Essentials for up to 4 months

This morning I’m continuing my list of essential (for us) items as we learn what we did and didn’t need and use as Bea gets bigger. This isn’t the obvious essentials (see more on that here,) for a baby, but the things that have been used every day and made a big difference to our lives, the things I’d recommend to every new mum. So here you go, the up to 4 months edition!

Baby Sleep Timer app
A Mummy essential first… this sleep timer saved my sanity! Around the 8-10 week mark Bea started to cry more than usual, particularly before sleeps. We exhausted ourselves thinking about what could be wrong and after a few days I realised we were totally missing her sleep cues and she was getting over-tired. This app tracks the baby’s sleep and as a result I know what her patterns are. When I’m out and about I find it really useful to know when she is ‘due’ a sleep (as we don’t use a rigid routine yet,) and it helps me stop second guessing myself as to what’s wrong when she is simply tired. Being able to see the patterns also helps me plan. Now she is 4 months we’re working towards a 3-4 nap routine and knowing what time her last sleep of the day is and when bedtime is due has made life so much easier. It essentially means we work with her sleep routine rather than trying to bend her to ours – far less painful!

Giraffe Squeakaboo Squeaker and Rattle Toy
This rattle was a gift and is one of her favourite toys. It is the perfect size for her tiny hands and that’s why it’s a firm favourite for practicing her grabbing, plus there’s a bonus jingle when she finally gets there and safe gnawing!

Bigjigs Toys BB050 Mini Roll Rattle (Blue)
This is also a favourite toy – it contains a bell, a squeak and crinkle in the stick part and she love to stare at it when I shake the bell and try to grab it. There is also textured fabric and it invariably goes straight into her mouth!

Mamas & Papas – MAGIC – Stargaze Stripe Playmat
On the toys front, this is hands down the best, well actually the only ‘baby entertainment’ buy we made. There are many cheaper baby gyms on the market but we bought this at 6 weeks and having bought her no other toys thus far, I felt it was worth splashing out on. The other reason we went for this over standard gyms was the integrated lights and sounds. I reasoned that at 6 months she didn’t really look round much and certainly wasn’t grabbing, so a static gym with hanging toys wasn’t going to do much. This has lights built in to the canopy that twinkle with very relaxing (spa-like rather than nerve-jangling baby) music! There’s a kick plate to change the lights and music, and dangling bits that do the same. She is absolutely transfixed when she’s on it and after 3 days gave a big smile the minute the music came on. Every morning she goes on there while I get breakfast and have a bit of me time to plan the day.

GroBag We used to swaddle Bea but when we came back from Florida and the temperature had dropped, plus Bea had grown big enough, we transitioned to a GroBag. I actually bought a neutral one from Mini Club at Boots, but any brand with the side poppers to adjust the size is essential, particularly if you have a small baby, due to the large age range on them. It’s one less thing to worry about knowing she can’t smother under blankets, particularly now she naps in the cot and blankets would have been harder to tuck in.

Mamas & Papas Baby Snug Raspberry
Now Bea is 4 months she is napping less and taking much more interest in the world around her. She’s not even close to sitting yet but we wanted her to be able to sit with us sometimes, to get a different view of the world, as otherwise she is always lying flat looking up. We don’t have a bouncer so it’s great to give me some hands free time when I’m eating, or preparing food and I imagine it will be useful when we start weaning with the built in tray. I also like that this one grows with the child, as the coloured insert slips out – perfect if you have a big baby!

So readers, do you have any of these items? Have I missed anything that you found a life saver at this stage?


Essentials for the first 6 weeks

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9 thoughts on “Essentials for up to 4 months

  1. We loved GroBags too and still use them now, so much more convenient than blankets and easy when travelling too as saves having to take loads of bedding.

    Thinking back, one of my essentials would’ve been our lovely bouncer which we used right up until 6-7 months (beyond the recommended time but E loved it sooo much!) – we got one which wasn’t horribly frilly or fussy and instead matched our decor more (
    Oh how I yearn for the days of being able to pop her in this whilst I did some baking or had a meal – I didn’t realise how easy I had it!!

    Oh and the other essentials for us (from 3 months) were Calpol, Anbesol liquid (both for teething – first teeth came through at 14weeks) and Calpol plug in vapourisers for when she had colds – they are AMAZING.

      • Try not to worry too much about teething – some babies aren’t affected, we have just had a really rough ride with it (14 months old and we have 12 teeth, with 2 more coming through!). It seems to be that the later they get teeth, the better in terms of disruption.

        We loved our rocker and also used it in the first stages of weaning instead of the highchair, but your M&P snug will be great for that too. See how you go – my parents had a very cheap rocker from Mothercare which we used when we visited and that was great too, so you don’t have to spend a lot.

  2. I wouldn’t bother with a rocker now – if you want to spend some money, then a jumperoo would be my top baby entertainment system recommendation for the next 6 months ahead!

    • Another yes to the jumperoo. Both our girls have loved it from about 4/5 months to 10 months. Both of mine have been early crawlers and I’ve found it a god send once they start moving – it means I can plonk them somewhere without wondering what trouble they’re getting into!

      Beware, they are hideous (and massive) looking. I can’t wait to get this one stashed back in the loft!

  3. We recently got a baby bjorn bouncer and we all love it. It has quite an upright angle so he can see out well and it’s a good position to play in. He loves it. It’s expensive, but it also lasts until the baby is about 2 if you flip the seat around so worth the money I hope.

    Cloth books are a current favourite too…

  4. Willow is now really getting into toys – her two absolute favs are the Lamaze lion and the whoozit. I’ve replaced the standard, fairly naff toys on her baby gym with these two and she plays with them for hours.

    She has an incredibly strong need to suck to sleep but annoyingly wouldn’t take a dummy so my nipples were seriously feeling the strain! But now we’ve discovered Dr Browne dummies and finally she’s happy to go to sleep not on the boob. Game changer, especially if out and about.

    We have the uppababy vista and willow has always hated the bassinet, I think she felt too far away from the action. We’ve now put her in the buggy bit instead so she can observe the world a bit better but since she’s still tiny a sheepskin in there makes her seem much more cushioned and cosy, so that would also be a must.

    Finally, absolute favourite product of all – the sleepyhead. It changed everything for us – we use it for safe cosleeping, for travel, inside the Moses basket and now for tummy time too. Love it.

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