On the blog today, I’m sharing my TOP TEN Baby Essentials You DO Actually Need.  Whether you’re expecting for the first time, or even the second or third, you will receive a lot of advice about what you do or don’t need. There were loads of things I bought that in reality, didn’t work for me.  Every baby is different!  

But in this article, I am recommending my TOP TEN baby essentials you do actually need.  And ahead of International Baby Wearing Week (28th September – 3rd October 2021), number one on the list, is a sling…

1. A sling (or two)

Babies seem to like being cuddled – a LOT! I trialled a number of different makes and styles before finally settling on a sturdy sling with back support from Baby Bjorn for outdoor walks, and a lighter, simpler version from Close for wearing around the house. I found them at second hand markets which are an excellent place to pick up almost-new baby essentials you do actually need.

Check out more information about slings from the NCT here.

And seriously consider visiting a Kent Sling Library – find out more details here.

2. Smart Phone

It may seem obvious – and who amongst us doesn’t have a smart phone these days? – but there are many instances when the company of your smart phone will keep you from going insane. For exaple, feeding time!  This is the number one instance (which happens a lot at the beginning)! The countless hours spent feeding, stuck on the sofa just out of reach of the remote, or alone in the middle of the night – your phone will stop your brain from putrefying to mush from boredom! Keep it to hand; NEVER let it out of your sight – or reach.

3. Muslins and wipes

You can NEVER have enough muslins and wipes. Literally. Babies produce ‘stuff’ all the time. Vom, dribble, wee, poo; you name it, it comes out of them. Have a pile of muzzys next to you at ALL times and ensure every room in your house has a stash of wipes to cater for every eventuality. Have at least two packs in the change bag you take out with you – just in case.

NB: Beware the ones that say flushable – most of them aren’t actually biodegradable and end up in the sea, so please, always dispose of them in the bin.

4. To know the reason baby grows

have that funny neckline!

Unfortunately, I didn’t know the reason for this until after many a poonami had occurred and I had removed the baby grow in the direction from whence it went on. Poor baby. So, if you are in the dark and would like to know, here it is. The reason for the weird neck line is……drum roll please…..so that you can take the poo soaked baby grow off DOWN the baby’s body, thus avoiding dragging excrement encrusted baby grow over your poor baby’s head.

Ta da….you’re welcome.

5. Bouncer seat, door bouncer

and/or an A-frame bouncer!

(I needed all three!!)

I had a baby that liked to be upright. Before he was able to sit up, lying on his back was torture for him. So I discovered that if he could see what was going on he was much happier. There are loads of very expensive, electronic, all singing (literally) and dancing bouncer seats out there, but I found the most basic ones were fine for my little one. One that adjusted the angle of recline was useful later on, because it doubled up as a feeding chair during the delights of the weaning stage. The one I found best for many reasons, not least because it folded completely flat when not in use, was the Baby Bjorn bouncer with removable covers for very easy washing.

You can get a very reliable door bouncer from Argos, but you do have to have door frames to hang it from. 

NB: not all doors have frames!

For a portable A-frame bouncer, I was lucky enough to be gifted one which meant that wherever we happened to be, I could set this up for a more peaceful life! Look on Amazon for availability.

6. A Dummy

Some people do, some people don’t. I definitely started out in the ‘don’t’ camp, until about two weeks into parenthood when I had spent approximately 1 week, 6 days and 23 hours with a baby plugged onto my boobs. It became clear he was using me! Despite the disapproval of my parents and grandparents, and my own feeling of failure, I employed a dummy and life changed dramatically for the better.

It turns out, dummies aren’t the devils work after all.

Download a PDF of “TOP TEN Baby Essentials You Do Actually Need”

7. A feeding pillow

If you have even the sniff of a bad back, or aching shoulders or if you’re just normal in any way (!), you will find that months and months of feeding your baby (via boob OR bottle), holding them in your arms takes a huge toll on your back, neck, in fact your whole body.  So I discovered a feeding pillow was just the simplest solution to make life much more comfortable during the many, many (many) hours of breast feeding I endured/enjoyed. As your baby gets a bit older and starts to sit up, the pillow can also double up as a useful safety apparatus to put around your baby in case of any ‘tip-overs’.

8. Napisan and a bucket (or two)

There are tonnes of stain removal products on the market. You may (or may not) become intimately involved with one or two once you start a family! There is only one for me. Napisan. Get it (and a bucket) from your local supermarket. Job done.

9. Bath chair/support

Don’t bulk up your house with a baby bath. Just get a nice cheap bath support that you can put in the bottom of your existing bath. A tenner from Amazon: sorted. These towelling covered ones are great and easily washable. Whilst you’re at it, also get a foam kneeler if you don’t have carpet on your bathroom floor. You can thank me later!

10. Antenatal/Mums group (NCT etc)

The absolute BEST thing I ever did was sign up to an antenatal course. This was not because of the useful information about the imminent birth of your bump or because they explain to you how to tell the difference between braxton hicks and a real contraction. But because, and VERY importantly, of the amazing friends I made. Hands down, becoming a parent is one of the most unexpectedly difficult and life altering experiences I have ever had – and being able to share it with a group of amazing ladies all going through it at the same time has been a life saver. I cannot recommend it enough. 😀

So, there you have it.  I hope this list of my TOP TEN baby essentials you do actually need when you’re having a baby has been useful to you.  Let me know in the comments, any other essential that worked for you.  I’d love to hear about it!

If you’re expecting a baby, or have recently had one and you’d like to find out more about a lifestyle baby and family photoshoot in your own home, pop over to the information page for everything you need to know.