What Are the REAL Essentials for Babies?

essentialsBurrito Baby is almost three and a half and will be starting nursery in September, so our baby days are well and truly over. Husband and I have made the decision that two kids is enough for us, so newborns aren’t something which will feature in our future, however I was recently speaking to a pregnant friend about how much simpler parenthood was the second time around because you don’t feel as pressured by all the STUFF. With Sausage, we had so much information and advice about what we NEEDED and MUST HAVE, but the reality of it was that we probably could have done without most of it. Here’s a list of things which, for us, were the true essentials the second time around:

Muslin Cloths

My two babies were very different in terms of feeding; one did so with no issues (although was initially tube fed in the NICU) and the other had reflux and a cow’s milk protein allergy, but the one thing which was the same for both of them is that they’d always posset at least a bit after a bottle. Muslins were used for everything from mopping up sick and protecting shoulders whilst burping, through to using the massive ones to swaddle. We’d have been royally stuck without them and I’d recommend them to ANY new parent.


I wasn’t able to breastfeed either of my girls but I know from the exerience of friends that nipple soreness was one of the main problems in the early days. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is the UK’s number one nipple cream and is soon to be released in a new travel-friendly 10ml size online and in selected Boots stores – a perfect hand-luggage holiday essential for breastfeeding mums (according to results as many as 95% of breastfeeding women experience nipple soreness)!!

Some Sort of Baby Chair/Cushion/Mat

I’m not going to be specific here because everyone’s preference and budget is different, but having somewhere that you can actually put baby down for a few minutes is essential for your own mental health. BB was quite a clingy baby (probably because of her reflux) but we had a swinging chair which vibrated and it allowed me to have two minutes here and there, without screaming, to brush my teeth or do something for myself.

Baby Sling

Our sling was so, so useful in the early days for both babies as I was able to strap them on and get on with things! I’m quite a hands-on Mum and have one baby wearing and co-sleeping and although it’s not for everyone it’s something that I’d really recommend you try. Baby gets a lot of comfort from being close to a parent and you have both hands free, which is a huge luxury with a newborn!
A V-Pillow
Because I bottle fed my two, having somewhere comfortable to sit to feed them was really important. Both times, we invested in a v-shaped pillow which I would put across my lap and then put the baby on top. It gives your arms a bit of a break if you need it and allows you both to sit comfortably while baby’s back is properly supported.
Do you have anything to add to the list?

Pregnant? Here’s What You’ll Need…

Post provided by Koochi

You there. Yes, you. You’re pregnant, are you not? Yes, yes you are. So, one day sometime soon, the stork will visit and you’ll have your little bundle of joy, wailing away in the crook of your arms. Lovely jubbly.

But wait! You forgot something! Actually, you forgot everything! There’s loads to do – you can’t get pregnant and just wait around for nine months! Stuff has to get done!

What do you have to get hold of? We’re assuming you’ve got the nursery nicely decorated, but if you haven’t, you know where to start. After that, it’s time to get enough supplies to get you through those stressful first few weeks.

Friend, you are going to be busy. Very busy. Take a load off and we’ll give you a hand.

General Supplies and All That Jazz

Right. There’s a lot of stuff to get in this category, so we’ll try to keep it short. Basically, anything we put here you’ll probably need. And in large amounts. Best break into that rainy day fund and get it out of the way.

Nappies are obviously a must; buy about three tonnes of these. You won’t be able to predict how many of these you’ll go through in an average week, and you don’t want to run out at a crucial moment…

Baby wipes, kid-friendly bath stuff, and talcum powder. You’ll also want a cupboard full of baby bottles (and the requisite cleaning stuff), and a breast pump may come in handy. If you don’t like having a stiff neck (c’mon, who does?), get a nursing pillow. Lanolin ointment too, for… related reasons.

Infant formula’s good too, when he or she is a bit older.

Feeding time – get a highchair, with straps. Definitely with straps. Baby bowls and plates are good, and you’ll definitely want some bibs and sippy cups. Keep ‘em happy with toys and dummies, and make sure you have enough babygrows to clothe a small nation.

Around the Town

Get a pushchair. They’re more convenient than prams; you can use the bus. You’ll need one that can recline right back though, so take a look at the range from Koochi pushchairs. For the ultimate in versatility, think of investing in a travel system – these have a car seat built in. Brilliant.

Sleepy Time

You want to be a good parent. You don’t want to arouse the interests of child protection services. You want to buy a bed.

For a cot, look for the British Standard Mark 1753. This is a safety thing; it means your cot’s a good one. Get a mattress too (firm, not soft), and some light blankets. Don’t buy pillows or duvets. For information why, check the NHS site.

Get a baby monitor too.

Safe N Sound

You need to childproof the house, otherwise the whole place is one big death trap. Do it. Do it now. Safety gates on the stairs, covers in the plug sockets, latches in the cupboards.

Grab a digital thermometer too, to put your mind at rest when the bairn’s under the weather.

‘Course, this isn’t quite everything – you’ll want cotton buds and nail clippers and so on – but it’s most of it. Best o’ luck pal, you’ll need it…