Monday, 13 August 2018

Baby gadgets for your home - My must haves & don't bothers

honest review of the baby must-haves and the gadgets I wish I hadn't bothered with including Ewan the dream sheep, sleepyhead, Tommee tippee perfect prep machine, changing table, jumparoo, tens machine

When I was expecting our daughter I was bombarded with things I "absolutely 100% needed" as a first time mum, and as a result spent a small fortune on gadgets despite having no idea if they'd work or not. Something I didn't consider was that every child is very different, and what will be a priceless buy for one mum might remain untouched in the box for another. There's a few things I wish I'd not bothered with, and some things I'd buy again in a heartbeat, and I thought I'd share them here in an honest review, in case this was a helpful read for any expectant first-time parents that are feeling as confused as I was.

Must have

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine - Obviously I've got nothing to compare this with, however I cannot praise this one enough. It takes two minutes to make a bottle to the perfect temperature, which is a complete lifesaver when you're dealing with a hysterical baby at 3am. My tip would to be to keep it upstairs to save time doing the night feeds!

Ewan the Dream Sheep - I'd buy him again, just for myself (seriously one note of that harp tune and I'm out like a light! We've had it since day one, and take it with us if we go away etc, so its more of a comforter now I think. I would say though, the battery life isn't great, so have some spare AAA's floating around in case of emergencies.

honest review of the baby must-haves and the gadgets I wish I hadn't bothered with including Ewan the dream sheep, sleepyhead, Tommee tippee perfect prep machine, changing table, jumparoo, tens machine

Sleepyhead - Again, this is something else I don't have anything to compare to, however I know that we've absolutely loved ours, and have even invested in the larger size after she grew out of the original one. The main reason I love this I think is the fact you can use it as a portable carry-cot in the early newborn days (I would position ours on the footstool so we could safely have daytime naps together), and I take it away with us when we stay at my parents house, meaning although she's sleeping in a travel cot, she still feels at home. Yes it's pricey, however I would buy this one again and again for future babies.

honest review of the baby must-haves and the gadgets I wish I hadn't bothered with including Ewan the dream sheep, sleepyhead, Tommee tippee perfect prep machine, changing table, jumparoo, tens machine

Jumparoo - Complete game changer for me - once she hit around five months and could sit up properly, all she wanted to do was bounce. All day, every day. Be warned: its bloody massive - you're basically trading in lounge space to have your arms back for a bit.

Don't bother

Any sort of bouncey rocking chair - In the end I bought two different ones and my daughter was having absolutely none of either of them. However I know some babies can't get enough, and they can be amazing help for when you just want to put baby down, however unfortunately (for my arms) little lady wouldn't sit in there for more than about 5 minutes at a time.

Sling - Now this one is completely personal to me as I know slings and baby carriers can be a complete lifesaver for most mums. However, I was really disappointed to find we just didn't get on with ours, so with hindsight wish I hadn't bothered. For us, little lady was just too little for our sling for the first few weeks, and once she was big enough to not slip down, she was then too heavy to carry around in it (although I do have back issues, so it could have been down to that). In addition, ours proved to be impossible to do up on your own, meaning I couldn't use it around the house, which was the whole reason I'd bought it in the first place.

Changing table - All the furniture sets we looked at seemed to be SO expensive, and whilst they all looked like great storage options, I was worried about spending a lot of money on furniture we perhaps wouldn't need in a couple of years time. So instead went for a changing mat on top of one of our IKEA chest of drawers. Doing it this way meant we saved a small fortune, and didn't need to lose any of our storage in our already tiny nursery.

honest review of the baby must-haves and the gadgets I wish I hadn't bothered with including Ewan the dream sheep, sleepyhead, Tommee tippee perfect prep machine, changing table, jumparoo, tens machine

TENS machine - I'm still annoyed about this one. A TENS machine was recommended to me by my midwife as something that might help with the early stages of labour, so being a terrified first-time mum off I trotted to Boots to happily part with £40 in the hope that even if it helped a little bit it would be money well spent. It was not. At the time I remember angrily telling my husband it was "the biggest waste of money" I'd ever spent, after using it for approximately 30 seconds before ripping those irritating little sticky pads off my back and chucking it across the room (at this point I should add I was unknowingly about 6cm dilated and still at home, so you'll have to excuse the melodramatics!) But seriously I didn't feel that it did anything other than vibrate annoyingly against me, which I found uncomfortable and distracting. Perhaps if I'd have used it earlier on in my labour I'd of had a different experience, however there's no way I'd bother buying another should I have any more babies.

Pram - Now this is an odd one I'll admit - but stick with me. Little lady was never a fan of laying down flat, she wanted to sit up and have a nose around from literally a few weeks old, so I would guess that as a newborn we used our pram no more than ten times, and even then she would kick off after about half hour wanting to be held. We had more luck using the pram base with the car seat, however obviously only in short bursts as they're not meant to be sat up for too long. Once she got to six months our pram converted into a buggy and then she was much happier using - she's obviously just very nosey! I think with hindsight we could have got away with simply buying a car seat and the base/wheels (although not sure if you can even buy them separately?!), and then getting a cheap, compact stroller.

What gadgets would you recommend to first-time mums? And what bits have you regretted buying?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx
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