Early baby essentials I’m still using, 1 year in.

As time goes on with Sylvie I’m becoming more and more conscious of EVERYTHING we use and buy. And don’t get me wrong, although I would love to be buying her stuff 24/7 (I blame so many amazing independent baby/kid brands out there at the moment), it wouldn’t be right. She doesn’t need it, I don’t need it, the world doesn’t need it and more over I don’t have the money or the space for it…

With that in mind I was thinking of what I still use from my initial newborn haul and happily there are quite a few things we still use ALL the time. So any new parents or parents to be out there, here is my list of what I bought right at the start and am still using regularly almost a year on.

Hatch Sound machine – I loved this so much I bought it from the States but now it’s available on the UK Amazon. As soon as it arrived (as it came a little later than her birth – she was early!) I am 100% certain it helped her sleep better. The white noise is a much richer sound than some of the alternatives that I find a bit tinny (I’ve tried a few travel options) and the fact that it is connects to an app on your phone, has other sounds should you want them, and a soft light which can be any colour you like won me over. I read somewhere that if you do nappy changes and feeds in the night with a red light they wake up less – I’m not sure if that’s true but I am certain it helped her stay calm and sleepy.

These days she pushes my face away so she can see it when she wakes up and turn it off herself. It’s also touch sensitive on the silver ring at the top changing colour and noise with each tap should you want it too and she thinks this is brilliant. She goes through all the colour transitions and sounds herself now with the biggest smile. When she’s older it will transition into a nightlight as the soft colours can be turned up or down in brightness.

Saranoni Blanket – This was and still is the softest cosy blanket. Sylvie had this on her most days when she was first born and now we use it on the sofa, to play on the floor and in the car on long trips. It has so much squidge and washes really well. Saranoni hand makes every blanket and doesn’t buy mass produced fabric for their collections, they only create exactly what they need. We have a plain white one but there’s some great patterns available now.

Bibs dummysDummies are a blessing and a curse but I think for us, they have definitely been more of a blessing. Initially, they calmed her like magic and I would pop one in after feeding her at night to stop her spitting up half her meal. It all turned hellish however when she went into her cot in her own room as she would wake up every time the dummy fell out screaming her head off for it. We’d stumble blearily in and out of her room throughout the night finding it in the dark and putting it back in (on the hour every hour for 3 weeks!!). When I couldn’t take it any more I actually came up with a pretty good idea – how I managed to think with such little sleep I still don’t know… I put a dummy on each foot of her bunny comforter and she learnt to put them back in herself in 3 days. This was the game changer and since then, that bunny & dummy combo has been a lifesaver so many times. Bunny now stays in the bedroom and she shrieks with glee every time he comes out before a nap or bed. The Bibs dummies are my favourite, all natural rubber, of course BPA free and lovely colours – including glow in the dark which is vital!

The Doona – A Mr Potnoodle find, The Doona was a revelation in the early days – not so important when we hit a pandemic, went into lockdown and stopped going anywhere but before then and here and there inbetween so great for any nip outs to the shops or traveling elsewhere for the weekend. It’s a carseat and a pram all in one and I’ll be gutted when Sylv is too big for it. The wheels fold up and you clip it into an isofix base in the car, when you take it out, you pull the handle up and flip the wheels down by just pressing a button. It really is brilliant and so snug and smooth going to wheel wheel about, I couldn’t sing it’s praises enough! She still fits in it at the moment and we’ll have her in it until she no longer fits! Then I’ll cry.

Coconut oil – I had really bad eczema as child so I didn’t want to put Sylv in the bath every night, but I did want her to have some sort of wind down night routine so I chose to give her a little baby massage. You can find loads of how toos on YouTube for this, it can help with wind and digestion too! I would do this with Childs Farm coconut oil spray, it’s organic and has no nasties in it – it’s even won awards. As she got a little older I would also use it after her baths ( I did wash her eventually 😂 ) to make sure she didn’t have any moisture trapped in her neck folds or under her arms. I still give her a little foot and leg massage most nights now as she has a really good bedtime association with it.

Nappy bins – I found the Tommy Tippee nappy bins on offer before Sylv was born and bought two on a friends recommendation. The insert bags are a bit expensive but for the smell, once you get onto solids they are a life saver. The bags twist with each nappy, locking the smell away with an extra ‘security’ layer for when you open the lid so you’re not gassed at every nappy change. They do fill up fast these days though. 🤢

Nail file – I had bad memories of having other people cut my nails when I was little and the thought of trying to cut a small wriggly baby’s nails with a clipper made my insides churn. Similarly, I am not a nail biter and the thought of this suggestion (which is what many people do) made my teeth go on edge so I found this nifty electric nail file. It’s almost silent and doesn’t matter if you miss their nails, it does no harm to their sensitive skin if you slip or they move their hand. It works so fast too – I used to do it when Sylvie was asleep and now she enjoys it I think as it seems to tickle her but she happily sits still for me while I do it. It’s also got a range of hard and soft attachments so you can do your own nails with it too! I’ve also not changed its batteries since I bought it.

  • Some links in this post are affiliate links. I’ve not been paid to write about or been gifted any of the above products. They are all items that are my absolute best buys for a newborn that you can expect to use for at least a year.


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