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Thursday 16 June 2022

New Baby Essentials gift guide

Are you having a new baby soon, or know of someone who is? It can be hard to work out just what to buy as a gift for a new mum or a newborn baby - making sure your gift is useful or meaningful is key, as you don't want to be adding to the amount of 'stuff' that new parents seem to acquire once a baby comes along! Some parents may be starting out with nothing, and so helping out by purchasing the 'essentials' rather than something more luxurious may be your preference. You may wish to treat the parent to a useful gift, rather than the baby...after all, they have likely spent 9 months growing a baby (and all that goes along with that!), to then be faced with labour, birth and sleepless nights. Whatever your prefer, this new baby essentials gift guide has a range of ideas for every budget and preference...
New Baby Essentials Gift Guide

Disclosure: Paid partnership - some of these items are affiliate links or gifted items for the purpose of an honest review. 

From purchasing the newborn essentials, to making sure you have new mother and baby well-being covered, this blog post gives some suggestions and honest feedback on a range of products for both parent and baby...

What gift should I buy for a new mother and baby?

Take a look below at some of our tried and tested favourites, from a Baby girl hamper to the serious business of baby monitors...

Muslin Swaddles and sleeping bag - Bloomsbury Mill

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide bloomsbury mill swaddles and sleepsuit

Bloomsbury Mill create the most beautiful, organic cotton newborn essentials that are excellent value for money - affordable but very high quality.

Let me tell you, everyone talks about never being without a muslin for burps and spills, but if you've ever had a baby with reflux like my eldest 2 children, then you will know that the bigger the better when it comes to these amazing cloths! This is where a muslin swaddle comes in - yes, they are perfect for wrapping and swaddling your baby in the early days, particularly in the summer months, but they have SO many other uses. You can drape these over your entire top half  to catch at sick-ups, use as a blanket, or as a floor mat during tummy time to catch any burps then too. I can't recommend these highly enough and these gorgeous neutral, organic cotton swaddles make a wonderful yet practical gift. If you're wondering how to swaddle, pop over to their website using the link above to see a helpful video. 

Their organic cotton sleeping bags are also the perfect first nightwear to keep baby safe and warm during the night without having to worry about blankets unwrapping or moving during sleep. 

Probiotic drops for colic - BioGaia

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide bio gaia probiotics

Have you heard of BioGaia? They research, design and produce probiotic supplements for babies and infants. Their Protectis Baby Drops are great for newborns, helping to regulate their developing microbiomes, and can even help to reduce crying time during colic. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you will know just how we struggled with colic and reflux in the early days with Arthur, and how we came to diagnose Charlotte with CMPA. I can confirm that the supplements are milk and lactose free so they are perfect if your little one also has a cows milk allergy. I wish I'd come across these when Charlotte was small - I'll definitely be giving these a try with the new baby, especially as I will be breastfeeding after a C section which will include antibiotics during delivery. 

New Parent Candle and card gift set - and Hope designs

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide and hope designs candle gift set

This lovely scented candle aims to help dispel nappy smells  and also creates a lovely, calming atmosphere as you sit and feed your baby -  giving some relaxation where there may not otherwise be. This candle smells of rhubarb and a hint of fresh mint, hand poured and made with  8oz soy wax... Included in this gift set is a new baby card, and some Tony's chocoloney chocolate. Available from Andhopedesigns

I can confirm that the candle smells wonderful - natural and not too overpowering! The chocolate we received in this set was dairy free (perfect for mums whose baby may have cmpa) and the card is of very high quality - lovely thick, textured card with a beautiful print. I can't imagine any new mum would not love to receive this little moment of calm and congratulations through the post. 

Luxury Mum and Baby pamper box - Scrub

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide mum and baby pamper box from scrub scrub

This gorgeous handcrafted box of natural products  from scrub  for parent and baby is a real treat - packaged beautifully and FULL of gorgeous smelling goodies to explore and use throughout the first few months. Vegetarian friendly, cruelty free and all handmade, this  luxury box contains lots of loveliness for Mum and Baby including all natural
  • Baby Balm x 30ml
  • All Purpose Lavender Balm x 30ml
  • Aloe Vera Gel x 100ml
  • Natural Baby Soap x 110gms
  • Organic Rosehip Oil (which is great for stretch marks) x 30ml
  • 100% Organic Bamboo Washcloth
  • Baby Wash & Bubble Bath x 200 ml
  • Baby Shampoo x 200 ml
  • 100% Natural Jojoba Baby Oil x 100 ml
  • A beautiful how to use and ingredient card is included in each box
There is so much to explore in this box, which will keep you going for quite a while before replacements are required! The balms are also perfect for popping in your change bag for use on the go. 

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide scrub scrub new parent gift set

Clothes Doctor  - eco wash set

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide the clothes doctor eco wash set

This Baby Laundry Gift Set would be the perfect unique gift for new parents.  It contains a  specialist Eco Wash for Baby,  Tough Love Stain Removal, a cloth for application and a scented drawer sachet. 

Luxurious yet practical, light-hearted yet indulgent: a perfect original gift for new parents, for the many spills and burps to come!

The delicate laundry liquid in the Eco Wash for Baby is specially formulated to be gentle on sensitive skin, and unlike most detergents it's free from palm oil, and is never ever tested on animals. The super soft Bamboo Cloth is also here to help - a useful and eco-friendly cleaner-upper, along with the Tough Love Stain Remover. Finally, help baby sleep by scenting their pyjama drawer with the Camomile and Lavender Scented Bag. 

The packaging of this product is so well thought out, neutral, unisex and eco-friendly using aluminium bottles, natural cloth and cardboard boxes. The scented drawer sachet is the first thing you smell when you open this gift set and it smells wonderful! Any brand who goes above and beyond to be eco-conscious is a big positive in my eyes, especially when it comes to products related to laundry!

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide the clothing doctor laundry set

Everything Dress - Maternity and nursing dress - Happiest Baby.

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Everything dress from happiest baby

 Made with recycled materials, this 'everything dress' from Happiest Baby has been designed to be worn throughout pregnancy (day and night if you wish), nursing and beyond. It includes a 2 layer top half for nursing using the 'top up, underneath down' method and the inner support and adjustable straps mean that no additional nursing bra is required. The upper camisole is a dark navy, and the skirt is black. The material is soft and floaty but thick enough to flatter all figures without showing undergarments. Worn here at 38 weeks pregnant in a size L on a 5ft 4" body. Definitely packing this one in my hospital bag!

Snoo Bear - Happiest Baby  

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Snoo Bear from happiest baby

This gorgeous Snoo Bear from Happiest Baby is a teddy, puppet and white noise machine all in one! It can be set at 30 or 60 minute white noise which restarts if baby cries within 3 hours! includes a reversible built in neck strap for strapping to the pram, and the arms are hollow to allow for adult to turn the bear into a huggable puppet. Batteries are included and the white noise box is easily removeable from the back of the bear. My personal fave is the noise which sounds a bit like a train on a track - I left it playing in our kitchen during dinnertime and had a wonderful moment of peace as my 7 year old tuned into the sound and tried to listen where it was coming from!  This teddy is available in woolly or plush material. 

Sleepea swaddle - the 5 second swaddle 

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide sleepea swaddle  from happiest baby

This Sleepea Swaddle from Happiest Baby is 100% organic cotton, with inner arm bands and leg flap to keep baby bundled.  The swaddles have  the option of arm openings for babies who prefer to have their arms free or who may be at the 'rolling' stage already. Breathable mesh at the shoulders and legs helps to reduce overheating, with extra quiet velcro and double zip opening to make nappy changes a breeze! Available in a range of colours and sizes from 2kg-12kg.

Baby Calendula cream - Baba West

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide baba west zinc and calendula cream

Baba West is a beautiful health and skincare brand focused around children's early years, offering multibiotics for babies and children up to 12 yrs old. They have a gorgeous new product - the Zinc & Calendula cream - to soothe skin irritation, eczema and nappy rash. This product is not just for babies, if you have a little one who suffers from dry skin or eczema like my 4 year old then this is a perfect product to try! It is also SPF10 so you don't need to worry about the effects of using this cream on the skin during hot summer days. Definitely one to pop in your change bag for on the go protection. 

Aromatherapy Bath oil and comfort down under cream - Zita West

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Zita West Post Natal skincare

 Zita West is a fertility brand, with products for TTC, IVF, pregnancy and post-natal skincare.  These gorgeous products are a real treat for any new mum recovering from pregnancy and labour. The aromatherapy bath oil smells absolutely divine and would provide a welcome moment of self care and relaxation for any new parent, plus it helps to heal the perineum after labour. The comfort down under cream is an absolute gem of a find - made using aloe vera and tea tree oil it is safe to use on the perineum after birth, even with stitches. I wish I'd discovered this after giving birth to Arthur and Charlotte - there were plenty of stitches which could have used a bit of extra comfort, and let's face it - most new mamas DO end up with a few grazes or stitches during labour. 

Baby Monitor - Bluebell 9-in-1 -  now discontinued

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Bluebell 9 in 1 baby monitor
This Bluebell 9-in-1 baby monitor seemed to be the ultimate baby monitoring system...that is, until the company who made it shut down with no warning. Parents all over the country using this device were left unaware that it was no longer tracking their child, potentially putting them at harm. The app stopped working, and the app controls the entire device, leaving it redundant and unuseable...not great for such an expensive piece of kit. Luckily, as this has now been recalled, you should be able to take it back to your place of purchase and get a refund. Here is the original info on the monitor: 

I was drawn to this device because as well as having a sound and video monitor, the clip on device monitors baby's temperature, breathing and whether they have rolled onto their tummy. It all connects to an app on your phone, as well as a parent wristband which sends an alert if something is wrong. The device claims to still work even if your wifi is down, which was a must for us as we often loose signal and the traditional baby monitors never seemed to have a long enough range. Here is a list of the device capabilities: 
  • Accessory List: Hub, Sensor, Camera and Wrist Watch
  • Breathing Alerts
  • Temperature (Body) Alerts
  • Crying Alerts
  • Tummy Roll Alerts
  • Room Temperature
  • Audio Monitoring
  • Sleep Tracking
  • Video Monitoring, 2 Way Audio, Day / Night Video
  • Parent Monitoring via Wrist Band- Vibration Alerts, Sets Reminders, Tracks Routine, Parents Steps and Sleep, Waterproof
  • Real Time Alerts and Tracking via Bluebell App, Mulit-users, Customised Alerts. Award winning all-in-one solution designed by doctors

Setting up the device did take quite a long time, I'll be honest! Once you've downloaded the app and set up an account you then need to connect all of the devices to the hub. Thankfully there was a helpful youtube video using screen recording which explained how to do this, but it did take a few attempts for the watch to connect - but once its all up and running the app is brilliant and you can switch to full screen video mode really easily!

The ONLY drawback so far is that when setting up the app, I had to input my baby as being a male or a female before I could progress. I am a few days away from giving birth and we don't yet know what we're having so not being able to skip this part was a little frustrating, but nothing major!

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide BlueBell 9 in 1 baby monitor from Very.co.uk

So, what baby monitor am I now using instead?

The Hubble Nursery Pal Glow+ from Very.co.uk

The Hubble baby monitor from Very.co.uk is our replacement choice and so far, it works well. The benefit with this device is that it has the option of having the video on the screen provided, or on your phone. This means that your phone isn't interrupted if you're using it for work or a call whilst keeping an eye on your baby, and you also have a screen for visitors o use (such as a babysitter) if you leave the house with your phone!

The camera features a pan, tilt and zoom feature and can be connected to any standard tripod. There is the option of purchasing a hubble grip for the bottom of the camera but we don't have this so I can't comment on how well this grips onto cot bars or cupboards. 

Snooze Shade

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Snooze Shade

SnoozeShade, is one of the UKs favourite baby sun and sleep shade for prams - have you tried it before? I used to have one when Charlotte was little and it was brilliant for covering up arms and legs under the sun when out walking with the pushchair, or for full on 'lights out' for nap times. The snooze shade not only protects little one from harmful UV rays but it helps establish naps on the go - super handy in the summertime! 
My initial concern with this product was whether baby could breathe and stay cool under the snoozeshade in the hot weather (we've all seen the warnings about not clipping a muslin cloth to their pram hood!) but this material is 'air permeable' (better than breathable) and lab tested, so you can rest easy. 

New Baby Essentials Gift Guide Bcozzy neck pillow

This one was a gift from my sister, as I was desperate to find a decent neck pillow for night feeds! Why? Because my previous children fed so frequently during the night, and both had reflux that I had to sleep practically sitting up. My neck used to flop forwards because I was SO tired. I wanted something supportive which would help to support my neck muscles whilst nursing or relaxing in a chair during the day, or sitting up feeding at night. I also wanted something which wouldn't 'slip off' and fall onto baby. This neck pillow is perfect as it has a velcro fasten and goes all he way around the neck with moulded shaping. Click on the image or link above to buy. 

A real 'essential', and to be honest, we've tried fancy change mats with washable covers or mats you can put in the washing machine - but nothing gives you peace of mind and daves time like being able to fully wipe down and antibac a change mat straight after use...especially after a poonami or a water fountain during the nappy change! (Yes, there will be many!)

I could not do without my feeding pillow when my children were small, and as I am due a C-section with this baby I feel it will be even more important! They really do help save your arms, and position your baby properly for nursing...rugby ball holds were almost impossible in the early days without one, and whatever position you feed in, you'll want to keep baby's head supported but also 'free' to move for their feed. Did I mention these are also great for popping behind your shoulders if you're sat up at night winding your baby after a feed? Maybe i should grab another....

IS there anything you would include on this list? Pop over to my social media channels and leave me a comment and let me know. 

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