Kitty will be one next month (I know, where on earth did that year go?), so we’ve had time to live with a lot of baby gear. We’ve experienced the good, the bad and the ugly en route, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my best buys – from furniture to wipes – so you don’t have to go through the whole trial and error thing.
Travel system: Bugaboo Cameleon
I’ve dipped my toe in the waters of many a buggy, but I always come back to my beloved Bugaboo. Bought before Alfie was born, it’s still going strong four years later. It can handle any terrain (even a pebbly beach – handy down here in Brighton), is a dream to push and seems incredibly comfortable for little ones – both mine have slept happily in it. I also adore the bright orange fabrics. Loving the new limited-edition neon version, £869, John Lewis.
I’m a wrap sling convert – Kitty has never been happier than when she’s being worn. The JPMBB is definitely the softest and comfiest and I love the fact you don’t have to take it off and rewrap, but can just pop baby in and out. Takes a bit of getting used to initially, but well worth the effort – I’ve managed to convert two of my friends and I always get comments about how cosy Kitty looks. Oh, and the colours are divine. About £58, JPMBB.
Most innovative: Stokke Tripp Trapp newborn
We’re a Tripp Trapp family. Alfie has one, so I always knew we’d get one for Kitty, but I had no idea she’d be able to use it at such an early age. The newborn set is just amazing. Not only did it save Kitty from being licked by our dog Peggy ever two mins, she sat with us all at the table for mealtimes and I felt I was able to interact with her much more while I got on with stuff in the kitchen. Needless to say, she loved it. £75, Back in Action.
I cannot recommend the Bednest enough. It offers all the benefits of co-sleeping with your baby without any of the risks and makes those night feeds a billion times easier. It’s also rather a thing of beauty and it folds flat for easy transport – we even used ours in the campervan at Camp Bestival last year. Lasts longer than a Moses basket (Kitty was in hers at seven months old and she’s big) so the £299 price tag can be justified (they also retain their value well for resale). Alternatively you can rent them for six months for £99.
Space saver: Flexibath folding baby bath
We’re currently having our bathroom renovated, so the Flexibath has come into its own while we’ve had to use the tiny attic shower room. Great design and I’ve felt confident bathing Kitty in it from birth with the addition of the support (or spoon as it was called here). £34.95, Back in Action.
Absolute essential: Aden & Anais muslins
I buy an Aden & Anais muslin for every friend who has a baby and I really couldn’t live without my fab Mela set of bamboo swaddles. Blanket, burp cloth, picnic rug, sunshade, bib, playmat, even a pirate bandana – there is no end to their usefulness and I never leave the house without one. The new B Jewelled set is just beautiful, £44.95.
Skincare: Neal’s Yard Remedies Baby Balm
I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every organic baby balm/nappy cream on the market and I’ve yet to be persuaded away from Neal’s Yard Remedies combination ofÂ olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and shea nut butter which softens skin and prevents nappy rash – neither of my two have suffered while I’ve used this. It also smells gorgeous and makes your hands lovely and smooth. Winner! £11, Neal’s Yard Remedies. The zinc barrier cream is also fab and lasts forever.
Nappies: Nature Babycare
I hate the thought of all the chemicals in the major nappy brands, so I dabbled in reusable nappies when Alfie was born, then tried every eco nappy I could find. I finally settled on Nature Babycare and was so impressed with their efficiency, environmental credentials and price they were my go-to for Kitty. From Boots, Waitrose or from £7 for two packs, Amazon.
Wipes: Earth Friendly Baby
Again, I’ve never found any wipes match up to the quality of Earth Friendly Baby. They’re moist without being too wet, strong, but gentle on the skin, and don’t come out of the packet in a massive clump (big bugbear). Biodegradable, hypoallergenic and alcohol-free. £31.80 for 12 packs, Amazon. I also love their nappy bags which never break or burst.
Versatile product: baby sheepskin
Some generous friends bought a sheepskin for Alfie when he was born and it’s now been handed down to Kitty. Brillant for popping a sleeping newborn on in a rocker, great as a playmat for a new sitter and ideal for keeping cool as a buggy liner. Ours is undyed, unbleached and machine washable, £59, The Wool Company.
Toy: Play to Z stacking hoops
I cannot begin to describe how brilliant this stacker is. Kitty has loved it from the moment she saw it and she now enjoys exploring the different textures of the rings, which are made from various materials including wood, metal, felt, wool, silk, soapstone. Even Alfie has got in on the act – we use the rings to play the tray game (Cover your eyes. Now open them – which one is missing?). £40, Play to Z.