When you are expecting your first baby, it's hard to imagine exactly how motherhood will be or what exactly you will need.
Of course, you will need a pram, a car seat, baby clothes, feeding equipment including a steriliser, but if you start reading magazines or going into shops you will soon realise that there is a whole lot more out there - the market catering to new mums is just colossal.
The variety of baby gadgets available nowadays looks exciting, but can also be a little overwhelming. You might be feeling compelled to buy everything you see that promises better sleep, easier feeding or saved time, but many new parents find that a lot of those gadgets don't get used at all, and in fact, there are actually only a very small number of items that they couldn’t live without.
We reached out to some parent bloggers about their recommendations for the one piece of kit that was most important for them. Some of them have done some excellent reviews which will help you to decide if these things will be useful for you too. Maybe you might like to follow some of these bloggers as they certainly know what they are talking about.
Liberty Henwick, from Liberty on the Lighter Side says:
The only piece of equipment I bought for my baby was a rocking chair, because I was told it would help soothe my baby when I was tired of walking with her. I bought it for my third baby and by then I knew that anything I had bought before hadn’t been as necessary. She was a particularly restless baby, so I was grateful for the chair. Now after thirteen years we still have it and she still loves it!
Chanelle Anderson, from Mum's Madhoose says:
Caroline May, from Mrs Magovern says:
We couldn’t have got through the baby days without our PurFlo Breathable Nest – our baby slept like a log in it from day one! (Read Caroline’s full review here)
Helen Copson, from Twins, Tantrums & Cold Coffee says:
For me, with newborn twins and a just turned two-year-old, it was a twin feeding pillow. It meant I could feed my twins at the same time, and they could also rest on it for a bit. Decent bouncers were also a lifesaver, as I couldn’t be carrying around three little ones all the time.
Kate Tunstall, from The Less-Refined Mind says:
I absolutely LOVED our Sleepyhead. It didn't magically fix the problems we had (if only), but it made dealing with them that bit easier. We're done having babies, but if I was having any more, I'd definitely want this again. Our youngest was in it till a few months ago (recently turned three) and I'm still reluctant to let it go. (Read Kate’s full review here)
Katie Clark from Five From The Swich says:
Best bit of baby equipment was a shnuggle bath. It needs hardly any water, easy to carry and enables me to wash baby with both hands safely with the bum bump support to help prevent baby from sliding down or needing a hand to support their head.
Debbie O’Connor, from Mum's the Boss says:
I planned to use sheets and blankets on my cot until one of my friends introduced me to baby sleeping bags. I’m sure lots of people use them now but back then they were quite a novelty. We travelled a lot when my babies were young, and I’m sure they settled better in whatever bed, cot or car they were in because the sleeping bag was familiar and comfortable.
Victoria Sully, from Lylia Rose says:
Time goes super-fast once you have children and before you know it they’re out of their cot and into a bed. To make the transition easier on both the child and your wallet, consider buying a cot bed instead of a separate cot and toddler bed. The cot bed is a cot that can be converted into a small toddler bed once the child is old enough. It can usually be used until the child is 4 or 5 years old, so you’ll not have to worry about buying several pieces of furniture for a few years. Our cot bed was around £100 new and lasted for both the children.
Hong, from 360 Mum says:
My go-to baby item is a sling! I wish I had known more about them when I had my first, because I was pretty much stuck to the sofa as baby liked to sleep on me. I started to use a sling when she was about six months old, and with my second baby, I used a sling specifically for newborns straight away. It made such a difference! I was able to get up and do anything I needed, plus it offers comfort for both me and baby as he was still close and we could have skin to skin contact.
Laurie Hanscom Harmon, from Seeking Serenity and Harmony says:
I got the chance to review the Suzy Snooze nightlight and sound machine The combination of a monitor and sound machine with night light would have been awesome to have when my twins were newborns.
Rosie Preston-Cook, from Busy Mum Lifestyle says:
Out of all the baby paraphernalia we bought last year while I was pregnant the one thing we have consistently used is a baby bouncer. We have it in the lounge and although it cost only about £25 we have used it every day. My baby is six months old and we still use it - well worth the buy.
I hope that this has given you some ideas. If you have any suggestions of your own for kit that you found really useful when your babies were small, please come over to our Facebook page, facebook.com/babytogs.co.uk and tell us about it. We would love to hear from you.