JoJo’s Online Editor had her first child last year, and despite being exposed to every baby-related gadget on the market, she was keen to keep unnecessary gear to a minimum! Just over a year on, she looks back on the products she actually used – and continues to use – the most. If you, too, are aiming to spend your money on the things which will give you the most mileage, read on.
Skip Hop Pronto Changing Mat
I’ll admit, I forked out on a very nice, full-sized changing bag…which I’ve used literally a few times. 99% of the time when we’re heading out, I’ll choose this mini changing bag – it holds a few nappies, plenty of wipes, nappy sacks and nappy cream. And, it folds out to turn into a handy wipe-clean mat, ideal for impromptu nappy changes.
As we live in London and don’t own a car, we get around by public transport and plenty of walking. For this reason, I needed a pram that was small and lightweight enough to squeeze onto busy tubes, navigate crowded footpaths and could be carried up a flight of stairs if no one was around to help. I went for the Babyzen Yoyo and have loved it since day one. It’s so nimble and tiny that it gave me the confidence to brave the tube on my own with my daughter when she was just a week old.
MAM Anti-Colic Bottles
The reason I chose to use MAM bottles was because they are self-sterilising. Our house is fairly small and I wanted to keep the number of unnecessary, bulky items to a minimum – the MAM bottles mean you don’t need a steriliser, you just pop them in the microwave. Plus, my baby took to the bottles with relative ease and I found I didn’t need to switch to different brands to find the ‘right’ fit.
JoJo Deluxe Buggy Organiser
This buggy organiser continues to be a daily essential. There’s plenty of space for a bottle, keys, your purse and your phone, and the flap keeps everything hidden from view. It means I don’t need a handbag, and everything is close to hand – ideal if you like to travel light. Plus, it can quickly be detached via the clips so it’s easy to take off if you’re leaving the buggy unattended.
My daughter was formula-fed from birth and the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep was a god-send. It meant in my sleep-deprived state, I was able to make up a bottle in about two minutes without much concentration or needing to go downstairs and waiting for the boiled water to cool down. Recently we’ve cut out most of the bottle feeds but for the first year, it was without doubt, my most used (and much-appreciated!) piece of kit.
Ewan the Dream Sheep Deluxe
We have used Ewan since day one and he remains a constant feature in our lives. My daughter has enjoyed white noise since our very first night in the post-natal ward and Ewan is her favourite bedtime companion. Because the Deluxe version is cry-activated, Ewan turns on automatically and soothes my daughter back to sleep, meaning I don’t have to. On the occasion when she didn’t have Ewan with her, I noticed she was less settled, so for that reason alone he is worth his weight in gold.
As a first time mum, it’s difficult not to feel paranoid about basically everything your newborn is exposed to! My daughter was born in the great heatwave of July 2018 and particularly at bedtime it was difficult to know was she too hot? Too cold? Having a room thermometer helped me make more sensible choices when it came to dressing her, giving me peace of mind.
Once my daughter was out of the swaddling stage, she slept in a sleeping bag, and has done so ever since. Designed to keep babies safely covered all night, I preferred a sleeping bag to loose blankets, especially when she was moved into her own room. As she had been swaddled in the first couple of months, the sleeping bag gave her a continued sense of security, helping to keep her settled throughout the night.