This post is sponsored by JOHNSON’S® baby
There’s no greater feeling than bringing your bundle of joy home and settling into a new life with your little one. While preparing for your new bub is incredibly exciting, it can also be quite overwhelming and daunting. It can be a challenge to know what products and equipment you and your baby require in the early stages of their life.
The list is extensive… from baby skincare to onesies. To help you be prepared, I have put together a list of essentials, so you can start shopping and give your pride and joy the best possible welcome to the world.
I’m sharing this post thanks to JOHNSON’S® who are known for their baby products, some available since 1894 and the first No More Tears shampoo and washes. As the leading and trusted baby care brand around the world, JOHNSON’S® continue to apply their knowledge and research, bringing innovative products that live up to their clinically proven mild and gentle promise.
Recently they have removed certain ingredients based on consumer feedback and latest discoveries in new trends and technology however still keeping their same high safety and quality standards. I like that as science advances and our preferences as consumers change they take the time to listen.
I agreed to work with JOHNSON’S® for this post to get clarification on some of the issues that I, like many others have had in the past. I asked JOHNSON’S® a few questions, to help get a better understanding of some of the recent changes.
From their choice of ingredients, to gentle and mild formulas, they have been applying the highest JOHNSON’S® brand standards in baby care to their products for over 100 years. Today the JOHNSON’S® brand includes more than 50 products, all of them carefully formulated and designed with you and your baby in mind. I asked Sharon Dowling, Skincare & Technical Affairs Manager at Johnson & Johnson, a few questions recently, to help get a better understanding of some of the recent changes.
Why do Johnson’s products contain fragrance & is this ok for babies?
When babies are bathed with a fragranced product, they can show up to 30% more engagement cues, and cry 25% less. Clinical studies have shown that the right fragrances, when used in a bathtime routine, can help mum and baby bond. And they can even help soothe babies and assist them to sleep when used as part of a regular bedtime routine. We go to great lengths to make sure our fragranced products are gentle, mild and appropriate for delicate baby skin.
A baby’s skin is up to 30% thinner than an adult’s, and this can make it more delicate. If there’s a fragrance that shows evidence of being irritating, we just won’t use it. And all the fragrance ingredients we use have met strict international standards.
What does ‘Natural’ mean & how does this affect babies skincare?
Many believe that synthetic chemicals are more toxic than natural chemicals, believing that natural is safer or milder, but this isn’t the case as natural products contain chemicals too. Natural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer, as some of their ingredients can be harsh on babies skin. It’s the plant extracts found in these natural products that can vary in quality and performance depending on how you source them, which can lead to irritation. Synthetic ingredients are added to JOHNSON’S® baby product to improve their quality and make them more reliable.
For us, the health and safety of your family always come first. Our products have been tested for decades to ensure they’re safe and gentle for baby’s delicate skin. You might not have known it, but we consult with doctors and scientific experts who make sure every ingredient we use is proven safe for babies. Every single JOHNSON’S® baby product is clinically proven mild, and that it can carry this unique stamp. To earn this stamp, every formula must pass through two strict clinical tests, carried out to minimise irritation and an allergic reaction. We spend months rigorously testing and, only after a product has passed every test, will we allow it to be used on your little one’s beautiful skin.
Top #1 recommended essentials for new mums
I asked the community on facebook a while ago “What is one thing you couldn’t do without and would recommend for a new mum?” The list of suggestions was extensive with some great recommendations.
This was the most suggested essential for a new mum. But not to use as a nappy, mostly people use them as burp clothes and to lay in the cot and pram. So much easier to clean a cloth than the pram liner or take all the sheet off the bed. I also used to do this, as one of my bubs had reflux and always had little spills in his cot.
Old fashioned flat nappies. Used them for everything apart from as an actual nappy. Spill cloths, changing pad covers, sun covers, lightweight emergency blankets, playground equipment driers, play mats, extra protection for nappy off time… The list is endless – Kate Drennan
Beth Micklethwaite suggested this idea and I think it is BRILLIANT!! Buy two identical blankies / bedtime snuggle toys. When the first precious one gets lost on a trip or can’t be found in the middle of the night, the spare will help settle bub and save mums sanity. Gaynor Anderson agreed also suggesting the spare can be used in the car or at grandparents place as well or when the other one is in the wash.
Both Rachel Wilson and Sam Spencer suggested a insulated coffee mug, to keep a cuppa warm for a few hours and is safer to have around a baby in case you spill it.
WHITE NOISE APPS
According to leading baby sleep expert Katie Forsythe of The Baby Sleep Company, the most important thing for new mothers to use to help their newborn sleep is white noise. Imagine it from your newborn baby’s perspective – they have just left the womb, their home for the last 9 months, where is it deafeningly loud (only slightly less loud than a lawnmower in fact!). Life outside the womb is disturbingly quiet for a little baby and white noise is very reassuring. Nature sounds like rain or ocean are best and it can be helpful to download an app (Relax Melodies is Katie’s recommendation) that does not time out so that the sound continues without stopping for the length of your baby’s sleep. White noise has been proven to calm and destress a baby and it can help to block outside noises that may otherwise have disturbed your baby’s sleep. It’s important to have it up loud enough (most people have it on too softly) – you want it to be playing at 65 decibels which is about the same the sound of the water when you’re having a shower.
Swaddle suits were another very popular must have. These suits are designed to have a womb-like fit, allow baby to sleep in their natural position with their arms up, helping baby to settle better.
Swaddle blanket thingy it velcros them in like a burrito and they seem to love it! – Keeton Lund Brenda-Jerry Keeton
These weren’t around when my kids were little, but I did use sleeping bags (similar concept) for my little bubs as they wriggled out of their wraps, and kicked off sheets and sometimes scratched their faces with their finger nails. I found that they slept better in the sleeping bags too.
image credit @lianneski via instagram
I always buy clothes in a 0 or bigger as new parents get so many gifts in 000. Thanks to a few people buying/handing down bigger clothes I barely bought anything until after my daughter’s 1st birthday which was a huge relief. – Emily Williamson
SOPHIE THE GIRAFFE
Sophie the Giraffe is all kinds of cute, from it’s cheerful smile to it’s pose. Not only does it look adorable as an ornament in a kids room it is also practical, but this popular squeaky toy is a stylish teething toy. It’s BPA-free, 100% natural rubber which makes it super soft to soothe baby’s sore gums. Many mentioned this is at the top of their baby shower gift list.
I had two babies first so I found a rocker was certainly an essential item. I remember while I was feeding one I had my foot bouncing the other. I also found them useful for the moments that I wanted some handsfree time and I could ensure they were safe when I needed to duck to the bathroom or quickly get the washing off the line or have a quick shower.
Mirror for the car so you can see bubs when they are rear facing – Rebecca Pougnault
I remember the nights of trying to button up bubs onesie press studs in the dark; it can drive you a little crazy to make sure you aligned them all up correctly, annoying when you get to the bottom to realise you mucked it up and to ensure bubs comfort needing to start again. Onesies now come with zips! Or use the ones with press studs at the bottom.
For those late night feeds, changes or trips to the bathroom where you don’t want to switch on a light and wake up everybody in the house. A night light will give a soft glow to illuminate the room enough that you can see.
LITTLE BAG OF ESSENTIALS
Lori Marshall suggested, a little zipped bag (makeup bag) filled with some essentials to slip into your handbag for quick trips to the shops!!
- nappy sack
- handful of wipes
BOTTLES AND DUMMIES
Yes we may think we want to breastfeed or not give our babies dummies (I put my hand up to both of those), despite this our bubs may have a different idea. Very early on I couldn’t produce enough milk to feed my twins (I never knew that was possible) so I had to put one on a bottle. It’s good to be prepared for these situations, to have these and a steriliser and drying rack at home ‘just in case’.
I loved my Boon Lawn, great for bottle, pumping kit and when the kids out grow milk bottles you can use it for water bottles. Works well for wine glasses too – Brooke Brooke
To easily store breast milk in the freezer. Freezer bags take up less room, zip lock so they don’t leak and they are sterilised for hygiene and convenience. You can find freezer bags at your local chemist.
BABY MILESTONE BOOK
A baby milestone book is an important piece of childhood memorabilia To record all those special experiences while pregnant, write your baby to be letters, record their milestones from newborn all the way to when they start school. It’s such a great keepsake to have when they are older to look back on and enjoy and treasure with all their future generations.
A big freezer. Start making meals, lunches and dinners that you can just heat and eat. Lovely friends and family may also make meals for you too. Here is my list of 50+ meal ideas for new mums.
A good friend of mine bought me five days of spaghetti bog already frozen, I almost cried with gratitude. We don’t always have the luxury of partners who can take leave or family to help. – Patricia O’Halloran