Anyone that tells you having a baby is a piece of cake is lying to you. Or has never eaten cake! It is difficult. Lovely, but difficult. Rewarding, but difficult. Thankfully, there are so many great newborn products out there that make life just a little easier.
I won’t lie. I feel like I’ve spent the past 7 and a half months a dishevelled mess. Having a baby is no easy feat. It is messy. An endless parade of sleepless nights, baby sick, smelly nappies, screaming enough to pierce the eardrum, and the constant worry that you’re just doing it all wrong. Of course, there are the nice bits too. The endless cuddles. Their first smile (when you know they’re not just passing wind that is). Their little hand gripping yours. The first time they reach for you from the crib. They’re all moments that I’ll never forget. That no parent will ever forget.
And, I will be perfectly honest, my first six months with little T were perhaps easier than for many. My husband was furloughed just six weeks after T was born. It meant I had help – we we were a two man band to care for one tiny baby and one bouncy puppy dog. It meant I could shower at least every other day. I had someone to remind me to brush my teeth. And, we had plenty of time to figure out which baby products would make our lives that bit easier.
Tricks for a happy nights sleep with a new born
One of the biggest tricks we learnt was to have a calming sleep environment. T liked to sleep on us whenever possible so we learnt quickly to transfer him to his co-sleeping crib with as little disruption as possible. A white noise/melody machine helped with this, keeping a rhythmic melody that lulled T into a sense of routine. Add a warmed muslin to the mix – I would wear it down my top before placing beneath him in the bed – and we were able to convince him he was still happily ensconced on my chest. Aged 7 months he still sleeps with the steady beat of his Ollie the Owl and won’t sleep without it.
For my own piece of my mind, a series of health and safety gadgets helped me feel comfortable at sleep time. I also had a Gro Egg so that I would always know the correct temperature and how many blankets T would need. And, of course, a baby monitor so that I could keep an eye on him from afar. They really do bring peace of mind.
Keeping a baby happy through the day
I did a lot of baby wearing with Tristan – even in the house. He was happiest when tightly wrapped to my chest and it left me free to keep moving without losing my arms. But it isn’t sustainable. You can’t live like that and it is healthy for a baby to learn a little bit of independence. Thankfully, baby bouncers have been invented to keep us parents sane. A bouncer or rocker with a vibrate function is heaven. A vibrating bouncer was the first place, other than on me, that Tristan would happily fall asleep.
It would also keep him safe and sound whilst we did compulsory activities like eat or shower. Or simply when our arms were too tired to hold him any more. As he grew, the suspended toys fascinated him and he’d spend (what felt like) hours trying to swipe at them or get them into his mouth. We have the Fisher Price infant-to-toddler chair which is great for transitioning from those infant days to the the troublesome toddler years.
Tackling a baby on the move
Now, Tristan spends most of his time trying to clamber out of the chair. He hates being still. He learnt to crawl at six months and he hasn’t stayed put since. He can’t be left for a minute unless he’s strapped down in his chair with a pile of toys on his lap to keep him amused, or locked in his play pen. Thankfully, he’s a bit of a goldfish and doesn’t seem to notice that he’s going around in circles with the odd addition of a new toy or obstacle to keep his attention!
We have the Joie Cheer Playpen which looks as cheerful as it’s name. It has netted sides so he can see out and a gorgeous mountain backdrop that I may create in with the nursery decor. The dog loves it just as much as T and it has definitely saved my sanity when trying to work from home with a lack of childcare!
Honestly, I was not ready for a crawling baby. I thought and I have forever with the sleepy baby cuddles instead of hurtling toward the toddler years. Especially not so soon, but add a few great toys and play pen, and a chair of keeping him still when I have to answer the door, and my life is so much easier.
What items have you found to help you through those early months of being a parent?
The products featured in this post have been gifted by Very.co.uk. All thoughts and opinions remain true to my findings.