The 50 Best baby buys
From cosy clothing for newborns to cute toys for toddlers, new mum Rhiannon Batten picks goodies to keep the little ones happy
Friday 02 November 2012
The simplicity of this is appealing. Ideal for when your baby can hold their head up. Just make sure you keep an eye on them so they don’t swing into the door frame.
Part of a collection of flashcards, you can put these around your child’s room to distract and entertain them when you’re changing a nappy or dressing them.
This autumn is the 30th anniversary of Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book, Dear Zoo – as good a reason as you’ll find to get your baby turning the pages.
This smart play gym is a favourite. Soft and well padded, it comes with a pillow to help your baby lie comfortably on their tummy.
This toy is designed to go over the hood of the pram, but I strapped it across the front of mine and it has provided much-needed distraction.
Available in cute, quirky designs, (a collection of white sheep with one black), they’re flat-packed so these mobiles are great presents for new parents, too.
Hand knitted in Bangladesh by disadvantaged rural women, these are rattles to feel good about. They are not complicated for a baby to get to grips with.
You can buy more expensive bouncers, with padded fabric or reclining mechanisms, but this one keeps your baby safely upright brilliantly.
These seats can be used as soon as your baby can hold their head up and can adapt as they grow. They are useful for keeping children upright when you start weaning them
This cloth contraption can go over any chair to make a baby seat so you can take it round to friends who don’t have kids, or to restaurants, and you never need a high chair.
These dishwasher-proof Tommee Tippee bibs are great for feeding at home or out and about. Sturdy but also soft, they can be wiped down, rolled up and slipped in a bag after use.
This smart high chair, for children from six months to five years, has won a glowing recommendation from Which? for ease of use.
These larger, coloured muslins can be used for everything from swaddling and burping to covering a pram in bright sunshine or using as a cot sheet.
This baby-feeding spoon is handy for weaning on the go. Fill the bulb with purée, slip on the cap and squeeze out the food onto the spoon. There is no need for a separate plate.
Many parents use ice cube trays for freezing purées when they’re weaning. Once your baby gets a taste for food you’ll have to use several cubes. Try silicone muffin trays instead.
This four-piece feeding set is an inspired OXO reinvention. The non-slip plate and bowl help children get food onto their spoon or fork more easily thanks to a removable, curved ring.
These re-useable, variable flow teats can be screwed straight into a carton of ready-mixed formula or certain bottles of mineral water without needing to pour the contents into a sterilised bottle.
One of the most useful buys for formula-feeding parents. It has a pourer on the side rather than the top, to avoid powder getting get stuck, and a funnel for easy filling.
I’ve used this when our baby was fractious and it’s worked wonders. There’s a free 10-minute version on Youtube or you can buy a one-hour version through iTunes.
This blanket, by Danish brand Lucky Boy Sunday, isn’t cheap but it’s a keeper. Made in Bolivia from alpaca, and dyed using non-toxic pigments, it can be machine washed on a wool cycle.
The main selling point is an alarm which will sound if it detects no movement (i.e. breathing) for 20 seconds. It’s brilliant for peace of mind.
To ease the transition from your baby sleeping in your arms to a cot, a hot water bottle helps. Put it in the cot for 10 minutes to warm the sheet.
An alternative to the jarring melodies of most children’s songs, this collection of lullabies from around the world by Putumayo is soothing.
These merino wool and organic cotton sleeping bags are the business. Their natural temperature regulating properties mean they can be used year-round.
£95 for 8 classes, your-pilates.co.uk
These weekly classes gently help you put your, and your pelvic floor, back together. You can take your baby along too.
Gaia’s affordable, organic products are free from artificial fragrance, soap, sulphates, petrochemicals, parabens and propylene glycol. The essential oils in them mean they smell delicious.
The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do For Your Children, by Roni Jay, is a book that aims to strip away some of the anxiety of parenting and give you the confidence to focus on the things that matter.
This ear, forehead and room thermometer, by Brother Max, is quick (it only takes a second to take a reading), accurate and easy to use either in the ear or on the forehead.
One of the most nerve-wracking tasks a new parent faces is cutting tiny nails but this Tweezerman set of tools – a nail file, brush, clippers and scissors – makes the job somewhat easier.
From £37.50, redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk
Some hospitals offer free basic infant first-aid training for parents. If yours doesn’t, the Red Cross runs special five-hour courses across the UK.
This moulded bath recliner supports your baby in the bath. Suitable for babies up to around six months old, it helps them to feel more secure in the water.
Invest in this book by Simone Cave and Caroline Fertleman. It clearly lays out all the essentials, week by week, in easily absorbed chunks.
Lansinoh and Kamillosan are the best salves for breastfeeding mothers. A kind of all natural Eight Hour Cream, you can use it on nipples, nappy rash and stretch marks.
This squeaky toy-cum-teether is made in France from natural rubber and non-toxic food paint. It’s free from phthalates and BPA and has been a bestseller since the 1960s.
£24.95 for 138, naturebotts.co.uk
These nappies are great to start out with; easier on the environment, healthier for babies’ skin and more absorbent than the more famous brands.
Out and About:
These Dutch cots make light work of travelling by public transport, or abroad, as they collapse small enough to fit in a rucksack and only weigh just over 2.5kg. Suitable from birth.
Most newborn car seats only last up until around nine months. Though this one doesn’t cover those early months it will take you from roughly nine months to age 12.
Unless your pram has a basket you’ll probably end up juggling shopping bags and steering. But this clip is great for hanging smaller items off your pram, leaving you hands-free.
Ultra comfortable to wear and easy to put on, with a seated baby position and an inbuilt sunshade, Ergobaby carriers are secure and sturdy.
Pacapod changing bags don’t scream “nappy bag” so you can use them years after you’ve finished wiping small bottoms. Many (including this leather satchel) are unisex.
LittleLife does two sizes of shelter. Both are light, portable, easy to put up and give sun protection of UPF50. The smaller one will only fit baby in it, but this one is great for the whole family.
A shawl has myriad uses that a larger blanket doesn’t. If you haven’t been lucky enough to inherit one, start your own heirloom collection with one of these intricate hand-knitted shawls from Shetland.
This sturdy forward-facing number is the Transformer of pushchairs. With a carrycot (bought separately) attached, it’s suitable for younger babies but it’s the pushchair mode that really sets it apart.
Little Green Sheep’s range of lambskin liners are excellent for young babies and toddlers. Choose from natural or this extra cosy long wool version.
Cute, cosy, unisex and very long-lasting, despite relentless washing cycles, White Company babies’ sleepsuits are just the thing for bedtime. I’m a big fan of their bandana bibs, too.
Silver Sense is beautiful, colourful childrenswear made from a blend of cotton and silver fibres, kind on sufferers of eczema.
Keep chilly fingers and toes at bay with one of these cute, fleece-lined snowsuits, complete with detachable mittens and booties.
For a one-stop shop for baby swimwear, try JoJo Maman Bebe. As well as swim nappies, designed to work without a cotton nappy underneath, it also sells baby wetsuits.
The best baby slippers I’ve found, Motties are made by hand from offcuts of leather and other fabrics. Elasticated fittings mean they’re really easy to get on and off.
This foxy fleece overall from Swedish brand Lindex is ideal for winter; wear it as an all-in-one or unfold extra flaps on its sleeves and ankles to add instant mittens and socks.
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