These are my absolute top essentials for a modern Mom in 2021. Since giving birth to Jack in late 2020 and having done all of my research and trying out so many new products, I finally feel like I have compiled a genuinely helpful list for any Mother who wants modern baby products that actually work.
From the beginning I knew I wanted products that would see me through at least two (potentially three) children that David and I plan on having in the future. So from the start I knew I was looking for quality products but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money since I had just lost my job thanks to the pandemic 🙂
Here’s my list of my top essentials that I bought before or after Jack was born:
In general the most useful products are listed below in order (in order of most usefulness/value for money) with links to each product for more information :
/1. BABYBJÖRN CARRIER
Model ONE not MINI since the weight is not that far off with each carrier that it didn’t make sense to buy the one they advertise as “newborn” but for $30 more you can buy one that will last almost a year longer!
/2. PHILIPS AVENT MILK HEATER
In the beginning when Jack was a newborn this was SO useful since I was pretty much exclusively pumping since he wasn’t getting the hang of breastfeeding right away (he hasn’t still until this day). We were able to tell the machine which size bottle we are using and it would know what temperature to heat the milk and it even defrosts it (again so useful if you are pumping and storing milk). The only downside is that it doesn’t have a timer or tell you when it’s ready and so the first time we used it I was waiting for five minutes for it to make some kind of noise and as a result the milk was absolutely burning hot.. the reason you should always check the temperature before feeding your baby!
/3. OLLIE THE OWL
One of Jack’s favourites is Ollie! Ollie is a night light, plays white noise and lullabies and he makes life SO much easier at bed time. We pretty much bought Ollie from week 1 or 2 after Jack was born and we have put him on every single night (and even nap times during the day) since. In the hospital from day one we realised quickly that Jack likes to have background noise to sleep (like most babies) and so we found a white noise playlist on spotify but after a week of placing it on the nightstand and draining phone batteries, we found Ollie!
/4. CHICCO SIDE CRIB
This crib fastens to the side of your bed which is obviously great for so many reasons when you have a newborn. I am somebody who constantly worries about everything so having Jack sleeping right next to me made me feel so much more at peace at night and I didn’t like the idea of him sleeping in our bed in the beginning whilst he was so little with the duvet covers and the potential of us rolling on him! This also made it so much easier for those late night and early morning breast feeding sessions.
/5. ROSE HIP OIL
When it came to all of the creams and treatments for Jack, I kept seeing the same essentials over and over on Pinterest and in the Pharmacy (nappy rash creams / body lotions) and I bought a few to try. In the end, I have reached for my own rose hip oil every single time over any of the “baby” products that I had bought. None of them seemed to clear or hydrate his skin the way my rose hip oil did and it soothes his redness so quickly. Just make sure that the oil is 100% rose hip for your baby!
/6. DOUBLE ENDED BOTTLE CLEANER
Since I was pumping, this bottle cleaner was so useful since it has two brushes. The main one for obviously the bottle but at the other end it has a small one that fits in the bottle lid to properly clean any milk left behind. I love the fact that it has a place to be able to hang this bush over your kitchen counter so you can avoid letting the brush sit out on your kitchen cabinets!
/7. NUK PACIFIERS
So I was sold (I think like most Mothers) on the idea of the BIBBS pacifiers since they seem to be in every shop and on everbodys Instagram or Pinterest page (plus they look so classic and stylish!) and so I bought a few before Jack was born. Since the beginning Jack has taken to pacifiers, especially when he goes to sleep, and he seemed content with these until I saw that they easily were discoloured and the actual pacifier seemed a bit “worse for wear” after a a few weeks. After looking closely at the pacifier I felt like it wasn’t that well made and I went to my Pharmacy and found these from NUK and albeit they are not as cute, Jack absolutely loves them and the actual pacifier has such a better shape and is a lot more thin!
/8. VICKS HUMIDIFIER
This is another one where the brand is irrelevant, I have just happened to try this brand (VICKS) since it’s the one that was in my Pharmacy (does anyone else think of the VICKS vapour rub when they hear the brand?) but I think having a humidifier is an essential with a newborn. Jack definitely went through his phase of having a lot of mucus and a blocked nose and this was a life saver. Just make sure not to place it directly on the floor or close to a lot of furniture since it will make it damp!
/9. LITTLE UNICORN MUSLIN CLOTHS
Muslin cloths seem to be a gift that everybody wants to give you when you have a newborn (and towels for some reason) and aside from looking really beautiful they are super useful when you are on the go. We ended up using them as bibs when we didn’t have any when we were out, as sun protectors in the car on the window, covering Mama in public when breastfeeding and as shade in the pushchair from the sun. They always seem to have a purpose and the material is so lightweight and perfect for a newborn.
/10. PHILIPS AVENT HAND PUMP
I was using an electric pump since I was pumping almost exclusively but I didn’t find it that good which is why I didn’t include it in this post. However, for on-the-go and for the price, this hand pump was a life saver. If I ever felt like I needed to pump as my breasts were too full, or we were on the way somewhere and I needed to continue pumping (every 3/4 hours in the beginning is difficult!) this was absolutely perfect.. in size, price, adaptability (you can change the lid and you have a free baby bottle!)
/11. GLASS NAIL FILE
We originally bought the baby proof nail clippers that have the security line to not get their finger but in the end this was so much easier (and less scary!) to use with Jack. Particularly from the beginning it was a lot easier to file down his nails often without having to hold his hands so still and deal with a crying baby!
/12. BABY SLEEPING BAG
The only reason I consider this an essential is for the sheer fact of how often we use it. Jack sleeps in this in his crib and now that he is about to start taking naps in his first bed (when it finally arrives!) he will be using this over his matress and he uses it in his pushchair. Yes it was expensive but instead of buying five blankets and having them darted around, using one sleeping bag has worked really well for us.
/13. AVOCADO BABY TEETHER
This is the last essential that I’ve snuck on my list since I can’t say that for a newborn it is absolutely essential but Jack’s teeth seemed to be bother him quite early on and as soon as we introduced sensory books we realised that he was biting them and we tried this really fun baby teether and he loved it! He uses it almost like a toy too so thats a win for Mama and Papa! 🙂