My baby essentials

The following are things I have found to be extremely helpful or an absolute necessity while having a baby!! In no particular order, here are my must haves. 

ikea high chair
One of the first things I love about this highchair is the affordable price tag. I was a bit naughty when I bought my high chair and ordered it online with delivery costing me about $40 I think. It didn't bother me at all, I would pay any amount of money to avoid the nightmare that is ikea! Due to Oli's small size I also purchased a blow up cushion insert which is great and provides that little bit extra reassurance. The highchair itself is $25, the additional tray is $5 and the cushion $10. My favourite feature would have to be how easy it is to clean! I just give it a spray and wipe and its ready for the next mess! No dealing with food getting stuck into folds or creases. I can feel reassured in knowing its disinfected and clean.  

I find the basic and clean cut design means it fits in nicely to our house. It doesn't stand out or shout baby-ville! (like our multicoloured playpen or the 1000s of toys all over the place). In regards to storage we just have ours sitting out in kitchen however the legs do pop off and is easy to store. The last handy factor is that pretty much every cafe, restaurant or eatery has this high chair! This has made it easy for us as we often dine out. I just pop Oli's cushion into our nappy bag and he will sit up perfectly at our table and eat his dinner. Click here for more details. 

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activity centre
This was given to me from my sister in law and my goodness am i grateful!! This baby einstein activity center has been a life saver for us. It keeps Oli occupied for ages and we are able to get things done like cook dinner or work outside. There are so many features on this including flashing lights, music, voices, etc. Obviously Oli had to be a certain age before he could use this as he is standing (supported). Some people don't recommend using this kind of things for babes as it can have detrimental effects on their hips etc. However like anything use your common sense and don't leave your little one in there for hours on end! 

backyard swing
Like most of my essentials this was a gift and was second hand. My mum was driving over to my place one afternoon and saw this on the side of the road! I love second hand goods and reusing items. A wash and wipe and this was good to go. Before it was began getting really cold in the afternoon/evenings I would take my cuppa out the back and put Oli in the swing to start winding him down for the day. He absolutely loved it, he would get so relaxed. Very cute. Due to his small size I would roll up a blanket and prop him up or put in my ikea high chair cushion. 

baby food steamer
Starting on solids has definitely been a highlight of Oli's life so far. Mainly because he eats like an absolute trooper! Its so fulfilling to see him enjoying the food I prepare for him. Since starting solids he has stacked on the weight, he obviously really needed those extra calories. This particular device has steaming and pureeing functions which makes preparing solids a breeze. I used this a lot when Oli was first just having fruits and veggies. Now that I'm doing bigger portions I will often steam in a big pot then puree with a stick blender. However I still use this daily for making my own smoothies, smoothies for Oli or my favourite 'ice-cream' which I will feature the recipe for in the future. This set my mum back $5 in the op shop. You definitely cannot go past a bargain like that! 

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pram
Obviously a pram is on most mums essential list but to be honest I rarely used mine until the last few months. If I had to go out with Oli, Ian or I would wear him. We now are becoming quite dependant on our pram. Over the past week or so Oli has had a snuffly nose and been a bit off and has begun to refuse sleeping in his cot during the evening. I think like us when we have a cold he doesn't want to be lying flat on his back. Our pram is on a nice angle which seems to elevate his head just enough to keep him happy. Since we have been doing a lot of work in our yard I also find it easier to pop him in the pram, do a few rocks and he's asleep. Whereas if I had him in the cot I would need to run back and forth checking on him. I don't have a baby monitor, our house is tiny so for the odd few times I would use one it simply isn't worth the money.  I have a bugaboo pram which is pretty good but I find it hard with my little car as it folds down in two pieces. Ive just got a new baby jogger city mini and I'm now in lovvvve!! 

zip up onesies
I was once caring for a woman who was pregnant with her second baby. She told me that she would never buy snap onesies again because in the middle of the night the last thing you want to do it be trying to align the snaps. At the time I thought no way! I want to buy all the cute suits I don't care about things like that. Well, today I stand corrected! Zip up onesies are a must have for me! They make life so much easier! I think they are even maybe a bit warmer? Without the gaps between each snap no cold air can drift in. I regularly put a jumper over the top of a zip up suit and its still easy enough to change a nappy. Maybe I'm over thinking it but the zipper suits also look a bit more comfy. 

car mirror
When Oli was a few months old every single car ride was a nightmare. He would just scream at the top of his lungs for the whole duration of the ride. On our way back from down south Ian even dared to say"...he wont cry the whole way home" well, he absolutely did. He cried for 2 solid hours and I think I was crying too! I can't really pinpoint why he hated it so much because there were a number of factors including reflux, hunger, sore tummy, overtired etc. We had a lot of issues going on. Ian's sister gave me this car mirror and its really come in handy. I find it reassuring for myself because I can just look in my mirror and see him and now he's started to realise he can see us too. This particular mirror has a night light and plays music. It has a remote control so its easy to operate while driving.

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co-sleeper/in-bed cot
When we bought oli home from the hospital he was in a 3 hourly feeding routine. Oli was exclusively breastfeeding for two days before coming home. Prior to this he was on nasogastric top ups. This created huge problems when we got home because he was starving. We didnt realise at the time we just thought he was unsettled. The first night we got home it was a massive shock to the system! Oli was use to the bright lights and noises from the hospital, not a peaceful dark house. Ian and I took it in turns to sit up and hold Oli all night long. A few weeks down the track my mum bought us this mini cot that sit between us in bed. I loved this option because Oli was so tiny I didn't feel comfortable co sleeping with him even though thats what it took to have him sleep. I would HIGHLY recommend one of these if you want to be close to bub to sleep.  We could just rest a hand on Ol to settle him and it comes with a little light so I could watch him all.night.long! 

ergo/ringsling

In the early days Ian and I only ever wore Oli wherever we went. He loved being close to us and I think that was due to his rough start to life and having just little physical contact in that crucial newborn phase. Oli still remains clingy but Im finding he rebels against being carrier now because he is constantly moving!! When he gets a touch bigger we will start putting him in the ergo on our backs. I absolutely love baby wearing, I will definitely be doing it for our future kids too. The ergo was saving our lives at one point where Oli would only sleep in it! I would highly recommend getting a carrier, sling or wrap. Joining a local babywearing group would be the most beneficial way to learn about all the wonderful wraps out there and how to safely wear your bub!!! 

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I hope you enjoyed reading through my favourite things. What items have you found essential for life with a new baby? Xx