Preparing for bébé 3 has a different feel to it. For our first, it was all about being prepared for everything – which in hindsight led to too much unnecessary gear and over-spending. For our second it was the exact opposite – we figured we already had everything we needed and knew it all – and barely prepared. This caused a mad rush out the door when my water broke at midnight, with no hospital bag “ready-at the door” in sight. We indeed had tons of gear, but had none of the essentials ready.
This time, for our bébé boy, we will be prepared! At least a little bit. While memories of those first 3 months can often be hazy – we know what we really need – and the rest is what we’d really like. Because this time around, we are buying much, much less, but treating ourselves more. Read on for our list of essentials and favorites.
The Happiest Baby SNOO bassinet was absolutely the first thing on our list. We read, highlighted and sticky tabbed Dr. Karp’s book like a textbook when we were expecting our first child, and we are reading it again now to refresh ourselves. The Snoo has a beautifully chic aesthetic with its wooden base, it rocks baby based on his/her cries, has built-in white noise features and allows you to swaddle directly inside. We cannot wait to try the Snoo as soon as we get home from the hospital. With baby’s safety as our top priority – and our own sleep somewhere high up there too – this is our top purchase. More to come when bébé arrives.
Pumping – I swore I wouldn’t do it with our first and would breastfeed exclusively. I was intimidated by all the wires, and not to mentioned the act of pumping itself. But I soon realized pumping was critical for me to have some independence during my maternity leave – and then I pumped for nearly 9 months afterwards when I returned to work. I rented an industrial-style, double pump (attaching to both breasts) from a French pharmacy and rented this same pump again for our second child. Here in France, public health insurance partially covers the rental of a pump, although I still found that pharmacies overcharge for this service. Fast forward to bébé 3 and I am set on trying the Elvie Breast Pump. It is wireless and silent – perfect for multi-tasking. While I hope to slow down this time around and enjoy this quiet, quality time with bébé, pumping on the move will be an absolute game changer.
I loved “baby-wearing” and really only discovered this with our second child. The parent-bébé close contact is extremely special and fleeting, and bébés sleep beautifully like this. It’s a must, not-to-be missed opportunity for bonding. The Artipoppe carriers are gorgeous, with unique prints that we really love, especially as a visual brand ourselves. When we saw the swan print, it was an instant “must”- a true treat for ourselves.
The Peg Perego Tata Mia chair starts out as a swing for a young bebe, converts into a high chair, and its butter-cream color matches the leather couch in our living room. Parfait!
SOFT PRODUCTS & ACCESSORIES
Atelier Choux carrés (light blankets or swaddles) introduce bébé to storytelling and our whimsical world right from birth. Treat yourself to a couple carrés and discover their many uses here. We are also big believers in the benefits of swaddling and wrapped both our little ones up tightly for the first 9 months. With our older children, our carrés are still part of our daily routine: at naptime and at night as a light blanket, and in the car to block out the sun. For bébé three, we are thrilled to launch our Carousel carré in soft blue tones! Find the limited edition here. This print will join our permanent collection from Holiday 2020.
We had been searching for a beautiful knitted outfit for bébé, to combine with our illustrated carrés. Newborn photos last forever – and whether you take professional photos or just with your phone – it’s worth investing in something special. Mi loves’ beautiful, luxurious knits have pom-poms and ruffled details for an extra luxurious touch. More to come when bebe arrives!
We wanted a cute accessory for our newborn photos and discovered Cheengoo’s gorgeous crochet donut rattles which our older children also love for themselves. Luckily there are four flavors! Cheengoo uses soft yarn derived from pulp of Ecocert certified and sustainably harvested bamboo trees. These are perfect for gifting and go especially well with our Sweetie Pie print.
Any luxurious robe / feel-good pajamas: A lovely tie-in-the front or side robe makes breastfeeding easier and more discreet if you are expecting visitors in the hospital or at home. When our first was born I wore large tee-shirts and tank tops, and basically had to rip them off frantically when the crying began. This often coincided with an unassuming nurse, relative or administrator’s entry into the room. A classy robe would have been so much more chic, and anything that helps mom feel good is a plus. At the same time, there is a high risk that this silky number of yours is going to get soiled, to keep in mind that it should be relatively easy to wash and not excessively ‘precious.’
Nipple cream: An essential right from the start. Breastfeeding gets less and less painful with time, so hang in there, but this will make it a lot easier. There are many well-known brands to choose from and the lanolin-based, moisturising formulas double as a hydrating lip gloss for mom / dad.
Postpartum products: I quite simply overlooked self-care with both our first and second. The French public hospital where both children were born does not provide ice, a cold compress or anything at all to soothe a mom’s body postpartum – aside from oral painkillers. It took me 3 pregnancies to understand that there are products out there to speed recovery and ease the discomfort. The Frida Mom Recovery Kit reviews are fantastic and I feel many, many times more “prepared” for the big day with solutions in hand. Having their Instant Ice pads, disposable underwear and other genius products by my side will be a game changer.
Nasal Aspirator: Also from the Frida range, the NoseFrida Snotsucker is one of our favorite products. There is nothing more satisfying than unblocking a stuffy baby’s nose. This is an essential for bebe’s first few years.
Diaper rash cream: A sore, red bum isn’t going to go down well with your little one. Bring some with you in your hospital bag. We love California Baby’s Diaper Rash Ointment which we grab on trips to the US. Weleda’s Calendula Diaper rash cream is also a staple and is widely available in France.
Hospital Packing List – Our Top Essentials
We put together this short list of our top, edited essentials for your hospital bag. There are so many lists available out there – full of gear – that can make the planning process more intimidating. Above are the top essentials that we are packing for the third time around.
Many products above for Mom are for breastfeeding, should you choose to do so. These include a nursing pillow, to help you position bébé while keeping your back in a comfortable position, and nipple cream to make the process less painful. Pyjamas, a robe, tanks and bras (with or without handy clips for feeding) are basics.
Being prepared for “Self-care” is essential! See above for the amazing products from Frida Mom. Your hospital may provide some of these products, but our go-to “maternité” certainly does not!
For our first bébé, we didn’t have a newborn hairbrush with us and he was born with a head full of hair. Newborn photos with wild locks followed. We were prepared with a brush for our second and she was born without a single hair in sight!
The hospital may provide newborn diapers, cotton and diaper cream, you can inquire before – or bring you own.
Several small bibs can be useful if you are dressing bébé in a nice outfit. Discover our collection of infant bibs here, perfectly sized for newborns.
*We didn’t give either of our first two children kids pacifiers – there is so much literature out there on “nipple confusion” while breastfeeding that we decided against it from the start. For our third, we will be less “tough,” especially while at the hospital. If desperate for sleep, I’ll give our little one a pacifier for a few hours, if he’ll take it. At 3am with no one around to fetch one for you, you may be very happy to have one on hand.
We hope this list is helpful – please watch this space for updates and reviews!