We found out about Mini quite early on and this allowed us to be reasonably prepared and pick up quite a few baby items in the sales throughout the pregnancy. My Dad is also a dab hand at finding bargains at car boots so we have half a wooden toy shop amongst other items that will take a couple of years for Mini to grow into. Because of this, it was really difficult to know what to ask for when other family members and friends asked what we needed.
Fast forward nearly 2 months, we’ve made a couple of emergency Amazon purchases along the way and have come to realise which non-essential items are a bit of a god send. I’ve highlighted some of the items we couldn’t be without/we think would be perfect as gifts for other first time parents below:
1. Ewan the Dream Sheep
Ewan was one of our sleep deprived purchases which was made in the hope that we could coax Mini to sleep in his moses basket rather than in our arms. We’d tried a white noise app which wasn’t hugely successful and I’d had another white noise toy on our Amazon wishlist for a while but Chris preferred the look of Ewan who was also a little bit cheaper in price.
As soon as Ewan arrived we put him to the test and initially he was pretty good at helping soothe Mini and we had a good run of nights where he would sleep in his moses basket without issue. Then Mini got clever and realised our trick (plus he had growth spurts/developmental milestones) which meant he wasn’t quite as reliable – it would soothe him whilst Ewan was playing sounds but it wasn’t sending him into a deep sleep.
Nonetheless, Ewan’s abilities seem to be returning and as he’s baby friendly in design he’s much easier to transport without worry compared to trying to find somewhere to strategically place your phone in a pram.
2. Your Favourite Childhood Book
When we were planning our (not-quite-a) baby shower we were advised to give people an idea of presents or forever have a range of ‘first toy’ style gifts. As we’d already bought quite a few things already, we decided to go down the sentimental route and ask for people’s favourite children’s books.
We received a lovely selection from our guests and it’ll be nice to tell Mini who bought him those particular books at story time. Maybe when he’s old enough we’ll be able to find an opportunity for the gift givers to read the books to him too.
If I was gifting my favourite children’s book I’d choose The BFG, especially as there’s a new edition out later this year to celebrate Roald Dahl’s centenary.
I discovered the Babasac after we already bought 4 sleeping bags which will take Mini up to the age of 1. I’m kicking myself about it now though as the Babasac has an insert so it can be both 1 tog and 2.5 tog so you don’t need separate summer and winter sleeping bags.
The ease of switching togs will be useful to most parents, particularly those that like travelling and camping. Plus, it helps keep costs down too.
The designs are unisex too so you don’t have to worry about knowing the gender of the baby you’re buying for.
4. Amazon Voucher
As I’ve mentioned above, we made a couple of emergency Amazon purchases in the first few weeks and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without some of the vouchers we were gifted from different people. It made it a lot easier to part with money for products we were buying on a whim to see if they’d help settle Mini and give us a bit of freedom.
Whether the parents-to-be find themselves running out of nappies with no inclination to leave the house, they want to buy a toy to help soothe their new baby or they put it towards a larger future purchase such as a high chair, you can’t really go wrong with an Amazon voucher. Plus, if they have Prime, their purchases will be there pretty quickly which is incredibly reassuring when you’re sleep deprived.
5. FreeRider Range Original Baby Wrap
The FreeRider Range Baby Wrap was another emergency purchase of ours. Mini really wasn’t settling during the day unless he was on me which often meant that I wasn’t able to make myself lunch or move too far away from the sofa. Whilst this is fine for a couple of days, it was quite restrictive so we decided to invest in a baby wrap as he was too small for our BabyBjorn carrier.
We couldn’t use the wrap initially because of the same weight restriction but since Mini has been the right weight we’ve used it countless times and as it’s unisex, we’ve been taking it in turns to carry him when we’ve been out and about. I’ve even played crazy golf whilst wearing it with Mini in.
I’ll be doing a full review of the wrap in September so I’ll update this post with the link when it’s live.
6. Gro-Egg Room Thermometer
The Gro-Egg Room Thermometer was one of a number of items our friends had put together in a hamper of products they’d found useful as first time parents and the only time we haven’t used it is when we were away recently and our acommodation didn’t have power.
We check the thermometer throughout the day to decide what he should wear based on how warm the house is and what he’ll be covered with on an evening (i.e. a loose cellular blanket, a swaddle or a sleeping bag). It also gives us an idea of whether or not we need to open the windows or remove any draughts to regulate Mini’s temperature.
7. Sleepsuit from The Little White Company
It is difficult to know how big a baby is going to be and how quickly they’re going to grow out of things which can put you off buying clothes. Saying that, some items are particularly good for keeping for memory boxes and owing to the quality of the baby items in The White Company, I recommend their sleepsuits.
We bought Mini a space themed sleepsuit in the sale on our first day out of the house and it quickly became one of my favourite outfits of his. The design is lovely, the fabric is very soft and you can instantly see that it’s good quality. The good thing about the designs from The Little White Company is that many of them aren’t particularly gendered so they can be worn by boys and girls without causing too much confusion too.
8. Burt’s Bees Body Wash
As a new parent your only free time tends to be in the bathroom and as showers are reduced to less than 10 minutes (while being watched by a baby in a bouncer) when you’re in sole charge, it’s nice to have a good shower gel. It’s a simple indulgence and something that can give you that extra bit of energy at the start of the day to make you feel good.
It’s easy to underestimate but if you buy one with a fresh fragrance that both parents can use (like the Fabulously Fresh Peppermint and Rosemary Body Wash from Burt’s Bees), they’ll appreciate it more than you might think.