When I wrote my post about some pregnancy essentials I’d discovered in my second pregnancy, I had it in my mind I’d do a “newborn” version. Well six weeks postpartum and I’m finally getting around to writing it!
I’m on a nap clock watch, so I’ll keep it brief…
Some of these are things we used when Miss Belle was a baby, and a couple are new to me, or things that I’ve needed or decided to use, much earlier on. With second babies you know what you’re doing more (in a practical kind of way) and what you can’t live without!
1. Bath Support
With Miss Belle, we had a baby bath and we used to bath her together in an evening. At the moment we’ve not started a bedtime routine which involves a bath. I literally don’t know how to do that whilst also getting our 3 year old upstairs and into bed by 7pm! So, I’m bathing Little Man on my own on a Nursery day and sometimes at the weekend. The easiest and safest way to bath him is to use a bath support seat. This one from Angelcare was Miss Belle’s. Little Man is quite a lot bigger and sturdier than his sister was at this age, so he’s fine in it and I feel more confident bathing him on my own using this rather than just using my hands to hold him in the baby bath.
Child’s Farm products
Last time I’m sure I used Johnson’s Baby products, and yes I know they have a “bedtime” range that’s supposed to aid sleep, but I don’t think it’s actually the gentlest on the market. We’ve used Burt Bees for Miss Belle before, but I had a couple of samples of Child Farm’s bubble bath and moisturiser which we were given at Tumble Tots. We’ve used them and I’ve bought the Childs Farm shampoo strawberry & organic mint 250 ml too, which smells amazing! So far so good. Little Man’s skin is fine with it and Miss Belle likes it too.
Baby hair brush*
Both my babies were born with a lot of hair so a hair brush is needed. Little Man has a bit of dry skin under his hair. I’ve been moisturising it using Cetraben which we have for Miss Belle and on the OK from the Health Visitor, then washing it and brushing it out. This brush from Rock and Ruddle was gifted to us, and I have to say it’s perfect for the job. It’s lovely and soft and has a cute design. It would make a nice gift for a baby shower or new baby!
Multiple changing locations!
Not really a “product” but a tip from me when it comes to nappy changes. We have a baby changing area on the bedroom floor so I don’t have to go through to the nursery several times a night. I also have all my stuff including a couple of spare outfits in the lounge. Yes it’s a bit messy but it saves me traipsing up and down all day long with Miss Belle under my feet.
Sudocrem Care and Protect*
Newborn babies skin is so delicate and no matter how many times you change them they can get a bit sore. We were sent some Sudocrem Care and Protect to try, which you can used at each nappy change even on newborn babies. It’s gentle and has a similar consistency to Bepanthen which we’ve used before. To be honest I find Metanium the absolute best when babies bottoms are red raw, but the Sudocream Care and Protect prevents it from getting to that stage.
As some of you know from my first post about life as a family of four, Miss Belle went down with Chicken Pox when Little Man was just 10 days old. We were told to keep a close eye on his temperature as one of the first signs of him getting it, so in addition to checking her temperature I checked his. I wouldn’t be without one of these Braun digital ear thermometers. They’re pricey at over £50 but worth every penny in my opinion. When Miss Belle was just under 1 we had a different brand digital thermometer which showed her temperature as 37.5 when she felt red hot. In the end she had a virus and an emergency ambulance to hospital. Scary times. Ever since then we’ve used the Braun thermometer. It’s what our GP uses and in my opinion is the best. Get one now!
Snuffle babe Aspirator*
Sadly after the Chicken Pox Miss Belle then got another virus, I got a chest infection and Little Man’s had a really snotty cold for a good week now. (Poor guy!) So we’ve been using the nasal aspirator from Snuffle Babe. It’s one way to help congested snotty babies breathe more easily. I used one with Miss Belle so I knew I’d probably get one at some point this time. Possibly a bit of a gross concept, but it works. I’ve been using it before each breastfeed to help remove some snot and clear his nose.
When I was expecting Miss Belle an NCT friend said something about using giant muslins to swaddle with, so we got some from TK Maxx. They were much cheaper than proper swaddling products. This time we’ve not swaddled as the hospital told me they don’t recommend it anymore. Apparently it’s better for babies arms to be free (and it helps them regulate their temperature more). But, we’ve wrapped Little Man after the midwives on the ward did it with towels. I know some babies don’t seem to like their Moses Basket and I’ve heard loads of people go one about these Sleepyhead things. Maybe we’ve just been lucky, but we’ve never had a problem putting our two in their Moses Basket.
To start with we got on better if we wrapped baby and let him fall asleep on us and transferred him wrapped up. Maybe the warmth or smell from us stayed on the muslin and that helped him go down in his Moses Basket better. Obviously the material counts as another layer so we then just used one cellular blanket. Now we’ve stopped needing to wrap him and are back using two blankets at naps and night. The great thing about Extra Large Super Soft Muslins is you can also use them as breastfeeding covers, blankets, and sun shades too.
Absolutely hands down one of the most useful things second time around is having a bouncy chair. Ours is from Mamas and Papas and has a vibration and music setting and a bar with things hanging down for the baby to look at. Miss Belle loved it and so does Little Man. It’s so handy to pop him in it when we’re having dinner or I’m making tea.
Now I’m totally honest here. I have an NCT Close Caboo sling and in six weeks I’ve used it… twice. I’m of the theory that if he’s happy to be put down in his Moses Basket or bouncer then I’m not going to use it. I know there are lots of benefits for baby when you wear them, but I’m trying not to make Miss Belle any more jealous which I think carrying him could do. But, I can see it being used more at Miss Belle’s classes over the next few months and for walks without the buggy or a quick nip around the shops. I want to try and get into baby wearing more this time and will be heading to a sling library soon. Perhaps once we start venturing out more it’ll be used more.
Breastfeeding Mamas you need these in your life…
Finally I had to add some specific breastfeeding items new mums might need.
Electric breast pump
Last time I bought a manual Avent pump and very quickly realised that electric was the way forward. Yes they’re an investment but if you’re planning on having more than one child, I’d definitely recommend the Medela Swing Pump. I find it so much quicker to use and way more effective. Manual pumps do have a place (great if you’re somewhere without electricity!) but I prefer my electric one.
This is a new one on me! My friend has lent me her Hakka. What’s a Hakka I hear you say?
It’s basically a silicone cup that’s self suction and you put over your other boob when feeding. It catches your let down (and some more, I think!) and then you can pop this in the fridge/freezer to use later. Amazon technically calls it a manual pump, but to me it’s more of a “milk catcher”! It’s amazing how much milk you can catch! I’m of the opinion not to waste the liquid gold that is breast milk!
With Miss Belle we tried about six different brands of bottles because she just would not take one. Eventually she accepted the MAM Anti-Colic Self-Sterilising Bottle. We’ve only used it once so far with Little Man but he didn’t refuse it, so this would be my bottle of choice to recommend to breastfeeding mums who would like to express and use a bottle occasionally.
Obviously nipple cream and breast pads are kind of a given. For this there’s only one brand for me – Lansinoh. I know some people prefer breast pads your can wash, but I prefer disposable ones and the ones from Lansinoh hands down beat any supermarket own brand I’ve tried. I’m also using their sterile storage bags for expressed milk too.
So there you have it. Please note the three products with an asterisk were sent to me for the purpose of a review. I’m sure there are loads of other products I could have reviewed, but these are what I would or have used in the past and would recommend to new mums.
Is there anything else that’s a must have for you? If so, pop it in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.