“ Give us all your tips about the best products for pregnancy and/or baby toiletries. Please be specific about the products that you used. „
When you are pregnant with your first child, you read as much as you can, either via internet or books. One thing you realise that's common in all information is a list of everything you and baby will need. You are inundated with advice!
Well when it comes to baby toiletries there is an easy answer. Forget all the sets you can buy (I still have items from a Johnsons baby box used after 2 years), since most midwife's/health visitors do not recommend using products (and this includes baby wipes) on babies until at least 4 months old.
The best things you can buy to help baby are:
Cotton wool (used for washing and nappy changing).
Olive oil (great for problem or dry skin and baby massage)
And that's it! No shampoo, no wipes, no lotions or potions.
What about for you? Well the main item I got was Lansinoh nipple cream for the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Quite expensive but worth it! I did get given some pampering stuff, but quite frankly never had time to use it.
Once baby can have toiletries I would highly recommend any Tesco baby stuff, it's reasonably priced and good quality, and I have used their baby wipes, baby bubble bath, nappy bags, and nappy cream.
From what I have noticed while browsing in my local Boots store , there are lots of different toiletry products on the market for babies and pregnant mums. I noticed a nice gift set called the mum to be pamper pack. It has all the lovely products in there , including body lotion. Unfortunately I noticed that it was quite expensive priced at £4.99. It only has miniature bottles in it , so if it is a gift it is nice, but you wouldn't want to pay that much to buy it for yourself. The amount of toiletries that are available to buy for your baby are vast. I think it would be easy to get carried away in buying them all , but from my experience the less complicated the better. You only need the basics for your baby. I used a top to toe wash for my baby which I bought from Tesco. It can be used as shampoo as well as body wash and it is gentle on babies skin. It is a 500ml size and has lasted me for a year so far - now thats value!!
Here are a few of my favourite products for pregnancy and baby toiletries
Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter
Can you prevent stretch marks?
Well I don't know but I didn't get any and I religiously used this heavy-duty body cream for the last 3 months after just using E45 body lotion. It's no surprise that this cream, loaded with shea butter, glycerin, vitamin E and other rich emollients, feels really deeply moisturizing. It's got a refreshing, almost odourless scent. It was bought by my mother in law as a present and I was really impressed.
Available from any Clinique counter and costs £20 for 200ml. I would get someone to treat you!
Not strictly pregnancy but this is one toiletry I couldn't have lived without. It's made from lanolin and has no preservatives or additives of any kind, so it does not have to be removed before breastfeeding. It works to help heal sore, cracked nipples. I slathered it on constantly for the first three / four weeks of breast feeding until I got used to it.
Available for Mothercare and some supermarkets It cost £10 for a tube but it lasts ages.
It's true you really don't need many toiletries for your newborn. The shelves are stacked full and we were given loads of Johnson's products but in my opinion you don't really need them. My little boy is now 9 months and still hardly uses any. Here are may basics.
Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash.
This is the one used in our hospital and it's really kind to baby skin and hair. It's hypoallergenic and is safe for sensitive skin. It's really gentle and was always tear free. The scent is quite pleasant but not overpowering. We bought it in a pump dispenser which is easy to use when bathing baby.
Widely available £2.90 for 500ml.
I find these really good for wiping dirty bottoms. Never bothered with water and cotton wool, just used these.
Widely available. Look for offers - 4 packets of 72 wipes for £5 in Morrisons
Good for washing baby's face and eyes if needed.
This is an antiseptic healing cream and works like a treat on nappy rash for little flare ups or little spots. A real essential in our house.
Widely available. About £3.30 for 250g.
Aveeno Moisturising cream
Ok not a real essential but it's really good for keeping baby's skin soft if they start getting dry. Meant to be good for eczema.
Available for Boots.
All in all don't go overboard and don't believe that all products are essential. Buy a couple in small sizes and if you like them you haven't lost out.
These days it is recommended that you dont use anything other than water on your babies skin for at least the first 1-2 weeks of life.
This means bathing in wter alone, no added soaps, bubble baths, baby washes etc.
This would also mean no baby wipes ( contains added ingredients), you would use cotton wool and water.
No shampoo, again just water, no talcs, bottom creams, body creams etc.
They say baby doesnt need it, and that this way you can reduce the allergies baby has to this sort of stuff in later life.
I tried hard with my last son to do this, and I will tell you it is not easy.
Youw ant to get out that johnsons baby bath and squirt into the bath, you want to use that baby lotion and talc, and have your baby smelling all gorgeous and johsons baby like.
I used cotton wool and water on his botty for as long as i could stand it for, this is what they say you should use to wasg baby's face anyway when doing a top and tale wash, so I already had this packed in my baby bag.
I did cheat and use bottom cram, I couldn't help myself, just had to put a smidgen on there!
I didnt use talc, I dont believe in it anyway, as the talc puffs up all over the palce and baby can breathe it in,a nd it just cloggs up your skin too. I dont use it myself either for same reasons.
I didnt use shampoo, i couoldnt bathe baby myself for about two weeks anyway.
After I got home I did get hubby to bathe baby ( watching that was fun) and put a teeny weeny squirt of baby wash in the bath.
The staff say baby's delicite skin doesnt need anything other than warm water, but I did findmyself thinking how on earth is water going to get my baby clean after delivery?
It isnt an easy thing to do, like i said, you want that gorgeous smelling baby.Personally I liked using bubbles and wash etc, just because they do look and smell so clean, but I tried my hardest not to, as i thought 'if this is best for baby i'll try it'
of course, as anything, we all have our own opinions and can make our own minds up on what we want to do with our newborns.
This is a tricky subject to write about as the policy on what toiletries hospitals provide changes from place to place. Therefore my first piece of advice is to ask at your hospital prenatal sessions or parentcraft (or equivalent) classes about what facilities they can provide.
Here in the North West of England we get given a pack of goodies distributed by a Bounty representative while we are staying in hospital after the birth of our child. I am fairly sure there are similar schemes in operation almost everywhere. This contains lots of helpful information and several useful toiletries for baby, such as baby bath, nappy cream and baby wipes. (I have noted however that the contents differ from time to time) It is best not to rely on this however as if you have your baby at the weekend then your representative may not come around until the following Monday. Also after the birth of my first daughter I suffered serious complications and as a result was put in a special room next to the midwives office, hooked up to drips and blood transfusions and looking as white as a ghost! When the Bounty lady came around she did not come to me, as I must have looked to ill so I had to wait until she came to see me a few days later. And as we know baby cannot wait for its toiletry essentials!
A good rule of thumb I suppose is that its best to be prepared yourself. However, it is worth remembering that you dont really want to be lugging everything, bar the kitchen sink, into hospital with you. Especially as you wont relish the idea of unpacking it all again when you get home tired with baby. On this thought I have suggested below a few items you should consider.
**COTTON WOOL OR BABY WIPES**
This is to clean babies bottom, hands, face etc. It can also be used to clean your own face and refresh yourself, e.g. armpits etc., especially after labour when you may not be up to a shower yet.
Whether you choose to take cotton wool or baby wipes is a personal decision. I myself would recommend that you always use cotton wool and water to clean new babies, as I know from experience that wipes can be much too harsh! It is the more economical choice as well. Some hospitals in fact will not allow you to use wipes while you are with them. That was the policy with my hospital when I had my first daughter in Bolton U.K. Here they provided us with cotton wool balls in bags in the corridor along with natural oils for massaging and moisturizing babies skin. However by the time I went in to have my second daughter they had changed this policy, without in my opinion suitable notification to expectant mothers, and so I was left without cotton wool or wipes. When I asked for cotton wool at the midwives office they could not or would not provide me with any but they did give me a meager handful of surgical pads (practically useless for cleaning babies bottoms!) I survived by using some of my babies spare cotton vests dipped in water until my husband could rush me an emergency cotton wool pleat in!!
This is essential to properly wash baby. It is also a good idea to use this for your showers too while you are in hospital instead of taking a separate shower gel as it is of course gentle enough to use all over and can also be used in the morning etc. for washing your face.
It is probably best not to take too big a bottle into hospital as it is all extra weight to carry around in your bag and you can use the extra room for something you really want to take like your favourite sweets or a magazine. Therefore I would suggest getting the smallest bottle you can find, however as large bottles always seem to be more economical it may be worthwhile decanting some at home before you go into a suitable container to take with you.
**SHAMPOO AND/OR CONDITIONER**
Buy small travel bottles of these or again decant at home beforehand. I would also suggest not even taking this and using your baby bath to wash your hair as well (if its good enough for babies hair ). However, I have not tried this myself so it might be best to do a trial run at home!
I think some hospitals may provide these so it is worth asking beforehand. If yours doesnt or you prefer to take your own (the smell of your own washing powder can be comforting) make sure you take sufficient for baby and yourself as there may not be any drying facility.
This of course is not necessary but if you feel you will need one ask beforehand, as there may be one in the midwives office for the new mums to borrow.
Again this is a question of personal choice but I would recommend you take some to help yourself feel confident and good about yourself especially at visiting time. Keep it to the basics though.
I took: Foundation,
Concealer, (new mothers often get spots),
You could also use Vaseline in the place of lip-balm as it has several other uses including preventing nappy rash and moisturizing dry patches on babies skin and scalp. Baby Lotion can also be used for babies dry skin and this also doubles up as a facial (or body) moisturizer for you.
**TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE**
You can get little travel toothbrushes that fold up and have a protected head to keep them clean. Also trial sizes of toothpaste are ideal for taking into hospital for a few days, or a tube of toothpaste that has only a few days worth of paste left in it and you can throw away before you leave for home. This will all help to conserve room in your bag
**MATERNITY AND BREAST PADS**
Make sure you take enough to last unless a relative or friend can bring more in later for you. I prefer Kotex Nighttime pads to maternity pads and they are often cheaper.
**A NOTE ON BABIES CLOTHES**
I know that this doesnt really come under the heading of toiletries but I thought it might be useful to mention that some hospitals may provide little nighties for your babies while they stay in hospital. They arent the cutest outfits but using these means less washing to do when you get home. You can always change your baby into one of its own outfits to look nice for visiting time, should you wish to.
To conclude I would suggest you try and find out from the hospital first what toiletries it can provide. Then pack what you think you will need. Try not to worry too much about it though as youre about to bring a baby into the World so there is more important things to think about. If you do find you have forgotten or overlooked something, dont panic! Ask a relative or friend to bring it in for you as soon as they can and until then I am sure that one of the other new mothers on your ward will help you out if you ask her.
Hope I have been of help,