Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Products I love by a breastfeeding new mum

I have been really lucky to be given lots of really useful things by my friends and family (many second hand). This has meant I have been able to spend my money on luxuries I might not have been able to afford. I hate wasting my money on things that don't work or aren't needed so I thought I would share what I have found useful*. For each great product below there are several items I should have left in the shop.

Lansinoh Lanolin (aka the expensive purple tube).
I have tried using a few similar products but none of them have compared with this. Applied liberally after nursing it keeps my nipples soft meaning they are less likely to crack or be sore. I still had cracked and bleeding nipples in the early days, but this magical stuff has helped hugely. My first tube lasted about 6 weeks and I was applying it several times each day
Top tip: it can be hard to get out of the tube, so I sit on it while nursing. This melts it a bit and makes it squeeze out easily.

yes my room is a state. I don't care
I've never been one for PJs as I get too hot and uncomfortable in bed, but as it's winter I need something to keep my arms warm during night feeds. I bought a Cyberjammies nightshirt from (sign up to receive their emails and they often send out discounts of 20 to 30%).
I leave the shirt slightly unbuttoned to allow for quick boob access. It keeps me warm and it's long enough so I can answer the door to the postman without flashing him. I'm going to have to buy some more as I manage a maximum of 2 nights before it gets covered in regurgitated milk.

I suspect any type of comforter would do the same job, but I love our cuski. I slept with it for a couple of nights and now Baby M cuddles up to it at night.  I think it definitely helped settle her when I wasn't there at bedtime because it smelt of me. It's designed to be breathable so it's completely safe. I have the one made from organic bamboo, but they come in other materials and colours.
£16.99 (cotton is cheaper)

Movement sensor
I'm one of those mums that constantly check their child is still breathing so this product gives me piece of mind.  It consists of a baby monitor and a mat that goes under the mattress to detect movement. 
We have the Angelcare AC401 movement and sound monitor.  I have used it for just sound (when she wouldn't sleep in her basket), just movement (at night when she is sleeping in her cot next to me) and with both movement and sound (when she's asleep upstairs and we are in another room).
We have used it with both the Moses basket and the cot and haven't had any problems with it.

Deirdre (Freddie the firefly)
This must be one of the most popular of the Lamaze toys based on how many people I know with one. In the first few weeks Baby M was fascinated with the black and white patterns on the back of the wings and now she is starting to reach out and hold on to it. It has lots of textures which are great for development.
We call this Deirdre because my OH decided it was a dragonfly.

My bugaboo bee
This buggy is not perfect. We had one of the batch with the dodgy wheels so it kept jamming, but despite the wheels I love it.  It's great because it's small and light (faced with stairs I can just pick it up and carry it). I've been using it with the cocoon which allows Baby M to lie flat, but is also lovely and cosy: perfect for the winter weather. It also works with my Maxi Cosi carseat (with adaptors).
Finally it has a special edition black frame so it is a bit different to all the other bugaboo bee's I see.  

Bebe au lait
I've never been one to get my boobs out in public and this hasn't changed since I had Baby M.  For anyone comfortable feeding in public: fantastic.  I'm only comfortable under covers.  The Bebe au lait is brilliant as it allows me to feed Baby M wherever she wants feeding. It is big enough that I can sort everything out without fear of revealing anything and it has the added benefit of a stiff neckline which means I can look down and see what is going on.
Several times whilst using this is cafes I've had people approaching me and asking where I got it.  
You can get it online from lots of places, but I was given it by a friend who is full of amazing mum knowledge.  Check out her blog:

Milk drunk face
Tommee tippee milk feeding bibs
These bibs have a thick, soft, absorbent collar that goes around the baby's neck.  I think it’s designed for bottle feeding to prevent the milk dribbling down.  As my little one frequently has her food reappearing and dribbling down her chin these bibs catch most of the vomit and prevents all her clothes getting soaked.  I strongly recommend them.
£4.99 for 2

Gro egg
Any room thermometer is useful to ensure babies are the right temperature when they sleep. I like the gro egg though because I can see at a glance if the room is the right temperature even without my glasses on by the colour of the egg.

Sleeping bags 
I tried swaddling Baby M when she was small, but I never successfully managed it as she is such a wriggler.  When I try to use blankets she ends up kicking them off within minutes.  Sleeping bags are great because they allow Baby M to wriggle to her heart’s content, yet she stays warm.  They also have the advantage that the covers wont go over her face.
I have some Gro Baby Sleep Bags second hand from a friend and some from Mothercare (own brand).  I like them equally.  All of them have buttons to ensure they fit small heads (ie the baby’s head shouldn’t go through the neck hole once done up).  The Mothercare ones are cheaper.
Before buying any make sure you go for the right tog for the temperature of your room (I'm currently using 2.5 tog).  
A friend (mentioned above) recommends slightly more expensive merino ones from Merino kids.  These can be used all year round and are bigger so can be used for longer.
£22.99 - £33

Disposable Bed/changing mats
I frequently use these disposable mats. Pampers do some, but I'm also a fan of Asda Little Angels Bed Mats as they are cheaper and bigger.  These mats are absorbent with a plastic backing.  I have used them on my bed (under the sheet) when co sleeping, when massaging Baby M with her nappy off and when she is on her play mat.  It prevents any leaks getting where they shouldn't keeping everything clean and dry.
£3 - £5

Feme pads
These are available from a range of places on line, but I was given some bought from Mothercare.  They are gel pads that can be chilled and used to cool your bits providing much needed relief.  I had an episiotomy and these really helped with the pain, but it would probably help anyone who had a VB.
Top tip: Cool in freezer, put on 2 pairs of pants with the pad in the middle (this keeps them in place and allows you to wear a thin maternity pad as well).  If placing directly on skin chill in the fridge.

I never leave home without one.  I never even pass Baby M to anyone to hold without one.  They wipe up dribble and vomit and are easy to wash.  Available everywhere, but if you find them for less than £1 per muslin you are doing well.

Clever Mama Towel
These are similar to the Cuddle Dry Towels, but cheaper.  They have poppers so they can be worn round your neck like an apron during bath time.  On the other end they have a hood so you can scoop baby up out of the bath and hold her to you.  It keeps me dry and baby M warm and safe.  They aren't exactly thick plush towelling, but they do the job well at a good price.
c £17

That's all for now.

Advent Calendar Day 7: A cute little robin. Awwww!

*I have not been paid or asked to publicise any of these products and all opinions are my own. I have linked to the companies website where they exist to provide more information, but I would recommend shopping around if you do want to buy any of them as big savings can often be found. The prices shown are what appear to be RRP ie the maximum price you should pay.


  1. Hi! I am 25+5 weeks pregnant and found this post really interesting. I'll check some of your suggestions out.


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