1 year on and as with all new parents we stumbled our way along with parenting, there are things we bought that have been great buys and others, a total waste of money.
In this post I'll be reviewing some of my favourite baby products and some fails.
Disclaimer: These are things we found worked or didn't work for our baby, it might be totally different for you and your baby! Prices listed are correct at time of purchase. Nothing in this post is sponsored or an Ad, we actually bought or were gifted these things.
Sleepyhead deluxe sleeping pod
Price: £110 from John Lewis
If you've read my baby essentials post you would have seen this on there. I can't rave about this enough! I wanted to get this ever since I was recommended it by one of my friends who was pregnant at the same time. I started to read reviews online and I could only find good reviews, from written reviews on the John Lewis website to youtube videos everyone was raving about it. I got some gift vouchers during Xmas from work and used it to buy this from John Lewis (it is quite pricey)
Firstly I loved the sleepyhead because it doesn't take up a lot of space and is portable. Although I like the look of moses baskets I find that they take up too much storage space once your baby is too big for it. As we don't have a loft (and live with in laws) I wanted something that I could just pack away when we were done with it. My daughter came early and we hadn't even ordered a cot so baby had to sleep on the bed, the sleepyhead gave me some peace of mind because I knew hubby or I wouldn't roll over onto her or she wouldn't be able to slip under our pillows or duvet.
During the first few months when all the baby did was sleep I could take it downstairs with me or even pack it when we went to stay over at my mums or aunty's. When the cotbed did come we put the sleepyhead into the cotbed so she still felt snug and wouldn't be startled by being in such a big cot on her own.
Mama's & Papa's Baby Bud Booster Seat
Again for space saving reasons I bought this booster seat instead of a highchair. The seat can be used on the floor but we have strapped it to one of our own chairs and she feels like she is sitting at the table with everyone else. It's pretty easy to get her in and out, you can use it with or without the tray and the seat comes off for easy cleaning. When she was still learning to sit up we had to put some small cushions
on either side as it was a little big for her but since she has been
sitting up unaided and able to support her head, this seat has been great!
I didn't go for the bumbo or the baby snug because I read that babies tend to grown out of them pretty quick and to save on money in the long we tried to buy things that will last a long time.
Madela Swing Electric Breast Pump with Calma
Talk to any mum who pumps and you'll be told that Medela Swing is the best breast pump out there!
As my daughter was a preemie she was fed via an Nasogastric Tube to begin with, this meant that I had to pump in order to give her breast milk and so that my supply is established. Unfortunately I was only able to keep it up for a month but this breast pump was the closest thing to a medical grade breast pump at the hospital. I used to use this when I got home and over night as baby wasn't with us for a month, but I used the hospital one whilst I was there during the day.
It mimics a baby's suckling so is really good to stimulate the supply so that your body produces more milk (supply & demand)
It's light and portable so if you needed to express whilst you're at work or when you're out you could very easily do that. It can be attached to the mains or you could even use batteries.
I sold mine a few months ago to a lady who needed to go back to work so had to express milk for her daughter during the day. I would highly recommend this, even if you want to solely breastfeed pumping after feeding makes sure that you're completely empty so your milk supply doesn't go down when you're still trying to establish feeding.
Personalised Dummy Chains
Price: £8.27 for both including P&P
We were gifted some dummy chains from my sister and a friend of mine but one got lost and the other had a metal clasp that we didn't feel was safe to use when my daughter was very little. I bought 2 more from an account on Instagram called 'Dummy_Chains'
They're made really well and they look really pretty and the price for both was very reasonable in my opinion. I'm loving all the personalised baby things on Instagram right now and as you all know I love supporting small brands run by women.
My daughter doesn't use a dummy much now and only uses it occasionally before falling asleep so her dummy doesn't need to be attached to her anymore, but having the dummy on the chain makes it easy to find whether it's in the changing bag or in the cot.
Philips Avent starter kit & manual breast pump
This was one of those things we bought because it said 'sale' in big writing (stupid mistake because it's still the same price that we bought it at). Because my daughter was premature, one of the things she had difficulty with was feeding, the speech and language therapists recommended Dr Brown's bottles and my daughter got used to that so she didn't use this Philips set. The only things that we used from this set are the steriliser and the bottle brush, even then we need to lie the bottles on their side because they're too long for the steriliser but it still does the job. The manual breast pump is absolutely rubbish and barely has any suction to it.
(On a side note I'd like to sell the bottles, pump, teats that come in this set because they've not been used and are still in the box, so if you'd like to buy it off me I'd be more than happy to sell it at a cheap price).
Baby Cot Mobile
Price: Can't remember
So I got this cot mobile because we all had one when we were younger and I thought she might like to look at something whilst falling asleep but she was just not that into this. I got this fisher price one because I liked that it had the stars lighting up when it goes dark. The mobile itself doesn't stay on very well and keeps leaning forward into the cot, hubby had to use zip ties to try and secure it better so it didn't just come off and fall on her.
The music on this was really dead and boring (not the usual baby music that comes with these things), anyway I wish I had got the one that plays Quran because I think that would have been more useful to her and to us (and it looks better). She's too old for a cot mobile now because she likes to grab things and pull them, but I wish the Quran one came out when she was first born because I would have totally got that one.
Cuddlebug Baby Sling
Price: £23 on Amazon Prime
I guess this product wasn't a total fail but baby slings are just not my thing. It was a good product for when my daughter was newborn and we hadn't bought the pushchair yet. I took her out in this to a restaurant and to the doctors but that was the only two times I used it. She used to fall asleep in it straight away as she was so close and snuggled up to me, but because it was in the summer I was sweating in it like crazy.
When she was very little it was easy to put her in and get her out, but as she got bigger I found it hard to put her inside, it was very fiddly and she would often get frustrated. As she got heavier I found it was harder to use because it kept pulling down. Either I'm not very good at using slings or this sling is just not that great.
There are other things like the baby buggy and baby bottles that weren't complete fails as they did their job and we're still using them but they have a lot of problems with them so I will do separate reviews for our baby buggy & bottles.