The Squirmy Popple guide to new baby stuff

Sometimes my living room looks like Babies R Us threw up all over it. As first-time parents, Adrian and I bought (and were given) lots of baby stuff when the Popple was born. Some things ended up being pretty unnecessary. Some things have been life savers. Some things are totally non-essential but make the Popple (and therefore me) really happy.*

Unnecessary

Ewan the Dream Sheep

Ewan the Dream Sheep

I know people who swear by Ewan. The issue is that the white noises that he plays are too soft to have any effect on the Popple – plus each sound only plays for 20 minutes. Do you know how long it takes us to get the Popple to go to bed? 2 HOURS. At least.

In order to help the Popple sleep at night, we play a YouTube video that’s 11 hours of fan noise. On my iPad. Which is now the most expensive white noise machine ever.

A baby grooming kit

Mothercare baby grooming set

A truly fantastic waste of £5.99. This kit contains:

  • A toothbrush (the Popple has no teeth)
  • A brush and comb (the Popple has almost no hair)
  • Nail scissors and a nail clipper (which I’m afraid to use, lest I accidentally cut the squirmy Popple)
  • Tiny nail files (which somehow only succeed in making the Popple’s nails more scratchy)

Lil’ Critters Sing and See Magic Mirror

Lil' Critters Sing and See Magic Mirror

This baby play mirror has a motion sensor that activates 30+ songs, melodies and phrases like, “I’m a yellow starfish!” and “Give me a shake!”

The Popple may love this toy when she gets older – it’s fine in theory. The problem is that the sounds are only supposed to activate when the toy is shaken, but I’ve heard the thing go off in the middle of the night where the was no one in the room but me and the Popple, and neither of us were anywhere near it. There’s nothing quite as disconcerting as waking up to the sound of a childlike voice saying, “Come play with me!” followed by maniacal laughter at 2am.

Essential

Baby carrier

Beco Gemini

Seriously, I don’t know what we would do without our baby carriers. They are magical things. The Popple cries, she goes in the carrier, acts like it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done to her, and then…she falls asleep.

Some women love soft sling wraps that essentially hug your baby to your body with a piece of cloth, but I prefer strappy carriers, which feel more secure and less likely to destroy my already busted back.

The Ergo and Beco Gemini are both awesome carriers – easy to strap a screaming baby into and pretty much guaranteed to calm them down within minutes, allowing you to do laundry/have a pee/eat while dropping crumbs on top of your baby’s head.

Bouncer

Fisher Price Woodsy Friends Bouncer

The Popple loves to be held, and I love holding her, but sometimes I need to put her down for a few minutes. That’s where the bouncer comes in. Whenever I need to do something that doesn’t involve having a baby velcroed to me, the bouncer is ideal – plus she finds it really amusing. The only times I’ve ever seen her smile without being prompted by me or Adrian were when she was sitting in it and staring up at the owl mushroom thing.

ALL THE MUSLINS

Muslin

My super talented step mother-in-law made us a bunch of muslin squares in different colours and patterns. We go through loads of them since we’re constantly mopping up baby spit-up and baby drool, and they’re great for catching the milk that comes shooting out of my boobs in the middle of the night (Yup, this happens. Regularly. Motherhood is disgusting sometimes.).

Nice to have

Lamaze toys

Lamaze firefly

I don’t think the Popple has ever been as excited about anything as she was when she saw the Lamaze firefly for the first time. Her eyes went wide, her jaw dropped and she started kicking around like crazy. She was similarly excited by her Lamaze book, which is full of different textures, sounds and colours. I have a hard time looking away from the toys myself, and I’m a 30-something adult with degrees and stuff.

Baby play gym

Baby Einstein Nautical Play Gym

Yes, you can just plonk your baby down on any old blanket and wave toys in their face if you want to entertain them, but a play gym has hanging stuff that they can stare up at, which can keep them entertained for a surprisingly long time.

Ours has lots of sea-themed dangly bits, but the Popple likes nothing better than making faces at herself in the little mirror that it comes with.

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Disposal Tub

Tommee Tippee Sangenic

Yeah, I could just throw the Popple’s dirty nappies into a regular bin, but instead I have a fancy a bin that individually seals each nappy. My excuse for this is that her changing table is in my bedroom and I don’t want to have to smell poop when I’m trying to sleep. I know I could just walk to the bathroom next door and throw out the nappy there, but ugh….SO FAR.

*No one has paid to me to review any of these products. I genuinely like (or dislike) them. But if anyone wants to pay me to review baby things, I’m totally up for that, because I definitely need more baby stuff cluttering up my really small flat.

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