- There is no need for mittens or booties. Most onesies come with “feet” and fold-over hand covers.
- Babies with reflux need ginormous bibs not the cute bandana ones.
- Babies’ hands and feet are freezing! This is apparently normal and nothing to worry about. Definitely no need to put 4 pairs of socks on.
- The triangles at the top of vests are there so you can roll down the vest in case of poocidents so baby doesn’t get poo all over his/her face.
- The neck of vests are wide enough so you can put them on from the feet upwards. Babies (or at least mine) really don’t like tight things over their heads. But then, he does seem to have quite a big head 😊
- Getting arms into pramsuits/jackets is a mission. Now I just zip up the pram suit with arms across baby’s chest 😂 life is much easier that way. Alternatively you can treat yourself and baby to a Baby Star Blanket. This has been a complete lifechanger for us!
- I didn’t buy any ‘newborn’ sized clothes but instead bought ‘up to 1 month’ which last until baby is about 10lbs. He never got to wear the one newborn outfit he had.
- Babies are really really noisy sleepers. Imagine a herd of farm animals and you’re close! Babies grunt, snort, neigh etc… loud enough at night to panic any new parent….but you soon learn to differentiate the farm animals from the cries that really need your attention.
- We bought a Gro-Egg Room Thermometer. It changes colour when the room is too hot/cold according to safe sleeping guidelines but for us, all it’s done is act as a pretty (but quite rubbish) nightlight. You’ll soon find out if your baby is hot or cold, and whilst a room thermometer may give you reassurance I really wouldn’t spend too much on it!
- Not all babies like to be swaddled or ‘restrained’ in sleeping bags like a Grobag. Our little boy likes to sleep like a starfish and only a blanket will do so I wouldn’t go crazy in buying lots of things before you get your baby home.
- We had 2 moses basket stands. A rocking one which lived in our bedroom with the moses basket and a static one which we put in the living room for the pram’s carry cot. This meant we used the Joie Carrycot as a second moses basket to avoid carrying the actual basket up and down all day and it also meant that if baby fell asleep in the pram, rather than take him out, we could just disconnect the carry cot from the pram and move the whole thing to the living room.
- Having said that, perhaps the best purchase of all was our Joie Travel Cot. At 6 weeks old our little man decided he wanted more space when sleeping and not wanting to move his cot from his nursery into our bedroom in case he didn’t like it, we set up the travel cot and he’s been sleeping in it ever since! We could have saved ourselves from the whole moses basket set up.
- It is never too early to start a bedtime routine. We started our little boy’s bedtime routine at about 6 weeks old. It starts with a bath at 6pm, cuddles/massage/story and get dressed at 6.15pm, feeding at 6.30pm and then bed. On average he is asleep by 7.30pm. He is now 13 weeks old and only wakes up once between 7.30pm and 6am. This doesn’t work every day and flexibility is key but it works for us most often than not.
- There are many sleep companions out there which claim to help babies sleep by playing white noise or heartbeat sounds. The most popular are myHummy, Ollie the Owl and our little boy’s choice, Ewan the dream sheep. I couldn’t say whether it helps our baby sleep or not but it’s now very much part of his sleeping routine and we’re much too scared to take it away in case it disturbs his sleep. Some people simply choose to play white noise on phones or apps. Whatever helps to get your baby to sleep I say!
Changing and bathing
- Nappies have lines that change colour when there’s wee in them. There is no warning sign for poo. That’s a surprise.
- Nappies come in lots of sizes. Starting from size 1 specially for newborns but sizes are dependent on weight. So far I have noticed a directly correlation between baby size and nappy cost. The heavier the baby the more expensive the nappy. Don’t get me started on swimming nappies!
- If breastfeeding, you may find that after the first few weeks babies only poo every few days. Breastfed babies can go up to 10 days without having a poo. This is normal and it happens because there is no/very little waste in breastmilk for the body to expel. When they do finally poo you better hope they’re not wearing white (I’ve learned that lesson)
- A Bath Thermometer is a must. Our baby’s first bath consisted of both myself and his daddy sticking our elbows in to ‘test the water’ before realising we didn’t really know how to gauge if the water was too hot or too cold using our elbows.
- We used the bathroom sink the first few times and then an Angelcare Bath Support so our hands were free to wash and splash 😊
- Everyone has an opinion about feeding. Breast or formula? Or both? It’s a very personal decision but ultimately a fed baby is best.
- Bottles and teats are a minefield. There are all sorts of anti-colic, self-steralising, closer-to-nature bottles with differing flow sizes or variable flow teats 😶 We don’t use many bottles as our baby is breastfed but we initially went with free MAM bottles with size 1 teats that we were given at baby events. Haha! Made decision making much easier. We then moved onto Nuby and Philips Avent with variable flow teats once baby needed bigger bottles. The great thing is we haven’t really noticed any nipple/teat confusion with these bottles.
- Sterilising is also super complicated. Cold Water Sterilisers, Electric steam ones, Sterilising Tablets/ liquids/ wipes etc…What happened to just boiling things in water? We initially used the Munchkin Latch Steriliser Bags that we also got free and now use the Phillips Avent Microwave Steriliser. Ps. Don’t forget dummies also need sterilising! Pps. Not all babies like dummies which makes melt downs in public particularly exciting.
- If you are not planning on expressing milk very frequently I really don’t believe that there is any need to spend £££ on breast pumps. I initially had a Haakaa manual breast pump which collected breast let down milk that would otherwise go to waste in a breast pad, and then I bought a generic unbranded electric double breast pump which has been absolutely marvellous.
- Not knowing when I will get a chance to prepare my breakfast or lunch when I’m on my own with baby, I usually make myself a sandwich first thing in the morning when baby is a little calmer and take bites out of it as and when I can 🙈 I’m not sure that’s a healthy tip but for me, it means I do eat! Snacks are vital and if you can, hide some in strategic places where you can reach them when feeding/napping with baby.
- I also prepare my cold drinks in bottles with sports caps which means I can have drinks on the sofa within reach and with little chance of spillages on myself or baby. I’ve not yet found a similar solution for hot drinks but I read somewhere about the use of a flask or travel mugs but I don’t feel they are secure enough to have near a wiggly baby.
Out and about
- Buggy clips or carabiners have made my life so much easier. I hang the changing bag, shopping, my coat, umbrella and all sorts of other things on the pram with ease.
- Some supermarkets (Aldi and Asda that I know of) have special shopping trollies with a section where you can place the whole car seat. I don’t particularly like using the trolleys with baby seats. They are usually cold and wet and they don’t look very secure. Also if you put the car seat in a normal trolley then you find yourself with no space for any shopping! These special trollies are an absolute DREAM particularly if your baby hates getting in and out of the car seat. There aren’t many of them though so scope them out before getting out of the car.
- We have a baby carrier that I take with me everywhere…in the car, in the pram, out shopping etc… because I know that if baby has a meltdown in public and I can’t calm him down, then being close to me in the carrier will certainly pacify him without the need for dummy or boob.
I think that is it for now. If I think of any more tips I will let you know 😘😘