It’s spring in Australia and that means baby season! Here are our 15 best finds for newborn babies from that treasure trove of handmade goodness, Etsy.
Our Aussie weather is starting to heat up, so muslin wraps like this hand-printed whale version, $23 from Sound Baby, should be on every new mum’s list. Perfectly breathable, they keep baby swaddled without overheating and are also useful for throwing over your nursing arm when breastfeeding on hot days to stop baby’s head from sweating against your skin.
Throw them over the pram when baby’s sleeping, to keep the sun off during your afternoon stroll, or use as a burb cloth, wraps are so incredibly useful that you’ll want to be well stocked, so you may as well grab this silver raindrop stunner from Alphabet Monkey too. This one’s a very generously sized organic cotton jersey and costs $50, plus $8.50 post. (Psssst, keep on reading if that sheet has caught your eye).
In those early newborn days, it can seem like you’re changing nappies almost constantly. Onesies are practical for daytime, but I’ve learnt from experience that nightgowns are best for night – yes, even for boys! This Bizzy & Boo sleep gown is made in the UK from organic cotton and allows easy access for night time changes, even at your most bleary-eyed and exhausted. It costs $49 plus $9 shipping to Australia.
Nurseries for a newborn are a blank slate that evolve and grow in line with their new inhabitants. Let newborns stamp the space as their own from the day you bring them home with these cheery birth announcement art prints from Sydney studio Art Types. Printed on thick archival paper, they come mounted and ready to frame for $17 plus $5 post.
Here’s something that babies need right from day dot too – nappies. Reusable nappies are becoming more and more popular – and why not when they look like this. Modern cloth nappies have press studs, so there’s no fiddling with old-fashioned nappy pins. And you can add inserts to make them as absorbent as you need. Bamboo nappies cost $16 each, or can be purchased in bulk from Responsible Mother, which also makes hemp and wool reusable nappies too.
Every baby should have a special blanket for daytime naps and cuddles on the couch. This beautiful blanket from My Blue Meadow in Lithuania caught my eye and I think it fits the bill, especially for baby boys. The delightful colours, the weave… really, it’s just the perfect summer naptime blanket. Made from natural linen yarn, it becomes softer and smoother the more it is washed. Which can only be a good thing when there’s babies afoot. The blanket costs $63 plus $12 shipping to Australia from My Blue Meadow.
What is it with east European countries and beautiful baby blankets?! LalaKa in Bulgaria has an eclectically stunning collection of hand-knitted blankets that are sized just right for the pram or car set or for tossing in your nappy bag for naps on the go. From the vintage look of crocheted granny squares to more contemporary stripes, there’s something for every style. Baby blankets are priced from $52 plus shipping.
Summer babies in Australia need little except a nappy and a singlet, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pop a cute pair of bloomers over that nappy. How cute is this bloomer set from The Line. It costs $27 plus $12 shipping from the US to Australia, and you can choose between a cute beanie or a headband. There are plenty of boy options too.
Onesies are another good option for warm weather babies, even better if the onesie is made from organic cotton like these sweet summer baby bodysuits from Spain’s Kupukupu Kids. The sleeveless bodysuits are printed in eco-friendly inks and come in other colours and designs too – some for boys and some gender neutral. They cost $33 each plus shipping.
Now I knew someone was going to ask, so here it is. That stunner of a cot sheet from earlier in the post is part of a crib collection for boys from NSW Etsy store Alphabet Monkey. And yes, you can get the quilt, cushions and the bunting too. The raindrop nursery collection is priced from $19.
You’ve got the cot sheet, now what about a cot mobile? This elephant number made from laser-cut ply is another Lithuanian treasure. It costs $43 plus an extra $9 post from Gera Bloga. It even comes wrapped in rather swish silk paper for a decadent shower gift.
The only thing more sensitive than a baby’s bottom is a newborn baby’s bottom, but we have that covered with organic nappy balm from Willow Tree Lane. Made right here in Margaret River, Western Australia, this balm contains plenty of lovelies – shea butter, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, lavender and chamomile – but no chemical nasties, so you can feel good about applying it to newborn skin. It costs $9.50 from Willow Tree Lane.
All that talk of bottoms reminds me that nappy-free time is important, even in the early days. You might think a towel or two under baby will do the trick, but speaking from experience, you’re going to want something waterproof. The Nappy Off Mat from The Wiggle Tree in Tasmania is perfect. Made from luxuriously soft bamboo on top, it has a waterproof lining to protect your carpet or upholstery. Bamboo is super absorbent and can hold three time its weight in water – or wee – while being very soft on baby skin. This one’s organic too, so even better. Grab one for $25 or three for $69, plus post from The Wiggle Tree.
Give your baby a special toy to be their companion right from the early days and before you know it, you’ll have a comfort object to help them settle and one they’ll reach for as they grow whenever they’re tired, grouchy, upset, uncertain or any other emotion that childhood brings. This rabbit, handmade in Melbourne, reminds me very much of The Velveteen Bunny and I’m sure he holds the same magic. Made with babies in mind, there are no bits that can be chewed or pulled off, just a lovely tactile bunny that’s sure to become your newborn’s best friend. The cotton bunny costs $58 from Catbun and you can have your child’s name embroidered on it if you like.
The other toy that every baby should have is a rattle. Given that everything a baby holds in its hand is bound to end up in baby’s mouth, we recommend making it organic, like this wooden rattle from Bannor Toys. Finished with natural beeswax and flaxseed oil, it is perfectly smooth and safe for babies’ hands and mouths. It costs $12 plus shipping.