I’ve definitely enjoyed being a new mum more second time around (although I feel terrible saying that). I’m less stressed, the baby seems less stressed and everything feels more relaxed. Whilst we obviously had lots of hand-me-downs from Sonny (I'm more than happy for my girl to go unisex!), I did buy some new bits which have definitely made life easier and I’d like to share my favourites. This is just my personal opinion about great products that have worked really well for me as a new mum, it’s not a sponsored post, I hope you find it useful...
Baby Number Two Favourites
This arrived on the market between my two babes and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Really lightweight and easy to carry about so there’s always a safe station to pop the newborn down as you move around the house. The cushioned sides make them feel really nice and secure, and as I didn’t really swaddle Eva this felt like a nice alternative for her in those early days. I also found it a useful way of getting her used to her big cot as you can just put the Sleepyhead in for the odd nap, giving baby the chance to get accustomed to his/her surroundings so it isn’t a big surprise when they finally move into their own room. Also great for nights away with the baby as it’s easier to pack than a travel cot (comes with protective carry case) and can be moved about the house easily if baby is unsettled.
Compared to last time? Last time I used a Moses basket and whilst I’d say it’s great to have both options in the early months, I probably used the Sleepyhead more second time around (Sleepyhead in cot, Sleepyhead in travel cot/bassinet, Sleepyhead as ‘dumping ground’, Sleepyhead on bed etc).
When I think about all those months of making formula for Sonny (number 1) I can still feel the panic roll over my body! He was definitely less patient than Eva and it was always a mad rush getting the bottle ready and down to the right temperature before he had a complete meltdown! Second time around and with the Perfect Prep it’s a completely different story - you can make a bottle within 2 minutes at exactly the right drinking temperature, an absolute must-have! How? It dispenses a shot of boiling water to kill any bacteria in the powder, and then fills up the rest of the bottle with cool filtered water to get it to the right temperature. Also very easy to use. To be totally honest, initially I did have concerns about making formula up from filtered water instead of cooled boiled water but according to Tommee Tippee the filter has been tested to achieve the same result. Take a look at this article if you want to learn more.
It recommends on the instructions that you change the filter every 3 months but we live in a hard water area (which caused havoc with Sonny’s skin) so I change it every couple of months.
Compared to last time? Much less stressful! Ready in minutes before baby has even realised it’s milk time, perfect.
Whilst the Tommee Tippee machine comes with a few bottles of its own, wind was always a real problem with Sonny and a friend of mine recommended Doctor Brown as an alternative for Eva (they still fit the perfect prep machine). I think I used Avent last time, and did briefly try the Tommee Tippee with Eva but she seems to really like these. You still get the odd random leak every now and again but burping has been easy. If you’re a first-time mum looking for a brand I’d say try these.
Compared to last time? Much easier, although is a different child so…!
I absolutely love this brand, I use it on my own skin, but they didn't have a baby range when Sonny was a baby. We had real problems with his skin (Eczema and bad cradle cap), and even with prescribed steroid cream we struggled to control it. Eva’s skin is beautifully soft, she does get the odd Eczema flair-up when it’s really hot but generally it’s great. It’s a daily moisturiser so you have to build it into your daily routine, but it’s not greasy or heavy and is made with natural colloidal oatmeal which I prefer to use over paraffin-based creams.
Compared to last time? I used Oilatum Junior Bath Additive for Sonny which was prescribed by his doctor but never really found a cream I liked. Love this cream and works well with the Oilatum Bath Additive if needed.
I couldn’t write this post without including one of our own products! But I also write from a genuine place and can honestly say that our 100% Bamboo Rayon swaddle blankets and muslins are the softest I’ve come across (much softer than Cotton). They are also well-made (no loose threads or dodgy hemming which can often be the case when you work with silky fabrics) and they machine wash well (I’d say mine has got softer with every wash). Last time I used Cotton muslins from a well-known brand, but I had them in the smaller 70cm x 70cm size. My advice to new mums would be that whatever brand/material you choose, make sure you have a few large muslin swaddle blankets as they’re extremely versatile. They’re not just for swaddling, I use mine as a lightweight blanket, for feeding/burping, or for playing or changing on the floor/bed.
Compared to last time? Our Bamboo swaddle blankets are the softest! I’ve also realised how useful the larger size is as I only used smaller muslins last time.
I used Pampers Sensitive Skin wipes last time as I don’t think these were on the market, and actually Sonny did get nappy rash quite frequently. I much prefer these and have no trouble with Eva at all, I think I used a Huggies wipe once and she came up in a rash so I’d say Chemical-free is definitely the way to go.
Compared to last time? No nappy rash problems, happy bottom, happy baby (happy mummy!)
My favourites that have stood the test of time (worked for both babies)
I tried a few sterilisers with Sonny (steam) but found them such a faff and ended up using the Milton Cold Water Steriliser as it’s really simple and easy to use. You fill the water once a day and add a tablet, then you just put the bottles in and take out as you need throughout the day (takes 15 mins to sterilise). It’s big enough to take all the bottles you’ll need for the day and is easy to pack and use if you’re going away with baby. Whilst it’s not high tech, its cheap and practical so a must-have in my opinion.
Whatever car seat and pram you opt for, I’d say you definitely need the adapter that allows you to clip your car seat onto your pram base. It makes travelling about with baby much easier and means you don’t have to lug the car seat about on its own (heavier than it looks!) or worry about waking baby to transfer to pram. Eva is only 4 months old but I’ve found that I’ve used this combo a lot more with her than I did with Sonny, mainly because she has to fit into her brother’s timetable and we’re moving about a bit. I don’t like to keep her in it for long and definitely wouldn't recommend it for prolonged periods of time, but it does mean I can sneak in a quick dog walk after the nursery run or pop into the shops without waking her.
My main take outs second time around are that there are loads of great products out there that really can make life easier. And that it's worth thinking about the practicalities and doing your research to build a system that suits you. We’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations (especially as I'm in the thick of it with Eva and about to start weaning!). You can contact us here if you'd like to.
I hope this is useful, and best of luck with any new arrivals!