Since having Emilia three and a half years ago, one of the main things I’ve noticed is just how quickly the world of baby products can change. The stores have an array of ‘must have’ baby items and admittedly I started out this pregnancy feeling a little smug that I knew exactly what I was doing this time round. That was until I started looking around these stores, or online. I quickly began to realise once again I knew very little, yes I have staples that were brilliant with Emilia, some that people warned us against (like the Sangenic Nappy Bin, the mums on the forums I followed said we didn’t need it but we found it a godsend!) some we’ve kept for second time around and some can’t be kept (mattresses/Sleepyheads etc) and so have repurchased.
I’ve spent a few weekends perusing the aisles of well known Mother/Baby retailers and in the time that I’ve been back on Instagram after pregnancy illness, have been approached by many baby brands to try out their new products. Rest assured that I have been very picky about what I’d like to review and below you’ll find my list of a few genius items that are newer than when I had Emilia but feel will be a godsend this time round. Hope you find it useful too!
I came across this brand during my weekend in store browsings and have looked at the products below thinking ‘ooh they could be really good’, but feeling that little wobble in confidence in trusting my own judgement (see, my previous smugness/cockiness soon sailed completely out of the window and I quickly felt that pang of ‘eek, I don’t know what to buy’ that I had first time round). I needed to know more and so I perused their website, loved what I saw and was eager to try out these wonderful and genius baby products!
Shnuggle are a husband and wife team who have drawn upon their own parenting experiences to create a range of award winning baby products that not only look great, they do the job too! Having received some of their products and had a chance to have a really good look at them, I really love what they’re all about!
Squishy Changing Mat
The Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat is a must have in my opinion, I’m so pleased to have come across it. It’s made of a really soft and non-toxic foam material which stays warm against baby’s skin. It’s completely waterproof and there are no crevices for leaks to seep into, making it really easy to just wipe clean if needed. Another really great benefit of this mat is that its sloped at the head end which would be fantastic and really helpful for a colic/reflux sufferer. For ultimate baby safety during changing, the sides are also raised to make sure they don’t roll off. It’s genius!
In comparison, Emilia’s changing mat was rubbish, we had to have a muslin or towel underneath her at all times, leakages went into the creases and it was generally messy and cold, so needless to say, I’m really looking forward to trying this one out!
The Shnuggle Baby Bath
A baby bath that doesn’t take up the whole bathroom? Suitable until twelve months plus? Yep, thats exactly what The Shnuggle Baby Bath is! You can use it in two stages, the first is for newborns where the baby is supported by the bum bump and the foam backrest and the second stage is from sitting onwards.
What’s also great about it is that it only uses two litres of water. For us it will be brilliant when I’m not sharing the two of them in the bath together. I used to bath Emilia a lot in the daytime and may well do the same with the baby and so feel we will definitely get a lot of use out of this!
Hooded Wrap Towel
One of the main things I like about this Hooded Wrap Towel is that it will last, it’s huge!. Emilia’s hooded towels lasted literally a few months until they were too small! It’s made from super soft 100% cotton and wearable which keeps you dry, you just rest it on your shoulder and wrap the wings around your waist, leaving the hooded part to hang. You can then hold the baby, release the wings with one hand and quickly wrap the baby. Easy peasy!
Anyone who works hand in hand with the Lullaby Trust will instantly grab my attention. Safe sleep was a real worry for me when Emilia was little, in fact it was what my PTSD manifest itself around.
For that reason alone I knew the Moba Moses Basket had to be on my list, even before I knew of any of the other amazing benefits! Moba also work together with midwives, leading childcare professionals and parents and again, this gives me huge peace of mind!
The Moses basket itself is very different from the more traditional style we chose for Emilia. We chose the Dove Grey shade and so far I’ve found the main benefits to be the strong integrated handles instead of the traditional woven style, which means I’ll feel much more confident carrying the baby around from room to room in this, also it has none of the creakiness of wicker so less chance of waking the baby!
In fact the whole basket is made from a hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial plastic, though there’s absolutely no need to worry about it being plastic, I checked and it’s completely recyclable, though I have also seen many people reusing theirs. Think planters and washing baskets, there’s even a MobaHack hashtag so you can see how others are reusing!
On the sides you’ll find there are little holes which make the basket a completely breathable option (no hoods either!) for maximum air flow to the baby and also very hygienic as it can be wiped/washed clean!
Inside the moses basket you’ll find a luxury mattress with a top cover that promotes air circulation, so again, completely breathable and preventing overheating. I especially love that the fabric is water repellent, so protects the mattress from contamination which again, is really important to me. The mattress is also orthopaedic and hypoallergenic! It just feels completely safe and like they’ve thought of everything which really impresses me!
All in all this moses basket is completely functional but also really stylish and I’ll be reviewing this in more depth when the baby is here!
Love Boo is an absolutely gorgeous range of natural skincare products for both Mummy and Baby! I reviewed some of the bits I received in a previous post for Mother’s Day and I’m so excited to try this range on the baby when he arrives! On opening, I love that the packaging is fun, yet displays everything I need to know about the product and the fact that the ingredients are naturally derived.
The range is safety approved for babies and children.
The Sleep & Snuggle Pillow & Room Spray is to be used from three months upwards and is completely naturally frangranced, with lavender oil, camomile, and patchouli among its ingredients. The smell is delicate yet noticeable and makes for a lovely room spray as well as pillow mist! I can’t wait to see if this helps with the little one’s sleep as I recall using Lavender based products when Emilia was small and they worked a treat! I’ve tried this out as a room spray and a pillow mist and it created a lovely relaxing environment for sleep.
One of the iconic products in the Love Boo range is the Kind & Calming Massage Oil, which I’ll be using on the baby after bath time, before bed time to calm and soothe. I must admit I never did baby massage with Emilia, but it’s something enough hours in the day willing, I’d love to do this time round! Maybe Emilia will help out too as she loves massaging my achey back!
The oil contains Organic Lavender and Rose Hip Oils to calm and soothe the skin, great for eczema prone skin, I can testify it has really helped with my scaly, irritated wintry hands and knuckles when I’ve tried it out on myself!
Both of these products receive a 5 star review on the Love Boo website so that says it all, these products definitely do what they say on the tin!
Aden and Anais
Aden and Anais are a hugely popular baby brand, possibly best known for their ranges of muslin swaddles. I, like many, came across the brand when Prince George was wrapped up in one on his trip home from the Lindo Wing, his place of birth.
I was recently invited to try out their new Disney Baby Collection which included some adorable bits from their 101 Dalmations range.
The Classic Burpy Bibs are a fantastic burp and bib cloth, made from cotton muslin and designed to be worn over your shoulder or wrapped around the baby, ready to catch and mop up any inevitable spills! They are a great size, amazing quality and thickness and I’m also interested to road test the idea that they stay super soft after each wash!
The 3 pack Muslin Squares are again a fantastic size for mopping up spills, using as a security blanket (Emilia loved hers when she was little) and are super soft and breathable (so safe as a blanket). They’re a fantastic all round staple item to have out and about in the changing bag, to use for pretty much any need while out and about!
The 4 pack Classic Swaddles are absolutely gorgeous, and huge! I can’t wait to try out swaddling with the baby as Emilia really hated it and loved the freedom that came with flinging her arms about! If like Emilia he’s an arm flailer doesn’t get on with swaddling, they make a fantastic pram cover, burp cloth, blanket and are also great as a nursing blanket for a little more privacy when nursing out and about.
Cheeky Rascals are a one stop shop for super handy baby and toddler items from around the globe, stocking ranges by well known brands such as Be Safe, Buggy Board and Potette right through to our favourites Manduca! Cheeky Rascals products are also stocked in well known stores such as Mothercare and John Lewis.
One of the main products I’ve been looking to try out this time round is the Love To Swaddle Up Original which the lovely people at Cheeky Rascals have sent out for me to review. The Love to Swaddle Up is a zip up all in one sleep suit which we have in a 1 tog, so great for the baby’s early summer months.
What I already love about this product is that the baby will have the freedom to have his arms up (which is how Emilia always slept) but also has the snug feeling of being swaddled, it was also recommended by one of my lovely Mum friends who happens to be a midwife! It appears to be much easier to use than a traditional swaddle, and I will feel comfortable knowing that the baby has the freedom to move his hips and pelvis. I like that this can be used from birth as we had to wait quite a while for Emilia to be the correct minimum weight to fit the sleep bags she used to sleep in, and so had to deal with the endless kicking off of the cellular blankets. With that in mind I can really see why it’s proven to help baby sleep better and for longer!
The cotton fabric is soft and cosy and helps with temperature control, providing babies with that close and snug feeling they love so much! You can change the baby easily as the zip unzips both top to bottom and bottom to top which will be great for those middle of the night emergencies.
Izmi Baby Wrap
Emilia was a very independent baby. Swaddling was not for her, baby wearing was not for her either. She loved being in her pram and crib/moses basket which was great for me as I could get things done whilst she was napping.
This time round I am very open to the notion that wearing is a massive help in getting things done with a second child, offering hands free freedom to get jobs and errands done, making the school run easier and a whole host of other things a Mama has on her to-do list during the day! It can even be used as a breast-feeding support, though obviously not hands free for this.
With that in mind I’m eager to try out the Izmi Baby Wrap which is suitable from birth and gives the baby that snug and supportive fit. As you’ve probably noticed, safety is key with me and this product is designed to keep baby safe and cosy, as the soft bamboo fabric hugs the baby’s shape. I’m very keen to follow the TICKS guide to safe baby wearing and Rich will vouch for me when I see poor baby wearing as I always cringe… So it was very important for me to know that this product is ergonomic and supportive before agreeing to try it out. I also like that there are alternatives for when the baby has outgrown the wrap to move onto other carriers within this range.
Front carry and side carry can be done with this wrap, I’ll definitely be looking to make sure I’ve mastered front carrying first although that said, the instruction manual is so helpful and guides you through the steps to safe and comfortable baby wearing.
Cheeky Rascals Soft Touch Baby Bath Support
On those evenings where both Emilia and the baby will be bathing together (I like the idea that I can use the baby bath if I choose to bath him in the daytime and this support for the bath itself) I thought this Soft Touch Bath Support would be a great (and safe) way for them to bond together over what will surely be a shared love of splashing about with bath toys and having fun before starting the bedtime routine.
This bath support is really great for babies 0-6 months and again as its not too huge, gently moulded to support the baby, it has a really soft area for the baby’s head and back along with a bottom bump to keep baby in place.
I love that it offers hands free care whilst being completely safe, the water fill line at the front is a very handy indicator of how much water should be in the bath for optimum safety so I can be making sure Emilia is getting clean whilst the baby kicks about his arms and legs.
It’s also hygienic and mould resistant which is great, it has holes in the back to allow for good drainage.
I really hope this guide has helped with questions you may have had about what to buy and what to leave out in your quest for finding the perfect newborn products. Hopefully if you’re buying for someone else, this has also been useful in narrowing down what would be a great gift for a mum to be. I have really learned a lot and feel so much more confident that the products I was looking at in the first place are in fact the right ones for us!
* This post is written in collaboration with the above brands, who kindly and generously sent out these products for me to road test. I will continue to let you know how we get on with these after the arrival of our new baby in May, and as mentioned above, rest assured that I only agreed to review products I really believed would be useful to both our family and yours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.