After my preggo outing, a lot of messages and questions have reached me: Why did I keep the secret for such a long time? How will I continue with my job? What gender is the baby? I have answered all of these questions in a very personal blog article. But you asked one question more than any other: How do I prepare for being a mom? The preparation involves check-lists, reading books and having long talks with my friends who already have kids. But to release the topic from its abstract playpen, I will try to make it more relatable by revealing my absolute favourite baby products. Only the essential ones – not less, not more. My personal newborn-essentials.
And because having a baby is overwhelming enough without having three different to-do- and to-have-lists from your midwife, your best friend and the baby store, I prepared the ultimate baby-shopping check-list for you.
In the beginning, a baby needs a bed, it needs fresh linen and maybe a mini sleeping bag. While there are different opinions on which bed and which material might be the best one for your child, I would always go for a physical approach. Go to the store and feel the quality of the products. Talk to the employees and research certificates.
My personal newborn-essentials go-to place is Baby Kochs. The Düsseldorf-based shop is specialized in baby equipment since 1877. The shop is focused on knowledge and tradition, but their products are super modern and up-to-date. Every single saleswoman is a professional in her field – whether that’s because she’s a mother herself or because she has been well trained. So you might go home with not only the products you were looking for but one or two helpful tips.
For whoever does not have a shop specialized in baby equipment right in their neighbourhood, here are my very concrete newborn-essentials interior tips: My number one must-have is the famous Tripp Trapp chair from Stokke. This original, made by the Scandinavian interior designer Peter Opsvik, is a cross-generational little helper – not only because I myself sat in one when I was a kid, but also because this allrounder grows with the child. Most importantly, not only the seat but also the footplate is hight-adjustable. So the Tripp Trapp can be used from the first minute with the newborn set and brings your baby to your eye-level. With varying add-ons, the chair can be perfectly adjusted to the size and the needs of your child. A sustainable option that even can be used as an adult when using the Tripp Trapp grown-up cushion.
Another one of my personal newborn-essentials is the Stokke Sleepi bed. Stokke’s focus lies on functional, sustainable and smart solutions. This is why the Sleepi, like the Tripp Trapp, grows with the child and is a one-in-four bed. With the modification kit, the bed can grow with the child until both have reached their tenth year of age. Another cool factor is the bed’s mobility. With its wheels, the bed can simply be rolled to where it’s needed within the flat. Have the baby by your side in your bedroom, move it to the living room when guests are there or have a quick nap in the nursery.
Changing Tables and Beauty
Within the world of changing tables, there are diapers, wipes, baby powder and cosmetics. While all of these articles are key-items for a check-list, we need to decide from where to get those essentials. One discovery I made this year, is the natural cosmetic brand The Organic Pharmacy.
The brand bets on ingredients with a pharmaceutical quality, sustainable sources, a made in London-approach and organic cultivation – the outcome are clean, high performing beauty products. In my pregnancy, I learned how chemical beauty products can enter your system and might harm your baby. Ever since, I am mostly using all-natural products for my skin and hair and won’t stop with the care of my baby. The Organic Pharmacy is providing a whole section to „mother & baby“ which comprises stretch mark oil or a miracle nipple cream for the mom but also an apricot and chamomile lotion to protect the sensitive skin of the baby. My favourite is the Mother & Baby Massage Oil. It is infused with camomile and lavendar and, thus, eases irritations and soreness of the baby.
Baby Strollers and Hardware
Who doesn’t plan to be a stay-at-home mom in the literal sense, needs to be mobile. For going to the supermarket, driving out the city for long walks or having an afternoon-stroll in your neighbourhood, you might need some hardware.
I decided to get the Cybex baby stroller that will make it especially easy for me to get around. When pushing your baby up a little hill, the e-priam is an e-stroller that can give you a little extra help. The stroller even recognizes on its own how much power is needed by using smart algorithms and sensors within the handles.
But since pushing a stroller up a hill might be my only workout for a while, my favourite part of the e-priam is not its electric-approach but its 4-in-1 system. The stroller is super flexible and, thus, one of my newborn-essentials! Especially practical is that the beautiful brass-frame can be matched with different attachments – whether you like it luxurious or light and even more mobile. The lying surface can be turned into a seat. And the seat can be turned in two directions. There’s even a ski-attachment for the winter-lovers amongst us.
For the ones who don’t only love to slide through the snow but drive through the city, the Cloud Z is a car safety seat which is easily attachable and brings a maximum amount of safety. Outside the car, it can be attached to the e-priam stroller. Cybex found a way to make the seat more healthy for the child’s spine, so you can easily use the seat in and outside the car. The lie-flat position which is applicable outside the car guarantees an extra amount of comfort for your baby. In 2019, the car seat was rated best by „Stiftung Warentest“ with a 1,7. I’m sure, I will drive extra careful, but it’s always good to know that someone or something else is playing it safe as well.
Layette and Clothing
As you know, fashion is a really important part of my life. However, I don’t feel like chasing trends when it comes to my baby. Cute rompers are one thing. But buying the latest and coolest fashion pieces for someone who will grow out of them within weeks, just doesn’t seem very sustainable to me. I love the idea of lending baby clothes from friends and families. Another idea is to invest in a few and very selected pieces. Talking with so many moms, I realized that most of them recommended buying simple but high-quality, long-armed bodies.
I decided for the white Petit Bateau ones. Firstly, because they are super functional and made from ecological cotton. Secondly, because of my personal connection to the brand. My grandmother used to have a boutique for children’s closing and most of her items were created by Petit Bateau. The French brand always accompanied me and my siblings through our first years and it never failed.
Another essential in the baby’s wardrobe are the rompers. Above all, I like to bet on certified cotton and functionality. The Steiff romper guarantees high quality and great comfort. It works day and night and is my favourite baby sleep-look.
The Non-Essential Must-Have
The next item might not be essential for survival or baby-raising, but it will take a big part in my child’s life. Therefore, I categorize the stuffed animal into the category of ‚absolute must-have‘. It will accompany the child throughout his or her whole life – from the beginning to at least adolescence. My first stuffed animal was from Steiff and it even is around now. So I gave it a lot of thought, which animal might be the right one for our little family. And I think, it’s gonna be the elephant – a cute, but also wise and very smart animal. Just like I want my child to turn out one day. This version, the Steiff Trampili elephant, seems to be a little bit lazy. Like me. I like that!
My Personal Newborn-Essentials Check-List