As I write this, Phoebe is turning six weeks old! Six weeks of looking after this tiny human already, wow. During the first few weeks of her life, it became very clear to me that there are some standout essentials that I will be recommending to other new mums from now on. Some of them I’d already purchased before Phoebe was born, others I ordered at 3am during a night feed to be delivered by Amazon Prime the next day.
I hope you find this useful if you’re about to become a mum for the first time yourself, or have just had a baby. Let me know if there’s anything you’d add to this list that I might not have discovered yet! You can reach out in the comments or on Instagram.
The first few things I purchased were for myself rather than for Phoebe, to help with breastfeeding and recovering from giving birth.
Lansinoh Breastmilk Collector, £13.99, Amazon
My number one recommendation for any mum planning to breastfeed is a breastmilk collector. I got one from Lansinoh, but actually you can get much cheaper ones from Amazon or even Aldi.
The Lansinoh one comes with a strap that goes around your neck to stop you from dropping it and spilling your precious milk, as well as a lid to pop on top for storage. It just suctions on to your boob and collects the letdown while the baby feeds on the other side (or while you’re pumping from the other side if you choose to express at some point). It’s incredible how much milk you can collect that would otherwise be wasted. A must have!
Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy, £10, Amazon
Also from Lansinoh are these brilliant things. You can pop them in the microwave or in the freezer and then pop them into your bra to ease your boobs when they’re engorged. I haven’t needed them so much lately, but during that first week or two these were amazing and I imagine also useful even if you’re not breastfeeding to ease the pain.
Lansinoh Breast Pads, £17 for 240, Amazon
You are definitely going to need breast pads, even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding. Leaky boobs are so frustrating, but the Lansinoh pads are brilliant (I swear this isn’t a sponsored post, I just seem to really like Lansinoh products). I tried others that are cheaper and also some reasonably expensive ones from Tommee Tippee but the Lansinoh ones are far better, even overnight. They are a bit on the pricey side but you can buy four boxes from Amazon at a discounted price.
Water Bottle with Straw, £3, ASDA
During labour and ever since, these water bottles have been a godsend. I have been so thirsty pretty much all the time, so having this bottle to hand wherever I am is so convenient.
Night Light, £11.99, Amazon
For the first night or so, we had a lamp on all night long so that I could see what I was doing when feeding Phoebe or just when I wanted to check if her eyes were closed. But that’s not ideal, so we ended up buying a little portable night light from Amazon. It can be nice and dim, just enough to see what you need to without disturbing everyone.
H&M Body Suits, 3-pack, £9.99, H&M
We loved these little bodysuits, they’re so cute and so easy to put on – you don’t need to put them over the baby’s head. I plan to buy some more in bigger sizes for Phoebe to wear now that she’s grown out of the newborn size.
Swaddles Wraps, 3-pack, £17.99, Amazon
Phoebe sleeps much better when she’s nice and tightly swaddled. We got these swaddles from Amazon, they’re so much easier than worrying about a swaddle blanket, thanks to the velcro tabs. They also mean you don’t need to worry about tucking blankets over the top of them in the moses basket or bedside cot (at least not in the weather we’ve got right now), which is something I found fiddly during the first few days and often resulted in an awake baby.
Huggies Pure Extra Wipes, £3.50, Boots
We really like these wipes, they aren’t too wet and are much softer and gentler than others we’ve tried. I want to try to avoid using wipes too often, I plan to get some reusable cheeky wipes soon, but for now when my brain is so frazzled worrying about getting used to motherhood we’re using these.
These final three items are a bit on the pricey side and probably aren’t really ‘essentials’ but we have used them all so much so far and are really glad we have them. We actually won the first three in a competition I entered on Instagram via Mumsnet so we were really lucky that we didn’t have to buy any of them, and that we’ve found them so brilliant. It might be worth adding these to your gift list if you have generous friends or family!
Bumbo Changing Pad, £65.99, Amazon
I didn’t think I’d actually use the Bumbo Changing Pad much, it seemed a little bulky and unnecessary, but it has been so brilliant. It’s comfy for Phoebe with a little dip for her head and a buckle to make sure she doesn’t roll out if I have to turn and grab some nappies or wipes for a moment. It is easy to wash and wipe clean, and the lip at the bottom means that when she wees while we’re changing her (a regular occurrence) it doesn’t pour everywhere.
Sleepyhead Deluxe+, £130, Mothercare
I’ve seen these everywhere, pretty much every mum on Instagram has one, but they’re really expensive so I couldn’t bring myself to buy one. Turns out I am so happy we won this because Phoebe has loved it from day one. I can’t imagine her fitting in it right up until she’s eight months old as stated, even though the end unbuckles to make more leg room. It’s the width I think she’ll outgrow before long. But for now, it’s fantastic.
ErgoPouch Swaddle Bag, £23.99, Jojo Maman Bebe
The third thing we won in that competition bundle was an Ergopouch, which we’ve also loved. It’s an alternative to the swaddle blankets I mentioned, slightly less tight but still with the option to keep her arms in. It has a zip at the bottom for easier nappy changes than the swaddles, too. The designs are lovely and the quality is great. Be sure to pick the right tog for the season your baby will be born in to prevent the need for additional blankets.
SnuzPod 3 Bedside Crib, £199.95, Snuz
One final thing that we’ve absolutely loved is our Snuzpod. It connects to the side of your bed meaning you don’t have to get out of bed to pick up your baby when it cries during the night. It makes it much easier to soothe your baby back to sleep if they wake when you put them down or shortly after a feed, too.
Also, in the early days when I was constantly worried about whether or not she was breathing, I could place my hand on her chest to check without having to get up! Again it’s a bit on the pricey side and she’ll only stay in it for six months, but I think it’s well worth the money.