This is our personal Top-5 things-we-couldn’t-live-without. As Fig gets older, no doubt this list will change, but for the last however-many weeks, these have been, and are, our daily essentials:
 Tommee Tippee Prep Machine. Obviously, this is only for formula fed babies, but it really has been a life-saver for us. When we got home from the hospital, we found out pretty quickly that boiling kettles and letting them cool while Fig screamed himself into a blue fit just was not going to work. I’d never come across the prep machine – I guess because formula feeding is so frowned upon in this country and not properly discussed, such a thing had never come up. However, once discovered, we could never go back. It’s basically a Nespresso machine for babies.
(It might be worth mentioning that the BBC’s Watchdog recently broadcast an article on these, suggesting they weren’t safe. Tommee Tippee themselves dispute Watchdog’s findings, and even the scientist on the programme said that there was only the possibility of vulnerable babies being affected by bacteria in milk prepared in the machine. I guess it’s just about making an informed decision that works for you. See the article and Tommee Tippee’s response in full here.)
 Baby sleeping bag. The big brand is of course, Grobag, but they are very expensive. Fig has two (in case of late night accidents, a spare is a good idea), one from John Lewis and one from IKEA.
But the Gro company website has some great info, even if you’re planning on using another brand, on how to get the sleeping bag that’s right for your lifestyle. And yeah, blankets are cheaper, but sleeping bags take away the worry of baby slipping under the covers. I’ve also found that Fig goes to bed easier as we put him in the sleeping bag, then give him a good snuggle before putting him down: this means he’s not going into a cold bed, as he’s already warmed up his bag, so is less likely to wake. (Note that IKEA don’t have tog ratings on the website, but instore, they have tags on the display sleeping bags saying what the tog is).
 Bouncy chair. Before Fig was born, we read that bouncy chairs in some way restricted development, so hadn’t bought one. Just before Christmas, Saul’s lovely parents gave us one. And my goodness! How we managed – we didn’t – before it, I don’t know. Suddenly, I have somewhere to pop him if I need to go the bathroom. He can sit by the table and be bounced while we’re eating – how we’d have gotten through Christmas without it, I genuinely do not know. If you don’t have one yet, get one. It will change your life. And you don’t need a fancy-shmancy one with self-bounce features and baby-massage facility. Ours is just a wire frame that we put our foot on to bounce. And it’s just dandy.
 Bath seat. We started out with a baby bath, but neither Fig nor we enjoyed bathtime with it. Then we bought the Angelcare bath seat, and now bathtime is the highlight of all our day. It also takes up less space than a baby bath, and is a kinda funky design. Job done.
 Grandma-knitted blanket. You know what? It’s better than any we bought. It’s softer, snugglier, warmer, and has love purled into it. As the picture at the top shows, Fig rarely leaves the house without it. I’m afraid you can’t buy one, but you could always try and coax your own grandparents to get the needles out…