They say time flies when you are having fun and I didn’t quite understand just how much that was true until now.
Seb is now just over five months old and I’m still learning every day about motherhood but I can see just how far we have come.
The first months of parenting have been magical but it’s really not easy. There is so much adjustment to make on a personal level, physically and mentally let alone figuring out how to keep your baby alive and well so I am all for making the things that you can control as easy as can be.
Here are some of the things that I found really made our lives easier during those first months… and also the things that I bought that perhaps weren’t as great as I thought they would be or that we simply just didn’t use/got wrong.
This was always meant to be a 0-3 months post but hey-ho there was no time for that although I did start writing it at about two months! However I think 0-5 is better as everything on here we are still using and also six months is SUCH a big shift I thought it best to keep it to that five month age range.
What we couldn’t live without
One of the things I am most pleased about arranging before little Seb came was Gousto deliveries. Eating good food daily is SO important to me and Gousto made that possible and easy with a newborn. We had four meals a week and tried to pick at least two of the ten minute meals. I’d pop Seb in a baby carrier on delivery day and organise the meals into these handy trays so when Will came home from work he would be able to look in the fridge, pull out a tray and crack on with dinner without any hassle, missing ingredients or questions when I was feeding Seb etc. Not having to think about what was for dinner was a dream and I loved picking what we would have each week ahead of time and knowing it was all sorted.
If you want to give it a go, you can use this referral code to get you 60% off your first box and 30% off boxes for the rest of the month (and i’ll get a little off my next box for referring you) which makes it insanely good value – and you can cancel after just one if you wanted to.
*NOT AN AD!* I did once do a paid Instagram ad (photo below) for Gousto but this is not in any way related and I have been a paying customer for almost six months and are continuing as a paying customer.
Zippable baby grows – especially for the early weeks
In these very first few days you are tired, a little overwhelmed and your newborn is very wriggly not to mention needs full outfit changes what seems like every hour day and night. Combine that with baby grows with poppers equals a lot of head scratching and mis-done up baby grows!
Enter the babygrow with a zip! So. Much. Easier!
On day two, after what felt like a dozen baby grows done up wrongly already I ordered half a dozen zippered baby grows. The Baby Mori were and still are my favourites – just so, so soft. They are pricey though, but M&S have this one and Next have some too. I have been ordering them in every size since as they make life that little bit easier.
I think my most favourite baby-related item is our Snuzpod (*ours was gifted but I would have very, very happily paid for it). I absolutely adore having Seb so close by and felt so reassured by it especially in the first few nights when I would lay awake just staring at him!
It makes it so easy to slide him in and out to feed during the night. He has nearly grown out of it now at five months and i’m feeling so sad that our time right next to one other is coming to an end.
Night light for night feeds
When feeding in the night our bedside lamp felt too bright and would wake Seb and I more than I really wanted to happen at 3/4/5am. This little beauty that I found on Amazon quickly became my good friend. It is small, dimmable, has a soft warm light and actually quite attractive decor wise. It charges via USB and lasts for ages between charges (like weeks ages). Also super easy to take away with you if you are staying away from home.
This is pretty much essential if you want to leave the sofa in the first month or two. Babies love to be close to your chest as it reminds them of the womb and so they tend to settle really well/fall asleep quite easily. A friend gave us a sling but in my sleep deprived state I simply couldn’t fathom how to get it on on my own when Will was out at work so we bought this BabyBjorn one which is very straight forward and can be done on your own. If I was to do it again though I would definitely give a sling a proper chance, and have recently seen ring slings which look ideal.
Really really useful
A star wrap
I had no idea what these were but a friend gave us one as her little boy who is a few months ahead of Seb had grown out of it. I really love it and use it every day now. It is basically a warm but thin layer that is perfect to use when the baby is in a carrier/sling, carseat and pram. It is super easy to get them in and out of and if you have a good sleeper you might even be able to get them in/out without waking them (not us, Seb is SUCH a light sleeper). You shouldn’t use the thick pram suits when they are so small as they will overheat but these star suits are perfect. We have this one but I also recently saw that My 1st Years has them that can be personalised and I think this would make a brilliant new baby gift.
Constant white noise
White noise is magically soothing for babies as it sounds like the womb so help to get and keep your baby asleep. However, as lovely as all the cute, soft white noise machines are, they cut out after an allocated amount of time, usually around 15 minutes. For us, this meant Seb would wake up because of the sudden silence. Gah. After this happening for another time, I spent a bit of time on Google and ordered this white noise machine that runs non stop. We use it all night long and I am pretty certain I sleep better because of it as well.
Extra changing stations
We had a changing station set up in Seb’s nursery with one of the gorgeous Olli Ella baskets which looks great but in reality we are rarely in that room. I guess it will be used much more once he is in his own room? For these first months, we do most of our changes in our kitchen living area. I was gifted a Bumbo change pad and I must admit I absolutely love it. It is soft, not cold to touch, easily cleaned and it looks good.
Tripp trapp with newborn attachment
We bought this when Seb was about three months old and wish we had it sooner. The chair itself is adaptable with different attachments that see them through years. The newborn attachment means they are up higher and they can see you therefore gives you a bit more time without baby in arms whilst cooking/cleaning etc. It’s pictured in the Gousto picture above if you haven’t seen one before.
I bought the Baby Bjorn bouncer and pretty much keep it in the bathroom so Seb has somewhere when I am showering that he can see me/be entertained. I recently bought this add on toy bar which he loves and gives me extra time.
I was all for buying a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing baby gym like this one but we were given this one and Seb loves it (probably much more than a grey and white one). He has used it from day one and would look at the toys and still loves going on there each day. We also use the hanging toys on other places – the pram etc so it’s been really useful!
We were also given this mobile which I have hung from the play mat and Seb loves too.
I haven’t bought that many toys for him, as the above have kept him really well occupied but there have been a few he has that are firm favourites. This book from newborn – we’d put it to the side when he was being changed and he was spellbound looking at the monochrome pictures. Now he loves the crinkle pages and to give it a good chew.
My sister bought Flappy the Elephant for him and he lights up as soon as it starts playing. Of course we have a Sophie La Giraffe which is also a firm favourite and has been a godsend in the car to help keep him entertained.
His absolute favourite is a hedgehog hand puppet from Aldi (Mr Hog!), you can’t get them online now but some stores have them reduced if you are lucky. We have a couple of back ups as I think it is his one, and you can’t go losing the one now can you!
What we got wrong/didn’t use/bought again
A bit of a long story but we somehow ended up buying three!
First up, we went for the Joie i-level car seat and were so delighted with it to begin with. Basically babies shouldn’t be in car seats for very long at all because of how they sit scrunched up but this car seat lays more flat and so is safer for them. It is also really well padded and soft …however all this technology comes with a downside and that is the weight. By month three I was really struggling to get it in to the car and carry it with the baby in. In addition to this the head section was very tight on his head and couldn’t be adjusted. I also found it a bit faff-y to adjust/get in and out the car/tighten the straps etc and it could only be used with ISO fix and not just a seatbelt so all in all not a great buy for us.
One day I was going out and needed to get a taxi with Seb and whilst I know you are legally allowed to have them on your knee in a taxi that didn’t sit right with me. Will ordered this car seat for less than £40 which I was a little bit horrified with as surely it can’t be safe for that price (?) but it is OK. I wouldn’t want it as our daily car seat but we are going to take this one on holiday with us as it is so light and will never be our regularly used car seat. I also have bought this carrier bag to protect it from getting too battered on flights with the added bonus that you can stuff the gap in the bag with a LOT of extra stuff and not be charged for it!
So we still needed a useable car seat so in the end went and bought our third one, which was the Maxi-cosi Cabriofix. I asked Instagram for recommendations and loads of people suggested it to me. I must admit I am delighted with it. It is much easier to use that the first one we had, lighter and Seb seems to like it MUCH more. He has stopped crying in the car so much and since we have had it has started sleeping longer in the car (he only ever did 30mins before). Also for the first time I have been able to transfer him asleep from car to house…. might all be a coincidence but probably not. Thank you Maxi-cosi!
We started off with the Schnuggle baby bath however when Seb was tiny and couldn’t sit up very well I felt it was a bit upright for him and his head would fall forward a bit making it a bit difficult for us to use. I know some babies have stronger neck support so maybe this was just us?
We then bought an Angel Care bath support which was ideal as you could lay them down safely and have both hands free. The only downside to this is you have to run the whole bath.
At about four months we tried the Schnuggle again and now use it every day. It saves time and water as it takes so little water to fill and it also means Seb can have a nice deep bath and have a good kick and splash about. He absolutely loves it.
Not really sure which I would recommend over the other as we have used and loved both for different times…
I had read so many rave reviews about these I didn’t think we would be able to live without it. However, in reality we struggled to find a use for it. After reading the recommendations that you shouldn’t allow the baby to sleep in it unsupervised I never used it in the cot, so it ended up being a place to pop the baby down in for a short moment. Maybe I should have tried it in the cot and gotten a bit more sleep in the early days but I was too nervous. It is one of those things that each parent needs to decide for themselves though so I’ll leave you to make your mind up about that one.
Everything I read said you couldn’t have too many….so I bought some whenever I saw a design I liked and ended up with WAY too many. Seb is very rarely sick so I just have endless muslins knocking about. I think in retrospect five or six would have been handy to have ready in advance but maybe not the twenty or more so I have! You can always order more if you do have a sicky one.
Out of the ones we do have I really like the Banks Lyon Botanicals ones – they are swaddles so can be used to wipe up, to lay down, as a thin blanket layer etc they are really soft and I love the designs. I have this one and this one.
We bought the Grow Egg – in fact it was one of the first things I ever got and used it for about three days until the light drove me mad. Also we have a thermostat in our room that gives the temp and so does the baby monitor so actually we didn’t really an additional one at all. Also bought a bath thermometer which for the first few baths was really reassuring but then it stopped working and we’ve not replaced it. It is really common sense, not too cool and not too hot. I use my hand/arm to gauge the temp and err on the side of caution.
Well, I think that is long enough!
If you are a mum already i’d love to hear what were your life-savers and if you are a mum-to-be I hope you find this helpful.