Stuff, stuff and more stuff.

If there’s one thing they don’t warn you about parenthood it’s the amount of Stuff you suddenly acquire – some needed and a lot not.

My top 5 newborn essentials

After three babies I’ve got quite good at streamlining Stuff (see such posts as the only maternity items you’ll ever need, the only 10 things you need in your hospital bag and 5 baby items you really don’t need).

But while it’s true there’s plenty of Stuff you don’t need, there are also a few little gems that you really do, so today I’m sharing my top 5 newborn essentials.

When I say essentials I don’t mean nappies and wipes, I mean simple things that I’ve found make life just that little bit easier in the first few days, weeks and months with a new baby.

My top 5 newborn essentials

1. Spritz for Bits. Yes, I am talking about a spray for your foof. Because when the midwife has finished stitching you up and says ‘and you’ve got one or two little grazes but nothing to worry about’ what she actually means is that it feels like someone has taken a pair of scissors to your foo-foo and it’s going to sting like merry hell until it’s healed. Thankfully you can now buy Spritz for Bits, a blend of lavender, tea tree and witch hazel from My Expert Midwife (£19.50) which will calm, soothe and heal and make things an awful lot more bearable.

My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits

2. A great big muslin. The bigger the better. This time I’ve been using a silky soft muslin from Mama Rules (£24) which is sold as a not only a muslin but a breastfeeding cover, pram cover, baby swaddle, blanket, scarf and sarong. It’s basically seven products in one.

Mama Rules review

Measuring 120cm x 120cm (so enormous) the muslins come in a range of fab prints with a ribbon that can be attached to the muslin and then either tied onto a bra strap for breastfeeding or pram as a sun/wind shade – so simple but so clever!

Mama Rules review

I’ve got the gorgeous tropical print, which is so refreshing next to the candy pink and baby blue muslins you usually see. It’s perfect as a play mat, burp cloth, sunshade and breastfeeding cover – to name but a few uses!

They also come in floral, pineapple and flamingo prints and if you’d like one I’ve got a pineapple print to give away! Just scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out how to enter.

3. A bedside crib. When I had BB she was in a traditional moses basket and because I was breastfeeding I’d be up and down all night like a yoyo, both to feed and check she was ok. Then I discovered the bedside crib, which has a drop-down side and fixes to the edge of your bed so if you’re breastfeeding or just want to check on them there’s no need to get up at all. Because their mattress is level with yours you can see them all the time, and when it comes to feeding you simply pull them over, latch them on, sit up to burp them and put them back. I can’t tell you the difference it made to night times with baby number two and now baby number three. We’ve got Chicco’s Next2Me (£179) but there are a variety of options on the market.

My top 5 newborn essentials

4. Bepanthen stretch mark cream. Perhaps it’s my three-times-mum-tum having been stretched within an inch of its life but another thing they don’t tell you about your lady bits is that your skin can quite literally hurt. After Littlest B was born the skin on my tummy hurt so much there was no slapping on the stretch mark cream like I had done in pregnancy. I’ve tried lots of stretch mark creams over the years but Bepanthen (£24.99) is my all-time favourite – it’s gentle, easily absorbed, long lasting and smells delicious. My Expert Midwife’s Fantastic Skin Elastic (£27.50) is also great.

My top 5 newborn essentials

5. A baby sling. Because as much as you’d like to sit around on the sofa with your baby sleeping on you all day it’s not always practical. I’ve got an Ergobaby carrier (£99.90) which I adore. You can wear it three different ways – inward, hip or back – and you can do all sorts while wearing it from cooking a meal to working from home. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it.

My top 5 newborn essentials

Win a Mama Rules pineapple print muslin worth £24!

I’ve got one gorgeous Mama Rules pineapple print muslin to give away! All you have to do to enter the competition is comment on this blog post saying who the muslin would be for, visit the Mama Rules Facebook page, visit me on Facebook or follow Mama Rules on Twitter, via the Rafflecopter form below.

Mama Rules review

The competition runs from now until midnight on Friday July 21 and conditions apply. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So that’s it, my top 5 newborn essentials. Have you used any of these items? What would make your list of top 5 newborn essentials? I’d love to know!

We were sent the Mama Rules muslin free of charge in exchange for this review. As always all opinions are my own and I would never recommend a product I don’t truly believe in.

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