Although these beings are little and their needs are few (to be fed, sleep and to have a clean bum) these were the products we couldn't have survived the first 6 weeks without. I so wish I would have had a list like this that told me what was worth investing in while I was pregnant.
1. Bonds wondersuits - imagine being so half asleep at 3am you can barely tell which way is up on your baby then imagine trying to do a million domes around kicking little legs. Its the stuff of nightmares. That's where the cleaver folk over at bonds made little sleep suits with a zip. Actually not just a regular zip a double ended zip so you can keep their little bodies half dressed (and warm) during nappy changes. they have fold over bits to keep little hands and feet warm. Wondersuits or zippys whatever you like to call them they are magic. Although the idea of putting them in little clothes sounds fun the reality of it is that it probably wont happen. Buying them can be the toughest part with these, the bonds website wont ship these to New Zealand because they don't display the right fire warning tags (little orange tag on the collar). The warehouse has a small range and Tiny Turtles sells them online but my best bet was buying them on trademe. They live well so last through a few kids easily.
2. Nipple cream - pack this in your hospital back because ladies you'll need it from the get go. Breastfeeding is hard and it hurts and anything that makes it easier is worth having bucket loads of. I'd suggest buying a few different kinds of nipple cream and trying them all out and seeing what works best for you. I found a cream more like moisturiser and less like a sticky honey consistency was better, but everyone is different. A few brands id recommend are mustela, medela & weleda.
3. Lulla doll - it sounds like your granddad is asleep in the room with you I wont lie but I dare you not to fall asleep listing to it. I feel like this is a product best started as early as possible but I've heard people using it for babies/kids of all ages. It mimics what its like to be lying on or next to the mama so the baby feels calm and relaxed. Wear it down your shirt for a few hours a day to smother it in your mama scent & it will be like you are right there with them. It works magically for us and I'd say even if it doesn't for you, try to persevere with it, its worth a good try. I usually start it when she is in the "I might be tired" phase and the heavy blinks and yawns usually start pretty quickly after that. Coupled with a good swaddle, a dark room, some background/white noise & a full belly your little babe wont be able to escape the sleep.
4. Love to dream swaddle suits - or as we have aptly names them 'Don't shoot suits' because they keep the little ones arms up by their head (hostage position!) I don't know why but babies love to sleep like this, the only thing is if they aren't swaddled their weird (& kinda freaky on the DL) startle reflex movements wake them up all the time. They are used to the tight feeling of the womb so naturally trying to replicate that on the outside is your best bet at getting them to sleep! There are loads of different swaddles on the market and even the good old wrap up in a blanket so if your baby isn't loving one kind try another but we just cant rave enough about these ones.
5. Infacol/gripe water- babies only cry for a few reasons and once you've eliminated dirty nappy, hungry,tired, just trying to test your patience, the last one is usually wind. It really bugs them when they cant get one up, personally it bugs me too if i need to burp and cant so I 100% sympathize with babies on this one. We had no idea how to burp our baby and once we got better at it she was so much happier. Infacol and other burp-bring-up products help a lot with this too. They say your baby needs to be a month old to use them but speak to your midwife about it and she might say there is no harm in starting a little earlier for the sake of a happy tummy!
6. Haakaa breast pump - you've probably all heard the hype around these and I'd say its pretty well valid. They require no power whatsoever and work using positional suction. No manual pumping required. These are fab for so many reasons, they are so reasonably priced, can hang of your boobie hands free, are made of hospital grade silicone so can be sterilised in hot water, they are silent (bless) and are really portable and small so can easily slip into a nappy bag. I'm a full time pumping mama so I had to upgrade to something a little more profesh but I still use the Haakaa pump on the other side I'm not pumping and catch what I can with it & then swap. Even after I think my profesh pump has drained all of the liquid gold the Haakaa pump finds a little more. These would be great for breastfeeding mamas who pump on occasion and don't need the fancy hospital grade pumps often.
7. Baby swing- babies love being in motion it puts them right to sleep, that's why that old trick of driving around the block in the car works so well. All be it a little impractical to do all the time (petrol prices these days, am I right?) queue the baby swing, any brand as long as it goes backwards and forwards (bonus points if it does other fancy stuff but its not really necessary). Make that sucker swing as fast as it goes (with newborns - the faster the better) and sit back and enjoy the use of both arms for a change! Another product that might require a bit of perseverance for them to like it but its really worth it when they do.
8. Dummy - you think you wont be one of "those" mums until you realise that "those" mums were the smart ones because it works so well. Just do it. This fancy one is from Nature Baby. You'll probably find your baby will only like one kind of dummy so just buy a few different teat shapes and try them all out. I've stock piled our "chosen" brand because I don't know how we would function without one!
9. Portable/ disposable change mats - poo explosions happen a lot! It's so much easier to bin the mat rather than clean it up. Just trust me on this one. So many mamas told me while I was pregnant a change table was the least used bit of furniture they bought. Nappy changes happen EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE so having something that doesn't move makes no sense to me.
10. Solly baby wrap - baby wearing is your best friend. In the newborn phase but also as they grow. These wraps are the bees knees, your little one will be feeling like they are right back in the womb all tightly bundled to you, hearing your heartbeat and being rocked like they were by your movements. The tie of this one looks really complicated but once you do it a few times it becomes as easy as tying your shoes. I love these wraps because they come in super cute colours and prints but me being me I just got a grey one.
I so hope this helps any mamas to be or anyone wondering whether any of these products are worth it.