Our beautiful baby Bella is almost six months old. I can’t believe. Half a year of being parents. Half a year of our hearts bursting with joy. And half a year of lessons!
Certainly, one big thing that we have learnt is that there are tools to make life as new parents a little bit easier. Baby entertainment, developmental toys and travel essentials help take a bit of pressure off mum and dad. Naturally, there’s also products that didn’t work for us. Below is a list of all the must have baby products that saved us AND a few disappointments.
This activity centre is pure genius. Not only does it keep Bella upright (which she LOVES atm!) it is filled with so many developmental activities that keep her busy. The table features a 360 degree rotating seat so she can turn to observe her surroundings or face her favourite toy. It also has a musical keyboard which she can kick with her feet and observe through a window. Plus, once she grows out of it, the activity centre turns into a sturdy table for colouring or playing. Amazing value for money!
This item has a cult following and now I totally get why! Honestly, I was a little apprehensive buying this before Bella was born. For the amount of money spent, I believed that having a swing that had some sort of a mechanical function would serve us better as it ‘did more’. Well, I was totally wrong. We purchased a swing (the Ingenuity Poweradapt Convertme Swing-2-Seat from Baby Bunting) and Bella cries almost every time she’s on it. We have no idea what it is, she’s just not a fan.
Finally, we got our hands on the Baby Bjorn Bouncer and Bella absolutely LOVES it. The natural rocking really soothes her when she needs it, or provides her with lots of entertainment. In addition, it’s much more practical for us. There’s no cords and cables, it’s super small, light and easy to move around the house. Win – Win!
3. Activity Mat
This one is super simple but something we probably use the most. Get your baby practicing tummy time on a mat which you can transport to any room of the house. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just a clean mat, or even a towel, that they can lay on and watch the world go by.
As a newborn, Bella loved being swaddled. We used traditional muslin wraps for many weeks but found them incredibly fiddly – especially in the middle of the night. We heard a lot of positive things about the Love to Dream Swaddle, so we started to slowly introduce one into her naps. It made our life so much easier! The newborn Swaddle Up allows the baby’s arms to be up next to their face so they can easily self soothe. In addition, the night time changes are so much easier due to the up and down zipper. Once the baby shows signs of rolling, it’s time for a transitional swaddle where bub can start freeing their arms, one at a time.
While super handy, these swaddles did take Bella a little while to get used to. Particularly as a newborn, Bella had a strong startle reflex so the Swaddle Up did not provide the tight and secure swaddling that she was getting out of the traditional methods. After a little practice, it was a perfect addition to her bedtime routine.
The Glow Dreaming device has literally been our sleep-saver in more ways than one. This device is so much more than a white noise machine. The perfect all-in-one nursery essential provides three levels of white noise, light therapy (green and red), aromatherapy and also works as a night light. The calming, red coloured light stimulates the body’s melatonin production and can assist with the development of the circadian rhythm. When the functions are used all together, it creates the perfect, calming space for your baby to sleep. Perfect for those fussy naps!
When it comes to prams, you can’t beat a Redsbaby! Seriously, just have a look around next time you’re at the shopping centre or strolling outdoors. They are everywhere! This, of course, is for a very good reason. Redsbaby prams are affordable, durable, comfortable and very functional. We have the JIVE3 and honestly, we can’t fault it. It fits perfectly in the boot of our car, has plenty of storage space and has the ability to convert to a double pram. Plus it is super lightweight and has plenty of accessories to fit your lifestyle! They start at just $899 which is highly competitive and comparable to other mid-high tier prams.
8. Baby Carriers
A baby carrier is a very important investment, particularly for the newborn stage. Many babies find the comfort of their parent’s touch just about the only thing that will settle them. Investing in a baby carrier will give you back a bit of freedom and the ability to get things done while they sleep! I’ve been lucky enough to test three popular carries so I want to share my thoughts about them all. The below carriers are all ergonomically designed for your baby and are hip friendly.
- Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh (RRP $329): This one is great for longevity! The carrier provides all the carry positions (front, side, back) from newborn up to 20kgs. It is also very durable and secure so we found it great for long walks or trips to the grocery store. Bella found this one extremely comfortable too!
- Redsbaby CONNECT Wrap (RRP $79): If you are after something super comfortable, flexible and affordable for you and your newborn, look no further. This wrap is super soft and cosy, made out of soft, premium 100% organic cotton. It’s perfect for bonding and skin to skin contact, providing lots of comfort to your little one. The CONNECT Wrap is designed for newborn to 11kg.
- Baby Bjorn Harmony (RRP $350): If you like the features of both of the above carries, this one is the perfect middle. Saying that, it is the most expensive but if you can afford it, I’d say it’s worth it. The newly released Baby Bjorn Harmony carrier is soft structured yet supportive and accommodates for all carrying positions. It is suitable for newborns to 15kg. Best thing about this carrier is how easy it is to put on and how comfortable it is to wear. It is much more flexible than the Ergobaby and therefore more comfortable for the parent. I can’t speak for the baby but Bella seems super comfy as well!
I honestly can go on for days talking about all the must have baby products that we found useful but I might end it here! If you have any comments about the products I mentioned above I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you liked this post check out My Postpartum Routine.