HERE comes baby – and with baby comes more ‘stuff’ than a mum-to-be ever deemed necessary. So, how’s a pregnant woman to decide what’s actually worth the splurge?
Here, we’ve rounded up the top picks that launched within the last year that every new parent needs. Purses at the ready!
Christy McGhee, Consumer and Reviews Editor at MadeForMums, told Fabulous Digital what to look for when buying a pram: “All pushchairs must comply with British Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003 – most will but it’s worth checking if you buy second-hand.
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“Look for a five-point safety harness (again, most will have this as standard) and use it.
“Likewise, use the brake when you’re not pushing the buggy, check the frame is locked into place when you’ve unfolded it, and adhere to the buggy’s weight limit.”
The Ocarro pushchair from Mamas and Papas is a great all-rounder with its dual wheel suspension and tough tyres.
Very easy to assemble and weighing 13.7kg, there’s a large basket underneath and its compact design means it can helpfully be folded away using just one hand.
TAKE A SEAT
All babies start off in a rearward-facing infant car seat and the one you buy needs to meet EU standards. Look for the “E” mark label on the seat.
Your child needs to be in the correct category of seat for their age and size. For more information on choosing and using seats, visit Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
When it comes to buying a car seat, Mummy Concierge‘s Tiffany Norris says this is the most important item to splash the cash on.
- Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360, £279 from Maxi-Cosi – buy here
- Maxi-Cosi FamilyFix 360, £199 from Maxi-Cosi – buy here
“This is the one product you should spend money on as it needs to be the safest piece of equipment for your baby. Never use a second hand car seat,” she said.
The Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 is our top pick and is suitable from birth to four years. The FamilyFix 360 base has a smart built-in rotational system that enables the car seat to be easily rotated using only one hand.
The easy-in harness system means it’s quick and hassle-free to get your baby in and out of the car. And, rotation is possible in any reclined position for easy manoeuvrability.
SILENT (ISH) NIGHT
The SnuzPod4 is the new bedside crib from Snuz, winner of the Queen’s Award for innovation.
The pod, which comes in a variety of colours and is suitable for use from newborn to six months, features a reflux incline, a light lift-off bassinet and breathable mesh sides.
- SnuzPod4 Bedside Crib in Dove, £199.95 from Snuz – buy here
The four has increased air-flow to help regulate temperature, and fits more beds than any other bedside crib.
Zoe Bosner, Show Director at The Baby Show, told Fabulous Digital: “Your new cot needs to conform to British Safety Standards BS EN 716:2008 and their guidelines stipulate the distance between the top of the mattress and the top of the cot sides should be at least 50cm.
“The mattress needs to conform to safety standards BS 1877-10:1997 and come in either standard or continental size and go in their equivalent sized cot. Choose one that feels firm because your baby needs support while sleeping.”
The DockATot Deluxe+ is a pod for babies ages 0-8 months old. It’s multi-functional meaning it can be used for sleep, rest, play and to change baby’s nappy.
The pod is made from breathable, washable and hypoallergenic material.
- DockATot Deluxe+ in William Morris’ Willow Boughs, £160 from BuggyBaby – buy here
For autumn/winter, the brand has collaborated with Morris & Co, the storied British interiors brand, famed for its nature-inspired fabrics.
Mother and Baby reviewed the DockATot, giving it four and a half stars out of five. Mums claim it helped their baby nod off as it “felt like they were being cuddled”.
Meanwhile, the Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed is the first of its kind to be certified for unsupervised, overnight sleep from birth.
- Purflo Sleep Tight Baby Bed, £120 from Purflo – buy here
It has a breathable mesh base and sides to allow air to safely circulate and help keep your baby at a safe temperature at night.
The portable design, which was awarded a gold gong at the Made For Mums 2021 Awards, also provides a safe and familiar environment away from home.
For traditionalists, a gorgeous Moses basket is a must. The Little Green Sheep’s natural quilted basket, which comes in a variety of colours including white and honey, is a must.
- Natural Knitted Moses Basket and Stand, £144.90 from The Little Green Sheep – buy now
Awarded Mother & Baby’s silver award for best crib or Moses basket, it features a super-soft, organic quilted cotton liner and the brand’s signature chemical-free mattress to provide little ones with the very best support, as well as a breathable liner to ensure air circulates freely.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Forget prams, car seats and cots – what a new parent really needs is a delicious, nutritious food package.
- ByRuby New Parent Bundle, Portion for Two £77.81 from ByRuby – buy here
ByRuby promises to help you feel nourished and sustained, when the priority is feeding your new hungry bundle.
The New Parent freezer meal package features classics such as leek and bacon pie, beef lasagne and macaroni cheese, as well as more exotic dishes including Thai red chalk stream trout.
Purearth has launched their Mama Support Juice Box, featuring a mix of cold-pressed green juices, water kefirs and wellness shots to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to replenish, restore and nourish you after those sleepless nights.
- Purearth Mama Support Juice box, £69 from Purearth – buy here
The box also includes magnesium bath salts and a lavender eye pillow for a bit of TLC.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
A baby monitor can give parents a piece of mind – and for Tiffany Norris, it’s worth getting one that has a video.
“As new anxious parents, a baby monitor with just audio means you will be running up and down the stairs every time your baby makes a simple wimper. With a video you are able to check in the screen that your baby is safe and happy.”
- Hubble Nursery Pal Link Premium Smart Video Baby Monitor, £130 from Argos – buy here
The Hubble Nursery Pal Link Premium features a portable large 5” colour screen, and the camera comes with infrared night vision, so you can see your baby with clarity not just during the day but also at night.
Digital Pan Tilt & Zoom camera helps monitor the complete nursery. See, hear and speak to your little one, monitor room temperature to keep your baby’s nursery conditions ideal at all times.
Download the Hubble App to see, hear and speak to your baby from anywhere with sound, motion and temperature notifications sent to your smart device.
Meanwhile, the Babysense V43 monitor has a split-screen 4.3” LCD display so you can see two babies side by side. It also has two-way talk, lullabies and white noise sound to help soothe and comfort your baby.
- Split-Screen Video Baby Monitor V43, £139.99 from Babysense – buy here
It also features the latest 2.4GHz FHSS Closed Loop Technology for an ultra-stable & hack-proof connection and high quality digital vision & sound.
WHAT A CARRY ON
Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mother Pukka’s Anna Whitehouse have been carting their little ones around with the help of a BabyBjorn carrier.
The Mini is suitable for use during baby’s first months, up to one year. It comes in a variety of fabrics – jersey, mesh and cotton – and colours, with the new black and grey leopard print design our favourite.
Zoe says carriers can promote bonding as well as helping you transport your baby with ease.
She said: “The main thing with all carriers and slings is to make sure that it supports the baby’s hips and holds baby’s legs in the right place so they sit in the natural spread position to help benefit healthy and natural hip development.”
- Baby Carrier Mini, £90 from BabyBjorn – buy here
She is also a fan of the BabyBjorn Bouncer, which has been snapped up by Vogue Williams and Fearne Cotton. Again, it comes in some fab new colourways.
Zoe added: “A recent survey by Which? Revealed that parents voted a baby bouncer as their number one most useful product and I can see why.
“Being able to put your baby down somewhere safe and keep them occupied while you take some time out to make a cup of tea or grab some lunch is a godsend.”
She added: “One of the most important rules of baby bouncers is to check the weight and/or age guidance. Most of them can be used from birth, but may not be suitable for premature or low birthweight babies.
- Bouncer Bliss, £210 from BabyBjorn – buy here
“At the other end of the scale, make sure you know when your baby will outgrow the bouncer. They usually have a weight restriction, but also state that you should stop using the seat when your baby can sit, roll or crawl – a milestone that may come before your baby gets too heavy for it.
“The BabyBjorn bouncer is a great choice (minimum weight 8 lbs/3.5 kg) and can be used up to the age of two.”
Aden & Anais, a brand loved by Kate Middleton, has created an all-in-one seat that transitions from a bouncer to a chair, as your child grows.
It features a toy bar with textured soft toys which are great for entertainment, tactile exploration and sensory development. It’s also lightweight and folds flat for easy storage and mobility.
Plus, the neutral colours will compliment most contemporary homes.
- Baby Bouncer, Rocker and Seat, £165 from Aden & Anais – buy here
TIME TO PLAY
“Tummy time is important for young babies and I encourage parents to do it at least a couple of times per day,” says Louenna Hood – otherwise known as Nanny Louenna – a Norland Nanny, Maternity Nurse and Childcare Consultant.
The Aden & Anais baby activity gym is designed to keep your baby playing and learning as they meet key developmental milestones, with a tummy time pillow, mirror for self discovery and three attachable toys.
- Baby Activity Gym, £89.72 from Aden & Anais – buy here
- Hape Butterfly Rainmaker Robert Toy, £9.99 from John Lewis – buy here
It’s perfect for babies aged 0 to 12 months, and the wooden bars can be unclipped and folded for easy storage – a must for those short on space.
Meanwhile, Hape’s Butterfly Rainmaker Toy Robert is ideal for introducing baby to sounds and new textures. The cute toy creates a variety of sounds when handled including the paper-crinkling of the wings and the beaded raindrops when shaken.
Babies will be delighted by Taf’s Tissue Wonder Box where they can hide and pull out an assortment of sensory delights.
Complete with eight colourful organza squares and two crinkle blankets with fluffy textures, the peek-a-boo box is perfect for babies who are starting to sit up, to aid them in developing their motor skills.
- Taf Toys Kimmy Koala Wonder Tissue Box, £19.99 from JoJo Maman Bebe – buy here
- Safari Activity Spiral, £21 from JoJo Maman Bebe – buy here
Keep your baby entertained on the go with JoJo Maman Bebe’s Safari Activity Spiral.
It features a lion shaped rattle, a parrot squeaker, an elephant that chimes and has crinkly ears, crinkle leaves, teether rings, a rubber leaf-shaped teether and fun curled spirals to explore.
The spiral shape is easy to wind round car seat handles, buggies and cots, ensuring it’s always within reach.
Another toy that’s great for on the go is Little Dutch’s Soft Activity Cube. Featuring an adorable ocean design, it has different labels, textures, a mirror and a teething ring with beads.
There is also a shark that likes to play hide and seek in its pouch.
- Little Dutch Soft Activity Cube Ocean Mint, £13.50 from Scandiborn – buy here
For new parents looking for some play inspiration, Lovevery is a must. The stage-based subscription Play Kits have been created by child development experts and support brain development from infancy through toddlerhood.
The Play Kits are packed full of expert-designed Playthings and information, delivered at the right developmental window every two to three months.
The Looker Play Kit, for weeks 0-12, features a rainbow-coloured mobile, black and white cards and a rattle with removable ball, plus five more toys to help build new brain connections and help newborns become aware of their new worlds.
- The Play Kits, prices start at £80 per play kit from Lovevery – buy here
As a new parent, you’ll spend a large amount of your time sitting on the floor: changing nappies, encouraging them to roll and playing games. The Totter and Tumble luxury playmats are a godsend for your knees.
They feature 1.3cm thick memory foam that cushions you and your little one, a stylish, reversible design to suit your interior and they can be wiped down in case of any accidents.
The Captain playmat, a modern take on traditional North African Kilim rugs, is our favourite.
- The Captain Playmat, £140 from Totter and Tumble – buy here
You might not want to hear it, but before you know it your baby won’t be so little… so it’s worth investing in some toys which will see them through the first few years.
The Yoto Mini is the little sister of the award-winning Yoto player, a little speaker which plays music, audio books and white noise sounds on the move. It works using a card system, with each story card slotted into the top of the speaker.
The cards are perfectly-sized for small hands, meaning toddlers can enjoy picking the story they want to hear and get it working themselves.
TIME TO CHANGE
A newborn can go through at least eight nappy changes a day. JoJo Maman Bebe’s koala-print changing mat is proof that practical essentials don’t have to be boring.
The mat is foam-filled for comfort and covered in wipe-clean PVC for easy cleaning.
- Koala print changing mat, £14 from JoJo Maman Bebe – buy here
- Five-pack duck muslins, £16 from JoJo Maman Bebe – buy here
Muslin cloths are incredibly useful for mopping up spills, protecting your clothes when feeding your baby, wiping delicate skin or even used as a comforter.
These duck embroidered muslins are adorable – the set features three white muslin clothes with duck embroidery and two all-over duck print muslins.
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