As a parent, particularly a Mumma, we spend so much time looking after our babies and trying to find some time for a bit of self-care; you could say that we have our hands full. Whilst being a parent is super exciting and overwhelming, among the thousands of recommendations and reviews, it can be hard trying to filter out what you actually need for you and your baby.
Since we started our family two years ago, I've come across some products that I really couldn't have lived without whilst bringing up my children. We definitely bought our fair share of things we thought we needed, but really didn't. The products I've recommended help balance life with kids and the very important "me-time". Perfect!
1. Ergo Baby Omni 360
We bought our Ergo Baby Omni 360 second-hand just before we had George and, honestly, I don't know what I would have done without it. I think I've worn it more around the house than I have out of it. When you have a newborn, they want to keep close to you and this was the perfect solution if I needed / wanted to do some cooking or cleaning.
2. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment
If I ask you to think of one brand of nappy rash cream, I bet you think of Sudocrem. Am I right?
We were none the wiser when it came to nappy rash cream. All you see and hear of is Sudocrem. Nappy rash is torture for our little ones and all you want to do is make it better for them. We found that Sudocrem and other similar nappy creams were soothing when first applied, but soon wore off once the nappy was put on. Metanium on the other hand, was a life-saver. As soon as you put it on, the cream sticks to the skin and really doesn't come off very easily. When you next change the nappy, you'll be amazed at how well the nappy rash has started to heal!
3. Dry Shampoo (In particular, the Batiste brand)
If you're already a Mum, you'll already know that we don't have much time in the day to make ourselves look "nice". By "nice", I mean having a shower and doing your hair and makeup. The things that make us feel a little more human.
I was always weary about dry shampoo. I could never quite believe that by quickly spraying something on my hair, that it could make it look like it's been properly washed. I have quite greasy hair even after the day it's been washed, so I wasn't expecting a miracle. However, the Batiste range has me in the palms of their hands. If you don't have time to wash your hair, this is your life-saver!
4. Protein Bars and Cereal Bars
I wasn't much of a breakfast person before I had children, but these days the mornings can be pretty hectic so grabbing something quick and easy is essential otherwise I usually don't eat until lunch time (naughty, I know). These days we are usually always stocked up on healthy snacks such as cereal or protein bars of some kind. Not only are they quick to open and eat, but they are super tasty and nutritious too - just what you need to start the day. They're also a good snack to keep in your bag should you need a bite to eat during the day.
5. Gro Bag
When we had George, I never really knew about these Gro Bags. I look back now and think why an earth didn't I use them. We started using them when George was about six months old, but before that we were always worrying through his naps whether the blanket was tucked in enough and whether he was too warm, too cold. These Gro Bags save all of those worries. Not only can you get ones that are weighted, but they safely keep your child warm (with the option of different Togs) and cosy. Like a sleeping bag for babies.
6. Joie Serina Swivel Swing
This is a product I recommend again and again to friends expecting babies. I'm sure there's other brands who do something similar, but this is the one we had for Max. We used to have an electric rocking seat for George, but it was nothing like this. The Joie swing seat rocks sideways and back and fore (option to change depending on what baby likes). It also vibrates, plays music, lights up and the seat can be detached should you need to take baby into another room. This product is worth every single penny!
7. Anbesol Teething Liquid
One of the toughest times of parenting has to be when your baby starts teething. There are so many products out there that it can be hard determining which is best for your baby - they're not exactly cheap either!
We tried Teetha, Bonjela and Ashton and Parsons, but none of these seemed to do the trick for George or Max. We've always gone back to our favourite, Anbesol. And this stuff works - have you ever tried it? It completely numbs the area you rub it on, taking away any pain and soreness.
Before having children, I always thought that muslin cloths were something they used to use in the "old days". Boy was I wrong. The amount of muslin cloths my sons have gotten through is crazy. They're the perfect thing to grab when your baby is dribbling and being sick. Remember to wash them on a hot wash regularly.
9. Eye Cooling Gel
You probably know that heavy eyed feeling from lack of sleep. Not only the feeling, but the dark eye-bags too!
I've been using the Origins No Puffy Cool Roll-On for Puffy Eyes and it's a dream in the mornings, it really is. The cool formula brightens your eyes so that you look like you've at least had a little more sleep than you actually have.
There's hundreds of brands out there that do similar, but this is my personal preference.
Once you have a baby, you should always keep some Calpol (or an alternative) in your medicine cupboard. It's a life-saver (literally) for keeping temperatures down and soothing pain. We especially use this when Max is having a particularly bad day with his teething, it definitely seems to help.
You will need Calpol when attending some of your baby's vaccinations.
I hope this list has made it a little easier in choosing what is essential and non-essential for purchasing when you have a baby. By no means is this everything that you need, but it should at least give you an idea of what can help you on your path through parenthood.
What has been your favourite or most useful product when bringing up your little one?
This blog was written purely on my experience with the products. In no way were these products gifted in exchange for a recommendation.