Here I review the best products I have bought (or received) for our baby from birth to 3 months old. It has taken a lot of thought to compile this list. We have so many wonderful things for Isaac and have seen some lovely toys and items bought for other babies too. However, I have finally come up with 10 ‘non-essential-must-haves’ (in my opinion) for this newborn stage. (I love an oxymoron!) They are not in a particular order as I place roughly equal value on them all.
Some items I have reviewed in more depth in previous blog posts. These include Percy the Penguin, Gro-snugs and gro-bags, Sophie la girafe, Tommee Tippee nappy bins, tummy time supports, and the Bella Baby breast pump. These are all amazing but, in a bid to not repeat myself, they are not included in this top 10.
My Top Ten!
- Muslin cloths – Wow! What would I do without these amazing things! Soft, portable, washable and quick-drying they are everywhere in my house! They are great for spillages, spit-up and vomit. They also provide a shade or a cool blanket on warmer days. Some friends of ours kindly bought us some gorgeous ‘Harry Potter’ muslins. We also found some lovely ‘Winnie the Pooh’ ones at Matalan online.
2. Activity centre – You can easily spend upwards of £50 on an activity centre or baby gym with all the flashing lights and sounds and other fun gizmos. However, we found that Isaac gets as much pleasure from a cheap and cheerful ‘fitness rack’. It has a bar across it with dangling rattles and a piano for the feet to play. This cost just £20 and is used daily!
3. Jellycat cuddly toys – It doesn’t matter which you get, these super-soft cuddly animals are just the cutest and are loved by babies and grown ups alike! We have not had to buy Isaac a single teddy as he has been gifted loads! He loves the octopus, the penguin and the bunnies (all Jellycat) bought for him by family and friends.
4. Lamaze toys such as Freddie the Firefly – As Isaac began to be more interested in colour and texture (at around 2 months), we bought him Freddie the Firefly by Lamaze. It is so lovely to touch. It has smooth, bumpy, crispy and crunchy parts and even some harder plastic for teething. With his super-bright colours (and black and white contrast on the back) Isaac can stare at Freddie for hours. It is handy that it attaches to the pushchair or car seat too.
5. Monkey teething toy – Isaac is not yet teething but he loves to hold his monkey toy and bring it to his mouth. A Physiotherapist told us not to buy anything too big for babies to hold. This was fantastic advice. He used the analogy of adults with mobile phones. We don’t carry around massive brick phones (any more!) because they are too big for our hands and not comfortable. The same goes with babies. The palms of their hands are only around 4cm so we now ensure we only give Isaac small, easy to grab things (obviously not small enough to swallow). The Monkey toy is a good example of an easy thing to hold. Like Sophie la girafe he also has a lovely rubber texture.
6. Baby monitor – Not all parents choose to have a baby monitor and they are not necessary. However, living in a 3 storey house it was important for us to have one so we could hear if Isaac cried. We chose the BT Smart Video Monitor as it is very competitively priced for a video monitor. We are really pleased with it, particularly the long range which enables us to keep an eye on Isaac even from the end of the garden.
7. Baby carrier – We weren’t sure whether or not we would use a baby carrier so we opted to get a relatively low-priced one, which my in-laws kindly bought for us. It is called the Infantino cuddle up ergonomic hoodie carrier. We are so pleased that a) they bought one and b) they didn’t spend too much. It holds Isaac so comfortably. The hood is great for keeping the sun off his head. Isaac loves being in the baby carrier, usually on his daddy. I love that this one becomes a carrier on the back so is suitable from 12lbs right up to the toddler years. I still can’t understand why some carriers are so pricey as this really does the job perfectly at a fraction of the price.
8. Changing bag – Just like baby carriers, changing bags can be ridiculously expensive (and again I don’t know why!) I found a lovely changing bag on Amazon that is a good neutral colour. It hangs on the pushchair or as a backpack and has an amazing amount of space and pockets! I love that this bag has insulated pockets to keep bottles cool when out for the day. The bag comes with a changing mat too.
9. Wrist and ankle rattles – We were bought some fab wrist and ankle rattles by my brother and sister-in-law and I am thrilled with them. It is so handy to have toys that can safely ‘attach’ to Isaac for when we are out and about. 3 months is also the perfect age for these as he is just discovering his hands and feet and beginning to shake rattles.
10. Baby bouncer/chair – My step-sister lent us a lovely bouncy chair for Isaac to sit in before he can sit up by himself. Although we don’t let him nap in it or keep him in for longer than 20 minutes (as advised), it is so handy to plonk him in when we are busy in the kitchen or eating our dinner. He is now strong enough to begin using his body to rock it himself!
I don’t know where our Joie bouncer is from but would advise checking them out on Amazon or seeing if you can get one secondhand. As with most things I recommend – don’t overspend! It doesn’t have to be all-singing and all-dancing for your baby to get lots of joy out of it. Now that Isaac is holding his own head up, my brother has lent us their ‘Bumbo‘ chair which has done the rounds with lots of babies! I look forward to using this with him.
and many more…
This list has by no means been exhaustive. We love many more products (and have been disappointed by others) and I am sure I will review more in the ‘Best Baby Buys’ section of my website.
I have purposely left out some of the more obvious or necessary items most babies have, such as a car seat, a cot and a pram. Those products are all very much about personal choice. We bought these larger items from Mothercare (those were the days!) as it was important to us to try out them out rather than buying online.
I hope this Top 10 List has been useful for you when navigating the minefield of baby products! If you have any recommendations of your own, please comment below! I’d also love to hear your thoughts on useful products for Isaac’s next stage (3 months +)!