The everything-you-need-to-get list for breastfeeding and weaning.
Your brand new little human’s finally here, and you’re unsure about what you need to buy in order to succeed at this parenting gig. You figure they’ll need feeding, bathing and some sleep (way less than you need, it will often seem!), but the overwhelming choices out there are causing decision paralysis. Should you buy a UV or steam bottle steriliser? A baby monitor or sensor pad? And breast pumps… why are there soooo many to choose between? Few people have room in their Singapore home to hoard all that baby stuff, so you have to choose wisely. Never fear: we’re here to help you navigate through the minefield of baby consumerism with our handy checklist of items. Parents, we give you our guide to baby essentials: everything you need for feeding your li’l one…
Baby feeding essentials: The things you REALLY need
1. Nursing bras/tops
If you decide to breastfeed, this will impact your wardrobe choices each day. Tops with straps and liftable panels make easy access for baby to get to the good stuff. And don’t forget about support! Get a nursing bra that unclips and invest in a lightweight cover, like the ones from Pupsik Studio, so you can wear tops that unbutton or roll up but still keep your girls covered. Unlike a simple muslin swaddle cloth, a custom-designed nursing cover still allows you to see what’s going on to make latching easier. But worry not, folks: nursing bras have come a long way since the ones that look like they came from a grandmother’s undies drawer!
Try: Check out our fave maternity fashion brands, too, as many pieces are nursing friendly.
2. High chair
Secure, sturdy and easy to clean – these are the top three priorities when buying a high chair. And it’s top of your baby feeding essentials list! Whether you go high-end and stylish with a Stokke Tripp Trapp or budget and easy-on-the-eye with IKEA, just make sure your kids can’t topple it. Take it from us, too: avoid fabric at all costs! Remember, they will be using this well into their third year. Check that you can get it right up to your dining table or that it has a detachable tray. These things matter! We really love the award-winning Poppy chair by phil & teds that adapts as your child gets older, too.
Try: Mothercare and Pupsik Studio as a good starting point.
3. Milk formula for toddlers
It can take some time before solid food becomes the norm for your baby – it’s definitely a slow (but exciting) journey! Choosing a nutritious formula suitable for their age is key to keeping your toddler fed and happy, especially when they’re off to daycare where they’re expending lots of energy yet may not be eating enough for their development. After all, not all milk is made equal – some formula has added sugars and chemicals that aren’t really great for bub’s development.
We’d opt for Australia’s #1 organic brand, Bellamy’s Ogranic, for a pure start to life. By pure, we’re talking no artificial preservatives, colours, flavours, pesticides or GMO ingredients. It’s made from certified organic cow’s milk, with added DHA, prebiotic (GOS) and 16 essential vitamins and minerals, which are essential for your baby’s mental and physical development. Their happy, free-roaming cows reward us with tasty, nutritious milk! If you’re keen to give this formula a go, snap up the free Bellamy’s Organic Step 3 toddler milk drink samples available online!
Try: Bellamy’s Organic Step 3 toddler milk drink
4. Breast pump
We reckon all new mums face a certain degree of frustration in the first few weeks or months when it comes to milk supply. Whether you’re worried you have too much or not enough, a breast pump can certainly make life easier. Look for an electric pump that simulates a baby’s sucking action: light and fast at first to stimulate flow, then slower and deeper once the letdown begins. Also, think about where you will be – work, travel, and the need to be hands-free are all factors that will affect your choice.
Try: Our guide to the tried and tested breast pumps mothers love
5. Milk bottles
Whether for formula or expressed milk, the process of finding a suitable milk bottle might take a bit of trial and error. Many babies suffer some degree of wind-related discomfort, so look for bottles that are designed to reduce the amount of air a baby will intake when drinking. Drinking from a bottle might be met with resistance so try different teats until you discover the best ones for your baby. Check the different teat hole sizes so you can control the flow as they get older and stronger; newborns do best on the smallest opening.
Try: We loved the Pigeon range, which you can buy through Redmart online. We’re also big fans of Hegen for bottles and storage.
Whether you decide to sterilise for six months or 12, you’ll need to do it to keep bottles and breastfeeding equipment thoroughly hygienic. There are many different kinds of sterilisers on the market (read our guide!), so think about how much equipment needs to go in there, how many times a day you may use it and whether you’re on the move. Babies who are bottle-fed need at least six bottles a day so you may decide to sterilise everything at night or use fewer bottles and do it a couple of times a day with a digital or electric unit.
Try: Read our handy guide for the most recommended sterilisers.
It’s no secret babies sometimes bring up milk for a second showing. When you’re considering baby feeding essentials, you can buy burp cloths, but why not go straight for a bib? You can use these on your shoulder, on your baby, and then you also have them ready once the weaning process begins. We particularly like the Coverall weaning bibs from Bibado which do just that, and cover all of bub so you don’t need to worry about the carnage that can come with baby-led weaning for instance! Another fab option is the TOKI baby-led weaning bib, which is a sturdy piece of kit being stain-resistant and waterproof!
8. Baby drinking cups
We love the fab straw training cup from Richell Aqulea. It’s a perfect size and gets littlies used to drinking from a straw from the get-go. The shape of the straw means bubs can use it easily, and there’s a lid so no mess to worry about! We are also big fans of the Munchkin no-spill cups. Suitable from six months, kiddos can drink from anywhere around the rim, just like a regular cup, so they get to grips with these key skills early on! Munchkin also do a fab weighted straw cup, if you’re after a straw option without worrying about it toppling over all the time! And once bubs gets a little older, we think the Ezpz mini cup is a fab addition to your cupboards. The soft silicone protects toddler’s developing teeth, and it’s safe with hot and cold liquids too!
Try: Richell Aqulea; Munchkin; Ezpz
9. Baby bowls, plates and cutlery
Yep, don’t forget the all-important bowls and plates for littlies. Avoid the plates being sent across the floor with a sturdy and suction version like OXO Tot stick and stay suction bowl. Even the most trying of little hands will struggle to remove this, plus its dishwasher and microwave safe, so it’s also super practical! The OXO Tot cutlery is also great for kids too, with easy-grip, non-slip handles. Or, if you’re after something more colourful, check out these amazing (and perfectly sized) zoo-tensils from SkipHop. For feeding on the go, pop one of these feeding spoons into the baby bag, and you’ll never need to worry about feeding out and about again!
10. Baby food storage solutions
You’ll discover the joy of messy meals around six months (and then discover minimal mess finger foods!). Once weaning starts, you will be pureeing regularly. The most efficient way to do this is to make different food combinations in batches and freeze small portions in ice-block trays. Once frozen, pop out into labelled (reusable!) freezer bags and then use ice trays for another batch. We like rubber or silicone-type moulds as it makes popping out the food easier. We are also fans of OXO Tot freezer storage containers, which are super easy to stack and the perfect size for portions.
Try: Beaba; Munchkin, and OXO at Pupsik Studio; IKEA
11. Purée-making equipment
Make weaning food easily with an all in one mixer and steamer. You can, of course, use a double saucepan steamer set-up if you don’t want to fork out, but we found the Beaba Babycook particularly good to travel with. You need only chop your vegetables, fruit and meat! For an all-out, no expenses spared, there is, of course, the inimitable Thermomix, only available through direct sales. Book yourself a demo for a bit of fun and serious #FOMO. Or, how about a pressure cooker to do the hard work for you? Plus, it’s a healthy alternative, as well as being super easy to use – winner!
Try: Beaba Baby Cook, Thermomix; Mayer pressure cooker
What are your baby feeding essentials? Let us know if we missed anything!