When I was pregnant I was overloaded with information about what we needed to buy as parents. From must-have essentials like all the muslin cloths to the weird and wonderful white noise machines, it was difficult to work out what to spend money on and buy and what we could probably wait and see if we really needed.
In Scotland we receive a Baby Box with lots of essentials and some of the items included have been our most-used. Both the baby and bath thermometers have been used daily and if you don’t have these I’d highly recommend them. The baby thermometer is an in-ear one and came in particularly useful to check baby’s temperature after her vaccinations or anytime we were a little worried about her. The bath digital thermometer is also great to pop in the tub while you run the bath to get the perfect temperature, usually between 35-37C.
Talking of bathtime we love the Shnuggle bath tub we bought, with matching jug, and lots of bubbles. It took a few goes for baby to get used to the water but now she loves it, splashing around to start her bedtime routine.
One item we ummed and ahed about was a Sleepyhead – somewhere the baby can be placed on her back, safely, for short naps. They’re expensive and there are cheaper dupes available, but we did use this a lot when she was newborn and probably up until she was 3 months old.
At nighttime we use a Snuzpod, a bedside crib that I found secondhand on Gumtree. Again there are other brands available but we liked this one and still use it every day. We found lovely bedding on Little Green Sheep and I also bought a lot of blankets, which I now regret as we don’t use them a lot. Instead we really like the GroSnug, which is a little sleeping bag and swaddle in one, no blankets required as it creates the perfect temperature for baby depending on what tog you choose. Now baby is a little older we can pop her arms out of the sleeping bag and keep using them, so I’d definitely invest in a few instead of all the blankets.
I’m currently still breastfeeding but initially we had to combine with formula to make sure she was gaining enough weight, so we used the Medela bottles which worked really well and we bought a Phillips Aveda steriliser in the Black Friday sale. I also have a Medela electric pump, Haakka hand pump and use Medela nipple shields, all of which have really saved me on my breastfeeding journey. My advice would be to just do what works for you and your baby, I’ve been through all the mum guilt of what’s best for both of us and I still don’t know if we’ve done it right but we did our best and are both currently happy.
Playtime and learning
For playtime we did have a playmat in the baby box but also invested in a cheap baby gym for a bit more entertainment and she loves it. It’s also been great for tummy time and she’s learnt how to grab, hold and roll on it so it’s definitely been a worthwhile purchase. Her current favourite toys are any that she can put in her mouth and chew, her way of exploring, and this is her favourite bedtime book.
When Annabel was born a lot of the gifts we received were clothes, which we expected and although we love them some have definitely got more use than others. She has lived in baby grows, especially now we’re not really leaving the house, and ones with poppers, not buttons, are the best for quick changes and nappy time. Cardigans not jumpers are great for extra layers and we’ve loved the Ergobaby carrier for walks, she dozes straight off to sleep.
So essentially you can break the must-have items for the first 3 months of parenthood into a few categories –
- Bathtime – a bath, thermometer and jug
- Sleep – for naps a Sleepyhead, for bedtime a bedside crib and sleeping bag
- Feeding – prepare for all the options, so an electric and hand pump, bottles, steriliser and shields
- Playtime and learning – a playmat or gym and some books
- Clothes – the bare minimum if you have family and friends who will buy you gifts, so babygrows and some extra layers
We’re currently coming up to 5 months as a family of three so things are changing daily and I’m continually learning about her likes and dislikes as her little personality shines through. I’ll round up our 3-6 months essentials in an upcoming post, but any parents out there have tips and tricks or must-haves they’ve come across along the way please share!