As first time parents, my husband and I bought a lot of things for our daughter and realized after some time that we barely used some of the items, while others got used tremendously.
In this post, I would like to focus on the top 10 things we used intensively and which we are reusing (or have repurchased) for our second baby.
- Diaper Disposal Bin – we own the one from Tommy Tippee/Sangenic and we are really pleased with it. For some people, this type of product is a regret purchase, or considered too expensive, but for me, this product was a true blessing. We were changing the diapers very often, maybe too often, and this was keeping any kind of odour contained, so we did not have to take out the trash 3 times a day! Of course there is the version of small plastic bags that can be used for each diaper and then tied with a knot, but the convenience of being able to dispose of a diaper with a single hand and keep the smell from spreading makes it really worth the extra money.
- Baby changing pad – when our daughter was born, we were living in a very small flat and did not have the space for a diaper changing table, therefore we opted for a changing pad/mattress and we are so happy we did, since it offered flexibility to move the diaper changing area anywhere in the house while protecting anything that was underneath. Moreover, it was so easy to clean when “accidents” happened: just a quick wipe with a special antibacterial spray for baby items. I opted for the 50 cm x 70 cm size and I definitely recommend it – it needs less surface area and keeps the baby “contained” given the higher lateral margins.
- Forehead thermometer – as first time parents, we were panicking each time our baby had a fever. This thermometer was perfect, since it allowed us to check the temperature as often as we wanted (the first night our daughter had a fever we checked it every 5 minutes!), without disturbing the baby’s sleep. We opted for one from VisioFocus and we are very happy – all family uses it. This thermometer also has a feature for checking the temperature of baby food or the water temperature for the baby’s bath.
- Baby camera – we chose to have a device with audio and video features, since we wanted to know also what the baby was doing even when she was not crying and we don’t regret our choice – it allows you to see the exact situation without actually going in the room. We chose the one from Audioline and it worked for 2.5 years and still going strong. I love that it allows both the baby camera and the parent device to be connected to an outlet, so you don’t need to buy batteries all the time. The image is quite clear, we can clearly see if the baby is sleeping or has opened the eyes, even in the night. Our daughter did not need another night light in the room, the light from the camera was enough to see a little bit in the room, while not disturbing her sleep.
- Baby bottles – although I struggled to breastfeed, I never had enough milk for my children, so I gradually switched to formula. I did a lot of research when I chose the MAM brand, but I am really pleased. I never had problems with leaking and the shape of the nipple was easily accepted by both my children. I love that you can also unscrew the bottom of the bottle, so that you can thoroughly clean the bottles even if you don’t have a special bottle brush (from time to time my baby bottle brush breaks, so I have an temporary alternative, until I am able to buy a new one). Also, it allows sterilization in the microwave without additional tools – you just arrange the parts in certain way and put it in the microwave – this feature was particularly useful when we made short trips, so we did not need to carry the big sterilizing device with us. Whatever brand you choose, I would suggest that you buy a larger size, since the baby needs more and more milk and the small ones, although cute (see photo below), become useless after 1-2 months.
- Bottle Sterilizer – if you supplement or exclusively formula feed, you need one of these devices. Also after a lot of research, we chose the Tommy Tippee one and we are happy – it still works fine with our second baby. You regularly need to descale it, but this is the case with all sterilizers. There is also the option of using the microwave, but I am more comfortable with the standard option.
- Electric kettle – this in one of my most used items in my kitchen, since for my son’s formula I use a combination of baby water at room temperature with hot water from the kettle to make the temperature of the milk perfect for immediate drinking. Some babies also like room temperature milk (my daughter had no problem drinking liquids at room temperature), but my son seems to really enjoy when his milk is warm (can this be because he was born in winter?). We have a kettle from Phillips, but any kettle will do.
- Weleda Baby Oil and Baby Wash – I also did a lot of research towards which products are safe for babies and I ended up with the Weleda brand, to which I came back also for my son. Again, with my first baby, I bought a lot of products, face creams, diaper creams, belly oil, but in the end I only used the wash lotion and the baby oil. I do not use a diaper cream frequently, only when his skin appears a bit irritated and in those cases I use “Inotyol” a cream our paediatrician recommended, which I buy from the pharmacy.
- Ikea Baby Bed – there are a lot of fun furniture items for babies, including baby beds with a lot of accessories and features (possibility to connect it to the parents’ bed, 3 or more height levels for the matress, fun colors or decorations, transformation into a bench, etc.), but we decided to go with a simple bed from Ikea which was more than enough and perfect for the first 22 months, when we changed our daughter to a toddler bed and prepared the baby bed for the arrival of our son. It has no bling, but it definitely has a minuscule cost per use and it holds up quite strong after more than 2.5 years of use.
- Baby swing – sometimes babies get tired of lying down and a swing is a great way of allowing them to see a little bit better the surroundings while also giving parents a few minutes of spare time to do other things around the house. We chose the one from Bright Starts, the Comfort & Harmony portable swing. It was also very compact, so it did not take a lot of storage space. It has many swinging speeds, but I usually use the second slowest one. It also plays a song, but it seems that my son enjoys more swinging in silence, haha. The thing I do not like on this swing is the additional pillow, which did not seem to hold the baby’s head in the right place. I think babies fit better in the swing after they start holding their heads just a little bit (at about 1.5 months) and you don’t need the pillow. If you want to use it from the very beginning, I would advise you to look for another model, but I strongly recommend purchasing a swing for your baby.
So these are my top 10 items I came back to when I had my second baby. I hope this post was helpful for anyone overwhelmed with the amount of baby things on the market or for any new parent that is looking to get ideas about certain baby products. If you are already a parent, I would love to know which are your favourite baby items in the comments below!