AS a first time mom, I bought EVERYTHING, and most of it was really useless, but the second time around I had some experience and these are my 15 essentials for surviving the first year..
- AN EXERCISE BALL
Probably the hero of all my essential picks. A absolute life saver in our household. Not only does it provide for a great pre-birth and after-birth workout but it helps put my son to sleep. The bouncing motion works a trick and myself and my husband are often found bouncing around on it with our son – strengthening our cores without us evening knowing. We use the Trojan one (durable and value for money) , but there are so many to choose from.
2. FEEDING PILLOW
I was not blessed with small boobs, yes I know what you’re thinking woman want big boobs, not smaller ones, but let me tell you its not fun at all!!! Especially to breastfeed with, but I cannot go without a breastfeeding pillow, its amazing, I carry it everywhere and have a few, I got the snuggletime one, its the perfect size, you can buy different covers for it and mostly it is EXTREMELY good value for money. I LOVE my snuggletime pillow and even sleep with it!
3. NIPPLE SHIELDS
Breastfeeding is painful yo! and although at 3 months (with my son) and 7 months (with my daughter) I stopped using these shields – It is absolutely my MOST recommended essential item! A must must must have for those first few weeks/days/months or even when your nipples are just a bit sore and need a break. A few people warned me (nurses) against nipple confusion if using a shield, but I found this absolutely not true at all, my children were fine with or without them. I absolutely LOVE the Pigeon nipple shield and wouldn’t use anything else. Its easy to use, super soft, durable and value for money.
We have many brands of creams, ointments, lotions in our household, but our staple and most used and BEST product for washing and moisturising my son and daughter has to be Epimax cream. The formula is perfect even from birth and even on the most sensitive skins, DEFINATELY a brand I trust and LOVE.
5. AVENT NATURAL ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP
I tried many manual breast pumps with my first child, all disappointed me. It took me 2 hours in Baby City one afternoon deciding which one to take, all I knew is that it HAD to be an electric one! In the end I went with the brand I trusted and knew well, its value for money and works like a bomb, I am very happy with this purchase, although I don’t use it a lot, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. Since I had the natural AVENT bottles I thought why not take the pump to match and I’m so happy with my decision.
6. BUM CREAM
Oh Bennetts, my old favourite, my most trusted brand, never disappoints me! MY children have never gotten nappy rash because of this bum cream its a staple in our household, something I will never change, why change when you have perfection?
10 Star rating for this product, LOVE IT!
7. WET WIPES
I have tried many many wetwipe brands but what works for us is definitely PIGEON. All the other wipes are very very wet, something my newborn absolutely hated, Pigeon came to the rescue, its all we used with my daughter and we use it for my son too. Value for money and quality, that’s what I have come to find in the PIGEON brand.
8. NAPPY BIN
I remember the countless plastic bags we had to use disposing of my daughters nappies, so I bought this bin at the baby expo, and it DID not disappoint! Super easy to use and refill, a MUST in my opinion.
9. AVENT NATURAL BOTTLES
I used Avent Classic bottles with my daughter so I naturally wanted to use them again, but when I saw that they came out with a Natural teat I was intrigued and boy does it deliver. I am extremely happy with AVENT, a classic bottle or a newer version, both work for me. Avent is a brand I highly recommend, they never disappoint.
10. BUSCOPAN SYRUP AND PANADO INFANT DROPS
Where would we be without these two? My son had bad cramps and we could not give him Buscopan until he was 1 month old, its truly a lifesaver, I used it with my daughter as well, absolutely brilliant! However, the taste is horrific, this is the only downside.
When we were in hospital with my son they gave him panado drops. I love these drops for one reason only.. you don’t have to use a lot, the normal panado needs 5ml to be given as a dose, however these drops only need 0.6-1.2ml to pack the same punch / strength as the other panado syrups, a real win for me as my child hates medicine, the less I have to struggle to give him the better and it comes with a little measurement dropper too.
11. TOMMEE TIPPEE Dummies
In the beginning we tried literally EVERY single brand, I was at my wits end, with only the Tommee Tippee dummies to try, I thought he wouldn’t take to it as he did not take the bottles, but I was wrong, this was the only dummy he would suck. True to its logo and promise on the packaging it is closest to nature as well as *Most babies accepting their soothers first time! A real winner for me and at the top of my list for sure on BEST buys~!
12. DUMMY SPRAY
SO pure dummy spray is super handy, especially if you are on the go with no sterilizer. I found this at Dischem. Its so convenient just a spray and let sit for a few minutes and there you go, a good as new sterilised dummy. I use this quite often, a really nifty product.
13. AVENE THERMAL SPRAY
The dermatologist recommended this to us, its a thermal spring water spray, I found it at Clicks, Tygervalley Store. I love using this after bathtime or just as a skin refresher or even to cool baby down. It has anti-irritant qualities, and works well for my son’s eczema. If he starts scratching I give his skin a fine spray and it helps instantly. A GREAT buy in my books.
14. MUSLIN BLANKETS
I initially used Snuggletime muslin blankets but there are so many amazing brands out there, Muslin is such a breathable fabric and this has been a lifesaver in the Summer months, especially during the nights, just drapped over your baby its light, soft and offers coverage and its not heavy, my little guys sweats a lot, so this I found was best for him. Its also a great breastfeeding cover!
15. WHITE NOISE
We don’t use any specific app or devise, usually this is just a background noise like a TV, Radio, Aircon, fan etc. Its a must in our household, not only does it drown out noises but it helps our little guys sleep much longer, its almost a guarantee that the louder the white noise the better and longer he sleeps!
Hope these essentials help any First time mama’s along the way in the first year of motherhood as it did me.