One of the most common questions I’ve been asked since this wonderful bundle of newborn gorgeousness came into my life is ‘so what pram do you use?’. Quickly followed by whether I bothered with a bassinet and what car seat I chose. So here it is, Babyologists, my definitive list of must-have products for baby. Some are things I could not live without, some are things that just made life with an infant and two other children so much easier. And really, isn’t that what clever, modern parenting is all about?
For so many parents, it starts with the pram. And my pram of choice for Audrey is most definitely the Bugaboo Cameleon. I love it to bits for so many reasons and it’s truly my perfect pram for wheeling a single baby around town. Right now, my Bugaboo is sporting the Andy Warhol collection.
For the car, I can’t go past a Maxi Cosi as the best way to transport a newborn in ultimate safety. Having them travel in ultimate style too is a rather nice side bonus! I particularly loved how I could clip the Maxi Cosi into the frame of my Bugaboo pram with these adaptors in the early newborn days so that I didn’t have to disturb her when getting in or out of the car.
Audrey sleeps in a cot now, but I certainly did use a bassinet in the early weeks. I know many parents make do without them, but I found it reassuring – even third time around – to put my newborn to bed in a space that was more suited to her small size. Plus, the Hushamok - a hammock-style bassinet – made it incredibly easy to settle her back to sleep during those night feeds and restless periods.
Here’s something else that I found essential for encouraging good sleep – and don’t we all wish for babies that do that! The Ergo Cocoon was totally my saviour in those early weeks and months. Unlike wraps, my Houdini baby was unable to wriggle those arms or legs free, which I firmly believe resulted in better sleep for everyone in the family!
There are so many fabulous baby carriers and slings on the market – we’ve reviewed plenty of them here on Babyology and everyone on our team has their favourites – but for my Audrey, the BabyBjorn Miracle carrier worked best. She preferred to be upright against my chest and I liked the way it supported her back and neck without proving a strain on mine.
On to bouncers. These are one of those things that parents don’t think they need – until they try one! Do I think a bouncer is essential? Absolutely, and my personal pick is the Nuna Leaf bouncer. You can see how much Audrey clearly enjoyed it and for several months it was a sanity saver for me.
Babies need bathing and while any old tub will certainly do, I use the Flexi Bath. Now made by our friends at Stokke, this is the ultimate bath for newborn babies all the way to preschoolers. Yes, believe it or not, your average four-year-old will fit in a Flexi Bath! And when they’re done, the Flexi bath actually folds flat for storing.
On the highchair front, I am a Tripp Trapp devotee. I tried this highchair for the first time with my third child… and wondered how I’d done without it for the first two. That’s how good a highchair the Tripp Trapp is. It’s worth investing in one, as your kids really will be able to sit in it until they’re big enough to move out on their own!
I received a set of Bebe Nacre breastfeeding shells as a baby shower gift and had a little giggle at the thought of putting them on my boobs. I wasn’t giggling a few weeks later when trying to establish breastfeeding, with the cracked, sore nipples that often come until you get the hang of it, no matter how many babies you’ve fed before. I tried my Bebe Nacre shells. You know what? They worked.
Here’s something that was pure indulgence – for me! I honestly can’t remember what I wore in hospital for my first two deliveries, but this time I was determined to glam it up a little. And after bringing three little lives into the world, why not?! So I made sure to have my leopard print gown from Designer Mamas in my bag. Yes, I can say I truly felt special in a way that doesn’t come from wearing any old nightie.
These leggings might not look as glamorous, well at least they didn’t on me, but I resolutely swear by my pair of SRC Recovery Shorts. I wore them after my caesarean and they helped support my abdominal muscles and all the other post-baby wobbly bits as my body recovered. During my pregnancy, I lived in SRC Pregnancy Leggings and found those to be a great relief to my pregnancy-related hip pain.
With three kids to chase after, shoes (or, more to the point, killer heels) can no longer be my weakness. So I’ve built up a collection of nappy bags instead! Right now my favourite is this glorious green Italian leather number from Alexandra de Curtis that I splurged on during a recent overseas trip. Alas, the green Sophia Tote is sold out, but eight other colours are available, including delicious orange, biscuit and go-with-everything black. The Sophia Tote costs €350 and delivery to Australia is available.
I’ve never been much of a daytime TV gal, music is more my thing. Pandora, the personalised music streaming service, has been my constant for countless months now – the Lullabye station in the early days and now, more often than not the family friendly tween or children’s indie stations. I’m partial to a bit of pop myself, when Audrey’s napping and her big sisters are at school.
Finally, I’ve found parents do whip themselves into a frenzy about whether to dummy or not. Wherever you stand on the dummy debate, it’s a fact that some babies simply need the comfort that comes from sucking on a dummy. Like many parents, the first-time round I was fiercely anti-dummy. Third-time round, I’m more relaxed and make sure to always have a few Hevea natural rubber soothers in my bag.
So there you have it, Babyologists, my definitive list of what to buy for baby and some things for new mums too. What items couldn’t you live without?