Thursday, 15 September 2011

hello baby- surviving the first 3 months

To mark baby Rose having recently passed the 3 month milestone, I thought I'd share a few of the things that have helped us through the newborn and tiny infant stage. The absolutely insane array of products out there aimed at new parents and parents-to-be is mindblowing and overwhelming. Most of it is largely unnecessary (let's be honest, if people survived without it fifty years ago then it's probably not strictly an essential), though many do undoubtedly make modern life easier. These are some of the standout items that have worked for us-I'm not including the more standard things such as a cot or Moses basket, because they seem fairly obvious!

Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment- Sudocrem seems to have cornered the market here but I have found it to be absolutely useless. This nappy cream beats it hands down and clears up any hint of redness in a couple of applications. Handle with care though as the only downside is that the intense yellow colour does stain clothes/towels but most crucially not the baby's bottom :).

Baby Bjorn sling- Whether you decided to use a sling depends a lot on your lifestyle/where you live etc. We've used this with both our girls and it has been a god send. Babies seem to love it and usually fall asleep in it in a matter of minutes. Rose gets popped it on when I'm doing the supermarket shop and it leaves me with two hands free to push the trolley and also on days when I don't want to be bothered with the buggy. Lila was a very fussy, clingy baby and putting her in the sling was the only way I could do my hair and get myself ready in the morning without her screaming the house down.

Phil & Ted's Cocoon- We got this cocoon as we upgraded to a Phil & Teds double buggy when Rose came along and this slots in under the toddlers top seat for the baby to lie in but it has been invaluable as a carrycot in it's own right. If we are heading over to a friends place or a restaurant for dinner then we just pop Rose inside and she has her own neat, portable little cot which she sleeps in so well. It is much more cosy and comfortable for her than just using the car seat (which apparently babies are only supposed to stay in for an hour and a half at a time to avoid spine damage as they are not lying flat ).

Baby's First Black & White Book- Although tiny babies spend most of their lives sleeping and feeding and pooping, in their awake moments it's always nice to bond over a book (never to early to start enjoying a good book!) As they have limited eye sight to begin with, they respond the most to black and white, high contrast patterns and Rose has loved this book since she was only a few weeks old.

Cuddle Dry Towel- This nifty invention definitely helps make bath time a more pleasant experience. You do look a bit of a moron wearing it (you essentially have a massive bath towel fastened around your neck) but you can quickly and easily scoop up baby from the bath and pop the little hood over its head to stay warm with minimal scrambling around and grappling with a wet, slippery little thing.

Gro-Egg Night Light and Room Thermometer- This is a really practical, muli-functional but also good looking product. If like me, you have basically no idea if the baby is the right temperature then this is a handy indicater as it changes colour when the room is too hot or cold so you know whether to put an extra blanket on them or to remove a layer. It also gives off a nice glow so no need for a seperate night light.

Eye Cream- Sleep is a precious commodity that is likely to be an elusive beast. A decent eye cream that minimises dark circles and signs of fatigue is a good investment and helps you look marginally more human.

Confident Baby Care by Jo Frost- Super Nanny delivers the goods! Who better to trust in all matters of baby rearing than the nations favourite nanny. Curt's Mum bought us this book when I was pregnant with Lila and it became my go-to manual whenever I had any queries or wondered what exactly the heck I should be doing with this small being I had to care for. I re-read it when Rose was born and it was still just as good.

Skip Hop Duo Nappy Bag- I don't actually have this nappy bag but I wish I did. It is practical yet still attractive and not overly feminine. I have one adorned with a pink bow print and a pocket with a cupcake on the front, embroidered with the words 'Yummy Mummy' which may be beautiful (actually, two years down the line it is now fairly shabby), but is entirely ridiculous if you ever want your partner/husband to hold it, carry it or basically be seen dead anywhere with it. He will more thank likely use it as an excuse for not taking the child out on a trip to the playground whilst you enjoy an hour of uniterrupted peace at home. If only I had considered this before blowing a shameful amount of money on it.

Cotton scarf- I have amassed a good collection as these as they are a handy discreet cover up when breastfeeding out and about. A pretty colorful one (like this one pictured, from Zara) will also help liven up a dull/dreary outfit. A plain/more neutral one would also be a wise investment for more pattern happy ensembles (but beware: black is the worst culprit for showing up baby sick).

Batiste dry shampoo- There will be some days when a shower, let alone washing your hair is just not an option. This will become a life saver and allow you to still leave the house looking like a polished, well groomed member of scoiety when nothing is further from the truth. I've tried almost all of the options out there but this, the original and the cheapest really does work the best.

Hope this might help a few people out there. If anyone has any must-haves of their own then please do share :) previous posts on pregnancy essentials and dressing the bump.

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