I've had a few requests recently for advice on what to buy for a new baby, it's a mine field - cot/cotbed/crib/moses basket? Is it really worth spending more on a buggy than I did on my first car?? I could probably get a years worth of material for the blog just from baby gadgets. But it made me think - what are the Mummy essentials? Not gadgets for the baby, the stuff that makes life as a new mum that bit easier? Here's my list - what would you add?
PJs - lots and lots and PJs
This time I hoarded pyjamas while I was pregnant, most maternity PJs are also designed for breastfeeding and there is a lot to be said for only having to sneak a boob out for the night feeds rather than sitting there semi naked at 4am in a baby temperature room (ie. bloomin freezing). Also - and this may just be me, but the first few weeks I get really really sweaty at night (TMI?) throw in the leaky boobs and baby sick and it's good to have a fresh set at least once a day. Over the bump ones are best if you have a c-section so nothing is rubbing on the scar. My current favourites are from JoJo Maman Bebe
Alarmed at suddenly having acres of cleavage? A scarf will cover it up. Tummy looking a little wobbly? Scarf. Cover up for breast feeding? Scarf. Spot a vomit stain on your shoulder just as you're leaving the house? Scarf!
If I've learnt one thing in the three years I've been a parent, it's that finding time to make a cup of tea is harder than you'd think, finding time to drink it while it's hot is near impossible. Ok I hope I've learnt a bit more than that but the point still stands. However, I now have a new friend, my trusty Thermos travel mug if I can find the time to make the tea I now have a two hour window to drink it in! I've still had to pour it away stone cold on many occasions but it's an improvement.
Not just for the baby - so far I've also used ours to cover cooling food, strain chicken stock, steam Christmas puddings and as a hairnet when our ceiling fell down!
Hat, Boots, Raincoat
Q -How do you hold an umbrella while you're pushing a buggy?
A- You can't (I did try one that attaches the the buggy handles once but at 6 feet tall it's basically just a self-blinding mechanism. )
This is perhaps most applicable to urban mums - it's generally easier to walk than drive in central London, even if it's chucking it down and if the toddler is bouncing off the walls or the baby will only stop screaming on the move then hat, boots and raincoat may be the only answer.
Ok I'm a bit of a technophile anyway but facebook and twitter are keeping me going on the night feeds at the moment, I need a few more friends / tweeps to follow in other time zones though - so annoying when no one posts anything interesting between the 2am and 5am feeds.
DVD box sets
On a similar theme - spending what feels like EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY sat your backside feeding a baby gets very dull, very quickly and there are only so many times you can coo vowel sounds or listen to Mozart. This is where borrowing all your friends DVD box sets comes in handy (it also gives a surprising insight into their taste) American TV series are the best, they tend to have lots of episodes which are about 45 minutes long, films are too much of a commitment. With E I got through all of The West Wing and The Wire - I was a bit concerned she'd turn out to have a Baltimore accent but I seem to have got away with it!
A midwife told a friend it was good for milk production, or something like that, this may not be entirely evidence based, but I'll overlook that just this once.
What would you add? What are the things you've found invaluable that didn't appear in the baby gear shopping list?
PS. I've no connection to any of the companies/products mentioned here, it's just stuff I bought and liked