The Mummy essentials

I’ve had a few requests recently for advice on what to buy for a new baby, it’s a mine field – cot/cotbed/crib/moses basket? Is it really worth spending more on a buggy than I did on my first car?? I could probably get a years worth of material for the blog just from baby gadgets. But it made me think – what are the Mummy essentials? Not gadgets for the baby, the stuff that makes life as a new mum that bit easier? Here’s my list – what would you add?

PJs – lots and lots and PJs
This time I hoarded pyjamas while I was pregnant, most maternity PJs are also designed for breastfeeding and there is a lot to be said for only having to sneak a boob out for the night feeds rather than sitting there semi naked at 4am in a baby temperature room (ie. bloomin freezing). Also – and this may just be me, but the first few weeks I get really really sweaty at night (TMI?) throw in the leaky boobs and baby sick and it’s good to have a fresh set at least once a day. Over the bump ones are best if you have a c-section so nothing is rubbing on the scar. My current favourites are from JoJo Maman Bebe

Alarmed at suddenly having acres of cleavage? A scarf will cover it up. Tummy looking a little wobbly? Scarf. Cover up for breast feeding? Scarf. Spot a vomit stain on your shoulder just as you’re leaving the house? Scarf!

Thermal Mugs
If I’ve learnt one thing in the three years I’ve been a parent, it’s that finding time to make a cup of tea is harder than you’d think, finding time to drink it while it’s hot is near impossible. Ok I hope I’ve learnt a bit more than that but the point still stands. However, I now have a new friend, my trusty Thermos travel mug  if I can find the time to make the tea I now have a two hour window to drink it in! I’ve still had to pour it away stone cold on many occasions but it’s an improvement.

Not just for the baby – so far I’ve also used ours to cover cooling food, strain chicken stock, steam Christmas puddings and as a hairnet when our ceiling fell down!

Hat, Boots, Raincoat
Q -How do you hold an umbrella while you’re pushing a buggy?
A- You can’t (I did try one that attaches the the buggy handles once but at 6 feet tall it’s basically just a self-blinding mechanism. )
This is perhaps most applicable to urban mums – it’s generally easier to walk than drive in central London, even if it’s chucking it down and if the toddler is bouncing off the walls or the baby will only stop screaming on the move then hat, boots and raincoat may be the only answer.

Smart Phone/Tablet
Ok I’m a bit of a technophile anyway but facebook and twitter are keeping me going on the night feeds at the moment, I need a few more friends /  tweeps to follow in other time zones though – so annoying when no one posts anything interesting between the 2am and  5am feeds.

DVD box sets
On a similar theme – spending what feels like EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY sat your backside feeding a baby gets very dull, very quickly and there are only so many times you can coo vowel sounds or listen to Mozart. This is where borrowing all your friends DVD box sets comes in handy (it also gives a surprising insight into their taste) American TV series are the best, they tend to have lots of episodes which are about 45 minutes long, films are too much of a commitment.  With E I got through all of The West Wing and The Wire – I was a bit concerned she’d turn out to have a Baltimore accent but I seem to have got away with it!

A midwife told a friend it was good for milk production, or something like that, this may not be entirely evidence based, but I’ll overlook that just this once.

What would you add? What are the things you’ve found invaluable that didn’t appear in the baby gear shopping list?

PS. I’ve no connection to any of the companies/products mentioned here, it’s just stuff I bought and liked

3 responses to “The Mummy essentials”

  1. What FabSal tried to post (some very good ones here and I agree, the last one is the most essential of all!):

    This is what I'd add to your essentials list

    Camelback / platypus drinks bladder thingy – I got SO thirsty during feeds at beginning, but was pretty immobilised (due to birth scars & not being proficient enough at feeding to do it 1 handed yet) So i slung my platypus on bedhead so I just had to get the tube near my mouth before I started feeding & I could slurp away happily
    Wrapped snacks – tracker bars & breakfast biscuits were my favs to keep on bedside table for middle of night munchies, oh & a tub of prunes, energy boosting, yummy & medicinal!
    Small zippy bags – to keep essential bits & bobs together for certain tasks- I had a feeding one (infacol, spare breast pads, hair band, lanolin cream, muslin) & nappy one (Sudocrem, alcohol hand rub, nappysacks, wipes, 1 or2 nappies) so I could grab & know I had all bits I needed
    Handcream – never have my hands suffered so much, should have applied more religiously from the start, hands like old washer woman now
    Willing helpers!! To provide food (in grocery or better still meal formats) hold baby so can sleep/shower/go to loo, jig baby when screeching, dash out for emergency supplies (argh down to last nappy! Argh all baby grows dirty or in wash! Argh need calpol! Argh need kick-ass painkillers for mum!) amongst many other things, someone to talk to in order to keep sanity somewhat intact. This essential perhaps
    more than any other


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