Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Newborn (and beyond) baby list of necessities

The Little Sausage has just turned 8 months old and it got me thinking about all the things that have gotten us through until now. Without getting all "mommy blogger" on you all, I just wanted to share a few of the things I couldn't do without when it comes to bringing baby home and making life so much easier (baby-wise) for all the new parents out there.

Apart from the obvious necessities like cot, pram, bottles, etc.; here is a list of my top newborn baby-related, sanity-saving devices:

Bouncer chair (vibration optional)
I find this chair invaluable. In the mornings, we put the Little Sausage in it as we prepare her breakfast (or nip off to the bathroom quickly, answer the door, or just for fun). We give her a few hand held toys and she can easily amuse herself for a little while. We used it from birth and she's still in it at 8 months old. When you're desperate for a shower and there's no one else around, you can put the chair in the bathroom while your having a shower and baby can still be supervised.

Baby sling
We live on the top floor of a three-storey building. A pram is not feasible all the time. The sling lets you leave the house when you just want nip out quickly or when you're in a hurry. When she was small, we would put the Little Sausage in it and walk around the apartment when she couldn't sleep. She would fall asleep easily with the gentle movement. And it's all snuggly for both you and your baby. Plus, it will give any man a taste of what it's like to be pregnant! hehehe. 

Banana (or u-shaped) pillow, aka breast-feeding pillow
I used this to keep my back from aching while I bottle fed the Little Sausage (yes, you can use it for breast feeding to get more comfortable) and it is so easy: just lay it across your lap and position the baby in it. The pillow holds them in place and provides a nice soft snuggly environment. It's ergonomic and my chiropractor also recommends them.

Bottle warmer (for formula fed babies)
I prepare my bottles in advance by measuring out the water and placing aside. One bottle goes in the warmer overnight and is ready to go as soon as baby cries for milk in the night. No waiting for the kettle, pouring boiling water with only one eye open, and waiting for it to cool in the middle of the night. The water is at the perfect temperature and all you have to do is add the pre-measured formula. Super fast and great when your all zombie-like.

Pre-measured formula dispenser
I measure out the required scoops of formula in advance into each compartment. When I make a fresh bottle, I just shake the contents of one compartment into the bottle and it's ready to go. Great when your out-and-about or in the middle of the night.

Swaddle (Woombie preferred)
If your baby is anything like mine, she would (as I like to put it) 'attack her own head' and keep herself awake. We began swaddling her using a "Woombie" and she was very content. She now has the freedom to move her arms but not to the extent that she keeps herself awake. VERY RECOMMENDED! Any swaddle can be used, but having used a few different methods and brands, the Woombie has been the best one in my opinion. 

Memory foam pillow
A pillow specially designed for babies is so necessary if you want to prevent the dreaded flat-head-syndrome. It is soft, flat enough to be comfortable for baby, and will cushion the head ergonomically. Another must have. We use the 'Clevamama Clevafoam Baby Pillow' and I wish I had one - it's so spongy. They also make them in toddler-size.

All of these items are still being used, daily, and have been since birth.

When they're a bit older:

Supporting seat and tray table
In small spaces, this is invaluable. We use ours in place of a high chair (our apartment is just not big enough to have a highchair set up - we don't even have room for a dining table!). We attach the tray table and feed her meals and snacks from it. It is sturdy and safe, and she seems to be really comfortable in it. A lot of people have said their little ones kept trying to escape, but I think if you use it from the time they are starting to sit up (not necessarily on their own, but being able to sit supported) like we did with the Little Sausage, they will be fine until they become more independent. The Little Sausage has been it it happily since the age of 4 1/2 months. 

Bouncing play centre
The Little Sausage LOVES this. She bounces away and is amused for ages. It keeps her out of trouble and allows you to get stuff done quickly while she's having fun. A must have!

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