With the beginning of December in sight, ’tis the season to be jolly…and if you’re pregnant or have a new baby, it’s also the season to splash a lot of cash. Luckily, your friends and family are likely to be extra generous this year; who doesn’t love a Christmas baby after all?!
Enter the Follow Your Sunshine 2016 New Mum’s Christmas Gift List & Baby Registry to help you to decide which items are of the utmost importance to include on your (and your baby’s) wishlist to Santa this year. And if there is a yummy mummy or cutie patootie in your life, you can use it to show off your thoughtful present buying skills without breaking the bank too!
If there is one product that I would recommend to any prospective parents, it is this. With a detachable side, it can be fixed onto the side of your bed, helping your baby to feel closer to you and making safe co-sleeping a doddle. Plus it’s lightweight and easily transportable too.
Sleepyhead of Sweden
We’ve used our Sleepyhead as a cot insert, travel bed, handy portable nap time spot, and a safe place to put Sophia down when we needed to be hands-free before she learnt to roll! Sophia loves how cosy it makes her feel at night, and for this reason we’re about to upgrade from the Deluxe to the Grand.
Our baby sleep saviour! The Whisbear plays white noise, has a standby mode for when your baby wakes, and is super cute and soft to the touch too. Find out more here.
IKEA Antilop High Chair
A streamlined and simple design, this highchair has an easily detachable table and seat, which means that the lazy parents amongst us (ahem, yup, me!) can just shove the whole thing straight into the dishwasher after use. Let’s face it, if you’re attempting baby-led weaning like we are, you’re probably going to be doing this a lot.
When you don’t have the time for cooking, puréeing, sautéing and mashing the organic ingredients you have purchased at the local farmer’s market (ha ha ha…), these pouches are a handy alternative to pop into your bag for quick lunches and snacks on the go. They’re made using all-organic ingredients with no additives too.
Vita Coco Coconut Oil
There are all too many reasons to #swearbyit – both for mum (conditioner, lip balm, make up remover!!) and baby (cradle cap, nappy rash and healthy cooking when you reach weaning stage). Read more here.
Natural and organic products are my preference for Sophia’s delecate skin, and as Aleva Naturals products smell heavenly and leave her skin feeling super soft, they are ideal. It’s also a bonus that they are also a hair and body wash in one, meaning that we don’t have to spend too much time faffing about with the washing part of bath time, and have more time to enjoy splashing around.
I like the fact that Bumbos are ergonomically shaped so that they’re super comfy for little bottoms. Where are the adult-sized versions?! Ideal for those times when some concentrated play or reading is required. Or when you need to shove them in front of In The Night Garden, safe in the knowledge that they can’t get into mischief while you take a quick shower (don’t judge me!).
Fisher Price Rainforest range
From the activity gym to the bouncer, the Jumperoo to the swing, Sophia has used one item or other of the rainforest range since pretty much day one. The bright colours, sounds and music are great for developing key motor, visual and auditory skills, and many of the parts are detachable to become toys for on the move.
One of the major perks of living in a hot country is the fact that we can swim on an almost daily basis. Our float has therefore been one of our go-to pieces of kit, and it’s helped Sophia to become accustomed to the water while feeling safe and protected. She also looks pretty cute in it when her little legs pedal under the water to propel herself along.
Bugaboo Cameleon Travel System & Accessories
I probably don’t need to do too much to sell the Bugaboo to you, as it’s well-known in mummy circles as being one of the best stroller systems out there, so I’ll just give you three reasons why I think it pips its competitors to the post: 1. It’s sturdy! You can attach ten tonnes of shopping to the handle and still it doesn’t seem to ever lose its balance, keeping your precious cargo safe inside; 2. It’s got a great turning circle. Trust me when I say that after pushing a buggy around every day for 8 months, this becomes important; 3. The additional accessories you can buy are endless. If you crave coordination, you are blessed with seat covers and parasols and cup holders and blankets to enhance your (and your baby’s) Bugaboo experience!
It might sound a bit sad, but I don’t know what I did before this pram caddie came into my life, especially now the days are cooler in Doha, and I’m able to get out and about a lot more with Sophia. It fits any brand of stroller, collapses with the stroller for easy storage and even has an insulated cup holder compartment for much-needed caffeinated drinks (or a bottle if you like).
Smythson Personalised Passport Covers
These personalised passport covers were part of my wedding gift to Mr Sunshine, and when we found out that we were having a girl and had decided on a name, Mr S suggested we had one made for her too. They are made from real leather, can be embossed in different colours and styles and are a must for any families who aren’t willing to give up the travel bug when their precious bundle arrives.
Ergobaby Cool Air
This baby carrier has been a staple with us on our travels, as it’s lightweight and breathable, so that Sophia stays cosy or cool in any type of weather. It has four different carrying positions, comes with an infant insert for use with tiny babies, and is one of Sophia’s very favourite nap spots too.
Jem & Bea Changing Bag
I bought this changing bag because, well, it didn’t look like a changing bag! I love the soft leather and designer handbag feel to it, but soon came to adore the capacity, accessories and storage compartments even more. I loved it so much in fact, that I just bought another for my friend who is having a baby in January.
For more travel-related ideas, head to ‘How To Travel With A Baby’
Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
The comfiest nursing bra I have ever worn, and the only one I would ever purchase again. It fits snugly, comes in a multitude of colours, and doesn’t make you feel like a frump. Read more here.
Emma Bridgewater mugs
I am a tea addict, so my mug collection is embarrasingly huge. If I had a choice however, I would only ever drink out of my hand painted, individually designed Emma Bridgewater mugs. I love them! As a busy and tired mum, someone offering you a cup of tea is a godsend but someone buying you a pretty mug to put your tea in is priceless.
Qatar-Based Stocking Fillers
Umm Mu Hadmade – Making It Personal
The absolutely lovely (and incredibly talented!) Shafna never really liked needlecraft when she was younger. Her mother bought her a sewing machine because she thought that every household should have one, but it lived for a while on a shelf gathering dust. Then one day she took it down. She was inspired by the birth of her children to start making clothes, and she discovered she was actually quite good at it. Several years (and the stocking of several heaving fabric closets!) later, and she has a successful business, hand making everything from garments for girls, to cushions, quilts and framed birth announcements. She made Sophia the most beautiful little dress, and matching knickerbockers which we absolutely love! Check out her Facebook page here.
Patt’s stunning handmade items first came to our attention before Sophia was born, when we commissioned her to make the pretty name garland which now hangs above the cot in her room. Since then, we have received a nursing cover, which I used almost daily during the early days, and a gorgeous, characterful owl cushion which matches the decor of her nursery. Patt’s creativity grew from making little gifts for friends and family back in Portugal where she is from, to later having her own stalls at various craft fairs around Doha. She works with her clients to personalise most of their designs, and is constantly working on new ideas to expand her range. Check out her Facebook page here.
Monkey Tail Qatar
We love Sophia’s pretty floral swimsuit set from Monkey Tail. They sell a huge range of swimwear for kids in various eye-catching patterns, as well as a large range of gorgeous Spanish shoes, bags, hats and hair accessories. Check out their Facebook page here.
Kirsten lives just down the road from me, and I met her at a weekly gathering of mums and babies. I knew that she was a creative and resourceful mummy, but it only came to my attention fairly recently that she was also incredibly talented at crocheting too! I just had to get my hands on these gorgeous little yellow Converse for a recent baby shower gift, but she makes many more items besides. Check out her Facebook page here.
For more baby gift ideas and inspiration, head to ‘Sophia’s Nursery Reveal’
Please note that some of the above items were provided for review. However, as always all views are my own