Being value-for-money for me means that the product is of good enough quality to either be used for a long while or have multiple uses, and so buying baby things has been so hard for me knowing that it’ll only be used for a few months! My favourite ‘buy once and use it often’ items so far have been:
When I was researching baby bouncers I found that some only lasted til the baby was 9kg. There are soooo many types, ones that bounce on their own, have music, toys attached etc. I found this one and just fell in love with the simple design (I mean his toys around it are bright enough already); it was easy to clean, and it lasts from birth- 2 years old.
- I have loved watching Oscar grow into it and learn how to bounce it on his own.
- At the beginning it was so handy having a light seat to carry around the house to put him in when I was attempting a shower or wee (although some days I just went without either for too long a period at a time!). Even now it’s a safe place to put him in while I change otherwise he will be climbing/ crawling around everywhere giving me stress!
- At the beginning it became a place for him to nap for brief periods, used on the more reclined setting, although we did try to use the Baby Box too which was a better flatter surface for napping… not that he did much napping >_<
- There is an attachment bar toy available and you can buy additional seat covers which I think would be great to get a new style for baby number 2 one day 🙂 I found the best deal here for this bouncer on Amazon.
Oil Diffuser Lamp
This was actually a gift sent from the States by my amazing friend Annie, along with other goodies including 6 essential oils to use it with. It has been one of my most used items EVER since, and I’d recommend it to anyone (thanks so much, Annie Pie!).
- During the birth, I used it to diffuse lavender oil in the delivery room as it’s supposed to help with bringing on contractions as well as being calming. The colour changing lights also gave me something to focus on during those tough hours.
- After Oscar was born it was used in our room as a night light while he was still in his Moses basket, and it is now is in his room so I can see where I’m going when I go in for the night feeds.
- When I do yoga I move it to whichever room I want and put on some oils to give myself a spa experience, and sometimes I put some oils on to diffuse before guests are to arrive so the house smells more fresh and inviting.
I can basically see myself using this for years and years and love that it also purifies the air. I just wouldn’t put oils on when the baby is in the room because I read some articles about it being too much for the little ‘uns liver to process. You can find this one here on Amazon.
Fisher-Price Kick ‘n’ Play Piano Gym
There are a gazillion play mats out there, ones that do so many things and loads of designs so it can be hard to decide what to go for. We went for this one because it seemed to have a fair amount for baby to look at without taking up loads of space:
- The piano is a lovely feature and those tunes still get played to this day and I don’t think we’ll ever get them out of our head! I loved it when Oscar worked out how to kick with his feet to get music. The piano can be removed so he could play it somewhere else when he was done with the mat.
- The dangly bits still provide entertainment for Oscar. There’s a mirror which you can take off, a see-through hippo, elephant with fabric ears and spinny wheels, a crab with a spinny ball and a crinkly zebra.
- You can remove the arch and attach the toys around the edge of the mat for tummy time.
This play gym has definitely been one of the most used items and I’ve loved watching him go from hating it to discovering the little details as the weeks went by. Although he doesn’t stay under it anymore as he’d much rather be tottering about, I sometimes just leave it out and he will pass by and play with one of the toys which is sweet. A play gym is a great buy and I think he will still get some use out of it for a few more months at least. This one was from Argos.
These are basically one of the best baby inventions ever. I’m not sure about your baby but given the chance, Oscar has been proven to escape any and every sock wearing situation. This has been especially annoying if he has managed to kick them off his tootsies while we were out and about in the pram. So long sock, never to be seen again. These sock-ons go around your babies socks and make sure they stay on all day; definitely a wardrobe essential which will save you money in the long run from not having to buy lots and lots of socks like we did at the start, and you can find them here.
Before moving from Hong Kong back to England, we decided to take advantage of the fact it’s a tax-free port and bought an iPad Pro. We have never needed one before as we have our iPhones, MacBooks etc. But Jonny described a romantic scene in his head of him reading the morning paper on it over breakfast, and said he could read stories to Oscar on it with him on his lap, and that I could draw on it using the Apple Pencil when I was relaxing, we could use it for travel to watch shows and look up things in hotels… it wasn’t a hard sell. Although we’ve not really used it for many of those purposes yet, we have used it for the following:
- It was our White Noise Saviour! We didn’t have to buy a ‘Shaun the Sheep’ or other teddies with weird heart beat sounds because we could just download an App and leave that running those first few weeks when getting him to sleep was just not fun.
- Crying/Distraction techniques: playing ‘Five Little Ducks’ on Youtube over and over again gives him a break from crying much! I have listened to this SO many times… my fave version is the first song here. I prop it in front of wherever he is and I get a moment to calm myself down. He’s also incredibly cute when watching the little ducks.
- Family-Sharing Apps: Jonny and I obviously have our own separate accounts for most things on our own devices. Having a shared iPad got us to start signing up to shared accounts to make keeping track of things easier as a family. So we view our shared email account on there, track our spendings, put in important dates for the family calendar which sync to our phones, and we had some baby apps on there too to look at together during pregnancy. It’s become like our portable ‘Family Computer’ and helps to organise our family life a bit better.
- Games: this will apply more when he’s a bit older but we have tried a few apps where he has to press down and stars will trail his movements or there are fish swimming about where he presses which he finds quite fascinating.
- I LOVE using it for drawings (whenever I get the chance) and I have used it for simple messages for Oscar to pose with for pictures! No need for paper and pen… we are helping the environment, right?!?
I would love to hear of any other items you guys have used from baby’s birth to older months, and ones that have been multi-functional! Drop it in the comments 🙂