Sunday, 26 January 2014

10 Things We Couldn't Have Lived Without

Henry's 1st birthday last week has meant lots of looking back, a few tears and a lot of reflection! It also got me thinking about the things we bought that we didn't need so much and the absolute lifesavers that got us through. Let's face it, the moment you find out your pregnant you're bombarded with so much choice it literally makes your head spin and it's so hard to know what you actually need and what you could do without! So here's my list of 10 things I couldn't have been without this year, in no particular order:

1.Ewan the Dream Sheep
I bough Ewan when Henry was a few months old after hearing good things. It has a light inside that glows red imitating the womb, and four sound options that range from white noise to womb sounds. Honestly it has been a very much used item by us, he still goes to sleep with it on 10 months later!

Around 4 weeks old I noticed Henry's head was going a bit flat at the back and scared that it would end up looking misshapen I did some research and bought the clevermama pillow. I used it at night under his moses sheets and laid him on during the day-basically, whenever he was on his back, the clever mama pillow was there. The term for flat head syndrome is either plagiocephaly (where the head is flat on a particular side of the head) or brachycephaly (where the head at the back is flat). The pillow keeps the head and spine in correct alignment and reduces pressure on babies soft skulls which helps prevent flat head syndrome developing. Pleased to say Henry's flat spot never got any worse thanks to the clevermama pillow and even rounded out when he started rolling and sitting. Now he has hair it's not even noticeable! It does come with a cover, but I think he'd spat up on it in this photo!

I wasn't so sure about getting a movement monitor to begin with, for a start they're quite pricey and I was a bit worried that I was just making myself a little bit too paranoid.The many positive reviews on amazon changed my mind though and it's been great. In those first days we were home from hospital we didn't have it setup and I couldn't sleep for checking Henry was breathing every 5 seconds... as soon as we got the monitor in place it instantly put my mind at rest an allowed me to grab some much needed Zzzz in between the constant feeds. Granted we've had a couple of false alarms but only ever when we've been away from home and used the travel cot. The pros far out weigh any cons for me. 

These have so many uses I don't know where to start-; burp clothes, swaddling, extra blanket, breast feeding cover, sunshade-the possibilities are endless! These are a must have! Gone are the plain white muslins of yesteryear, they now come in bright colours and patterns so can be pretty and functional!

We popped Henry in these as soon as he met the weight requirements (around 8/9lbs if I recall) and never looked back. The worry that baby will wiggle under the covers are gone, plus they can't kick them off and get cold. Normally they come in either a 1 tog for summer of a 2.5 tog for winter and you can layer sleepsuits and vests as required.

6. Baby Sling
Excellent for if you have a baby that does not like to be anywhere other then in your arms for the first few months and you need to go hands free to get bits done round the house, as well as those short walks to the shops, popping to the Drs etc. I personally love the look of woven wraps but was a bit intimidated by all the fabric. Instead I used a stretchy Close Carrier and progressed to a soft buckle Connecta Integra when Henry got too heavy. Not only are they a whole lot prettier they are much better for babies then the babybjorn style carriers which quite often don't provide enough support for babies hips as their legs are left hanging (also known as crotch dangling!). The best position for baby is knee to knee as this puts less stress on their hips. In some extreme cases using carriers that don't support baby enough can cause hip dysplasia. It is also important to note that you should not wear baby facing outwards until they are at least 6 months old as it puts too much pressure on their pubic region, spine and hips, regardless of carrier. For more information on how to prevent hip dysplasia and how to avoid baby equipment that may contribute to causing it please visit here. For more information on babywearing visit here.

In the summer when it was particularly hot we went through a good few weeks of horrendous nappy rash, this ointment worked wonders in healing the horrible sores and soothing the redness. It creates a protective barrier between the skin to protect it from wee and poop allowing it time to heal-we also did lots of nappy free time!

8.Happy Mummy Hook and Stroll 

Excellent for carrying all your shopping-I've used these pretty much everyday velcroed onto the pram to carry shopping or changing bag. Definitely a must if like us, you don't drive. The under pram storage basket can only hold so much!

9. Pram
Alongside the sling I could not have managed without our pram. We went for the Babystyle Oyster and I can only say that it has been fantastic. We don't drive so our pram has really taken a battering in the terrain and weather stakes. I'm fairly petite and when it came to choosing I found a lot of prams too big and too heavy-the Oyster was lightweight, folded small and came in a whole heap of colour options. We went for the travel system which included the carrycot and stroller-although you need to purchase a colour pack to get the hood part for the stroller as we found out. The stroller seat reclines in three position, the handle also extends to three different heights and the hood also extends twice. The pram can either parent face, or face outwards and with some adapters can take some carseats.

10. Each other
Ok, so this one is a bit soppy, but I honestly could not have got through the last year without Loz and I have the utmost respect for single mums coping on their own-I honestly don't know how they do it! Loz has been incredibly supportive and done more then his fair share of nappy changing, feeds and entertaining as well as listening to me nag, moan and cry. He's not shy when it comes to fatherhood and has embraced every aspect. Seeing him and Henry together melts my heart and I'll never forget those precious first hours we shared as a family in hospital; the look of amazement on his face as he met our son for the first time was just one of those perfect moments in life. Not going to lie, bringing a mini person into the world will test your relationship; it has been so very stressful at times, not helped along by sleep deprivation and a colic-y, reflux baby but you've just got to take the rough with the smooth and work through it as a team. 

What are your top ten things?


  1. This post is great! I feel like I've been bombarded with lists of things I 'need' that it's nice to know what other people have tried and loved! I've heard nothing but great things about Ewan the Dream Sheep - think that will be my next purchase :) x

    1. Aww, thank you! I know that feeling too well. I suppose it's all a learning curve but babies are expensive enough without buying unnecessary things! I did write a list of everything I thought I needed for when baby arrived compiled from the million lists you get whilst pregnant and it was pretty spot on. I might post it up and see whether it helps anyone! Ewan is great, failing Ewan the hairdryer or hoover also work wonders if they're inconsolable! xx