As a father of two and a parenting blogger, Jim Flowers has serious views about baby kit. On his blog, One Dad One Blog, he reviews all kinds of stuff, from digital thermometers to books and days out. Here he has kindly given us his top 10 items of baby kit:
1. Bugaboo Bee
Having had no less than seven prams / pushchairs / buggies with H, we fell in love with our Bugaboo Bee. This has it all: style, comfort, ease of use plus it’s compact, lightweight and has the ability to customise and use with future children. It folds down in one piece incredibly easily, has adapters to use with your chosen car seats, has a cocoon to allow use from birth, both forward and rear facing and is extremely easy to push. We recently changed the colours in preparation for D and it looks a brand new pram again. Mrs F and I regularly argue as to who has the pleasure of taking it in their car for journey’s out. It is definitely our favourite baby item.
Price: Around £540
2. Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium Bath Centre (now called Rinse ‘n Grow Tub)
We only bought this by chance as it looked like it could be a good starter bath and boy were we right. This bath is fantastic for newborns through to when they can sit up. It comes with a handy sling which is ideal to allow hands free bathing. Once your little one is bigger and is beginning to hold their own head up, the sling can be removed and replaced by a wedge to keep your child secure. We have used this endlessly with both our children and would recommend buying this above all other baby baths.
3. Gro Company
Of the Gro products we own (Gro-Egg / Gro-Clock / Gro-Bag / Gro-hush, I cannot fault any of them. The Gro-Egg is brilliant for letting you know the room temperature of any room in a fun and easy to understand way. The more recent Gro-Hush is great for calming a baby, particularly one like ours with silent reflux. Gro-Bags have always been used by us as these are such a simple and effective way of ensuring your little ones are cosy enough at sleep time. Finally the Gro-Clock is fantastic for H as he started waking up earlier in the mornings, this simple, easy to understand clock enables H to know when he was supposed to wake as well as giving Mrs F and I that all needed extra hour in bed.
Price(s): Range from between £20 and £35
4. BabyBjörn Baby carriers
We have had baby carriers with both children and have tried several types. What is different with BabyBjörn is their carriers are not only built to last but are extremely supportive and comfy for BOTH baby and parent. They also look stylish too which is a bonus.
Price: From around £85
5. Stokke Tripp Trapp
With the newborn attachment, this chair can be used from 0. Without it, it can be used by any age… we have all sat on it at some point. Stylish looking and extremely sturdy, we have already talked about getting another when we move into our new home (once we find it).
6. Ewan The Sheep
Ewan can attach to anything thanks to his velcro loop. He also has a calming red light and – his best feature – he plays audible white noise for 10 minutes at a time prior to automatically shutting off. This has been a great aid in sending D off to sleep at bed times. We set it off and go back downstairs and know that D will drift off sweetly…
7. Julia Donaldson Books
These are fantastically written and easy to read books with excellent illustrations. I have lost count of the number of Julia Donaldson books we currently have (although H reminds me every time we read them that he still doesn’t have Superworm) but given the choice, H would read at least one of these every night.
8. Sophie La Girafe
I admit to being sceptical about this when Mrs F suggested we get one for H when he began teething. The main reason is I had never heard of them and thought at first glance they were a little expensive. Well I’m glad to say I was wrong and H absolutely loved his Sophie, chewing it like it was going out of fashion, it certainly helped to stimulate his gums during times of need. We still have his Sophie as it is extremely durable, although Daddy did get in trouble for popping it in the steriliser hoping to re-use for D, only to find it killed off its squeak. Thankfully the giraffe is still fine but I suspect we will be buying another “squeakable” version for D.
9. Bibetta Ultra Bibs
We won one of these bib’s when we had H and once we received it, we didn’t bother with any other bib again. These bibs are made out of Neoprene meaning they are waterproof, absorbant and so easy to clean. With a food catcher below these are a god send when both out and about and also within the house. We will definitely be purchasing some pink ones for D once she begins her weaning adventure…
10. Mam Anti-Colic self sterilising bottles
Having tried several bottles first time round in search of a cure for H’s silent reflux (which was diagnosed as colic for a long time) we couldn’t pick out our favourite. However as Mrs F was super successful with breast feeding second time round with D, we needed a quick and simple bottle which worked well for “Daddy feeds” of expressed milk so that Mrs F could still continue to go out and enjoy the things she loves without having to worry about being back in time to feed D.
Mam bottles are fantastic for this as you don’t need a massive steriliser, these little beauties all come apart and sterilise in a microwave individually meaning within 3 minutes you can have a sterile bottle ready for use.
Price: £18 (pack of three)