We are in for a treat today on Real Mom Wednesday – today’s post comes all the way from across the Pond… that’s right our first UK Real Mama! Mama Sue has put together a fabulous list that works for her in London and would work just as well for us here in the States. Not only does Sue have a great list but she has some great feedback/reviews/real mama experience with each that she so graciously shares with us. I know you’ll love her favorites and if you’d like to share yours, no matter where you live and what you love we’d love to share them – just email me for details!
Hi, I’m Sue, Mummy to a beautiful baby girl, Rose, who has just turned 4 months, my husband and our one year old chocolate Labrador. We live in the area of London known as Nappy Valley!
I love reading the real moms feature on Wise Baby, as a first time Mummy it really helped me work out what products to get when I was pregnant. I hope that my list can help you as much as others have helped me, at the end of the day we are all Mummies with similar challenges where ever we live in the world.
1. aden + anais Swaddle blankets – I first read about these on this site. Up until a few weeks ago we would swaddle Rose up in these for every nap she took, depending on the temperature we would use one, or double them up if it was a bit cold. She looked like a little Egyptian Mummy but she started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks. I bought a couple of specific swaddle bags but they were not as good at getting her wrapped up tight. The other great thing about these swaddles is that they can be used for other things too, we roll them up and use for bolsters either side of her to make her feel snug in her bed or for covering the pram to provide shade or putting on a mat so you have somewhere clean for your baby to play. They are brilliant and I will now buy them for every friend I know with a newborn.
2. Medela Freestyle Breast Pump and Easy Expression Bustier – We are really lucky in the UK to be able to take 1 year maternity leave so I don’t have the pressure of going back to work and worrying about breastfeeding. However I like to make the last two feeds of the day expressed feeds to give me more freedom to do things in the afternoon and to let my Husband give her the dream feed. The double pump and bra attachment mean that in 10 minutes I can get enough milk for one feed and also get 10 minutes of quiet time. Before I was spending about 30 minutes to get the same amount of milk with one hand trapped holding onto the pump, doing this twice a day was a waste of precious grown up time.
3. Fisher-Price Rainforest Bouncer and Gym – These were presents from my in-laws. I knew I wanted to get a gym as so many friends babies seemed to enjoy them but really wasn’t sure about getting a bouncer as lots of my friends had said their babies hated them. While I was pregnant both our mums told my husband and I how much we both loved our bouncers and how useful it was to have somewhere to put the baby while you are busy. So I conceded and let my in-laws get us one but was secretly all prepared to say I told you she wouldn’t like it. Well as I now know Mums always know best – Rose loves her bouncer, we used it most from 2 to 10 weeks with her sitting in it most of the time during her activity time. Now we use it at least once a day for quite play and her afternoon nap.
The gym is now where she spends most of her time, I put Rose on it and she will kick away for 30 minutes or so while I do chores round the house. The rainforest music option is good too as its a bit more relaxing than the average baby toy music!
4. Baby Bjorn Miracle Baby Carrier – I’ve found the most important thing to keep our dog happy with the new addition is making sure we keep to a regular routine of walks for her. I initially thought I would walk with the dog and the pram but in reality it has been much easier to use a sling. I really didn’t want to get a Baby Bjorn, in the UK they seem to be the default purchase for slings, but I went and tried a few different makes on and the Bjorn Miracle worked best for us.
5. Angelcare Bath Support – I love this bath support. From only a few weeks old Rose has used this for her daily baths. She loves it, she lies back and kicks and waves her arms around giggling and smiling, and my hands are free to keep pouring water all over her. The only problem is she now splashes so much I need an outfit change after bathing her!
6. Bloom Fresco Chrome High Chair – This was my luxury purchase item, its not cheap in the UK or the US, but its so cool to look at and in our new kitchen looks great. While it looks like something from James Bond its actually one of the most useful items we have and I wouldn’t do without it. Its strong and sturdy so first thing in the morning its a safe place for Rose to be while the dog has her morning mad run around the island. Its one of the few highchairs high enough for a breakfast bar so every morning Rose sits in her chair and I sit in my chair while I eat breakfast and face to face we have a chat. Finally it’s from birth to school age and there are not many baby products that can say that.
7. The Little Green Sheep Moses Basket and Stand – When thinking about where Rose would sleep when she was newborn I had a couple of criteria:
1. Portable – we live in a Victorian townhouse so there are lots of stairs in our house and I wanted to be able to move Rose around with us.
2. High stand – With a dog I wanted to make sure that Rose would be high enough off the ground that the dog couldn’t easily stick her head in the basket to give her a lick. This was much harder than you would think as most of the Moses baskets stands in the UK are designed to be the same height as a bed, which made them far too low for a friendly Labrador.
3. Timeless design – I wanted something with a classic design that I would be happy to use for multiple babies as you don’t really use a Moses Basket for very long – Rose moved out at 3 months as she was too big for it and she is a small baby.
The Green Sheep Basket and Stand met all of those criteria and more with its Eco credentials.
8. iPad – I breastfeed, that means a lot of time is spent sitting in one place with a baby across your lap. After the first week or so of gazing at your wonderful baby it can become a bit boring just to sit there and as Rose has got older external noise from the TV or Radio distract her from feeding so my iPad has helped me keep my sanity. I’ve got the Kindle App on it and have read some really great books over the last few months. I read the newspaper everyday to try and keep up with what’s going on in the rest of the world. I use it to email my friends so I don’t feel isolated. I’ve got a few Baby apps to help get us through the witching hours. I hunt on the Internet for the answer to all those question like “Should her poo be that colour?” and of course I use it to read The Wise Baby Blog.
A HUGE thanks to Sue for sharing her wonderful list and reviews of these products. I love that even if Sue may be across the ocean from us she loves some of the same products and faces the same challenges – mamas unite! If you’d like to share your favs, email me!