Lily Tessa




Archer Leo

My Top 10 Best Parenting Buys!

On the back of my other post titled 'My Top 10 Pointless Parenting Purchases' I thought it would be only fair to name my top 10 best purchases to date. Things that we've purchased and could not have been without. If you're a soon-to-be first time parent, or perhaps if you've already got young children, hopefully this list will influence you to make the right choices the first time round and save you some hassle in the long run.

In no particular order...

01 - Braun Thermoscan
I briefly touched on this in my "Top 10 Pointless Parenting Purchases" post. Having previously struggled whilst using a terrible cheap digital thermometer that you're supposed to place under your baby’s armpit, we finally caved and bought a proper ear thermometer. I can honestly say it is one of the best things we did! High temperatures can be fatal if they go unnoticed, even more so in babies who are prone to high temperatures. Peace of mind is priceless and being able to accurately check your child's temperature is invaluable if you suspect they have one. We would be completely lost without ours!

02 - Fisher-Price 'Ocean Wonders' Sooth & Glow Seahorse
James' dad bought Lily this as a gift when she was born. He had researched gifts for babies and this came highly recommended... which I can attest. It's brilliant! You press the seahorse and it gently glows whilst playing comforting sounds as your little one drifts off to sleep. It's very therapeutic and I actually enjoyed it when we had Lily's Moses basket in our bedroom because it meant that we got to listen to it too whilst falling asleep haha. Lily is almost 2 and a half years old and she has used it every single day since she was a newborn, I can't recommend it highly enough. The best thing about it is once Lily was old enough to, she would turn the seahorse back on herself if she woke up in the middle of the night to sooth herself back to sleep which she started doing at around 10 months.

03 - Video Baby Monitors
There are a lot of different types of baby monitor on the market and it can be a confusing choice for many new parents. We did lots of research into monitors before Lily arrived and in the end we were actually given some as a gift by my auntie. It was the BT Digital Video Baby Monitor 1000 model and they are exactly what we were looking for. Not only do they provide you with audio and video, but they also have a temperature gauge (and warning) built into them. The range is fantastic too, we've sat out at the bottom of the garden some summer nights whilst Lily is fast asleep and still had a perfectly strong signal on the parent unit. In addition to this and lots more, it is also possible to purchase additional camera units and link up to 4 different monitors to one screen!

04 - Chicco DJ Baby Walker
I'm almost certain Lily spent most of her waking day in her walker as a baby! For those of you who don't know what they are, it's essentially a seat with wheels and an activity table for your little one to scoot around in (think The Flintstones ha). Of course before Lil was big enough for her feet to touch the ground she would just sit in her walker and play with the activity table (a musical keyboard on ours). As she got bigger though and could reach the floor with her feet she would race around non-stop. It was amusing when we took it to my mum's because she has wooden floors and cats so Lily would chase the poor cats around all day! It was an excellent way to tire her out and keep her entertained and meant I got some hands free time too.

05 - Graco Baby Delight a Swing
This swing was just about the only way I could get chores done around the house when Lily was a baby. It was a battery powered swing which would rock Lily to sleep and allow me to clean the house or have a quick shower! Lily would generally only sleep on me as a baby for the first six months or so which made housework impossible! I did invest in a baby carrier at one point but struggled with getting her in / out on my own and it gave me terrible back ache after a while. I came across this swing on offer at Asda baby and it was definitely money well spent, although it did go through a fair few batteries in its time!!

06 - Nursing Bras
I totally relied on nursing bra's when breastfeeding Lily. Nursing bra's essentially provide a easier way to breastfeed (via drop cups so you don't have to constantly lift your whole bra up or take it off) but have other good features such as cotton lined cups for added comfort. There's lots of different places you can buy nursing bra's but I bought mine from Mothercare and found the the staff really helpful.

07 - Electric Breast Pump
I tried various different manual breast pumps at first ranging from cheap to expensive and all gave pretty much the same results! They took forever to get anything and in the end just left me with a sore hand. My mum bought me an electric breast pump which had always terrified me so I had never before bothered to even research them. I must say though that they aren't as scary as you would think! It gave me much better results than any of the other methods I had tried previously, effortlessly and in a tenth of the time. It truly was a savior. My advice would definitely be go electric if you need a pump and don't be intimidated like I was!

08 - Swaddle Blankets
We thought we had cracked the magician's secret code when we discovered swaddling haha. It was the one thing that guaranteed us a full night’s sleep and it actually became quite a skilful art form being able to pull off the perfect swaddle! Even as she got older and stronger and was able to Houdini out of her usual swaddle (followed by a restless night of wriggling), we adapted our design to combat this! We found that Lily seemed to feel much more secure when we swaddled her at night, almost as if she was being cuddled to sleep. It was a very difficult decision to stop the swaddling and switch to sleep bags but we had no choice eventually once she was too big and strong to contain! I would definitely recommend it for newborns though although obviously each babies sleep preferences are different.

09 - Baby Car Seat Mirror
These retail at around £10 but James managed to pick one up for 50p at a car boot sale. It allows you to see your little one if they are seated in a rear facing car seat. It's a great little concave mirror that straps to one of the headrests in the back of the car and let's you see what's going on (useful to see if they've fallen asleep!). As a typical first time mummy and daddy, we were constantly fretting and checking on our little one to make sure everything was all right! It was nice to have that reassurance without straining your neck or wanting to pullover every 5 minutes just because they were a little quieter than usual, especially from a drivers point of view where all it took was a quick glance in the rear view mirror to see your baby's chubby little face staring back.

10 - Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle a Warmer
This is a great little hot water flask for heating up milk or making formula whilst on the go. It comes with a handy container that that fits over the flask and is big enough for you to sit your bottle of milk in and fill with hot water. A very compact and handy little design that went everywhere with us when Lily was still having bottles - ideal for trips out!

What are your top purchases? Is there something we should know about?

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