Friday, 23 September 2011

{Tips for New Mums, Part 2}

Following on from my initial post on tips for new mums, I wanted to continue with some more suggestions of what to buy and what not to buy.

Mammasaver has recently written a blog post on what you need for a new baby. It's a comprehensive list and has all the basics that you may need such as muslin cloths (I've been using combination of bibs & muslins), cotton wool (useful for bathing & changing baby's bum in the early days before you start using wipes), cot bedding, changing mat, vests & sleepsuits... The all important item that was missing that I added was nappies. Nappies are essential, whether that be re-useable or disposable ones!!

It's very true that a lot of companies market baby items for the mum-to-be and I think a lot of expectant mothers feel they have to have everything purchased and ready before the baby arrives. When my son arrived, 7 weeks early, all we had done was order a travel system (Concord Neo if you are interested) and a cot bed from Next. Neither had arrived and the nursery was bare as the plasterer hadn't even started working on the room yet!

As a result, we did only buy what we needed, or what I thought we needed, and I don't think we made too many bad decisions.

One bad purchase on my part was a Gro Egg Thermometer for in the nursery and after a while I removed it and haven't used it since. We didn't really need it as the baby monitor I chose also monitors the temperature of the nursery. If you don't have a temperature output on your baby monitor, then possibly this might be a worthwhile investment. However, you can get paper thermometers that can be stuck to the wall. I'm sure I got one free with a baby magazine. One benefit of the Gro Egg however is that you can check the temperature of the room in a quick glance... red for too hot, amber for just right and blue for too cold. With a wall thermometer it's possible you might disturb a sleeping baby trying to check the temperature.

Depending on the size of your flat or house, you might want a baby monitor. We are in a house and the nursery is on a different level from the living space. A baby monitor has been essential for us. We initially were given an Angelcare movement and sound monitor to borrow:

We didn't use the sensor pad under the mattress though as we felt it was a bit extreme to monitor every movement our baby made. The voice activation was a great feature as was the adjustable sensitivity as it allowed us to set the level at which we could then hear our son. He was such a noisy sleeper that we didn't want continuous sound reception! After speaking to all my new mum friends, the monitor that the majority of them had was the BT 150 digital baby monitor. This is what we purchased and it's been fantastic. I recommend it to all mums-to-be.

My son has loved the polyphonic lullabies and the room temperature monitor meant that we didn't need the Gro Egg. There is also a talk-back option - useful to help sooth a cranky baby without actually going into the room. Similar to the Angelcare, the sensitivity is adjustable. 

With the addition of our daughter to the family we've purchased another baby monitor. The 150 monitor is now in my daughter's room and I chose a BT 250 monitor for in my son's room. I wrongly assumed that this was a newer model of the 150 monitor, and unfortunately it doesn't have an adjustable sensitivity. It is possible to 'Mute Low' where sounds below a certain pre-determined level are ignored or 'Mute All' where an alarm (beep, vibrate or lights only) is used when baby makes a noise. I just wish it was possible to change the sensitivity... I'm going to have to swap the monitors between the bedrooms I think but my son absolutely loves the songs on his new monitor and he gets so excited when I tell him that it's time to brush teeth & get snuggly in bed with some music... you would think that I had told him there was a present or a cake waiting for him!

One purchase that I would definitely recommend is a Swaddle Pod. My daughter is still in her Woombie at 5 months old and she is now sleeping from 7pm through until 7.30am. I firmly believe that swaddling has helped establish her sleep patterns.

Another recommendation is a footmuff or cosy toes for your car seat if your going to be out and about lots, especially now that the Winter has arrived. We had blankets and a fluffy all-in-one suit for my son, but the blankets would blow off in the wind and he would get too hot in the all-in-one when he was in the car. This time round I bought a Wallaboo footmuff that I had seen a review for on the Bambino Goodies site. They are breathable which is great and the fleecy lining is nice and soft. The great part about it is that the top can be unzipped and the bottom used as a liner if the weather is warm. I tuck my daughter up in hers when outside, but unzip the top when she's in the car so she doesn't get too hot. It's ideal.

My daughter in her car seat

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