Baby Best Buys

So I am pregnant again (15 weeks tomorrow!) and I am very excited at the prospect of going shopping again and it got me thinking about the best buys (or presents) we had for the Boy. There are so many products out there and so many different brands that its a minefield for any soon to be parents and even second/third timers who have forgotten, much like the agonising pain of labour and sleep deprivation which would cause us all to stop with one.

So here are my Best Buys with the Boy that I will be buying / fetching out of the cellar / claiming back from friends for this one:

  • This Swaddle calmed the Boy right down (after we fought him to get it on) and helped him sleep much better. It worked until about 12 weeks old when he could fight his way out. In hindsight I will probably buy one with a zip next time as it means they can’t escape so easily! Calms and soothes baby.
  • Mamas and Papas bath was a fantastic baby bath which enabled me to bath the Boy on my own when the Man wasn’t there and still have my hands free to wash him / play row row with him rather than holding him so he didn’t slip under the water. Perfect if you are bathing a baby alone.
  • You may have read this post about me wanting to save the environment but in the early days I could barely get myself dressed and fed so putting nappies in the equation would have been a nightmare. Instead we used a great local Nappy Laundry Service which would drop off 40 nappies a week and pick up the dirty ones. We paid £8 a week in 2008 so slightly more than the same amount of disposables but still a reasonable price. For an easier introduction to reusable nappies.
  • Nursing chairs can be expensive but for me it was worth every penny to have a really comfy place to breastfeed / bottle feed the Boy, especially after still suffering with a bad back from pregnancy. At 3am the last thing you want is somewhere uncomfortable. We got a second hand Cosatto one which cost £300 new including a footstall for £120! Check out eBay or Gumtree for really good second hand ones.
  • This Baby Gym was given to us by a friend but it was worth its weight in gold.
    The Boy would happily spend hours under it (from about 3 weeks old) until he was about 6 months old and a bit more active. Gives you some time with two hands to yourself!
  • We bought this Baby Bjorn bouncer after reading great reviews on it, I think it must be the most expensive bouncer out there but we managed another bargain eBay purchase for it. Its great for carrying around the house to different rooms (much easier than the gym) so the Boy would sit in it if I needed to cook or when I was in the bath. A really good portable entertainment device.
  • Once the Boy was born it was clear he wasn’t going to follow the instructions manual and sleep when and where I wanted him to. Instead when he was a few days old I spent hours scouring the internet for a sling. We ended up buying this Kari Me sling which is a really long piece of material that wraps around you and baby pops inside. It was a lifesaver, especially when he also refused to go in his pram, so I would wear it for nap times (the only thing that ever made him sleep instantly) and walk to the shops or tidy up or sometimes just sit in the nursing chair and snooze. Sometimes I breastfed the Boy in it too as you can do it hands free. In case they want to be rocked to sleep and you want to use your hands
  • The Morrck Baby Hoodie is very very clever, rather than wrestling your baby into a snowsuit or struggling to get them out of it when they are asleep and you come indoors this wraps around them to create a lovely warm environment but can be easily unwrapped without disturbing them. Don’t bother buying a snowsuit, get one of these. 
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>Save the world but not your marriage

>Ingredients: Husband, Child, Reusable Nappies

When I was pregnant with the Boy, one thing was clear to me, that I didn’t want to use disposable nappies as I couldn’t believe the statistic that the first ever disposal nappy still hasn’t degraded, and won’t do until it is 200 years old!! Multiply that by the amount of babies in the UK and the amount of nappies they use and that is a shit lot of nappies (I don’t usually swear but it just seemed appropriate here).

From a young age I remember my mum taking me to the recycling bank and exchanging a big bag of tin cans for some coppers and whilst at the time I found it tiresome and embarrassing she must have gotten to me. These days, not only do I use reusable nappies and recycle where I can (although that is much more commonplace these days), in my job I work solely with renewable energy projects.

Having said that, my desire to us reuseable nappies has taken its toll on my marriage as the Man hates the nappies with a passion – to be fair they stink and are often covered in faeces – and glares at me while he has to scrape the poo into the toilet bowl. We have other recycling related relationship issues as I love to collect the cans and bottles but make him take them to the tip, but I don’t want to go to the tip… stamps feet. We have reached a compromise which pains me, at night we use *gasp* disposables, although they are Nature Babycare which are biodegradable.

When Fill Your Pants offered me a chance to test the Smartipants one size nappy I jumped at the chance to add to my ever increasing collection because I am slightly obsessed with finding the prettiest, slimmest fitting, most absorbent and longest lasting nappy.

The Smartipants is a one sized nappy which means you can use it from birth to potty training (I believe the experts call this a BTP nappy) this is great if you are looking for the most cost efficient way of using reusables as you only make one investment to last throughout the nappy years. My chief tester, the Boy, is 27 months and it fitted him quite well but I think it would easily last until he is 3. The poppers are easy to use and make the nappy quite slim fitting. I was very surprised when I received it to find there was only one, very slim insert (the absorbent bit that goes in the middle) as it didn’t look like the nappy would last very long but I was wrong, it actually lasted as well as some others which have very bulky inserts. A real positive is that the drying time is quick compared to a lot of other nappies. The colours are nice but a bit plain for my liking – I prefer bright colours or patterns but only let that worry you if you are a poser like me!

But I must thank my beautiful Man who, despite all his protestations, does go to the tip for me and begrudgingly supports my nappy addiction. I am in no doubt that it is thanks to him the marriage is still alive and well.