…What Matters, and What Doesn’t
The world of products for new babies is a minefield. There are a thousand items that clever marketers will have you believe are “essential”. I remember trying to wade through it all before Hannah was born – my head spinning as I tried to separate the guff from truth.
Once Hannah arrived, it became fairly obvious which products were actually important – the ones that we used all the time. And it turn out that actually, you don’t need a lot. That’s great news, because for most of us new parents, money is pretty tight.
As we approach the birth of our second child, I’ve decided to sit down and reflect on the products that I think are most important for a new born baby. First up, the most important products of all – those that help the baby (and you) to sleep well – the Sleep Essentials!
The Gro Company, Shnuggle and BabyBjörn provided Blog of Dad with their excellent products free of charge, so that everyone in the Blog of Dad household might enjoy their sleep when the newborn arrives. The comments within this post are entirely my own reflections, based on my observations the products. Blog of Dad highly recommends that all parents read and understand the safe sleeping guidelines of their local authority. For more information, visit my disclosure statement.
Sleep Essentials – Safe Sleeping
A safe and secure sleeping environment was my number one concern when Hannah was born, and that hasn’t changed for baby number two.
We have come a long way in understanding the risk factors associated with SIDS and I cannot recommend highly enough that you spend time familiarising yourself with the official advice.
Fortunately, providing a safe and comfortable sleeping environment is a reasonably straightforward process.
A bassinet or Moses Basket is a great way to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for a newborn. This time we have opted for the Shnuggle Dreami. The Dreami is a lightweight, robust-feeling and versatile option that creates a safe and snug night-time bed for newborns (to approximately 6 months). It is compact enough to fit neatly next to our bed, but spacious enough for Bub to do some serious growing in the next few months.
The wrap-around fabric is breathable and sits tightly against the walls the Shnuggle dreami, and the mattress is nice and firm. The base of the Shnuggle Dreami can be easily flipped over to turn the Dreami into a rocker – great for helping a tiny bub to settle to sleep. The Shnuggle Dreami offers everything I was looking for in a newborn bed.
When Hannah was born, I diligently learnt how to swaddle her in the hospital. The brilliant midwives showed me the ropes and sure enough, I could swaddle Hannah in a tight, impossible-to-escape-from blanket… For about three days…
Hannah quickly discovered how to wrestle free from even my best efforts at swaddling. Of course, once she was free, she was no longer comfortable and would quickly wake up.
A bit of panicked research led me to sleep bags, and I haven’t looked back since. Hannah slept in a range of Grobags until she was nearly three and I think they played a huge part in her sleeping through the night.
For baby number two, we already have the Bennie The Bear Swaddle Grobag ready to go. There will be no mucking about with wraps and blankets, our new bundle of joy will be in the Swaddle Grobag from the day he comes home.
Another great option from the baby-sleep experts at Gro is the Groswaddle. The Groswaddle is a purpose-built swaddling blanket, for those babies who crave that ultra-tightly wrapped feeling. Importantly, both of these options are “hip healthy”. When Hannah was born I learnt all about how important it is for newborn babies to be wrapped properly, so that they can move freely in the hips and legs.
Safe Sleeping Away From Home
Travel with a new baby can be a daunting prospect. I remember packing our sedan full to the brim with baby paraphernalia when we first ventured out on holiday. While daunting, traveling with small children can be extremely rewarding and thankfully there our products out there that make life a whole lot easier. One of those products is the BabyBjörn Travel Cot Easy Go.
The Travel Cot Easy Go was a revelation for us when we made the bold move of traveling to Japan with an 18-month toddler. It is incredibly compact and light weight, yet provides a sturdy and safe sleeping environment for an infant. To state it simply – the BabyBjörn Travel Cot Easy Go is an outstanding choice for traveling with a baby. Pair it with a Grobag and you are on to an absolute winner for safe, easy and lightweight travel sleep. The Travel Cot Easy Go might cost a little more than some of the alternatives, but it is worth every cent.
Not necessarily a Sleep Essential, but definitely worth having…
While the Sleep Essentials above are key to a safe and comfortable night’s sleep, there are other products that are worth considering. At the top of my worth having list is the Groegg2. Newborn babies are very sensitive to temperature, and being aware of the room temperature is important for safety and comfort. The Groegg2 is a simple, but brilliant way of monitoring the room temperature. You can read my detailed thoughts on the Groegg2 here.