep, we needed a different crib for upstairs. So we were delighted to be asked to review the Snuzpod, the wonderful 3 in 1 bedside crib from The Little Green Sheep.
The Toddler and I co-slept and I knew that I wanted to do the same with Elsie too. That said, I wanted to do it safely, so the Snuzpod seemed like the very best option for us. The crib has won awards for it’s clever design and ease of use, so I am really looking forward to writing the full review on this.
For now, let me tell you that it was easy to build and Elsie has lots of lovely space inside.
Nappy changes- cotton wool, nappy cream and a small bowl to fill with warm water. Newborn skin is too precious for baby wipes just yet.
Blankets- you’ll need at least five or six and one or two thin sheets too.
Vests and body suits
These are the baby essentials we collected together before Elsie arrived, and the ones that we’ve used every single day since she was born. What’s on your essentials list?