Oscar chose to hang it off the light switch in the kitchen so as soon as we go downstairs in the morning the first thing he asks me to do is change how many sleeps he has left. I think having one of these chalk boards is a really simple and sweet idea and watching the excitement on Oscar’s face as the number of sleeps go down is priceless!
Since I was pregnant with Oscar five years ago the world of baby and nursery products has changed dramatically! When I had Oscar I brought so many bits and pieces (most you don’t really need) and as we have now passed the twenty weeks stage I have been putting a list together of things we need to get as I am trying to be really organised especially being due around Christmas.
We have our nursery furniture that was from Mama’s and Papa’s and has lasted really well and Oscar is now in a cabin bed so I only need to get him a chest of draws then I can use the changing unit/draws for the baby. Some of the things I have come across have shocked me, like the Fisher Price bouncer with Ipad holder. I was pleased to read this had been discontinued! There are some products available that I really love the look of and can make life a little easier for you. The Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine looks fab and I have had friends that have used it and they absolutely rave about it. Also I will defiantly be getting a video baby monitor this time as these weren’t around five years ago and look really great.
Another major difference when browsing the baby clothes is there are so many cuter boys clothes available now. As we don’t know what we are having I have brought a few neutral bits. I am loving star patterns and also brought some adorable giraffe printed baby grows from Mothercare plus I like the idea of rainbow prints for our little rainbow baby. I won’t be buying to much as I did this last time then when Oscar was born had loads of neutral clothes still on hangers as family and friends brought him so many lovely boy outfits. I was surprised in Next they have a tiny range of unisex new baby clothes which made me think maybe lots of people find out the sex of their baby now? To be honest I would love to find out but Greg doesn’t want to so I will just have to wait for the surprise!
There are also so many great looking pushchair/travel systems available now from fun and quirky designs from Cosatto, really modern designs from Quinny and I am still drawn back to Bugaboo has I had one with Oscar and it was great. To many to choose from makes the decision even harder. I am going to wait until the Baby Show in October to have a thorough look at them all. We have a Stokke mini sleepi cot from before too which I found making going from a moses basket to a big cot much easier. I have brought new white bedding and bumpers already, let’s see how long I can keep them clean this time.
I had a Silver Cross car seat with Oscar but don’t have it any more so have been looking at the Maxi-Cosi pebble and with my car now I can have an isofix base which makes getting the car seat in and out of the car so much easier, especially after a C-section.
Decisions, decisions all very exciting though!
We have been using the Cybex Solution Q-Fix group 2/3 car seat for the last four weeks and I absolutely cannot fault it. The car seat is solid and really well made, it looks great and comes in lots of different colour variations. We have it in grey and black. It is part of the Cybex platinum product range and the plush material is of really high quality and so comfortable. The seat has an isofix connection and I fitted the car seat into my car in literally twenty seconds, it is so easy to fit and has red and green colour indicators on the connectors so you know whether you have fitted the seat correctly.
The seat has a reclining head and back rest to make sure it fits perfectly to your seat in your car and eleven height and width adjustment options so the seat can be tailored perfectly to each child. Having so many adjustments also means that the car seat itself will last for years! The seat also has an air ventilation system built in to it with a further building block in the comfort package of the Solution Q-fix is a mesh of ventilation channels that run through the backrest and seat components. Air can circulate through ventilation holes on the front of the seat and under the seat cover, and is channelled away from the child by additional openings in the backrest. This ensures a comfortable sitting temperature even on hot days. This makes travelling in the heat so much more comfortable for Oscar and especially over the last few days even if he has dosed off in the car I noticed in the heat sometimes his hair sweats on the material but in this car seat it doesn’t.
The Cybex Solution Q-Fix is available for Mothercare and Mamas and Papas and retails at £190 it is suitable from 3-12 years old and features Cybex’s innovative Linear side-impact protection plus system which reduces any side impact and your child’s head is automatically directed into a secure position. Very clever if you ask me.
When looking for a car seat for your child you always look for comfort and maximum protection and this seat completely ticks all the boxes and I cannot find a single thing that I don’t like about it.
When I was expecting Oscar I went completely over board buying all sorts of unnecessary stuff that I didn’t really need. If and when we have another baby my list of its to get would literally be halved. Over the last few years when friends have been expecting one of the questions I always get asked is what do we really need? So I thought I would put a list together of some of the bits that we brought and the stuff that you really do not need.
We brought our actual nursery furniture: cot/bed, wardrobe, changing table/chest of draws, toy box and cot/bed mattress from Mamas and Papas. To be honest I never looked anywhere else and have been really pleased with it all. Even four years on, their customer services team sent me out new draw runners as one of mine broke under the weight of all of Oscar’s clothes! We also got our Zeddy and Parsnip moses basket, cot bedding, cot mobile and changing mat from Mamas and Papas too. We went with a unisex theme and have cream walls and added the Zeddy and Parsnip border around the room. I had the BT 150 baby monitor and it had a built in room temperature indicator and lullaby songs.
I stocked up on Pampers nappies and cotton wool when I was pregnant. I brought the Braun 4520 Thermoscan thermometer which is great. It has been used loads and would defiantly be a gadget I couldn’t have gone without. It gives an accurate reading and is easy to use what is a must when you have a wriggling crying teething baby! Keeping a bottle of Infacol in the cupboard is always a good idea in case your little one suffers from colic. For when your baby is teething I would totally recommend Anbesol. My Auntie suggested it to me as it is something that has been around for years and my Mum used it on me. We used a few different teething aids but this one defiantly seemed to work the best. A top and tail bowl is always useful for nappy changing and I used mine all the time. In regards to nappy rash I always used Sudocrem or Bepanthen.
Let’s be honest no matter how many people tell you don’t buy lots of clothes for your baby as you get given loads when baby is born, we never listen! When I was pregnant with Oscar I brought loads of cute outfits, half that were never used as he got tons of clothes when he was born. The only clothes I really needed to buy was vests, sleepsuit’s, hats and mittens for in the hospital and an outfit to bring baby home in, then a couple of other bits. I brought a newborn starter kit from BHS and it had everything you needed in it to last a few days and it was less than £20, I would really recommend getting something like that. Don’t forget to wash it all first! Obviously depending on the time of year you might need a little cardigan or pramsuit. When Oscar was first born I used a Gro swaddle blanket and then Gro bags when he was old enough. My most extravagant baby buy was my Gucci changing bag.. I LOVED IT! I will use it again and then pass it on to one of my friends when they have a baby.
As I said above a top and tail bowl is a must. We also brought a bath support to make it easier and safer when bathing baby being able to have your hands free. Obviously when Oscar was first born we only used warm water and cotton wall to clean him but when he was old enough we used Johnson’s baby shampoo and bedtime bath wash. I also used the bedtime oil to massage into his skin after his bath. The cuddledry bath towels are great as you wear it like an apron then have two hands free to pick baby out of the bath and wrap them up safely. Avent also sell a good bath water thermometer but to be honest I didn’t use one as I just tested the water myself. As Oscar has got older he has a bath mat in the bath with a temperature indicator on it.
I tried hard to breast feed and use the Medela electric breast pump. Unfortunately I just didn’t have enough milk and ended up using Aptamil baby formula instead. We used Avent bottles and the Avent steam steriliser and bottle warmer. They worked great and have now been passed on for someone else to use. I have seen that Avent have a new steam steriliser out and I will be getting that one next time around. I also used the thermal bottle bag when out and about. When I started weaning Oscar I used the brother max freezing tray and prepared pureed meals and froze them. My In Laws brought us a high chair from Mamas and Papas which was great with different height adjustments and the seat had three positions so when Oscar sometimes crashed out in his chair I could tilt it back to make it comfier for him. I have also seen the new Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine and this will be my must have gadget for when we have another baby! We used the Tommee Tippee soothers and bibs with Oscar too and then I ordered personalised dummies for him with ‘Mini Maycock’ on them. They were only 3 for £10 and you can choose colours, wording and designs.
I started off with a Silver Cross travel system that my parent’s kindly brought us. It came with the pram/pushchair, car seat and changing bag and I think it was around £500. I loved the pram, hated the car seat and wasn’t overly impressed when it turned in to a pushchair. I ended up selling it on Ebay and getting a Bugaboo Cameleon instead. Yes they are expensive but I loved it! I could have Oscar facing me when we were out and about so I could talk to him and it went completely flat when he wanted a nap. Next time I would buy a Maxi-Cosi Pebble Infant car seat and the isofix base. You can then get adaptors to connect it to the Bugaboo. I will defiantly get a Bugaboo again I want the Buffalo this time though. As a stroller I had the Silver Cross Fizz from John Lewis and loved it. It was great and I also found it amazing when we went on holiday as it had a mesh back and it allowed the air to flow through it in the hot weather. It also folded small and had removable/reversible seat insert which made it easy to keep clean. I also have a Maclaren BMW stroller which is just a great stroller and looks good too. Oscar liked it as it had the same wheels as Daddy’s car.
Newborns don’t do much but the months fly past and it is nice to have colourful and stimulating toys for them to chew on or play with. I got a lot of Lamaze toys and Fisher Price cookie jar sorter and a Fisher Price Sing and Go choo train. Of all of the baby toys we had (the lounge was full) these are the only ones I have kept for another baby. Oscar’s favourite toy was his Cuski Comforter which went everywhere with us and he still has it at bedtime now. From Mothercare I got a Blossom Farm sit me up cosy which was really useful and when we went to visit grandparents and friends I took it with us as Oscar could play comfortably. Oscar’s Uncle Simon brought him a adorable Barny Bear play mat which he used loads too and I have packed it away for the next one!
Things I brought and didn’t really need:
- Loads of baby clothes (you will get loads as gifts)
- Bath Thermometer (use your own judgement)
- Loads of baby toys (just get a few and change them every few months)
- An air purifier (had one and used it for about a week)
- Baby walker (the Vtech push along walker was better)
- Cuddly toys (they just sat there collecting dust)
- Baby bouncer (Brought one and never used it)
- To many blankets (I had two favourites and the others just didn’t get used)
- Expensive clothes (I stupidly brought lots of baby Ralph Lauren clothes, when the carrot puree or a leaked nappy gets on them they were completely ruined. Looking back I wasted a lot of money on silly designer clothes. Don’t buy anything that your not happy with having to throw away.)
- Baby/pregnancy books (They didn’t have these 50 years ago and managed ok!)
- Movement baby monitors (I brought one then took it back, I just felt it was a bit unnecessary and opted for a normal BT one instead).
- Buggy arch toys (Oscar never used it and loved his Lamaze ones that clipped onto the pushchair when we were out and clipped off to play with indoors).