Newborn Essentials

As I have spent the last few weeks moving baby equipment around, putting away old baby clothes and ordering and finding the next size up for Florence, my mind drifted to starting from the beginning.

We weren’t planning on baby number 4 so we had sold a few things and had handed down clothing to others. I was fortunate to have kept a few pieces of equipment as I’m a childminder by profession, so some things were stored in our garage. So with a lot of washing, wiping and test driving things were brought back out! I love this part of getting organised and nesting for the exciting arrival. When starting out again with buying baby essentials we have learnt to keep it relatively simple, but not compromise on good quality, and buy from friends or second hand selling sites. 

Baby Changing – we have this time used Pampers nappies as they suited Florence’s fit better. We now use subscribe and save on Amazon as it kept the price down. Water Wipes were a great game changer from the traditional cotton wool and water, especially for our busy household. For anyone new to these they are 99.9%water 0.1%fruit extract. Other supermarket brands are available, and although they don’t seem to be as pure they are considerably cheaper. We also bought these in bulk to keep the costs down. 

A good baby changing station is very handy especially if you don’t have much nursery furniture. We are short on space currently so we have a sturdy Mamas & Papas changing table from eBay with room for a bath bath inside it as well as shelves for changing items, clothing stored in boxes and cot pocket tidys that I adapted on the sides for storing muslin cloths, socks, bibs etc. This saved on buying another set of drawers etc for now. 

Clothing – With my last two babies I have kept clothing for at least the first 18 months pretty comfortable and simple. So this time around we made sure we had several long/short sleeved vests, sleepsuits and knitted cardigans. These are a mixture of brand new and second hand good quality brand items. 

Bath time – We purchased a 3 pack of  Mothercare baby towels so we have a few to hand. Good to have several for  baby swimming, and for when they have toilet accidents at bath time. We have used two different bath time products, Burt’s Bees Baby bubble bath and Burt’s Bees Baby multi purpose ointment which is 100% natural, and we are 8 months later just finishing the first pot. Florence hasn’t had any skin complaints and we love this moisturiser, and even I sometimes use it! These items are a little bit pricier than some obvious baby toiletries on the market but we made it more affordable by shopping about or buying bulk sized ones in Amazon subscribe. I feel that they are worth the extra pennies as they are good quality and last a long time. For the first time we haven’t invested in a bath chair as we have just held Florence in the bath. This gives us more space in the bathroom. 

Feeding- We bought a Tommee Tippee starter set in case I had any feeding setbacks, and as I have breast fed we haven’t needed to expand on this set. Muslin squares are very much used by us and this time around a swaddling square which I use for feeding, lying baby on and covering her up if it’s too warm for a blanket. We have this time bought a brand of Muslin and swaddling square called Molly and Moo which I would recommend. 

Sleeping – We have used a Moses basket with a good mattress with our first 3 and did plan on using it again until we heard that our neighbours were selling a second hand Snuzpod that was for sale. As she’s our last baby I decided it would be nice to give it a go and then we would be able to sell on for a similar price.   These bedside cribs are great for having baby to hand for night feeds, and to make it easier to access baby in the night after recovering from childbirth (in my case a section). They are a bit pricier but so lovely to have the baby so close. Our only wish would have been that she slept a bit more in it than in our bed with us! 

Sleeping bags – only one of my babies has wanted to be swaddled the rest have slept in baby sleeping bags. There are various brands and different togs for winter (2.5) and summer (1.0-0.5) some brands such as Grobag come with a room thermometer strip that gives you a handy reading and guide to which tog and how much clothing to have baby in. 

Newborn equipment –

Car seat – seek advice: there’s lots on the market and some stores will advise you and help fit them.

Pram/pushchair 

We invested in a Bugaboo chameleon 10 years ago, we have added to it over the years with accessories and although it was very expensive it has certainly lasted. We also have a second hand Nipper out and about 3 wheel running buggy which we use for the woods. This has lasted very well and is very robust. My advice is invest in a good set of wheels either new or second hand as in our case they have been used for our children and childminding children and lasted well! 

Bouncy chair – we have had the same Fisher Price bouncy vibrating chair for all our babies as they don’t use it for long. This is handy for buying you a little time and sanity to get stuff done in the house or give your arm a rest.  I would definitely consider buying this piece of equipment second hand as they don’t use it for long. 

Babywearing – I use a stretchy wrap and swear by it, it cost around £15 off eBay (Liberty Slings) and has been perfect for carrying my last two babies around. Dougie likes his Manduka Sling as its guy-friendly! There are plenty of YouTube tutorials for help on how to babywear correctly. 

Changing bag- lots to choose from and I always spend a while deliberating over what is functional and what looks good. This time around I was gifted a Storksak and I’m very happy with my choice. It’s plain navy and has an oversized handbag feel to it and is very practical. I will share my changing bag with you in a video in the near future! 

Hope this helps give any new Mummy or Mummy-to-be a quick run down on what I consider a good esssentials list to set you up for the first few weeks with your new bundle. 

My Top Ten Breastfeeding Tips 

I’m currently breast feeding my fourth baby Florence, she has just turned 8 months old and this has made me think of my last two  breastfeeding journeys and how they came to an end when Daisy and Teddy were about nine months. 

Florence I think will definitely be fed the longest for a few reasons; she currently still has no teeth (Teddy was a biter!) she’s very attached to my breast as she’s still exclusively breastfed and I’m more confident at feeding this time around.

If you’ve read my previous post on my breastfeeding journey or watched my video (linked below) you will know that I have had ups and downs with feeding. As this time around has been the most positive I thought it right to share a few things that have helped me along the way in feeding.

1. Positivity – look for the positive in why you’re feeding, it can help boost your confidence and motivation. A few positives that I can think of are more money in your pocket, no equipment to sterilise, milk on tap, it makes for a quick bond with your baby, and no running downstairs to grab bottles in the night! 

Another way to look at breastfeeding positively is to support other feeding Mums and then you can help each other through times when you feel overwhelmed. Just a few words of support can really help, whether  that’s online friends from forums etc or friends in person. It’s easy to google the negative aspects of anything, but if you can, try and praise each other in times where you’re feeling tired and the feeding is never ending! 

2. Latch – in the early days my babies have all latched on differently and I have also had to remind myself with 3 of them how to latch them on correctly. There are plenty of videos/ literature and health care professionals to help you with this. Don’t be afraid to ask as this makes a real difference in the first few days to avoid sore breasts.

3. Feeding Pillow – invest in one whilst pregnant, I have slept with mine in all my pregnancies to rest my bump on, it then helped me through the first few weeks post section to lay the baby onto feed. This also helped me latch the baby on comfortably. It’s a great place to rest a baby whilst you’re getting ready and then for a play prop when they’re learning to sit up.

4. Don’t clock watch – I read several books on baby routines with my first child. These didn’t help my feeding journey with my first as they made me question why my baby fed for a different amount of time to what was suggested. This made me question my milk supply and why my baby was different to how the book suggests.  Babies I do now realise feed for a different amount of times for various reasons.

5. Don’t count feeds – for the same reason as number 4, I also fell into the trap of trying to feed my baby the suggested amount of feeds in a day according to age. I have since learnt to be led by the baby as to how often they need to feed and this varies all the time. Some days it will feel like you’ve been constantly feeding, as the baby goes through a growth spurt they will need these extra feeds.

6. Nipple cream and breast pads – essential to soothe sore nipples in the early days and breast pads for leaking. Take them out and about with you in the early days so you have a change of pads and cream to soothe. 

7. Water and snacks – have water bottles all over the house in your feeding spots so you’re reminded to drink as it’s thirsty work! I always take a bottle with me on the school run and in my bag on outings to keep me topped up between feeds. 

Chop up some fruit/crudités ready for some healthy snacks that you can grab on the go!

8. Oats – I have had lots of porridge and oaty raw power ball snacks (oats mixed with honey,peanut butter, raisins seeds etc). I have no idea if all the oats have helped my milk supply, but this time around I have managed to exclusively breastfeed so I’m not dropping the oats as it’s working! 

9. Breast feeding bra, vest and muslin cloth – a good breastfeeding bra helps you feel better about yourself, and that with your vest will help your confidence in feeding when out and about. I wear a vest under everything to make it easier to access to the breast. Then I can also wear non-feeding clothing over the vest. Muslin squares are also an essential for discreet feeding when needed and mopping up any milk spit-ups. 

 10. Wonder Weeks App – lastly I have referred to an app on my phone throughout Florence’s development and that is the Wonder Weeks app. This charts the learning and development of your baby and makes an interesting read. It also lets you know whether your baby is experiencing a stormy fussy period or a happier less fussy stage. This has enabled me to be more understanding on the days that have been more demanding with a haze of multiple milk feeds! 

These tips have all helped for an easier, more relaxing & positive feeding journey.

Here is a link to my previous breast feeding post and video:

https://teamsteinblog.com/2017/04/07/my-breastfeeding-journey-my-big-babies-who-drop-weight/

Weaning – 6 Months 

Florence started solids at 6 months and we chose to mainly go down the baby led weaning route. Her 1st tastes have been sticks or slices of sweet potato, avocado, butternut squash, carrot, pear, apple, Mango, strawberry, broccoli, spinach, cucumber and porridge. She has also tried slices of cheese, toast and weetabix.

From the start Florence has wanted to spoon feed herself so we give her loaded spoons. It’s ridiculously messy but we’re going with it for now! 

We have so far purchased 2 terry towelling bibs from M&S as we found that rubber bibs were distracting her feeding, and the bamboo bowl and spoon combo. We really love this stylish bowl and it’s very functional with its suction plate, and she loves the silicone ended spoon. Really nice to move away from plastic at the dinner table. https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B015UGKX3W/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1489048695&sr=8-1&keywords=bamboo+baby+bowl


We will update you in a few weeks on her next first tastes and how brave we have become with the baby led process. Hope you enjoy the short video of our weaning journey so far. Thank you and please sign up to our blog for regular email updates on posts.