Baby’s best buys :)

Every since my maiden post back in August on my Top 12 Baby Essentials, I have been overwhelmed by the number of messages I have received from new and expectant mommies, and how they felt my post helped them. I cannot explain how happy this makes me! To know I can help in some tiny way is all I want from this blog.

I have been promising a full write up on what I would recommend you buy when expecting a babe, so finally, here it is! I have given a list that is probably missing a few things, but hopefully pretty comprehensive. In some cases I have added pics where I thought they might help. I hope that if you are expecting, that this helps guide you a little bit.

These are the things (coupled with that first post of mine) that if we had a fire and lost everything, we would replace:

** it’s important to note that these are not all must-haves, but being a mom of 3 these are the things that help me through motherhood and are my faves*^

NURSERY:
Crib – personal preference. We bought one second hand John Lewis cot and sprayed it white. What I like about our cot is that you have the option to move the mattress lower as baby gets bigger.
Crib mattress – I recommend Snuggletime Bamboo – Organic bamboo bedding is naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial.
Mattress protector – This is to shield the mattress from those dreaded poonami’s, as well as milk spilt from bottle and the odd vomit. A must-have!
Baby bedding – When it comes to baby linen and bedding, less is more. You shouldn’t put anything into the cot/crib that could lead to suffocation. With my first babe I invested in some beautiful linen, all embriodered with Tatty Teddy and so cute… but you don’t use them until baby is much older, so save your money there and I would say invest in the following:
* NurtureOne pillow – see previous post for more on why this is a must-have!
* Snuggletime Lift Wedge – an angled sponge pillow which you place under the NurtureOne so that baby’s head is slightly elevated.
* Muslin cloths – I found the best ones were from Checkers (Jolly Tots range) and Cotton On. These are best for swaddling babe as they have just enough ‘give’, and are able to pull nice and taut to keep babe snug, but are still soft to the touch. Smaller muslins are nice as burp cloths or to put between yourself and baby while feeding on bottle (can get messy!)

* Fluffy blankies – I was given a few of these fluffy type blankies, they are a similar fabric to the Lily & Jack bunny that Brooklyn loves, so the texture helps her self soothe, too. You can find these type of blankies from Mr P home, Woolworths and Baby City, to name a few. Not to mention Simply Child, who are currently having an amazing sale on their site! In winter I swaddle baby with a muslin, and then cover with fluffy blanky.
* Cot Bumpers – There are mixed reviews and opinions on these, but I have always used cot bumpers, and love them. They are fastened to the cot sides so they are not lose as a suffocation hazard, and they are made from a fully breathable sponge with holes throughout. The reason I love them is because if baby tends to roll and bump against the sides of the cot, it is cushioned, and less likely to wake him/her. Also baby is less likely (or should I say unlikely) to get her leg caught in between the cot sides. Ouch!
Compactum – personal preference but see my previous post for my recommendation
Changing station – You will need a changing mat, and possibly a mobile above your changing station. The changing mat you can get from Baby City. I recommend getting one that has a plastic cover (not toweling), because it is easily wiped down. I got a metal mobile frame from Baby Group which I adorned with flowers 🙂 But I see they are not currently selling them separately – maybe contact them if this is something you are after (mine was R249).
Oh – I just found them on Ruby Melon website. You should also have a heater on your changing station (see prev post).

IMG_3128
Metal frame mobile with flowers over changing mat

Nappies – personal preference but I love pampers premium

Nappy bin – see prev post

Monitor – we have had the angel care monitor since Jackson was born 5 years ago. We have never used the sensor pad (personal preference), but love the fact that it has a screen and you can see how baby is lying etc. Also, the after sales service is really excellent. They assist with battery changes and routine servicing.

Miscellaneous nursery goodies

  • My favorite bum cream is Sudocrem – touch wood Brooklyn has not had a bad nappy rash yet!
  • Reuterina drops – good daily for babies gut health
  • Gripe water for dipping dummy into
  • Sterimar for blocked/congested noses
  • The baby ear buds are great for cleaning around baby’s ear and it doesn’t go down the canal
  • Cotton Balls are needed for new baby – during bath and every morning you should use cool-boiled water to wipe baby’s eye clean (a new ball per eye).
  • Dummies – Brooklyn never took to a dummy (insert sad face*) but best to choose a brand of dummies of the same family as your bottle of choice. I also recommend CHERRY dummies for newborn baby as their mouths are so very tiny
  • Thermometer – I found the most reasonably priced one at Checkers, believe it or not! Jolly Tots range for the win 🙂
  • Baby Nail clippers – there will be nothingmore daunting as a new parent than cutting your teeny tiny baby’s even teeny tinier little nails! Make sure you have the best tool for the job!

Arm Chair – A good and comfortable arm chair is vital in your nursery. The rocker I got for B’s nursery was so cute, but not practical as the wooden arms are not ideal and the overall comfort of the chair resulted in terrible back ache for me! Nursing chairs, also known as baby feeding chairs, are used to provide you the best and most comfortable position for breast feeding, bottle feeding your baby or nursing your baby to sleep.
Nursing pillow – I must be completely honest, while I think this was useful when feeding baby in my bed, I have seldom used my feeding pillow. I find most of its use came when B was learning how to sit, and I could place her in the opening of the cushion, which would protect her should she topple over. I do have friends who swear by a nursing pillow though, so I have included it here.

Nursing chair and nursing pillow
Nursing chair and nursing pillow

Play Gym – Babies need stimulation, and placing objects just within their grasp encourages them to start using their arms and practice hand-eye coordination. Their are loads of options out there, but I opted for the wooden one from Simply Child, and I can mix up the objects I hang from the play gym, with different colored ribbons, toys and textures.

Toys – There are a variety of gorgeous toys out there, but B’s favorite are the hard plastic ones she can chew on. Her ultimate favorite and my companion whenever we go out is Sophie giraffe. Its hard yet soft enough to make for the perfect chew toy when those pesky teeth are irritating their gums!
IMG_9143
Bouncy Chairs and Baby Seats – It is great to have a type of bouncy or moving chair while baby is small and can’t yet lie down on hard surfaces. As they get older they can also sit in Bumbo, especially handy at meal times.

TRAVEL:
Baby Bag
– My current favorite nappy bag brand is the Thandana range. I think first-time moms could find it better to use a bag that is specifically created as a nappy bag, with all the bottle holders, compartments, and changing mat… like this little beauty:

shelley-beach-nappy-bag-7-600x600
SHELLY BEACH NAPPY BAG AND CHANGEMAT

What I have done this time around, though, is use a tote with smaller bags inside for nappies and other essentials. Mine isn’t this brand but I am obsessed with this Hazelnut Leather Tote and it is on my wish list:

Tote-Handbag-Leather-Hazelnut-IMG_0130-600x600.jpg
THANDANA LEATHER TOTE HANDBAG


Pram
 – This again is such a personal preference and I cannot give a recommendation on mine as it is no longer available in SA. I have asked my lovely friend, and fellow mom-of-3, Caley Rosenberg {from Ellie Love} for a recommendation on her Bugaboo Chameleon pram:
“I absolutely love it for a number of reasons!
Number 1: It is light and easy to fold. It is one of the few prams that fits into my boot and I still have over half my boot to fit groceries and bags etc. And as a mom who had a c/section, it is easy to put down and pull up, and it is a simple mechanism. 
Number 2: it has lasted so well, from full use with my second baby, and now with my third, from milk/food stains and travelled and walked in the bush and berg (it has lovely off-road wheels). It still looks brand new! It does help that it is black, but very easily cleaned. 
It doesn’t come with a car seat, but a maxi cosi car seat fits into it and the transition is easy, and it comes with a basinet, (which the NurtureOne fits into which is amazing). We have used this as a Moses basket next to our bed when we have gone away, and this has worked so well. 
It is amazing. You can hang your nappy nag on the back and it has storage underneath. You can also buy additional accessories like cup holders for it. 
The actual seat that baby sits in fold all the way down so baby can go into a lying position. 
I would say the only negative is that it has two adapters for the car seat to go into, so if you lose them you can’t put the car seat into pram, but having said that they are readily available in SA so you can easily replace them should you need to.
Car Seat –  If your car seat doesn’t come with your pram then I would only recommend that you go with a tried and tested brand which is compatible with your pram. It is a massive inconvenience to move a sleeping baby out of a car chair and into a separate pram, rather than just picking baby up and clipping on. I highly recommend you also try and get an ISOfix car seat base which your car seat clips into (provided your car allows for it), as it really keeps the car seat secure, as opposed to trying to restrain every time with the seat belt. It is much safer, as well as more convenient.

FullSizeRender-31
It’s a good idea to get a head cushion too as they are so tiny

Camp Cot – My camp cot is over 5 years old so I won’t even begin to recommend it as I am certain they have changed so much. What I do recommend is you go into store and ask to look at and try the camp cots. Put it up and put it down. See how simple or complicated they are and choose the EASIEST one. You will thank me later. Sometimes these are left to granny to put up for a sleepover, and you just won’t believe how impossible some of these mechanisms are! Its also important to see how small they fold down. Try get one that goes as small as possible because boot space is so limited, and believe me when I say that you will be cursing everything when you try fit a pram, camp cot, and 13 bags (just for baby) into your tiny boot! 🙂

BATHTIME:
Sprogipad Bath Cushion – I have never had a separate plastic baby bath. My babies have gone straight into the tub, and most of the time I have gone in there with them. I used the Angel Care seat for the boys, but with Brooklyn there was a new product on the market – and I fell in love with this one. Easily my number one bath time essential! There are various brands around, but I loved the stone color one from Simply Child (hurry! It is also on sale!) We used this bath cushion from when little B was 4 days old, and right up until she was just over 5 months old. She has now out grown it, but is mostly sitting unsupported so I will get a bath ring for her now.

Hooded Bath Towels – Mr P has lovely soft white ones.
Face cloths – Just a pack from Mr P home is perfect.
Skin Care Products – If you follow me on Instagram you will know I tested the Johnson’s Top to Toe range, and I have been a lover of the brand ever since. I love how it leaves B’s skin feeling and looking, and I love that the shampoo formulation doesn’t sting her eyes.

FEEDING:
Bottles – This is mostly a game of preference to be honest, and in most cases new moms will either go with what they have heard, what their friend’s baby is using, or what they think looks nice. Both my boys took to Tommee Tippee bottles immediately, and loved them. I had a hard time with Miss B as she refused any form of bottle for the first 14weeks of her life, and then she eventually took to a Pigeon bottle. She now loves the narrow-neck Pigeon. I recommend getting a starter pack of any bottles of your choice, and try them. If baby doesn’t take to them you can go from there, but from my experience, MOST babies will take to what they are offered! 😉
SubstandardFullSizeRender
Bottle Sterilizer – I have had my Pigeon electric sterilizer for 5 years now, and it is still going strong. It is so easy and makes sterilizing a less tedious task. We started with the microwave sterilizer when we first had Jackson. I highly recommend you DO NOT do this! The amount of times I burnt myself on the steam, and the anxiety it created in taking the boiling container out of the microwave after each session was just not worth the money you save when not getting the electric one.
Bottle Warmer – This is easily one of my favorite feeding hacks of all time, once baby is taking formula, of course. I can’t understand why some of my friends do not use a bottle warmer! Not only does it help ensure you have a bottle ready and waiting for the next feed (so there isn’t frantic sterilizing and boiling/cooling water while baby is screaming with an empty tummy), but also because you are able to have the water set at 40′ just above room temperature, and thus the formula mixes in more easily that into colder water. It takes the stress away from feeding at nigh too, as it is a simple case of taking the already-filled-to-right ml bottle, adding formula from a formula tower (also already measured out into the right number of scoops), shaking, and voila! Done!
Just an fyi – the Pigeon Sterilizer also doubles as a bottle warmer, but I have used a separate warmer to ensure that the parts of the sterilizer stay together and there isn’t a constant struggle to put everything together or take apart when sterilizing needs to happen… if that makes sense…? If not let me know!
Breast Pump – I have tried 3 different brands and my all-time favorite breast pump is the Tommee Tippee Breast pump. It was the most gentle and effective for me.
Breastfeeding Cover – Milk Mama – as per prev post


Bowls and Spoons
– Almost before you blink your baby will be 4/6 months old and ready to start solids, so get a few plastic spoons and bowls so that you are ready for that.
Bibs – YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH! Feeding a baby who hasn’t quite worked out how her tongue works is such a messy job! You really can never have enough bibs. My absolute favorite are the nice square bibs from CottonOn, mainly because they are big and are best at preventing the orange butternut from soiling baby’s pretty clothes!

CLOTHING  – The best (and worst) clothes for baby will be a whole new blog post, but as a start I recommend as many plain white, long sleeved baby grows as possible. They are the easiest to clean (poonami’s) and the most versatile. My favorite are the Pick n Pay ones as I just love the stretchy and delicate material – best I have found!
For sleeping in (and while they are in their first few weeks and can’t regulate their body temperature) I recommend long sleeve, long leg baby grows. I love the Cotton On Onesies (they zip from top-down or toe-up, giving easy access for nappy changes) and Woolworths button up ones. Of course the Country Road ones are my absolute fave, but those are also not cheap 😉

INFORMATION/GUIDANCE:
Books we live by – Gina Ford Contented Little Baby and Baby Sense 
I also like the What to Expect when you are expecting book.
Apps – The Wonder Weeks, Baby Center and Baby Sense

Hospital bag for baby  – I will create a separate post on this (watch this space) 
Hospital bag for mama – same as above.

I hope this helps! Let me know what I left off

Lots of love
Shanny x

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Author: Shan Fourie

I am a happy South African wife and a truly blessed mom of two beautiful boys and a baby girl...! I am CREATIVE and love creating things and teaching myself. I love people, my friends and family especially. I love positivity and change.

3 thoughts on “Baby’s best buys :)”

  1. We use the Snuggletime co-sleeper and it has been life changing! You can push it right up against your bed and the side goes down so baby is level with you but still in their own space 🙂 when she is bigger it will become a normal camp cot and also a play pen as it has a little “tunnel door” for her to climb through x

Leave a Reply