I’ve been meaning to write this post for what feels like forever.
I thought, “Oh i’ll write it when Lyla is 3 months old”, “Oh well i’ll write it when she’s 6 months old and do the first 6 months favourites…” cut to the present day when Lyla is about to turn 15 months old and I have only just been taking the time to sit down and finish this ha.
A whole other post I’d like to write and talk about is the first year of a mother, because my goodness, it’s a ride isn’t it?!
But for now I’d like to focus on what baby items we have loved and actually used in the past 15 months, but more so in her 1st year. Toddlerhood comes with different things and we have some other favourites in that area, maybe I’ll post those by the time she’s 1 years old haha
Before you have a baby you’re made to believe you need sooooo much. That your body is inadequate and not enough for your baby, and it just couldn’t be further from the truth. All your baby needs is you. They don’t need fancy beds, and super-gadgets, they need your warmth, love and proximity.
I actually hesitated even writing this because I don’t want to add fuel to the “you need more and more and more” fire. You really don’t.
But even as someone who wants to keep it down to a minimum, a few things do help and make life easier, or just makes you happy and that’s worth it, but please don’t ever fall in the trap that of you need all of these things and more to be a good mother and to parents the right way.
Trust your instincts, listen to your baby’s needs, and shut down the noise. (the best advice I got before entering motherhood)
- The Tula carrier was gifted to me by a friend who said it was her favourite by a mile and she had tried a fair few, and it is indeed the best! Can be used well into toddlerhood, front-facing (safe on the hips!), on the back, it’s brilliant and very comfortable for both you and baby.
- A wrap was potentially my number one used baby item in the first 6 months. We got this one and this one. The Boba wrap was great later on as she got heavier as it has extra stretch. She spent most of her time in there, and most naps. It gives you free hands and allows you to go out and do things, whilst baby is happy against you. L was always happiest in the wrap.
- A good portable sound machine. We first got this one, and later this one too (we had lost the first one in our house move, but found it again!) I rate both. Ideal when out and about, to drown out some external noise when they’re a bit older and more sensitive to sounds. Great at night too, we found she slept best with a sound machine from the get-go, silence can be scary for little babies!
- A bouncer/chair. We got the Babybjorn one after many recommendations, we actually got ours second-hand, you only use it for the first 6 months or so, but it’s a must until they can sit on their own. Great to pop them in safely whilst you’re doing other things. (we got the mesh one which was ideal as she was a Spring/Summer baby)
- Cloth Nappies. Our Esembly nappies are the best, literally blowout proof, and leak-proof, the quality is amazing, and the system is the simplest I’ve seen anywhere. After weeks of research into cloth nappies, I was confused, and Esembly was the only brand out there that made it simple and attainable, which it is. Highly recommend! We have both size 1s and now size 2s which will last until she’s potty trained. We’ll keep all for our next baby too.
- This beautiful play mat. As with the bouncer this is a must from the get go. Even when they are tiny, you can pop them on the mat whilst you make a cup of tea, also great for tummy time, and later it transforms into a little tent which we still use and L is 14+ months old!
- Muslin squares and blankets. The one thing you do need multiple of. You’ll use these for everything and anything. For burping, for protecting surfaces, for boob leakage, as a blanket, as a cover, as a wipe. We had about 10 squares and a couple of bigger muslin blankets and they were all in rotation.
- Zip up pyjamas. Trust me on this one. look for ZIPS and not buttons. Those are the worst in the middle of the night in the dark, or later on when your baby starts wiggling about. Our favourite ones are the Mori ones by far. I’m surprised not everyone makes zip-up pjs!
- Our pram was amazing, comfortable, foldable, light enough to take away with us. We’ve loved our Micralite prams (we have the Getgo and the FastFold for travel and car journeys) We loved both, we now use the Fastfold the most since she’s a bit older and we use it more on the move, but our first year the Getgo was amazing, the bassinet was so cosy lined with bamboo, and the fact it can be facing out or in was brilliant too. Lots of storage too.
- Lovevery Play Kits : My number 1 mum hack. Instead of scrolling for hours looking for age and development-appropriate toys, Lovevery takes the guessing work out. These are beautiful quality toys, made with sustainable materials like wood and stainless steel, that will last the test of time and be passed on to future siblings (One day!)
- Glow Dreaming is a diffuser/humidifier/sound machine/red light therapy all in one. It helps to soothe your baby to sleep and keep them asleep for longer. I used to use a separate sound machine, a salt lamp and a diffuser which was bulky and not easy to move around with when travelling. This has made our evening routine so easy, fill up with water, a couple of drops of sleepy essential oil, turn on and that’s it! It’s fully part of our nighttime routine, I keep the red light on until I go into bed closer to 10pm. You can read more about it here, and I also have a special code that gets you £5 off using “TANIA5” at checkout using this link right here.
- Wooden toys, made of natural materials, are beautiful and interactive. This teether ring was a gift from family, we have made a conscious effort to not bring in plastic toys in our home (or limit them severely) we have told friends and family our intentions and everyone has respected that. We don’t do plastic toys that flash, make noise etc.. but instead, we focus on open-ended toys, that are beautifully made with natural materials. It’s better for her health, her brain development, the planet, and our sanity haha (I can make another round-up of our favourite toys in another post?! but most of them include the Loveevery toys..!)
- Bundlee, has been the best thing we found to help us reduce our waste by renting her clothes rather than constantly buying new ones. The concept is amazing, the quality of the clothes is unmatched, they feel brand new, and the service is so good. You choose a subscription model, which lets you either pick your own selection of clothes or let the team curate a selection for you, you receive it at home, and use it to your heart’s content (you’re covered if the clothes get damaged or stained) and send it back when your little one has outgrown the clothes, to get your next size up batch straight at your door again. Talk about making your life easy!!! You can use my code BESTIETANIA to get your first month for FREE, check it out here!!!
- Bath support – we liked this one because when L was a baby we lived in a small London flat, and I refused to get the chunky plastic support that are so popular, and wanted something that didn’t take too much space. This one was perfect, you could take off the sleeve and wash it, it was compact and super comfortable for her, and by the time she outgrew it she was ready to sit up by herself on a rubber anti-slip mat. We have also bathed together a lot from the start, and showered together too (no need for any kind of support then) our showers together are one of my favourite moments, she holds on to me like a baby Koala and cuddles the whole time… it’s pure magic.
- Books! We are a screen-free family, L has never watched TV or any videos on a phone, but she’s read 100s of books with us. Books are her favourite for that reason. We are slowly building up our collection, I get a lot of them second-hand, eBay, Amazon second hand etc.. charity shops, and get a handful of them new also. I am book obsessed and cannot stop buying them! The Hungry caterpillar is an all-time favourite, still to this day! Here’s our amazon favourites list that I’ll keep adding to.