Grace Nixon, AKA The Baby Lady, uses her extensive experience as both a midwife and nanny to help new parents prepare for baby. Here she shares her top five essentials.
Remember the big square cotton nappies of yesteryear? They really are still a must-have for every mama with a newborn. Keep one in your handbag, car, pram … and every room of your house! They’re handy as burp cloths, breastfeeding covers, nappy change mats, and to tuck in over baby’s bottom bed sheet so you don’t have to change the entire bed if there are spills in the night. You’ll wash them hundreds of times and they never wear out.
Your nipples are going to love these! Breastfeeding can be tough on nipples as they adjust to the constant feeding in those first few weeks. They might feel cracked and sore and there is nothing more soothing than the soft, cooling effect of hydrogel pads. They are proven to significantly reduce pain and help to keep the skin dry so as to prevent infection. Why wouldn’t you get them?! Find them at breastmates.co.nz or at your local baby store.
Now that we’re in the wintry months, your baby might get a cold at any moment, and with that comes a congested nose. This is not fun for anyone but babies can have a particularly hard time as it puts them off eating and sleeping. It’s difficult for babies to feed when congested because they can’t breathe through their nose while simultaneously sucking and swallowing. Their sleep is also affected as they can’t blow their nose themselves to get any relief. A nasal aspirator, aka snot sucker, sounds gross, but honestly will make a huge difference, helping you clear baby’s nose so they can breathe easily, and feed and sleep well.
Whether you’re using a Moses basket, bassinet or cot, it’s important to get a brand new mattress, especially if baby’s bed is secondhand. Although a secondhand mattress may appear to be in good condition, the inside might be harbouring mould, dust mites and bacteria. It’s obviously not great for your baby’s health to breathe these nasties in, and there’s evidence to suggest that these things may contribute to the risk of SUDI. Secondhand mattresses may also have lost their firmness, which could be a suffocation hazard. Buy a brand new mattress in the correct size, made from the most natural products possible, then sleep easy, knowing that your baby is tucked up in a lovely clean, dry, firm bed.
Grace Nixon is an Auckland-based nursery specialist. Find her at thebabylady.co.nz and go to practicalparentingantenatal.com for her antenatal classes.