Since my original post on must-have newborn products I have been keeping a list of everything else I couldn’t have lived without, with the intention of giving new mummas some product advice for slighter older babies. This is not posted in real time, Thalia is 8 months old now… the blog has escaped me for the last few weeks – which have been busy busy. But that means that I have a long list of things to write about and some exciting (I think) posts coming up!
Exercise ball – the obvious reason to invest in one of these is the comfort that they provide as a bouncy seat both during pregnancy and labour. I have to be honest and say that because they do not have a built in back rest I rarely used mine whilst pregnant. Though it provided a huge amount of relief for the sciatica I suffered with towards the end of my pregnancy. During labour however, this ball was a GODSEND. Luckily these were provided at the hospital, as taking my own – which was in my original plan – was very much at the back of my mind when Thalia decided to arrive two weeks early. What I didn’t realise until Thalia was around 2 months old is how amazing these are as a rocking chair substitute. They are both cheaper and easier to move around, and you can even get pretty covers to match the decor. We found one for €15 in decathlon, making the ball one of my favourite parts about Thalia’s section of our bedroom. Instead of walking in hunched over circles around our very low-ceilinged room, or bobbing up and down until my knees resemble those of a 90 year old’s, I just sit on the exercise ball and have a bounce on there until she’s sleepy enough to go into her cot. And it works a treat! Have a look at my stylish cover here
Back seat mirror – we got given one of these second hand when I was pregnant, and despite all intentions to put it in the car, it stayed under the bed until Thalia was at least 6 weeks old. However, when Thalia was tiny, being able to see her in the car wasn’t quite as important to us as she really just slept all the time. But now that she’s awake for the majority of the day and attempting to eat everything, the mirror means that we can see what antics she’s up to when alone in the back of the car. This is especially useful when I’m alone in the car with the monkey and can’t quickly climb through to the back seat to check on her…the mirror means that I can have a quick glance at what she’s doing without getting distracted. Unless she looks back at me and smiles with that beautiful face of hers, then we’re all in trouble.
Sleepsuits with mits built in – the loose mits for baby’s hands CAN be a choking hazard – call me overly cautious, I definitely am, I also thought that this was an overly cautious warning until we had Thalia and I realised quite how helpless and fragile she was. So despite having a stack of loose baby mittens, I only used them a couple of times, and even then only during the day when I could watch her. At night it’s easier to use sleepsuits with the little flaps on the sleeves that you can quickly fold over baby’s chilly hands or long nails.
Blankets – I cannot tell you how many blankets we have received as gifts, literally, I can neither locate nor count them all. These are absolutely a must-have, and are always useful, but do not buy any. They are everybody’s favourite present to give.
White noise machine – I talked about this in my Must-have newborn products post, have talked about it since in Nights away with a baby, and will talk about it again. This little machine is amazing. I don’t know how we would have coped without it. We can watch TV and Thalia doesn’t wake up, I can tidy the bedroom around her cot and she doesn’t wake up (usually), the dogs can bark all hours of the day and she doesn’t wake up. I’m even pretty sure that it’s helped François to sleep after finishing a night shift. Just make sure that they have enough battery, we have had many a time that it has run out of charge during a day nap, leading to Thalia’s immediate, and usually quite angry, awakening.
Baby carrier – I had my heart set on this particular baby carrier from the very beginning of my pregnancy, it was the only thing that I absolutely HAD to have. You can wear it in 5 different ways depending on the age of your baby, which I love. Thalia was not a fan of the inwards facing positions unless she was already asleep, meaning that I didn’t use it very much until she was about 4 months old and able to start facing outwards. It was from then that I really started to use is regularly. And it has been a game changer. The world is my oyster now that I have two hands to cook, clean, do the washing and brush my teeth! My beautiful baby carrier can be found on baby ktan.
Room thermometer – it’s great to have a bit of peace of mind in knowing that you’ve dressed your baby correctly for the temperature of the room. I am a very cautious mumma when it comes to this, but I think it’s important to be. Our thermometer from Groegg also changes colour depending on the temperature which I’ve always found pretty useful for quick reassurance.
Swimming pool inflatable – and no, I don’t mean inflatable swimming pool, though we do also have one of those. Other than the obvious use for this particular item, we used this a lot in the house and garden as a place for her to sit where she won’t hurt herself if she topples over. It’s also great at containing any toys that she’s playing with – though she usually spends her time in here sucking whichever blanket we’ve laid in the bottom to make it more comfortable. As a pool toy this is also brilliant. There is a net to sit on which allows enough water inside for her to play with, without being too submerged if it’s a particularly chilly pool. Though in all honesty she prefers to just hang over the edge of it watching the world go by. We found this one in Decathlon.
Changing area – I won’t lie and say that I don’t change Thalia’s nappy in various places throughout the house depending on where the closest nappy is and whether I have the energy to walk upstairs, but having everything necessary for nappy changes in one place makes life a lot easier and a lot less messy. Until Thalia was 2 months old I had a changing ‘area’ (one being a towel on the floor) both upstairs and downstairs. And while sometimes it made life easier, it just gives you an extra place that needs to be tidied and cleaned in your already hectic day.
Baby gym – I wouldn’t call this a must-have, but it’s given me 10 minutes of peace every day so that I can tidy the bedroom/strip the bed/make the bed/find the laundry/do the laundry/hang the laundry/fold the laundry/hoover/wash up/cook/clean/wee…amongst many other things us supermums run around doing.
I hope some mummas have found this useful! Any of these would also make great baby shower gifts!