Newborn essentials…and not so much

Now my teeny tiny baby has turned into a hectic, busy toddler I’ve found people think I might know what I’m doing with babies (spoiler: I don’t). I just muddled through with this one and now have a vague memory of how I got here…but I must have picked something up along the way right?!

So when I was asked for what I’d recommend for a newborn these choice points came to mind about what was actually useful and what turned out to be completely bloody pointless:

1. Nursing bras. I’ve now been breastfeeding for 18 months and counting (not the *whole* time but tbh it sometimes feels like it) and I’ve come the realisation that nursing bras are a waste of time. The faff of those clicky little straps seem like time savers…but when you are desperately trying to sooth a screaming infant…it’s a bit more of a hold up than a help. Soft wireless bras, brallettes, yoga bras, these are your friends. There are some marvellous brands like Lucky Sew and Sew who create pretty, wearable nursing bras that are worth investing in for strappy tops and the occasional (ha!) night on the town. Further reading on more general clothes to breastfeed in: I recently discovered this Facebook page full of up to the minute advice and opinions on what high street clothes are suitable.

Awkward looking strap seen below:

2. Food. For you. This was the first thing my boyfriend remembered as an essential for those early baby days. The need for easy to cook, easy to eat (preferably one handed for long feeds with babies that won’t be put down) and lots of it. A freezer of one portion helpings would be great. A new revenue of super quick healthy tasty recipes (that you can make with cupboard staples obviously as there’s much less chance to pop out for some obscure Ottelenghi ingredient now) would be even better. I’m still working on that…

Oh and don’t forget plenty of this too. You definitely deserve it:

3. Baby clothes. Obviously necessary. But (if you are anything like us) you might turn up at the hospital with completely the wrong size clothes. D’oh. And then comes the question of which clothes they need to wear. How many layers? A hat? (Even in the summer?!). Don’t get me started on all the confusing baby clothes names Babygros? Onsises? Sleepsuits? Vests?! (think there’s a whole other post in that…).

Guides on how to dress a newborn like this one from Mothercare are very helpful to get your head around what is necessary. As is this graphic to give you a heads up on how many layers you need depending on the temperature:

Common sense will kick in pretty quickly too. Once you know the weight of the baby you can figure out the best size for your baby as the recommended weights for each size are (usually) listed on labels. Remember they are going to grow ridiculously fast so accept hand-me-downs along with some special lovely new bits you can have fun choosing.

Warmth-wise we erred in the side on caution to begin with. And babies look pretty cute in hats anyway.

4. Muslin cloths. Everywhere. If your baby is even a quarter as sicky as mine you’ll need to stock up on mussies. We used to lay multiple cloths out in preparation throughout the house at the beginning of the day. Every day. For like months.

They are also super multipurpose tools other than just sick mopper uppers (as they mainly were round mine). Snot rags, bibs, neck props, light blankets, pram sun shades, reusable nappy liners (for the more brave/organised), they also mop up tea spillages very well I’ve been informed 😬.

Invest in some pretty ones like Etta Loves (check out the seaside collection *heart eyes*) as you’re going to spend a long time with them close at hand you might as well enjoy looking at them too. Oh and buy a couple of the big sizes too they are the ones you can hide a napping baby under in the pram. Which is now my most regular mussie use 18 months on.

Any more #babygearessentials or #babygearunnecessaries I missed?

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