The Bedside Baby Essentials Box | AD

18 Nov 2019

When I had Willow I utilised the space under our Sn├╝zPod2 3-in-1 Bedside Crib* for a couple of boxes where I kept essentials for everything from feeding and nappy changing to snacks and water for me, and toys and books to keep Willow occupied as she got older. It was a saviour for me, having everything to hand and within easy reach, especially during night feeds, so it was something I definitely wanted to recreate for this baby.

After spending a lot of time searching for the perfect box to keep everything in, as we'd long since chucked the boxes I used for Willow and I hadn't managed to find anything on the high-street, so I eventually turned to eBay where I picked up a 'nappy caddy' for £6.99 with free delivery. When it arrived it wasn't quite as big as the pictures on eBay suggest, but plenty big enough for our needs. It comes with two velcro dividers that you can use to make compartments and the exterior has individually pocketed compartments too, so there really is a lot of storage in this budget-friendly organiser! Let's delve in, shall we?

A picture of an organised baby essentials box for breastfeeding, formula feeding and nappy changes.

Breastfeeding isn't as simple as just popping baby on your breast and letting them get on with it, especially in the early days when you're trying to establish feeding and struggling through the night feeds and cluster feeding. 

Nipple cream is always a starting point for me, which I apply a little before an expected feed if I can as well as after, regardless of the state of my nipples. I used the Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream* with Willow and I found it very effective, so it was a no-brainer to have it again this time. With a hypoallergenic formula that is 100% natural, it's safe to use during feeds as well as after, with no additives, preservatives or chemicals. 

Nipple shields are another must for me, especially in these early weeks, and I decided to order the Lansinoh Contact Nipple Shields*, which are designed for maximum skin-to-skin contact with an ultra-thin, super-soft, flexible, odourless and taste-free silicone. They also come with a little storage box, which is handy and keeps them hygienic between feeds and makes taking them out and about easier, too. (although don't forget, nipple shields need sterilising between uses!). I used MAM Nipple Shields with Willow, which was OK, but they didn't seem to stay put very well, hence trying another brand this time around.

Another Lansinoh product I've been using since Hadley was born is the Ultra-Thin Nursing Pads*. Now, these are disposable; but I used reusable washable bamboo cotton ones with Willow and found they just dried and stuck onto my nipples and could be sore to remove if our latch had been bad, so I gave disposables a go this time in the hopes that they are more gentle, and move onto reusable ones when we'd established feeding with a better latch technique. They come in a hygienically wrapped individual bags per pair, so handy for popping in the changing bag for on-the-go, too, although as with any disposable product like this, not ideal for the environment. 

I find formula feeding can end up being a little messier than breastfeeding, so when we were combination feeding and doing formula top-ups, I liked to make sure we had a few things to hand. A bib, to catch any runaway milk, muslin cloths for winding and something we give Hadley prior to feeds, is Infacol. Willow was an incredibly windy baby and Hadley was much the same when she was born; Infacol made feeds easier on both of them. 

It works to relieve wind, infant colic and griping pains and can be used straight from birth with its sugar, alcohol and colourant free formula. It comes in a little bottle with a pipette applicator and each bottle has roughly 100 doses in it. In our experience with both Willow and Hadley, works better than other wind-relieving products, so it was a must for us. My only gripe with Infacol this time around, was the price-hike when Hadley was around 5 weeks old; it almost doubled in price, for the same size bottle, with no formula change, just new packaging. 

Having our changing essentials nearby is obviously essential, especially for those middle-of-the-night changes! The last thing I want to be doing is rummaging around, waking everyone else up or even moving much at all unless absolutely necessary; recovering from a caesarean section can be quite a painful process, so the less you have to move around unnecessarily, the better.

In our bedside baby essentials box, we have everything we need for nappy changes. We are currently using the Aldi MAMIA nappies; we used the MAMIA range with Willow up until size 3 and they are the most budget-friendly nappies we've come across before, so we were more than happy to stock up on these again this time around. Nappy bags we tend to get from whichever supermarket we're shopping in, there's very little difference between brands; so long as they're scented and mask the smell of newborn poo, I'm happy!

Wipes wise, we are, as ever, loyal to our favourite WaterWipes. We have always used WaterWipes with Willow and I know for many they are a big expense, but for us, they are one of the few things we invest in. We buy in bulk from Amazon and I honestly believe they play in the fact Willow has never had a nappy rash or facial rash (when we've used wipes to clean her up after meals)

When we use a product on our babies that says it's kind and gentle, we want that to be the case; if you pick up a pack of 'sensitive' wipes from any household name, you will see a huge long list of ingredients. WaterWipes have just two simple ingredients, water and fruit extract, and their effectiveness shows you really don't need all the unnecessary added extras. My only downside to these wipes is that they are not biodegradable, it's something I hope WaterWipes work on in the future.

Despite, as of yet with Hadley, not experiencing any nappy rash, we're going with the same method we had with Willow; apply after all nappy changes whilst newborn we applied it as a preventative method, and now she's older, we simply apply as and when. We use Weleda Calendula Nappy Cream, a tube lasts us nearly a year and for us, it's the best formula wise.

Whether breastfeeding or formula feeding, you can be there for quite a while when you take into account the actual feeding, winding, changing, not forgetting the extra energy you need when you're breastfeeding. I always made sure to have some snacks on hand stocked up in my baby essentials box, Graze punnets are great (and super tasty - I bulk buy from the Graze website), oat-based biscuits, almonds, rice cakes, whilst I like to grab fresh fruit straight from the fridge. 

Water is super important as staying hydrated is a must, especially for breastfeeding, so I always made sure that whenever I sat down to feed upstairs, I have at least one big bottle of water to hand ready for me. I like to use reusable water bottles, minimising the risk of knocking over a glass, plus the bigger bottles help me make sure I'm drinking a minimum of 2 litres a day. 

If you have a similar set-up for your baby, I'd love to know what makes it onto your baby essentials list and if not, why not try setting up your own handy bedside box? It makes life so much easier!

*Feature includes complimentary press samples sent for review; I have not been financially compensated for this feature. Please see my disclaimer for more information.