When I was newly pregnant, I attended a baby expo. I was initially excited about buying our first few baby supplies, but instead I left the expo feeling completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what we needed, apart from the obvious items, like nappies and a cot. But even for those items, there was so much to choose from. I had no idea if a brand was reputable, or if something was a bargain or not. I tired Googling and Pinteresting (I’m sure that’s a word?), but most of the results were full of items that are not available locally. So, my advice for newly pregnant moms – add another new mom to your “village”, quickly!

So yes, there are millions of Baby Buy Lists on the internet, and it’s a good idea to look at them to start forming your own wish list. But I wanted to share a few products that were game-changers in our household, especially in the first few months, to help fellow South African moms.

1. Nurture One Cushion

I have not met a single mom who has regretted buying one of these. When I was pregnant I considered this to be a “Luxury” item, since it’s quite a bit to spend on a glorified mattress, but now I consider it to be an essential buy. The cushion allows your baby to keep incredibly snug and cosy. Evan slept on his for the first six months, until he started being a bit more active. I also know of kids that have used them for much longer, even using the cushion as their comfort item in their cot. We got the number 2 size, but there are various options available to suit your situation. It’s easy to slip one into any cot/bassinet or carry cot, and we even used ours at the hospital. You can find a list of stockists on the Nurture One website.

2. Bath Cushion

We purchased the Simply Child bath cushion after a recommendation from a friend. The cushion allows your baby to float comfortably in the bath, and makes for much calmer bath times, since you don’t feel like you’re trying to wrangle a slippery octopus. You must obviously never, never leave your baby unattended, but this definitely does help to make bathing a more “hands free” experience. It also seems to much more comfortable than a plastic bath seat. Evan loved his bath cushion until about 6 months, until he became more interested in sitting up in the bath. The cushion is available from Takealot, with similar versions available from most baby shops.

3. Wecesin powder

This is a small item, but worth sharing. Many will advise that you use surgical spirits to dry out your baby’s umbilical cord stump, but the midwife who ran our antenatal course suggested that we purchase some Wecesin powder instead (also called graze powder). You simply sprinkle a bit of powder on a couple of times a day, and it helps to dry out and heal the area. I think Evan’s healed within a few days (maybe a week), while it can take a lot longer with surgical spirits. It’s also a helpful item to keep in your first aid box. Available from Dischem.

4. Clicks Maternity pads

No one likes to think or talk about these, but the reality is that you’ll need them. Depending on your situation, you may need a lot of them. Many will recommend the Carriwell pads, since that seems to be the most well-known brand. I found that the Clicks brand pads were exactly the same, but cheaper, and with the sticky strip on the bottom. Heaven knows why you would want a pad without a sticky strip, but there you go.

5. Carriwell maternity panties

While we’re on the subject, please buy yourself some Carriwell maternity panties, also available at Clicks and other pharmacies. Yes, they are incredibly unsexy, but believe me, they are incredibly comfortable, particularly if you’ve had a caesar. Please, please don’t buy yourself those paper-like disposable panties. You’ve spent nine months growing a human being, and you’re worth more than paper panties.

6. Lanolin

Even if your baby has a good latch from the start, the reality is that your nipples will probably still get very, very sore. Lanolin is another product that I wasn’t sure about, since it’s quite expensive, and there are many other types of nipple cream on the market. I got a small tube of Medela Purelan nipple cream in a baby bag, and after 2 days I asked G to buy the large tube. It’s honestly like liquid gold, and it doesn’t need to be washed off before feeding. Medela Purelan is available from Takealot and pharmacies, but any pure lanolin will do.

7. Babysense Cuddlegrow

This is an item that you can wait to buy after the birth, but I can highly recommend it for babies that do well with swaddling. We bought two, and used them for every nap and bedtime for quite a few months. Evan only really settled if he was swaddled, so these were life-savers! The Cuddlegrow is much easier to use than a traditional blanket or muslin, and there’s less of a chance of those little arms wiggling free. Available from Babysense, or Takealot.

Image from Babysense

8. Peekaboo Moments app

It’s tricky to keep track of the millions of photos that you’ll be taking of your little bundle. I can recommend the Peekaboo Moments app – you can upload your photos, which get automatically get sorted into a timeline. It’s private, but you can invite friends and family members to view your album, or to upload photos themselves.

I hope this list makes life a little easier for any soon-to-be moms! None of these items are sponsored, they’re just my personal recommendations. If you have any other recommended items, please share in the comments below!

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