When you become parents for the first time, you almost always overspend on baby kit. It’s just so easy to get it wrong! You’ve never had a baby before. There’s so much conflicting advice about what you need. And with so many shiny new baby products on the market each year, you can easily get drawn in by new fads and marketing campaigns for ingenious (looking) products that promise to make your life easier and your baby happier (but which usually turn out to be a colossal waste of money, ending up in the shed/attic/under-stairs cupboard after a matter of months).
But I like to think, when it comes to preparing for our second baby (arriving in a little over a month now!), we’ve learnt a thing or two about what‘s actually useful. Able to recognise the quality baby products from the crap ones. The value for money over the waste of money. And the baby products that will either last a good few years or will genuinely make our lives as parents easier.
And let me tell you…here, my friends, are eight of the very best!
The 8 best baby products we wish we’d had the first time around
We had a video baby monitor for our firstborn Teddy’s nursery, which we thought was the nuts! But since getting the Hive Home camera ahead of our new arrival, let’s just say…technology advances quite a lot in two years.
Not only does the Hive View look cool, with all the features you’d expect from a smart indoor camera – like live streaming via the nifty Hive mobile App, excellent night vision mode, as well as motion & sound detection alerts – it’s also packed with bucket loads of other features that make it the must have gadget for new parents.
Its video feed streams in HD, so can’t be beaten on picture quality (even when zooming). You can playback videos from the last 24 hours, so you can review how your baby slept during the night or use the Hive View as a security camera while you’re out or on holiday. It even comes with ingenious grab and go functionality, letting you detach the black box camera from the stand so you can use it in other rooms around the house. Plus, if you have other Hive smart devices like their active thermostat, active light bulb or smart security sensors, you can link them together and controlled them all remotely through a computer or smart phone. The future is here people!
Click here for more information on the Hive View camera and all their other smart home devices on offer. What’s more, the lovely team at Hive have given me a special discount code to share with you all – HIVE8Q1T5 – which will give the first 10 people to use it 20% off anything in their online store (valid until 9 September)!
I remember all too well how stressful breastfeeding and especially breast pumping was for my wife Rosie after our son was born two years ago. When Teddy started losing weight after we got home from the hospital, Rosie had to pump after every feed, day and night, so that we could give Teddy bottle top ups to make sure he was getting enough milk. As a result, Rosie would dread pumping. The noise. Being confined to her bed. The whole process.
Because of her previous experience, she’s really excited to try again with a different pump; our new Pumpables Milk Genie Plus Double Electric Breast Pump, which has had so many great reviews from mums all around the world, who say that it is one of the quietest, most lightweight and portable double pumps on the market.
It comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery, three different sized nipple attachments to ensure a good fit for all mums, and the ability to save a pump programme to memory, to make the whole pumping experience as stress free as possible. Plus, you get free shipping worldwide! Available to buy here!
For our first baby, we didn’t get a high chair until very late in the day. When we started weaning Teddy at around four months, we used to feed him in his bouncer before eventually getting an ancient second hand high hair from a local mums’ forum, which (I’m afraid to say) has always been a pain in my backside. It has sticky out legs (that I trip over daily), no tray table (essential in my view) and a clunky design that means it can’t be pushed in close to our kitchen table, or adjusted in any way. As such, Teddy no longer wants to sit in it, and risks his life trying to climb out of it at every opportunity!
But this time around we’re doing things differently and upgrading to the Stokke Tripp Trapp…not just for our toddler but for our new baba too! Because, the Tripp Trapp chair is an incredible piece of kit, which adjusts as your child grows and can be used from birth (thanks to its special newborn attachments), through toddlerhood and all the way up to their teenage years and beyond! It’s designed to fit right up to your dining table, bringing your baby into the heart of the family at meal times, with loads of adjustable features that allow for freedom of movement, with both depth and height adjustable seat and footplates.
Plus it comes in a wide range of colours to suit your kitchen design, two different wood types (the oak is our favourite), and can even be personalised with your child’s name on the back! It really is the only chair your child will ever need. Click here to check out the full range!
Our Teddy has slept with the original ewan the dream sheep since the day he was born, and we still absolutely love it. Ewan comes everywhere with us. Whenever we want Teddy to go to sleep, whether for his afternoon nap, after his evening bottle or anytime he wakes up during the night, we just tap ewan’s front right leg (the harp melody…our favourite of the four soothing sounds this wonder sheep emits) and Teddy immediately settles.
But for baby number two, we’re upgrading again with the ewan Deluxe…a new and improved version of the original dream sheep that comes with two additional features that make the Deluxe version even better for parents and babies alike. While the original dream sheep music only stayed on for 20 minutes at a time, the new Deluxe version comes with an intelligent MoonMode smartCRY sensor, which is cleverly designed to learn your baby’s cry and automatically activate when your baby stirs, helping to resettle them back to sleep (so you don’t have to physically be in the room to turn the sheep back on).
Plus, unlike the original, the Deluxe also has a removable control pod so ewan can be chucked in the washing machine from time to time to keep him clean and healthy! Such great improvements that make the ewan Deluxe the best new sleep aid on the market in my book. Click here to get your hands on one!
When I first became a dad, I pretty much thought all changing mats were the same…a standard squishy mattress for the baby to lie on as you carefully remove and replace countless toxic nappies while trying not to get poo on your finger. If you can find one with a removable cover, that can be washed after inevitable pee pee fountains, poo explosions and bouts of projectile vomiting, all the better. What I didn’t consider at the time was that not all changing mats are the same. In fact, some are actually leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.
Introducing the Squishy Changing Mat from Shnuggle; a super soft changing mat made from warm-to-touch foam for the most comfortable and safe nappy changes your baby will ever experience. With its waterproof, wipe clean surface, you’ll never need to wash another soiled changing mat cover ever again. It’s also cleverly designed with an elevated head to help reduce colic (also a great feature for babies with reflux) and raised sides to keep you baby in place and help prevent them from rolling off the mat. If there was a king of changing mats, this would undoubtedly win the crown.
My brother gave us a BabyBjörn Bouncer when Teddy was born and it fast became one of our most used (and most loved) baby products first time around. In fact, we loved it so much that we’ve lent our old one to a friend in need for their new baba, and have upgraded to the latest design – the BabyBjörn Bliss model – for our new arrival.
Because, these BabyBjörn Ergonomic baby bouncers are just amazing at soothing babies thanks to their natural rocking motion (no batteries required!), letting your little one nap, rest and play, in a safe and comfortable way, while you take a shower, go to the loo, have a bite to eat, unload the dishwasher or just put your feet up, without having the baby attached to you.
Plus, these bouncers come in loads of different colours, with removable fabric covers of airy mesh for when they inevitably need a freshen up. Check out the full range here!
As followers of my blog will know, we are BIG advocates of swaddling, and truly believe that our religious swaddling of Teddy played a big role in getting him to sleep through the night by around 12 weeks.
We usually wrapped baby Teddy up in large swaddle blankets, which worked pretty well, although he often managed to sneak out an arm or leg during the night (which often used to wake him up). But now you can get these incredible Swaddlers from Ergobaby (they kindly sent us two to try out), which have special pockets for your baby’s arms and legs to sit in, making swaddling an absolute breeze while ensuring that your little one stays safely wrapped up all night, enshrined a longer, more peaceful sleep for everyone!
I’ll never forget those bleary-eyed night feeds and 3am nappy changes during the first few months of parenthood; fumbling around in the dark, scared to use anything brighter than the screen light on my phone for fear of fully waking up the baby! The hallway light…too bright. The bedside lamp…still too bright! I wished I had something better to light my way!
Well, now we do, after being sent the brilliant MeemooBaby Meelight to try out over the summer. This ingenious LED-powered product gives out “the right kind of light” – a soft golden glow, dimmable to three light levels; the lowest is just right when feeding your baby without over-stimulating them, while the highest is perfect to change a nappy or even read a bedtime story. So useful for those early nights, but also for later in your parenting journey, as, with its built-in timer that shuts off the light after 30 minutes, the Meelight makes the perfect night light for older kids too.
What’s more, using the included Meeclip, the Meelight can be easily attached to a mum or dad’s clothing (freeing up your hands to feed your baba or change their nappy), it recharges in just an hour when placed on the charging base, and on its lowest light level, the Meelight will keep going for an incredible 48 hours of continuous use before needing a charge. Such a great product – available to buy here.
And that’s all folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post of our best baby products for baba number two! As always, we’d love to hear from you too, so if you have any other recommendations for must-have baby products, please do share your tips and ideas with the group via the comments section below!
– This is a collaborative post with the brands involved, but all recommendations are 100% genuine (as a blogger I get sent a lot of products to try and review, but these eight are absolutely the best of the best!) –