The Parenting Products You Really Need

You've read all the baby books and you have your shopping list of baby essentials ready to go. There are definitely some products that out-do the others for downright practicality. Along with the obvious -- cot, pram, change-table... what other items are essential? Curious? Read on...

Baby in a bumbo seatThe baby seat

Every mother wishes for an "extra set of hands" when baby arrives and there are some fabulous seats on the market. The Bumbo is designed for infants from three months to one year. This award-winning baby chair also gives little ones a great view and is safe and comfortable. It also comes with a play table great for feeding and playing. Because the Bumbo is light, it's very portable, making it very handy for travelling. The BABYBJORN Babysitter Balance is another great product giving baby another place to rest, sleep or play. Check out your nearest baby store for other great baby seats.

The baby swing

This is not necessarily an inexpensive purchase but ask any mother who has one and they'll tell you it's worth every cent. Swings can work magic on a tired and unsettled baby. Swings can be either battery-powered or electric. The more expensive swings will give you the option of rocking back-to-front or side-to-side. Most also have tunes to soothe babies and a couple on the market even have ipod connectivity! The baby swing is particularly beneficial for babies suffering from colic or reflux. A small number of babies may not like the motion, so you may like to try out a friend's before you purchase. All good baby stores will sell a great range of swings.

Baby in a slingA baby carrier or sling

Whether you choose a carrier or a sling, is a very personal decision. But once you find the perfect fit for you and your baby, you won't look back. A sling will give you and your baby the closeness you need and most babies will settle very easily in one. It's also great to encourage daddy bonding and fabulous for breast-feeding while you are out and about -- and essential for colicky babies. It's essential to try before you buy. Some popular brands include Manduca, Baby Bjorn, and ERGObaby.

A thermometer

There's nothing more frightening for new parents than a sick baby. It's essential to have a reliable, accurate thermometer on-hand to ensure your baby's temperature is within a safe range. This baby item is worth spending money on as a good one will last you for years. You can choose a digital stick thermometer which can be used in the armpit or rectally, but these can be inaccurate if dropped. Ear canal thermometers are easier to use with a sick and wriggly baby, but need to be placed in the ear canal correctly to be accurate. Go to your nearest pharmacy and ask for their advice on the best product for you.

Baby wraps and swaddles

It makes perfect sense that a baby that's been snuggled up in your womb for nine months will enjoy being snuggled after birth. If you are nifty with a muslin wrap, you can cosy up a baby for sleep in a matter of seconds. If you find the pesky things are coming loose, try a pre-made swaddle to zip or wrap baby up in. There are some great ones on the market. Urban Baby has a great range.

More tips for new mums

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Tags: baby basics

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