I would have to say we were pretty prepared parents, or I was a very prepared Mummy when it came to Ever’s arrival. My hours were spent diligently sifting through hundreds of books and parenting sites, compiling a list of must have items from every list I could locate on the web. Almost everything, including the exact brand, was available in HK. It didn’t matter if I read it on a UK or US site, HK is amazing at importing everything for us picky parents. Shortly after her arrival I realised this tiny six pound baby needed little else than diapers, my boobs, and lots of love. But below are a few items we have found extremely useful during our first month with Ever.
Co-sleeper: We started with a moses basket gifted from my Mother. I spent hours finding the perfect organic one, made in the USA. Only the best for Ever. We even had it specially imported to HK because Little Merry Fellows don’t ship to HK. Unfortunately Ever did not take to sleeping in a moses basket. She preferred being snuggled right next to us in bed. We started with her on a pillow between us, but my fears of smothering her and SIDS encouraged us to move onto a co-sleeper. We purchased the Summer Infant By Your Side, a little basket that fits easily between us in bed, but takes out the risk of rolling over on top of her. Now at 5 weeks she’s moving back into the moses basket beside me and off the bed but the co-sleeper was essential for our first month’s peaceful sleeping arrangements and made breastfeeding so easy.
Bouncer: I will start by saying Ever is a needy little one. She prefers to be held all the time, and preferable cuddled against my breast. This made life a little hard for me as I was always stuck with one hand and unable to move around. The bouncer solved this problem for us. Once she fell asleep on my chest we could successfully shift her into the bouncer and the vibration kept her content enough to lie on her own. She usually naps in our bouncer, as it’s quite spacious and deeper than others we’ve seen. We went to for the Summer Infant Bouncer, which we hope will last until she’s at least 4 months old. It packs flat so we can take it on trips or to see the grandparents.
Breastfeeding Pillow: My Brest Friend is by far the best breastfeeding pillow I’ve tried. Ever is a hungry one so I spend the majority of my day nursing. This one supports her weight so I can have a free hand and saves my arms from any soreness. I have also found it easy to fall asleep while she’s feeding when using this pillow and she seems to happily doze on it after she’s finished. Perfect for those late night feeds.
Burb cloths and onesies: I purchased both muslin cloths and white onesies in multipacks from Mothercare. They are so easy for laundry and cheap enough for you to purchase them by the boxful. The onesies are ideal for layering and Ever lives in them when we are at home. She is known to go through about three a day and we always keep two muslin cloths on hand for any messiness during feeds. So essential and the more the better!
ErgoBaby: After being alerted to articles about hip dysplaysia, we decided that the Ergobaby was the best baby carrier for both us and little Ever. We purchased the Performance model which features a super breathable fabric for HK humidity. This paired with the snuggly Newborn Insert was an ideal combination. Ever loves to feel snug in the fetal position and the straps and weight distribution is so comfortable for us. We could carry her around for hours and not feel any strain, and it can be used up to 20 kilos so we’ll be carting her around for many months to come. For all HK readers, strollers can be so fussy when navigating the busy sidewalks, so we’ve barely used ours. The Ergobaby is our go to when taking Ever out, and we even use it at home when she’s being clingy. She hasn’t been able to stay awake for more than 15 minutes when being carried in this, so it’s invaluable when calming her fussy moods.
Unimom Pump: For all breastfeeding mommies that want a life, pumping is essential. I was recommended the Unimom pump which is available in Wing On in HK. It’s much cheaper than the popular Medela varieties and works just as well. I am not the best at pumping regularly, but have been trying now that I’m leaving Ever in the evenings while we are out for dinner. It’s all about supply and demand so the more you pump the more you produce. I get the most amount of milk in the morning so try to do at least two pumping sessions between 6am and midday. The rest of the day I try to fit in a few more but it’s hard with a busy schedule and a needy newborn. I’m still working on this skill so will keep you updated.
Nuk bottle: Ever hates bottles and will fight them and scream for me. The Nuk bottle was what the hospital recommended and after trying several brands it’s the only one she will take. She drinks a lot less from the bottle but we are hoping she gets used to it soon. A few friends and family have suggested other brands so we are still on the search for one that Ever loves. I’ll let you know if we start having more success.
Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets: Lightweight, perfect for taking out and cramming into your purse, can double as a burp cloth or shielding you while breastfeeding, and soft on your baby’s skin. We love these, have them in lots of prints and can see us using it well into her toddler years. Bulky blankets are a bit much for HK, so a light swaddling blanket is all you really need.
Other goodies you should prepare with are nipple cream, breast pads, water wipes and sterile cotton, newborn diapers, nursing bras, postpartum girdles, comfy blankets, baby bathtub, white noise machine, night light, diaper changing station, and a good concealer for those tired mommy eyes.
We’ll have our 2nd month essentials up soon.