Baby wants; baby needs

Also known as: mama wants/needs, in no particular order!

I hope to keep adding to this list as I come across more products I can wholeheartedly recommend. Some of these are on my wishlist for baby #3. Help me out with your product recommendations too!

1. Little mittens

We were gifted these ones from Nature Baby. They are so soft and better than cheaper ones we've bought! They can get a little sweaty which is why I think pure cotton is best. (They also have merino ones).
2. Warm booties 

More-so if you have a winter baby. We recently ordered some of these natural booties from Merino Mana and they look great -  nothing synthetic, and elasticated around the ankle to stay on tiny newborn toes (we found knitted booties don’t stay on and we’ve been told that the ribbons on them are a safety hazard).

3. Merino and pure cotton clothing! The most affordable to us in NZ for us was the Superfit brand available at Farmers. You can also get merino gowns for nighttime which make nappy-changes so much easier (no snaps!).

4. Muslin cloths/swaddle cloths + washcloths
We use a mix of Aden & Anais or the lovely ones my mother-in-law made. The large swaddle cloths get used as: blankets on car trips when the kids only need a light layer; picnic rugs; burp cloths; on the floor when you’re out to protect carpet from baby spills; a sun shade over the stroller/car seat; as a sheet; as an actual swaddle... the list goes on. The wash cloths are just softer than a usual flannel wash cloth and come in handy for different things. I remember being surprised with my firstborn at how much mess we made... leaking boobs, runny baby poop that always got out of the nappies, endless dribble... etc. It's not glamorous.

5. A play gym + hanging toys/objects
Super handy for lying the baby down under while you try to get something done - e.g. go pee before resuming your feeding marathon.  This one from Kmart is only $17 and you can hook your own toys on it. 

Speaking of toys/objects to hang from a play gym, you can totally make your own (some of our kids favourites were made from bottle caps strung onto a shoelace, or similar) or check out all the handmade options, like these cuties on Etsy. I would prob try to have some variation tho  e.g. some that crinkle and make a crinkly sound, some with a shiny or reflective surface, some that rattle, some soft, etc, as long as they are all baby-safe of course.

6. A quilt that doubles as a playmat
You can totally buy a separate playmat, but quilts have more uses I suppose! This one from Little Unicorn is super sweet, or search "easy DIY baby quilt" for hundreds of beginner sewing tutorials.

7. Water wipes
Nothing crazy here - we just like 'em and this brand is more affordable than others.

8. Bath thermometer

Our babies hated baths until we got the water exxxaaacctly right and this makes it way easier. Testing it on my wrist never ever worked for me. Maybe I am too hot or cold blooded or something?!
This one is just from Kmart.

9. Baby nail clippers or a fancy nail trimmer like this Haakaa one.

Those little nails are so sharp - ask any new mum what the scabs on her neck and chest are and she'll confirm! I would love to have something like this nail trimmer/filer as our babies always fought having their nails cut and it felt a bit dangerous.

10. A soft hairbrush
We love and still use this one from Nature Baby (and I also have a cheap plastic one for using with oil and water on cradle cap.)

11. Fess Little Noses
I still take this with me on any road trip because there is not much else you can do for a stuffy baby (or even toddler) nose when the baby is not old enough to blow it! Being able to breathe whilst feeding or sucking a dummy is kind of essential, or no-one is getting any sleep. I should add - a baby thermometer! We've had a few but none have lasted, so it's probably worth paying more for quality.

12. Totally unnecessary but I had to include it - cute wooden animals by Ostheimer. 

I always wanted a baby bear for Josh's room, a fawn for Ella's room, and a lion cub for this new baby. Maybe one day if they ever have a sale...... (laugh with me - these things are permanently sold out and pricey).
They are available from various online stockists.

13. A safe newborn dummy like this one from Haakaa.

Pretty much all new parents are against dummies but when you are desperate for an hours' sleep you'll do anything. These are also brilliant for reflux babies - they will either use your nipples or a dummy for their pain. You get to choose which. Josh still has his dummy which has been a pain but also a Godsend. 
(Ella sucked her thumb which was easier all round!). This one shown is the Goldi Orthodontic Newborn Pacifier and I'm tempted to get it for those desperate moments.

14. Haakaa Breast pump /letdown collector.

I HEAR these are amazing for casual collecting of breastmilk. I haven't tried personally, but I would love to have one for this baby so I can relieve engorgement and hopefully have better luck with mastitis. I have an electric one but it's super annoying to set up all the chords and plugs etc. This one can go anywhere with you. You can get Haakaa products on Amazon or a bunch of baby stores, or direct from their website I believe.

15. Similarly, Haakaa nipple shield

Has anyone used this? I've had horrendous BFing experiences with my babies - my nipples were never sore or damaged (which I'm told is rare) but my babies had such strong feeding aversions that I had to trick them into thinking they were not BFing - my nipple shield bought me a few feeds I would not have otherwise been able to give.

(Side note: I also then had to trick them into thinking they were not bottle-feeding. Both of them had such strong aversions they didn't drink properly unless they were asleep, and didn't really start recovering until they were on solids. I suspect severe silent reflux, as does my midwife, so this time we will hopefully get extra-good paediatrician attention!)

Can you tell we've had some hard times with babies around here?! These are both on my wishlist and the reviews are good! We love using Healthpost - amazing service and the best prices most of the time.

17. Absolute Essentials baby sleep package.

Ummmm yes please! I trust this brand hugely - a New Zealand organic essential oil company who really know their stuff. This 3-part package comes with "Twinkle Star" sleep blend; Nose & Chest care; and Chamomile Roman which is for sore little tummies. Basically covering off all the things that can make baby unhappy (they sell a teething blend too... and a blend to hurry along labour if you're way overdue!). I am keeping a close eye on this because it's something I am really considering for baby #3. Anything to make sleep easier.

18. Kiwiherb Baby Balm (currently on sale!)
We use a cheap zinc + castor oil nappy cream from the supermarket, however whenever I have a "nice" nappy cream I so appreciate it. We love the Kiwiherb brand for their natural medicines, and this balm can be used on all skin irritations including mama's broken nipples, so it's a double whammy.

I know I've missed things so will keep adding to this as I think of them! 
But tell me, what would you add that you found useful? I can add your recs too :)

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