MY MOST USEFUL ‘NICE-TO-HAVE’ FOR A NEWBORN - Guest post from Alison at Five Little Stars

In this post Alison from Five Little Stars is sharing her most useful 'nice-to-have' baby item for a newborn. She's an Australian mum of two who now currently lives in Paris with her English husband. Over to Alison!


My friend Katie and I have pretty much always seen eye to eye on things. Being a bit older, I got married first and had my baby a year before she did. So she often asks me for my advice or learns from my mistakes! When Katie was expecting her first baby she really wanted a list of useful things, other than the obvious, for her baby list.

Before I had my two children I had a big issue with baby stuff and yeah, I was a bit judgey. I definitely did not want to have a cluttered house dominated by kiddie things. But after having babies myself I've come to accept that there are certain things that just make life easier. And you know, if a baby bouncer and a big box of toys dominates the lounge room, so what. It'll be gone in a few years.

So I suggested a few "nice-to- haves" for her nearly newborn. One thing I highly recommended was a digital bath thermometer. I think my exact words were, "I couldn't live without this". But when I suggested it to her she actually laughed out loud and said, "why would I ever need that?” She told me it was a waste of money and she would just use her elbow like mums have been doing since the beginning of time. Ok, I was slightly offended. 

Our first disagreement over a bath thermometer! But you know, when buying for newborns I still believe there are some shortcuts and nice-to- have things you shouldn't feel guilty about buying or asking for gifts if they are not too expensive and they make your life easier (you can get a good digital bath thermometer for under £15 by the way).

She's right about one thing though, without the bath thermometer I would probably never have burnt my son but it sure saved me a lot of worry in those early months. And I worried about a lot!

I wasn’t a confident first time mum so I loved the bath thermometer because I knew exactly how hot the water was. I liked the certainty when everything else was so uncertain (has he had enough milk? Does he have wind? What’s that rash? Is he napping too long or not enough..?) My parents-in- law thought I was a bit mad bringing the bath thermometer on holiday though. Yes, we took it EVERYWHERE...even to Greece when my son was 10 months old. 

I’ve now come to accept that as soon as I decided to have a baby, I was also inviting a whole lot of extra stuff (also known as clutter) into our life. It's something my poor husband is still coming to terms with every time a new Amazon parcel arrives. But as long as I’m smart about my buying choices and I don’t end up selling it the next week, then a bit of extra stuff is OK!

I asked my friend the other day if she ever did buy that digital bath thermometer and she laughed again! Of course not, she said, that's ridiculous. Well, each to their own! And we are still friends by the way. 


What’s the most useful baby item you would recommend to a first time parent?    


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