Because my last request worked so well…

June 27, 2009

Seriously, thank you for all of your comments on my Hospital Bag post. Really helpful, next week I will be starting again and repacking!

So, while I am at it (asking for advice I mean) here is my next question:

What is the one thing that you could not have lived without in the first few weeks with a new baby?

Ready, steady, go! Can’t wait to read your comments.


  • Reply SandyCalico June 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    One thing? I would have to say muslin squares, loads of muslin squares.
    I've used them…
    as bibs
    to clean up possets
    as something to lay baby on (see above)
    to swaddle
    as a wash cloth
    as a towel
    to keep the sun off the baby in the pram
    as a light blanket
    as a pram sheet
    to play peepbo

  • Reply The wife of bold June 27, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    SLEEP?? Failing that blankets, loads of blankets, especially if your bottle feeding – they puke alot!!!!

  • Reply Mrs OMG Pregnant June 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Red wine…………

    …. oops, just remembered that would be inappropriate.

    Keep asking these questions though as I am 'staring' posts like these in my reader as I dont even think to ask!!

    Glad SandyCalico said that, I brought 12 today (on sale in Mothercare) – should I get more?

  • Reply Karin June 27, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Our Moses Basket and a very simple Bouncy Seat (from Kiddicare…all of £9.99- mesh material and no vibrating/music/light show but absolutely lifesaving).

    And yes…muzzies…we still use them and Little Miss is nearly 13 months.


  • Reply SandyCalico June 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    OMG, you *should* be okay with a dozen. You'll be doing lots of washing(!) so I'd see how you get on x

  • Reply Mrs OMG Pregnant June 27, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I hate the thought of lots of washing sob sob sob – but thanks for letting me know SandyCalico 🙂

  • Reply Efficiencycoach June 27, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    1) lansinoh nipple cream
    2) radio in the nursery for the long night feeds
    3) Kotex maxi night-time sanitary towels – softer & cheaper than maternity pads
    4) Lavender Oil – to add to hot baths to help heal any cuts or tears
    5) Arnica homeopathic tablets – really does help reduce the pain & bruising post birth

  • Reply myshittytwenties June 27, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    A really good novel. You are still a person and it is easy to read while feeding a baby.

    Vibrating rocking chair for instant sleep.

    Don't try to plan everything to military precision. 'Birth plans' are a bad idea as things rarely go to plan. Just go with the flow and if you need drugs, take them!

    Good luck! xxx

  • Reply yummymummytips June 27, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    The best thing that you can buy for ease of use is a baby sleep gown from Green Baby. They are the one thing that I would recommend to any new mum.

    When you are tired fiddling with poppers on a babygrow during a night time feed / change is a right pain. Light on – wake baby….
    Babygowns are basically like a long nighty with elastic along the base to keep their little legs covered.

    When you get used to nappy changing you can do it without even waking your baby up.
    Green Baby do one that is 100% organic with integral scratch mitts.
    Once you have tried one you will never go back to babygrows.

  • Reply Victoria June 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    I'd second the muslins and the nipple cream. The baby doesn't really need anything in particular, but I'd make sure you have lots of washable night clothes (ie, baggy tshirts and jammy bottoms) as you get covered in milk when you are feeding, which starts to smell sour pretty quickly.

    Also, make sure you are looking after yourself with nice food etc. It's pretty hard to get out of the house in the first days, so stock the freezer and stock up on loo roll etc.

    Tiny babies just need somewhere to lie down from time to time (ie moses basket), a few cotton babygrows (or just vests if it's hot)and that's about it.

    Now this isn't very nice to talk about but I'm going to do it anyway… with my eldest two, I had tears and stitches, which can be quite sore while they heal, and particularly when you wee. You can make weeing much nicer and help the stitches heal at the same time by filling a water bottle with cool water mixed with drops of lavender, tea tree etc (whatever you fancy really) and pour it over your sore bits as you do your wee.

  • Reply Lorraine June 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Agree totally with the muslin squares they are invaluable and come in handy for so many things.

    Plenty of little vests and babygro things.

    Lavender oil for in your bath, found it really did help, with healing and quite a calming smell too.

    Ok this is going to sound really weird, but when your milk comes in and you get really hot and uncomfortable breasts, one of the midwives told me to try cabbage leaves that you have kept in the fridge…I thought she was a nutter,but it really did help! Cant believe I have just told people that.

    And lastly…Help if its available and you need it….never be afraid to ask or take it.

    Good luck

  • Reply Coding Mamma (Tasha) June 27, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Squeezy water bottles – the ones with a flip top lid, and small hole. You can flip the lid open one-handed and drink from it, close it and just stick it on the chair/sofa while breastfeeding. Keep a few of them filled up (just with tap water) in the fridge, so you can grab one when you're going to sit down for a feed.

    Someone else said it, but a good book (I had a weird thing where I could really only read momlit books for the first 6 months or so, so you might want to get a couple of them in, just in case you have the same problem) for reading while breastfeeding.

    Somewhere to put baby down to sleep downstairs (bouncy chair/moses basket – not the sofa!), so you're not lugging a crib up and down the stairs all the time.

    I also watched A LOT of TV in the first week or two. Spent so much time sitting breastfeedig and it passed the time – there will be a fair amount of looking down at your brand new baby being amazed, but if yours feeds for as long as Rosemary did (often an hour at a time), you will get bored with that!

    Pretty much all the above are assuming you're going to be breast-feeding. If you're not, a decent steriliser is a must – preferably a hot water one. We used Milton for the small amount of time we were mix feeding, as we hadn't bought one, and it was yucky, yucky stuff.

    We bought muslin squares and practically never used them. My cousin's baby (who had to be bottle-fed due to her medications) got through four or five a day as he sicked up a lot (turned out he was lactose intolerant, actually).

    You'll be fine, anyway. The most important thing is that you need to find your own way, the one that works for you and your family. Soak up all this advice, absolutely, but when it comes to it, follow your instincts, as they'll most probably be right.

  • Reply Kat June 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Oh so so many things! Wouldn't it be nice if we could all sit down together and talk about our experiences to inspire others?

    My big offering (aside from seconding: mussies, savoy cabbage [it's the enzymes – oh so brilliant], sleeping gowns, lansinoh) is:

    Online shopping. Set up a basic supermarket order for your local delivery service. Schedule it in for the weeks before and after (you can cancel if you're in labour!). So often with our first child it would get to 10pm and we would realise we had forgotten to eat. Have lots of easy but filling & nutritious meals planned that *crucially* your partner can cook. Add in lots of snack food too as BF does make you peckish.

    Something else I would recommend is naps. We got into a rhythm of napping after lunch this time around. Visitors in the morning and for lunch then waved good bye, shut the curtains and all snuggled up for some quite time. Felt a hundren times better than last time when I was relying on night time sleep alone.

    You are starting some great discussions here!

  • Reply Potty Mummy June 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    A steam sterliser for your microwave. If you're breastfeeding you will still use it for other stuff (dummies – which you should also keep handy just in case it proves the only way to get some sleep), and if you're not breastfeeding it will be invaluable.

    Terry-towelling nappy squares; not for the use originally intended, but to throw over change mats (or even to use instead of) etc as they are much more easily washed and dried than the specially fitted covers. Cheaper, too. My boys are 5 and 3 and we still have some knocking around for emergency clean-ups…

    Grobags – sleeping bags for babies – for when they get to 4 months or so and start kicking off the covers.

    I could go on for ever, but won't. Good luck!

  • Reply Mrs OMG Pregnant June 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Keep them tips coming ladies…. such interesting reads!!!

  • Reply myshittytwenties June 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Yes, I agree with steriliser. Hopefully if you want to breastfeed it will be a doddle for you, but I had no end of problems. Because I was so determined to breastfeed, I had no bottle feeding paraphenalia in stock and Mum had to go out and get everything for me in a moment of absolute despair and defeat. Hopefully it won't be that hard for you though!


  • Reply Lorraine June 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Grobags, agree wonderful invention .

  • Reply SandyCalico June 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I wish I'd been blogging when I was pregnant the first time, this is great stuff! We should write a book!

  • Reply Lorraine June 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Me too, isn't it great that we can all help each other out, with little things we have picked up along the way.

  • Reply Mrs OMG Pregnant June 28, 2009 at 10:10 am

    I agree, yes it is! Reading blogs and responses like this blog and on my own has really helped me. More than the books I have brought…

    There's so much more to consider!

  • Reply Victoria June 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    I forgot about dummies. I was a bit sniffy about them pre-babies, thinking it was only bad parents who used them. I found them absolutely essential for newborns, who all love to suck incessantly. If you don't have a dummy, they'll suck on your nipples for hours on end and it gets really sore. I found them really useful for getting them to sleep, and they all lost interest sometime around three or four months, so I never had any problems getting them off them later. Buy them now, just in case…

  • Reply Margarita June 28, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Lots and lots of clothes for baby. I thought I had a ton, but realised quickly they live onesies for the first month, that get dirty ALL THE TIME. And SOCKS. I seemed to never have enough socks.

    If breastfeeding, nipple cream def, and the little nursing pads in case of leakage.

    And someone to pawn the baby off onto when you need a nap/shower/food/metime.

    Good luck 🙂

  • Reply allgrownup June 28, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Can't believe no one has said it: a sling! What a life saver, I had to carry my boy constantly,and when we bought a sling at 3m,I got my life back (well almost…)
    We still have 20 or so, regularly used muslins, he is 19m old 🙂 they are chief comforters. Baby nightgowns are great, as mentioned. Take away menus! And a helpful grandmother 🙂

  • Reply Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy June 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

    don't bother with any clothes apart from a vest and babygro (and nighties for the nightime when you don't want to deal with poppers!). And if they are all white you can wash them all together at 60C to get all the stains out without fear of an inadvertant colour disaster. My two boys spent a lot of time looking faintly pink after one such moment…

    Good luck. You'll do great, you'll work it out as it happens and find your own way.

    ps – take the drugs if you want to. Nobody gives you a special gold star for sweating through if you don't want to do it.

  • Reply yummymummytips July 1, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I have just thought of something else! Sky+! There is always crap on the thelly in the middle of the night when you are up feeding. I could never get back to sleep by the time I had fed, washed blah blah blah.
    Still we didn't have Twitter in the age of the dinosaurs so maybe you would be OK without it.

  • Reply yummymummytips July 1, 2009 at 10:42 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply clareybabble July 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Muslins and if you breastfeed get some Jelonet from your local pharmacy. It's a gauze you cut to size and put over your nipple (I'm sure it must have other uses). It almost instantly relieves them if they're cracked and sore (obviously I'm no doctor so check with a health professional that it's ok for you!). Also sleeping bags are much better than tons of blankets. I always worried that I'd wrapped them up too much or not enough. A dummy for once breastfeeding is established is also a good idea. Plus a bouncy vibrating chair. xx

  • Reply solnushka July 5, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    Baby Bliss by a Dr Krump. Very good on soothing tips for crying babies. Also a white noise generator for while the baby sleeps/ getting to sleep. I think there are CDs and such, although we used a detuned radio. Really really helpful.

    Fennel tea (for you) if yours turns out colicy (assuming breastfeeding)? My cousin really swore by that.

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