Last week marked 3 months since our little one arrived. It's safe to say that life with Sophia is a whole load of brilliant, a great big learning curve and speeds by way too fast.
In the lead up to Sophia's birth I definitely spent a lot of time contemplating what new parenthood would be like and countless hours wondering what things you actually need for a newborn baby. Dan and I very much took the less is more approach, inline with our more minimalist approach to life these day. To be honest there was also a part of me that did not want our house to look like a baby's playground, nor do we have enough space to accommodate unused items.
In the end we bought the essentials that we knew we would need; pram, car seat, nappies etc but anything that was on the 'not sure' list we held off on and waited until we found out we needed it for sure. This has turned out to be the best approach for us. For example we only bought a baby monitor a couple of weeks ago because until then Sophia was going to bed at the same time as us so we hadn't needed one.
When I think back to a few months ago, there are so many things I remember seeing in shops and online that I would never have used, so I thought in the spirit of helping out other expectant parents I would compile a list of the things I would genuinely buy again. The below is a short list of the things that made our lives easier in the first three months with our little munchkin. This is by no means everything we bought, or were gifted (don't forget, people will buy you so many gifts - usually clothes) but they are the items I wouldn't want to have been without.
One Joolz Geo Mono Pushchair For me it was love at first sight with the Joolz Geo. Yes it's beautiful, but having lived with it for three months I can also attest to the fact that it works. I love the mammoth shopping basket, and how easy it is to collapse, not to mention its pretty sweet manoeuvrability for life in a busy little town.
Two M&S Cotton Sleepbag We only started using sleeping bags in the last few weeks, having not really needed them for most of the summer and they have changed the bedtime routine. I don't know if it's the association with the sleeping bag or it's snuggliness but Sophia seems to go down soooo much more easily wrapped up in one of these.
Three BabyBjorn Bouncer Balance Soft I honestly don't know what I would have done without this chair. My parents bought it when Sophia was born and although it's not for babies under 3.5kg (which for Sophia was about 5 weeks old) it has saved my life! She will play in it, sleep in it and let's be honest if you want to make a cup of tea or, I don't know, go to the toilet, you need somewhere to put the bubba that's safe for a couple of minutes. I could go on forever but let's leave it at - I love this chair!!!
Four John Lewis White Muslins Boring I know, but if we're popping out for a five minute walk and I don't take Sophia's bag, then this is the only thing I have to take. They cover all manner of disasters. I personally love the plain John Lewis ones, as they are really generously sized and stay very soft even after lots of washing.
Five Solly Baby Wrap For me baby wearing has been a real saviour, especially in the early few weeks. Tiny babies love to be close to their Mothers and for mamas it's so easy to carry a tiny baby around like this. Bonus - you are totally hands free. The Solly Baby wrap (which does come all the way from California) is made from the softest, stretchiest fabric and whilst you can get this kind of soft wrap in the UK, I personally didn't find any that had a range of such beautiful colours and designs. I mean you can even get one designed by Oh Joy!
Six Jojo Maman Bebe Secret Support Vests A friend mentioned these to me when we were discussing breast-feeding attire (a minefield that deserves a whole post of its own) and they sounded like the perfect solution. Vest top and bra in one, they also mean that you can wear another non-maternity top on top without flashing your tummy every time you feed your baby (although let's be honest you get past the point of caring very quickly).
Seven Sophie le girafe teether Although Sophia isn't teething yet we got Sophie quite early on; the minute it became apparent that Sophia wanted to chew everything. Babies have a really strong sucking reflex and Sophie gives her something (other than her fist) to chew on.
Eight Baby Gap Babygro We barely bought any clothes, thanks to two older cousins' hand-me-downs, but I love love love Baby Gap. They have a lot of gender neutral options and their girly stuff is pretty but not in the slightest sickly sweet or splattered in cartoon characters. Re clothes, in the first few weeks you will probably change your baby a lot, but once they are out of newborn stuff if you're anything like me you'll be doing a wash load a day and you'll find that your baby will only wear 20% of their wardrobe and actually having too many clothes just becomes a tidying nightmare.
Nine John Lewis Waffle Moses Basket Where baby will sleep was such a dilemma for us before she was born. We didn't have space by our bed for an attachable crib, plus they are soooo expensive for something you will only use for 3 months! I sort of knew I wanted Sophia to share our bed, which in the end has been the case, but as soon as her bedtime started creeping earlier we have needed somewhere she can sleep without us. Although she still spends 8 hours of the night in our bed it has been useful to have this second option so that I haven't had to go to bed at 7pm every night (actually that sounds tempting)!
Mothers I would love to hear what you have loved, particularly those with older children. What do I need in my life for the next six months?