These items are by no means, essential, however, for us, these turned out to be the things we have used and loved the most; definitely worth the investment. When you begin shopping for your new arrival, you may find yourself, like me, overwhelmed with the sheer volume of products you can purchase. I wanted to share an honest review of what items were our favourite and why. I have broken it down into age groups of what I used and when, this blog will focus on the bigger investment items.
1. OWLET Smart Sock Baby Monitor
I appreciate this on the surface may appear like an expensive gimmicky item, however, this smart monitor has probably been one of my favourite purchases. Whilst it may appear expensive, it lasts from 0-5 years of age, which works out well for price per-use. It has been something we used from birth and we still use it every evening, along with during day naps too. It has given us such peace of mind and has been worth every penny.
The Owlet Smart Sock tracks your babyʼs heart rate, oxygen level, and sleep. It takes 20 minutes to charge for 8 hours of use, and 80 minutes for 16 hours worth of battery. The sock is linked to the base station, so on an evening without opening the app, you can see the green light pulsating. Personally, I would say I have found the camera to sometimes be a little unreliable, which I think is due to the fact it needs extremely good wifi to work effectively, that said I like having his heart rate and 02 all on the same screen as him.
My three favourite features
1. reliable and ease of use
2. reassurance – it certainly helped me sleep with peace of mind
3. the app insights
2. CARRIER Tiba and Marl & The Ring Sling Company
I think between Mat and I, we used this nearly every day for the first 6 months. For countless nights it was the only way to get him to sleep and nap during the days, also an essential to get things done or in my case be able to eat whilst he was on me haha. It was so nice to take him out in the carrier for walks too, especially in winter as he felt so cosy snuggled in. This wasn’t something I had really considered much, but this became an absolute essential. Alternatively I would also recommend the ring sling company for a soft cotton sling that moulds to the baby.
my three favorite features
2. comfortable to wear
3. the design and fact it can be used from birth to two years old
3. MAXI-COSI Pebble 360
We absolutely love this car seat and the 360° rotating feature. It is suitable from birth to approx. 15 months (weight and size depending). I love that it is a good weight, not too heavy at all, but feels sturdy and safe. I also love the soft hood, which worked well when we would want to put the hood across when putting the car seat on the pram wheels. I got the iso-fix from the natural baby shower along with my maxi-cosi car mirror.
my three favourite features
1. the safety features
2. the 360° rotation
3. the quality of all the fabrics and inserts depending on size
4. SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Cot
I think this was my most hesitant item, due to the cost. Whilst I was working with SNOO, as always, it had to be something I felt was worth the cost and genuinely, my only regret was not accepting it sooner. Initially, I didn’t think it would be required, but by around week 7, decided it was certainly worth trying…can you sense the sleep desperation ha ha. Again, at first, I did think this was a gimmicky and unnecessary sleeping aid that would make Max reliant on motion, white noise, etc, but it never did, he went straight from this into a travel cot. Within a couple of nights of putting Max in the SNOO, he had gone from being up every hour to sleeping 2-4 hours and things only got better and better.
For those who may not be aware of the SNOO and what it does, I will provide an overview below.
The SNOO is a smart sleeping device, which continually has a gentle side-to-side rocking motion, and when Max stirred it would settle him with the rocking motion, which automatically responds to your baby. Should your baby be upset and not settled within a minute the SNOO can tell and would stop to alert you to tend to them. It swaddles your baby, which again, Max hated any swaddle bags or being swaddled, but for some reason, he loved it in the SNOO swaddle sacks.
Built into the SNOO, it also has white noise and I love that you can tailor your SNOO in the settings. Setting the volume, responsiveness, motion speed and motion limiter. There is even a weaning mode to stop the ongoing motion. This is all controlled through an app and gives you a graphical view of the night’s sleep too, along with relevant helpful tips. I absolutely love the design and for me, I would say that it is a perfect size, I found a lot of bassinets very bulky.
A couple of brilliant design features worth noting; are the raised legs (great for reflux), and low legs should you need it lower to suit your bed height. Included you do get a mattress and water-resistant cover, plus 3 ivory SNOO Sacks (S, M, L) made with organic cotton, but I love the multiple mattress covers and SNOO sacks designs.
If this is within your budget, or you can cut back on other items, it would always be something I highly recommend, for me, it’s worth every penny. Sadly, the UK doesn’t offer the rental service, hopefully, one day they will, but the SNOO regularly does offer 30% off. With the purchase, they include a 30-Day, no-risk trial (which starts on the delivery date), which I think shows the confidence in the customer satisfaction.
my three favourite features
1. with the SNOO you get unlimited access to sleep consultants, 7 days/week
2. Most importantly, he slept so well in it!! The automated motion and built-in sounds soothed Max to sleep, aside from the carrier, car, and pram it was the only place he slept well
3. the easy-to-use app, controlling the SNOO and all the options to tailor what suits your and your baby’s needs
Click on the images to shop the products I have and love
5. OCARRO M&P PRAM
There is no doubt so many brilliant and gorgeous prams available, therefore, I think it is important to consider what you need from a pram. Travelling in and out of York frequently but living in a rural area, we wanted a travel system that was both compact enough for the car, but also durable enough for country paths; the Occaro is both that.
It is extremely easy to put up and down, along with the fact for a pram is suitable for all terrains and it fits well into our car. It was compatible with the car seat I wanted, and we found this the easiest pram to get up and down and adored the compact design. I went for the Ocarro in calico as I LOVED the linen-look fabric. I was worried this may not be wise and would get dirty quickly, but having now used it daily for 6 months, it wipes well and looks as good as new.
The carrycot again is so cosy and compact, but I would recommend getting a shade cover, as the hood doesn’t fold over, therefore, we did often use the rain cover as a rain shield but should that of been needed in summer we would have needed to keep the sun out of baby’s eyes.
My three favourite features
1. the ease of getting this pram up and down
2. that it is an all-terrain pram and extremely smooth to manoeuvre, yet still compact
3. the design and modular attachments’; for both the quality and comfortable design and features
Here are just a few of my favourites that I found when searching, as trying to find baby swimsuits in stock appeared to be quite the challenge.
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