5 things every new mum should have

new mum essentials
new mum essentials

New mums – these are the items you can’t live without! I know from experience how horribly easy to spend a heap of money on items which will do little more than gather dust.

With this in mind, I asked a wealth of experts for their recommendations for newborns and quizzed all my most competent mother friends about what really made a difference to them in the early weeks.

Here are the five things that I wouldn’t be without:-

Redcastle Cocoonababy Nest-type Mattress

I found this invaluable. Commonly used in France and Italy, it is an ergonomically designed mattress holds your baby ‘together’. That is, not enough to risk curving the spine, but sufficiently to help prevent/ease reflux and avoid flat head syndrome.

It is light enough to carry round the house, can be placed on the bed (or floor) beside you for safe co-sleeping and fits in a suitcase making a night away easy.

It also works well as a cot mattress, transforming a large and draughty cotbed into something so much more cosy.
£130 (jojomamanbebe.co.uk)

 Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 11.34.04

Bjorn Baby Bouncer

The world is not short of baby bouncers. My sister in law swore by a rather unlovely electric one but for many friends, and definitely for me, the Bjorn Bouncer was a life saver.

Simply designed, easy to wash, and suitable from birth to toddlerhood, it calmed our daughter in some of her angriest moments. It has the advantage that you can rock it gently with one foot, and as soon as your baby has enough strength they can gently bounce themselves.

You can also buy a coloured wooden toy to clip onto the front for added entertainment (£22.95).
£119 at John Lewis
Bouncer Balance Soft - BlackDark Gray, Cotton

PS You generally can’t go wrong when buying Baby Bjorn: also check out their travel cot, bibs and highchairs (see our review).

Aden and Anais Bamboo Swaddles

Whether or not you choose to swaddle (current wisdom is to go loose around the hip joints if you do), these lovely large muslins are invaluable. Not cheap, but on a cost per use basis far better than the standard small and dingy squares.
Use them for possetting, as decency shields for breastfeeding, pegged over your pram hood as instant blind, blanket etc they are soft as soft and stylish. What can I say. They were good enough for Beyonce…
£38.95 at adenandanais.com

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 13.07.46

Medela Freestyle Double Breast Pump

Not especially sexy this chap. But heavens, the freedom it affords you. Fast, not uncomfortable, and portable, this is hands down the best on the market. It’s an essential if you plan to breastfeed but would be glad of the occasional opportunity for someone else to do the task of feeding (we introduced the bottle when Elsa was around 10 days old, as our maternity nurse was clear she was happy on the breast).
£278.99 at amazon.co.uk

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 13.08.30

Better still, buy this equally surprising pump bra and you have your hands free to type / read etc

NB I would also highly recommend the Medela milk collection shells, and didn’t try them but a friend swore that the Medela Nipple Shields were the only reason she was able to breastfeed.

Babygros with zips..

Most babygros fasten with poppers. And given a newborn can / should get through up to ten nappies a day, you might begin to find them a bit fiddly/ excruciatingly frustrating.

A baby gro with a zip is therefore a welcome respite. Also invest in scratch mitts, as little ones have surprisingly sharp nails and are prone to damage their faces.

For nighttime I’d also highly recommend nightie-shaped gowns to speed up nappy changes.

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Baby wear brands that do the job :

Frugi – a divine, organic, Cornwall-based brand, seek this out


BabyGap – Gap seems to get the whole zipped baby gro thing.


Not on the High Street – Great for more original- looking baby clothes. 


Petit Bateau – Super chic but trés cher (unless it’s from a French supermarket!). Buy a few sizes too big as they come up small.


Mothercare – You can’t go wrong. Their vests and baby gros and soft and survive countless washes. Likewise M & S.


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