Woooomph, There it is!
This is it people, Daddy Monster and The Wife’s definitive list of essential baby gear for newborn babies.
I must note this is purely our opinion of the products we have found to be the most useful during the Poo Monster’s first 7 months on earth. We have tried to rank them in terms of the products we believe made our lives easier during what is a daunting time for any newcomers to the world of baby. If you click the images you will be able to check how much these items are (mainly through Amazon). Please Note that other products of similar nature are available, I’ll provide links to the rest as I go. These are all products that we bought or were gifts from friends/family and most of them had previously been recommended to us by friends. No companies have paid us or supplied products for us to review. These are our raw, honest opinions.
So let’s fire straight in with the number 1 top purchase!
Where would we be without the Co-Sleeper!? The Snuzpod 2 was an awesome purchase for us. We looked at a few different Co-Sleepers but in the end chose the Snuzpod over the Chicco equivalent down to the aesthetics and the removable basket element. We had it in our heads that this would be convenient for us to carry the baby safely up and down stairs whilst he was asleep. In hindsight we only did this once or twice as it was actually quite cumbersome. This said, we loved having The Monster next to us at night; we were able to soothe him easily (we had the side down permanently) or pull him across to snuggle him in. This was lovely during the early months.
A few points on practicality… The Snuzpod 2 was easy to assemble (I did it all by myself like a big lad!) and it is easy to adjust the height of the cradle to fit any bed. From a safety perspective, the way in which it was strapped to the bed to prevent it moving in the night provided real peace of mind. We have heard a horror story since about an accident involving another brand of co-sleeper in which a newborn died as the safety straps weren’t used to secure it to the bed, so I can’t stress enough how important it is to use these straps to make sure the cradle doesn’t slip away from the bed. The Snuzpod 2 makes it really easy to do this.
All in all the Snuzpod 2 was our number 1 essential purchase. At around £200 it is probably one of the more expensive co-sleepers on the market, but it’s worth every penny for it’s stylish looks and the security and closeness it provided. It is more practical than a Moses basket as Baba can stay in it longer (up to 5 months for us as The Poo Monster is a very long baba!) and the design is so sturdy we could easily raise another 10 monsters in it (I doubt we will). We love it! Compare it other Co-Sleepers here.
Coming in at number 2 is the Sleepyhead. The Chunky Little Man slept in this little beauty during the first 5 months or so (they can stay in up to 8). He would have lasted longer but, as I said earlier, he is ridiculously long for a little person! This sleep pod fitted perfectly into the Snuzpod 2 and cocooned Baba around his whole body. The science behind the product says it gives your baby a similar comfort to that enjoyed in the womb (I’d love to know how they got a baby to attest to that!) We actually used the Sleepyhead how we intended to use the removable cradle from the co-sleeper. Due to the lightweight, manageable design of the pod we were able to safely navigate a tight staircase whilst The Boy soundly slept. When we got him up or down we could simply leave him dreaming deeply in the pod whilst we tried to piece our lives back together! An absolute must of a purchase in my eyes.
Again, this is near top of the range for sleeping pods at around £100, but 99% of reviews you find online will totally back us up. At the end of the day, what price would you put on a good night’s sleep? Other Sleeping Pods are available here.
Now this bad boy is an utter life saver! I can honestly declare (and shout abuse at the screen if you want) that this is the only method I have used to make a bottle. I was an amateur to the process before my wife explained how bottles are made manually (it sounds like a nightmare!) When I was shown this product by a friend it became a no-brainer purchase. It is the easiest thing in the world and can make up a bottle at the perfect temperature in less that a minute! Press the button (water added), add required scoops of powder (we use Cow&Gate), press button (remaining water added), shake the bottle and you are done in no time at all. I honestly could not picture the dreaded night feeds without this gadget! If you have been making bottles without a bottle maker then I salute you, you are a brave and hardy soul. We love this machine, it’s the bomb! Buy it here at 70% off RRP (at time of writing).
p.s. There has been some bad press about these machines having mold in the pipes when you take the back off. I have to say the Wife has had the back off (full of fear) and we found no problem. For more info from Mr Tippee himself click here.
Ok, so when we found out that The Poo Monster was en route we had folk buying/donating gear left, right and centre (we were very fortunate). One high ticket item donated to us from The Wife’s Cousin and Aunt was a Silver Cross Travel System. It had a car seat (Isofix), pushchair and carrycot combo and to be honest I thought it was the mutts nuts! To be fair it was great and we were chuffed as we know Silver Cross is a strong brand.
Over time however, as The Monster grew out of the car seat and the carrycot we decided to replace it with something with a smaller chassis. So, we decided to bite the bullet and get a more streamlined stroller. The Mamas and Papas Armadillo has been a godsend. It is easy to fold, easy to adjust, lightweight and handles great around the tight shopping delight that is Primani! It was the most impressive and versatile of the (many) strollers we tried out. The Armadillo range has a few more options such as the City, XT and Flip which are all great options but the original Armadillo was the one for us. It’s available in a great range of colours too. I would highly recommend this range from Mamas and Papas.
In at 5 it’s another top of the range (with good reason) product. I absolutely swear by this product for safety, comfort, style and ease of use. We bought this as an alternative to the Silver Cross Travel System I mentioned earlier. We found the monster was outgrowing this and it was no longer practical to carry him in this to and from the car.
So we did our research (The Wife on safety, Me on Ease of use!) and we tried a range of isofix car seats in Mothercare and Mamas and Papas. The Cybex Sirona was unbelievably impressive in every way. It is stylish to start with, has cracking safety ratings and then there is how practical it is. The seat swivels round to easily fit Baby into their comfortable surroundings, the straps are easy to fasten and the icing on the cake for me was a magnetic section on each side which holds the straps out the way as you put ‘Chunk’ in. Magic! Then the seat swivels to rear facing and you can adjust the angle for comfort. The seat is also suitable for front facing as Baba gets bigger and comes with a bumper mechanism rather than a harness for this stage which makes more sense the more you think about it. As an added safety bonus it has side impact bars for extra piece of mind.
Again the Sirona is a top of the range product but we would highly recommend it as it lasts from birth up to 4 years! Now that’s value! Check it out here!
Ah the monitor. Now, when you first start this thing up it does resemble the horror film ‘Paranormal Activity’, this is not helped by the terrifying echoed feedback that you get if the monitor is too close to the camera. After getting over the novelty of scaring The Wife using the ‘talk’ feature (you can communicate from camera to monitor) wears off, it becomes obvious what a great piece of kit this is. It is easy to set up, adjustable from the monitor with some great features. There are pre-programmed lullabies which you can play through the camera and speak to your baby all from the comfort of your living room. The microphone picks up the smallest noises and you can adjust the volume of what you hear on the monitor itself.
All in all, this is a fabulous bit of kit for keeping your eye on Baba from the comfort of your living room, or more likely, whilst doing the dishes you never got round to! The monitor is currently available at £45 off RRP. Other monitors are available at great prices! Click here to see the range.
Now this one makes me smile. Everytime I see this simplistic but essential piece of bath kit I am reminded about The Poo Monster’s early bath experiences.
So, before we had anywhere for him to sit in the bath we decided it would be a good idea for me to get in with him to support him. In effect what actually occured was The Little Man cried, thrashed and splashed and gave my private parts a good kicking. This is not recommended.
As a purchase this seat transformed bath time from a living nightmare to a Disney style dream. He now sits quite happily with a little bit of splashing and we are able to easily wash him without problem. Perfect. A simple piece of kit but perfectly formed. The Summer Bath Seat is lightweight, colourful and extremely practical. At £15 you can’t go wrong!
This is one of the best gifts that we received as it allowed The Poo Monster a little bit of independence and allowed Mammy a little bit of time to do crazy things like wash her hair or eat something. It is extremely practical and comfortable for baby, particularly before they are able to sit up themselves. You can pick up the snug for about £50.
The snug comes with a rubber insert for extra comfort which can be removed when Little Legs gets better. It also comes with a removable tray which is handy for feeding and an activity table (which secures on top of the tray) to keep your Little Monster entertained when you are getting on with chores etc. The Poo Monster is happy as Larry sitting in here while I do the dishes or a bit of ironing. The Snug is lightweight making it easy to relocate and the design is stylish too. I would highly recommend this seat to keep a handle on baby when you get stuff done! Pick up one here or compare similar items
Now, if The Poo Monster himself was picking his favourite from the list it would be the Jumperoo hands down. He loves it! The Fisher Price version comes with dangly bits, spinny bits, pop up bits, wheely bits, flashy bits and noisy bits. It is a sturdy piece of kit which adjusts to 3 different levels as baby grows. The central seat also turns 360 so baby can access any of the built in toys.
From the minute I put my boy in here he was jumping around like a maniac with a great big grin on his face. He loves to be in it when I exercise next to him and he thinks he is joining in! It’s a great way to keep the little man entertained while you get jobs done or reclaim some of your sanity. It is an awesome piece of kit. You can pick up the one we have here currently at £50 off RRP! Other models of these crazy fun zones are available check out the range here. Your little people will love you forever when you get them in one of these bad boys!
Sneaking in at number 10 it’s the Baby Einstein Play Gym. Our Little Fidget just loved rolling around and playing with the dangly bits (ooo-er missus) for the first 6 months. The Turtle playing a modern take on the classics of some of the most famous composers whilst his body flashed through different colours had The Little Man fascinated! The Play Gym also encouraged little chunk to move around in those early months to try and reach different parts of the gym. It did make our living room look like a scene from Finding Nemo but I can handle that in place of the fun that The Poo Monster got out of it! The one we got is the Rhythm of The Reef Version but again, other Play Gym’s are available for slightly cheaper here! Babachops loved it and he hopes you do too!
Well that’s it! If you would like to ask anything about any of these products please click to Get in Touch and I’ll get back to you within a day! Just a reminder that these products are all owned by myself and The Wife and have been tested to destruction by Our Little Guy. I would never lie about a product. There were others that came close to the list but didn’t quite make the cut due to the quality of the items above. If you want to scan Amazon’s Warehouse Discounts for Baby Products then look no further!
Good luck and adios!
If you haven’t already, please check out my most popular post yet. I hope as a parent you can relate to it!