My Top 10 Parenting Items

When you first find out you're going to become a parent the excitement kicks in and already your mind starts composing a list. A long list of everything you need to get for your impending bundle of joy. I didn't go out straight away to buy anything, after a missed miscarriage the first time round I decided to wait until the 20 week scan to get anything, that way it could always be gender related too. I was ever so patient and in the few weeks previous I scanned pregnancy books, magazines, apps and forums to discover what I needed for my baby. I wrote a huge list and in reality, I didn't need half of the items. The items that were a waste of time is worth a whole other blog post but here I shall go through the best of the items I brought, the ones that surprised me, the useful bits, the gorgeous bits and those that have stuck through good and bad and endured the journey with my two little boys. 

1. The bath temperature duck. 

This probably seems over rated to any other parent but I have loved having this duck. I got it during my pregnancy with eldest and it still sits in the corner of the bathtub. It is not only novel and safe for the kids to play with but it is so easy to check the safety of the bath water for them. It has this handy red light that flashes when the water is too hot and comes with instructions to follow so you know what the best temperature is for your little one. 

I originally brought my temperature duck from Kiddicare, unfortunately I can no longer find this product on their website. However, on Amazon there are a variety of similar products available. 

Related to this product is a bath mat. It doesn't have to be expensive, in fact the Boots bath Mat is cheap and does the job effectively! 

2. Changing Mat. 

I got mine the first time from Mothercare and the second time from Toys R Us. I just got the cheapest mat that still looked nice. To start I got a changing table for my eldest and wanted the whole thing to look really nice and have one of those nursery rooms you can only dream of, but in reality it did not hold up to that image. Babies wriggle about so much during the changes so I felt much more comfortable changing them on the floor. If you have a nice cushioned mat, it is all you need. 

3. Teething Granules. 

This have been a saviour on many a night where the kids have screamed in agony. Recently I've had wisdom teeth coming through, so I can completely understand why these kids are in so much pain. Although teething gel has worked to some extent, these crystals really do numb the pain much quicker and are far more effective. They have all natural ingredients in them and have a sweet taste to them. I can not recommend these enough for any teething tot. 

You can get Nelsons Teetha Natural Teething Granules 24 Sachets from all good supermarkets and also from Boots for £4.49.

4. Contactless Thermometer. 

I aways battled to take my Son's temperature using the usual ones that go in the mouth or under the armpit. He would always fidget. When we fell pregnant with youngest, my in laws brought me a contactless thermometer which not only tests the temperature of the children, but can also find the temperature of the room or milk. All you do is point the themermoter at the childs forehead or scan the room and the results are clear to read on the product. This has made the process of taking a temperature so much easier. Although its bulkier than a normal one I think it is just brilliant and so easy to use. 

5. Munchkin Dining Sets. 

I now have two Munchkin dining sets; one Monsters Inc and one Mickey Mouse. I got mine from Boots, however they are available online too. I think these sets are so good, especially for lunch time. Not only do they look brilliant and kids will love their bright designs, but they are great for making sure you get a healthy lunch or dinner inside their tummies. I have learnt that once they reach the threenager stage, they are fussy devils when it comes to eating. I have found these plates are so great at dividing food, making sure they have nice fruit and vegetable portions and also make sure that the 'clean' food does not get contaminated with any food with sauce on. 

6. Angelcare Monitor. 

When we first became parents, I was so scared of cot death. For the first two nights I would lay awake and watch him sleep, which was daft because I should have been grabbing sleep whilst I could! I was so worried about losing him now he was finally here that I just wanted to check every couple of moments that he was still breathing. Then the baby blues kicked in, mixed its ugly head with tiredness and new parent worry and it was an ugly combination. So, the husband drove out one morning and picked up this Angelcare monitor and it was the best decision we ever made. It makes a small beeping noise on the parents end so you can be getting on with your chores or go to sleep knowing that whilst this sound happens that your baby is safe and sound asleep. Obviously when the baby wakes, you can hear them but the most important part is that if the baby was to stop breathing a loud alarm would sound. This is made possible with a movement mat that is placed underneath their cot mattress and picks up ever such light movement, like breathing. So if a baby was to stop breathing this monitor would pick it up. We got the odd false alarm while using this once our eldest could move about in his cot and would come off of the mat, but then you just need to turn the sensitivity up. While the baby is in the same room as you, you do not need to have the parent part turned on and can just watch a flashing light on the baby's part to know they are breathing. The alarm will still sound this end. I can not emphasise enough how much this helped me to sleep and get about my daily activities whilst the boys slept in their cot. I could not recommend any other monitor as highly as I do this for the newborn- two year age group. 

The Angelcare AC401 Movement and Sound Monitor can be brought from Amazon for £79.80. 

7. Stacking Cups. 

Although these are just a toy and for fun, I do not know any child that doesn't like stacking cups. For Christmas and birthdays I have brought the most fun novel looking toys from new ranges, but nothing compares to how long and how engaged my sons have gotten with their stacking cups. They are educational, help them to count and learn colours. My eldest likes to build them up then knock them down (trust me this provides literally hours of laughter) whereas my youngest likes to learn which one fits in which. They don't have to be fancy at all, which is the best bit. They are a basic and a must in my eyes. 

8. That's Not My.... Books. 

These are an awesome range of books that are fun for children and parents. They are ideal for early toddlerhood and are fun to read and touch. We have so many now, Dylan loves them. 

You can get a variety of these books from all good book stores and Amazon. They can even be found in garden centres and range in prices. 

9. Hooded bath towels. 

Hooded bath towels are brilliant for getting your gorgeous bundle dry after the bath. While my boys were just babies, I got the ones available from Mothercare and Toys R Us, however once they reached roughly a year old they were both too big for them. I therefore brought a couple of Skip Hop hooded towels. These are such amazing quality, are bright and fun for the children and they fit toddlers. I think the price is worth it considering you can use these from birth for a good few years. 

You can get a Skip Hop Zoo Monkey Hooded Towel from Amazon for £18.00. 

10. Piddle Pads. 

Having recently started potty training, I got these piddle pads from Amazon. They sit either in a car seat or a push chair, so if you are out and about and your child wets themselves it soaks up most of it and protects the push chair and car seat. Luckily, this has only happened once and the piddle pad did a fantastic job of protecting the car seat. It dried quickly and was ready to use again the next day. I got a couple in one go so one can be cleaned while the other is used. 

I got my Koo-di Wetec Baby Seat Protector KD037 Charcoal from Amazon for £6.62. 

What are your top parenting items? Pop a comment below, I'd love to hear from you. 

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