The hero products every first-time mum needs to know about – from celeb-approved saviours to cult classics
BECOMING a mum for the first time is one of the most daunting experiences any woman can go through.
But while there are plenty of unknowns ahead, we've got you covered with some baby essentials that will help give you peace of mind before your little bundle of joy (and sleepless nights!) arrives.
One of the most difficult tasks when preparing for baby is choosing the right pram to invest in.
You want something that's sturdy, safe and stylish (of course) but also easy to maneuevre.
There's no point in having the world's most beautiful buggy if even getting it as far as your local coffee shop seems like a mission!
That's where the iCandy Raspberry comes in.
This little beauty is sleek, oh-so-robust and very easy on the eyes – but best of all it's ideal for mums who want a light pram with an easy fold (ie. all of us).
The 6.6kg weight will especially make life a LOT easier for city mums when hopping on and off public transport and climbing stairs to pals' apartments – but the slim width and beautiful handling – did we mention its all-wheel independent suspension? – will make navigating busy streets and narrow footpaths a dream too.
Mums have been raving about it in reviews too, calling it "light, gorgeous and nippy" and insisting it "glides like a dream".
That's before you even get to the free-standing fold, impressively spacious storage underneath and the adjustable height handle. We're sold.
- iCandy Raspberry Chrome in Greenwich Grey, £440, iCandyWorld – buy now
- iCandy Raspberry Carrycot, £180, iCandyWorld – buy now
The bedside crib
Let's be blunt, nighttime feeeds are not going to fun – we know it and you know it.
But the delirium filled wakings can be made a LOT more bearable thanks to this genius invention.
Offering the intimacy of co-sleeping without the risks of bed-sharing, the Snuzpod is a specially designed bedside crib bedside cribs that allows your baby to have their own space, while still being close to you throughout the night.
Is latest incarnation features a rockable stand, reflux incline, a wider and lighter lift-off bassinet and breathable mesh sides for greater peace of mind.
We're particularly big fans of the chic dove grey colour, but you can also pick it up in classic white, natural beech and even espresso.
Most importantly it means you can drift off with your little angel safely tucked up right next to you. Talk about sweet dreams.
- Snuzpod 3, £199.95, Snuz.co.uk – buy now
While we'd all love to have vast nurseries to fill with every baby-related accessory we could dream of, most of us are quite simply not in that position. But luckily with Mokee's nursery set, being short on space definitely does not mean being short on style.
This genius bundle features all the essentials needed to start your baby’s nursery with a focus on making the most of your space.
From just £259 you'll get the 120x60cm Mini Cot – that can be used up to 36 months – with matching mattress, a spacious but discreet under-crib drawer, mini shelves for all those adorable newborn snaps and cuddly toys, and their incredibly clever changing mat that clips right on to the cot and sits securely over the top when you need to face the not-entirely-pleasant task of nappy changing.
Best of all every part of the set comes in a wide range of colours to suit your taste – so it's not just practical, but pretty too.
- The SpaceSaver Nursery Furniture Collection, from £259, Mokee.eu – buy now
Previously named one of the TIME Magazine's Best Inventions, the Nanit Plus smart baby monitor was designed to help your baby, quite literally, sleep like a baby.
In fact, to simply call this genius piece of kit a baby monitor way undersells what you're actually getting if you invest in one.
This Nanit does away with separate monitors and works through your phone or tablet with the brand's easy-to-use app, where you can keep an eye on your little one with crystal-clear overhead video and best-in-class night vision. Its background audio feature even lets you hear your baby while in other apps, or when your screen is locked.
Sleep Insights provides overnight 'highlight reels' and tracks your baby's snoozing – from how long it takes them to fall asleep, how long they sleep for and how restful their overall sleep was, and even provides personalised 'sleep coaching' on improving your baby's quality of sleep.
This is not to forget the vasy array of additional features including a nursery temperature and humidity monitor, two-way audio, real-time sound and motion sensors that send notifications right to your phone, 'nature sounds' feature to help baby drift off, soft-glow nightlight on the top of the stand, and the ability to zoom in for a closer look at your sleeping beauty.
Parents have been raving about it over on Amazon, calling it "exceptionally well-designed and executed", the "best baby camera on the market" and a "game-changer".
Plus they're running a Father's Day deal with £50 off if you snap it up this weekend. What are you waiting for?
- Nanit Plus Baby Monitor, £299, Nanit.com – buy now
In a dream world we'd have all the time in the world to snuggle our new bundle of joy, but inevitably that's not always the case and mum needs her arms occasionally too! That's where this versatile beauty comes in.
The sleek Sleepyhead Deluxe is designed to make your baby feel as if they are being cuddled as they snooze, making them feel more secure and (hopefully!) able to sleep for longer.
The sleek pod can be used for supervised daytime naps, play time, tummy time, travelling, nappy changes and even co-sleeping.
Since its launch, it's fast become a must-have on the stylish mummy scene and with its sleep lines impressively wide range of patterns to choose from it's not hard to see why.
It's especially helpful if you need some downtime, as you can have your little one gurgling happily in the pod next to you on the sofa while you enjoy that cup of tea – making you as content as they are!
This is one piece of baby kit that's well worth the investment – and let's be honest, it's easy on the eye too.
- Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Pod, from £130, NaturalBabyShower.co.uk – buy now
Choosing the right car seat can be daunting for new mums, given the range on the market and the fact that they can all start to seem the same.
But for us, the Joie iGemm 2 strikes the perfect balance of top-notch safety, comfort for your newborn, and a stylish silhouette – all without breaking the bank.
It follows hot on the heels of the original iGemm, hailed by pleased mums as "absolutely brilliant" and the best car seat we have owned by far".
It's compatibile with all Joie pushchairs but also with the iCandy Raspberry using iCandy's car seat adaptors.
You can purchase the matching Isofix base for quick click-in and click-out ease, but mums without a car who are nervous about a nightmare tangling while hopping in and out of taxis can breathe easy with the simple strap attachment system.
Complete with Intelli-Fit foam the iGemm offers parents crucial peace of mind with the ultimate in side-impact protection.
It's also prioritised comfort and is designed to grow with your little one, featuring a removable body insert and a multi-height headrest and harness so you know it lasts as your little one becomes less little!
- Joie iGemm 2, £130, Mamas & Papas – buy now
It's with good reason that BabyBjorn is the one of the most trusted and recognised names in the very crowded baby products market.
The Swedish brand has been leading the way in security and style since it was founded in the 1960s and it's still innovating.
This particular set contains two must-haves for any new mum – a baby carrier and baby bouncer – in silky-soft 3D jersey fabric.
Incredibly, you can use the Baby Carrier Mini from the day your baby is born — its softness, small size and padded head and neck support make it safe for the tiniest of tots.
Reviewers have raved over it too, calling the carrier "perfect", "the best I've ever used" and "an absolute must-have".
The soft and snuggly Bouncer Bliss has inspired similar devotion, with mums calling it "a true blessing". The ergonomic baby bouncer makes a cosy place for your newborn to rest and play – and is designed for use up to two years of age.
This kit also comes with a bib for your carrier, an extra (machine-washable) fabric seat for your bouncer along with a travel bag, and the beautiful 'soft friends' toy to keep your little one entertained.
- Medium Starter Kit for Newborns, £363, BabyBjorn – buy now
When you think of stylish, high-quality swaddles, you think Aden + Anais.
After all, they've already had the royal seal of approval – Kate Middleton had Prince George snuggled up in one when they left the hospital after his birth in 2013 – so that's a pretty solid point in favour of the Aussie brand.
They say their swaddles' generous size of 120cm x 120cm and 'natural give' in the 100 per cent cotton muslin make swaddling easy, and Kate's not the only high-profile mum to agree.
Beyonce, Sienna Miller, Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Alba and Jools Oliver are all rumoured to be big fans of the brand – whose range features something for all tastes, from pretty, classic prints to striking bold patterns.
Hey if it's good enough for A-listers and royalty, who are we to argue?
- Jungle Jam 4-Pack Classic Swaddles, £44.95, Aden + Anais – buy now
Despite the wide range of options on the market, swaddles can still stump plenty of first-time mums.
The worry of not having the right technique or leaving our little one too warm can be a bit much when we're already worried about pretty much everything else – and that's where the Ergopouch comes in.
The revolutionary sleepwear bills itself as the most uncomplicated swaddle on the market, and we're finding it hard to disagree.
The two-way zippers mean getting baby in and out for nappy changes is super easy, and the Ergopouch even converts from a swaddle to a sleeping bag by opening the poppers in the armholes once your baby is able to roll onto their tummy.
Plus, made from organic bamboo jersey and coming in a range of togs from 0.2 to 2.5, your little angel can be cosy whatever the weather.
The swaddles also come in an array of adorable prints so you can rest assured they'll be both snug and stylish.
- ErgoPouch Cocoon Swaddle, from £23.99, Ergopouch.co.uk – buy now
Trusted breastfeeding brand Medela describe their Freestyle Flex as "designed to fit into your life" and it's hard to disagree.
The double electric breast pump is surprisingly lightweight with a compact design and USB-chargeable battery – meaning no looking out for sockets to pump next to!
The pump promises quick, efficient and – most importantly – comfortable expression, and is designed to support mums so they can feed their baby with their milk for longer.
It's got high-profile kudos too, as Amy Schumer, Giovanna Fletcher and Vogue Williams are also fans of the brand.
Helpfully, you can also pair it to the MyMedela app to track pumping progress – so you (and your little one) won't be caught short.
- Freestyle Flex 2-Phase Double Electric Breast Pump, £349.99, Medela – buy now
If you choose not to breastfeed, or simply get to the stage where you're weaning baby from your breast, a helping hand in preparing your bottles is going to prove invaluable.
And mums are raving about Tommee Tippee's Perfect Prep Day & Night.
This helpful gadget takes just two minutes to fully prepare your bottle at the perfect volume and temperature.
And the glow night-light making night-time feeds clear & simple
Silently prepares bottle with volume control so it won't disturb your sleeping beauty!
- Perfect Prep Day & Night Machine, £129.99, Tommee Tippee – buy now
Are you searching for a pressure cooker, slow cooker or air fryer? You’re in the right place.
The Ninja Foodi 6L Multi-Cooker combines all these functions and more, including steam, bake, roast and grill.
However, not only is this a time-saving godsend for Mum and Dad, you can also use this multi-tasker for baby food.
Feeding your baby healthy meals has never been easier. Learn how to use a pressure cooker to turn fruits and veggies into nutritious Instant Pot baby food.
The Instant pot allows you to easily cook ALL different varieties and mixtures of the baby food all at once. Yep, all the baby food is made in one pot, in way less time, saving you on dishes and your sanity too.
Making your own baby food is also going to save you lotssssss of money.
From broccoli and pea mash to sweet potato or blueberry puree.
- Ninja Foodi Multi-Cooker, £179, NinjaKitchen – buy now
Creators of the bestselling night light Ewan the Dream Sheep are back with this impressive deluxe version.
Expertly designed for children who find it difficult to settle to sleep, this little lamb is here to work its magic!
The night light works by mimicking the comforting environment of the womb with a soft pink glow and a selection of soothing sounds, including an actual recording of a heartbeat and womb, to lull newborns and toddlers into a peaceful slumber.
- Ewan The Dream Sheep Deluxe, £39.99, Sweet Dreamers – buy now
Log your little one's life with this picture-perfect mat featuring 1-12 months and a movable month indicator. You can choose from 4 modes of play: Lay & play, tummy time, sit & play and milestone photo prop, so you're little one will never get bored. Encourage your precious little one to bat, grasp and investigate tactile exploration, while the high contrast colours offer visual support, stimulation & tracking.
- Infantino 4-in-1 Milestones & Memories Twist & Fold Gym, £49.99, PreciousLittleOne – buy now
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