New mum essentials: the brands to know and products to love
In a sea of millions of products geared to new mums and their infants, we've picked our favourite brands to know and essentials to buy
With shops closed, newbie parents and soon-to-be parents are now looking to stock up on all the baby and mum essentials online (thank goodness for all of those baby classes, breastfeeding sessions and post-natal workouts now accessible via Zoom and other online portals).
New mums quickly learn that everyone has a strong opinion on every subject surrounding motherhood, especially when it comes to the products and brands that work best and are indispensable. We've got a few of our own favourites: the new mum essentials that make life with a baby simpler, more straightforward and even more stylish.
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The most gorgeous baby carrier brand (that'll have you ditching the buggy): Artipoppe
Baby carriers are an essential piece of baby kit that allow mums and dads a hands-free carrying option that baby will enjoy (and can help them sleep). Not only great in those early days when you feel most comfortable with baby firmly attached to you, a baby carrier will be practical for months and months - especially one that gives you the option of carrying baby a few different ways.
Artipoppe baby carriers are made from gorgeous materials like pure cotton, cashmere and mulberry silk and start at £276 for the Zeitgeist in zebra print (and £190 for the stylish sling version). With patterns ranging from peacock to houndstooth to basic denim and swan print, it's also a gorgeous accessory for the new mum who wants convenience but won't sacrifice style. It can hold baby in a variety of positions up until age two, and there's a toddler carrier that goes up to age three-and-a-half as well.
Photo: Heist Studios
The lingerie brand that leaves you feeling sexy (and supported): Heist Studios
We can all agree producing another human is rather remarkable, and the way women's bodies change during pregnancy and post-birth to accommodate this new life is even more incredible. Finding undergarments that make new mums feel confident and sexy - and like they can head out to a lovely brunch or date night, if restaurants were open - is really crucial for helping women feel as gorgeous post-baby as they look.
Which is why we love Heist Studios - which has a variety of shapewear, tights and underwear to cover every new mum's needs (and is also indispensable for the busy mum with older kids who wants undergarments that look fashion but perform a function). The Outer Body (£95) is breastfeeding-friendly and looks amazing with a skirt or sweats; the tights are a workwear staple that won't sag, dig or roll (and, better yet, come in multi-packs) and the new semi-sheer underwear collection ticks the boxes of sex appeal and full coverage, featuring two different variations on a new mum's best friend: the high-waist brief.
The femtech brand that makes the most discreet breast pump: Elvie
Breastfeeding is beautiful. Pumping breast milk, not so much. Thankfully, Tania Boler's Elvie has come to the rescue, with the world's first silent, wearable, utterly discreet breast pump (from £249 for a single) that women can wear whenever, wherever, without any stress. Since it easily slips into a bra, women love that they can wear it while running errands, doing laundry, playing with their toddlers...
Elvie isn't just an amazing brand for its breast pump: we're also obsessed with the Elvie trainer (£169), which works with an app to strengthen those pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and post-baby.
The buggy brand we're still obsessing over: Bugaboo
The brand that's synonymous with luxury pushchairs and a celeb following that includes everyone from Meghan and Harry to Myleene Klass just keeps getting better and better: their latest pushchair, the Fox 2 (from £949) is designed for all-terrain walking with power steering around London's tightest corners, and manages to be hardwearing yet lightweight, making it the perfect choice for an active family's urban strolls and weekend wanders.
For Londoners needing a small flat-friendly design, the Bugaboo Ant (from £429) is designed to fold down ultra compactly - it's small enough to work as an airplane carry-on when folded - yet still has a reversible seat that can be used from birth and a range of accessories. On a personal note, our Bugaboo Cameleon has held up for over a decade (and at least five children; we bought it secondhand in 2010). The quality is just phenomenal.
The science-backed baby brand: Etta Loves
From muslins to play mats, blankets to teethers, every product from Etta Loves is just glorious to look at (it's why the brand is so brilliant for new mum and baby gifts).
Those lovely prints aren't just designed to appeal to discerning mums, however: the brand works closely with specialists to ensure that each design is made to support babies' visual and cognitive development - that's why you'll find black and white prints for the sub-6 months set and colours for babies 6 months and up (sometimes in the same item, like the reversible animal print play mat, £75). The muzzies are super-popular, and come in packs of three or can be bought individually.
Photo: Sleepyhead at John Lewis
The baby mat every baby needs: Sleepyhead
As the great Moses basket vs cot vs cot bed vs co-sleeper bed rages on, one thing's for certain: a Sleepyhead Baby Pod is absolutely indispensable for all new parents and their tots. The Swedish brand makes portable baby nests in two sizes (newborn to 8 months; then 9 months and up) in an array of playful prints that are super convenient for baby to do everything on: sleep, play, practise tummy time, get their nappy changed and hang out.
Move it from room to room easily, or throw in the car when you're heading out on a day trip. We're obsessing over the latest print, the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Painted Spots Baby Pod, 0-8 months (£150).
Photo: Kit & Kin
The eco baby brand to know: Kit & Kin
Whether you need some organic cotton babygros or are in the market for some natural, eco-friendly baby and mummy skincare products, Kit & Kin is a gorgeous brand that makes all of the above and then some (they've also got biodegradable wipes and hypoallergenic eco nappies available on a subscription service).
The brand has just launched a reusable cloth nappy, made from recovered fishing nets, in cute tiger, fox and zebra prints. Fun fact: Emma Bunton is a co-founder of the brand.
Photo: Snuz Baby
The brand that has sleep sorted: Snüz Baby
From its co-sleeping but not-quite co-sleeping bedside crib to SnüzPouch sleeping bags, Snüz has everything a baby needs to sleep soundly, including sleep aid toys and nursery decor. In fact, older kids will love the new kids' teepee play tents.
The sleeping bag is brilliant because its design makes middle-of-the-night nappy changes super easy, and with a bit of luck, baby should be able to sleep through them.
Photo: My 1st Years
The personalised baby brand: My 1st Years
Nothing beats a personalised baby gift, whether it's for a first baby or a fourth (especially when it's the fourth, so that child has at least one toy to claim as its own!).
My 1st Years is our favourite go-to for gifts for little ones, including furry babies. From personalised blankets and bathrobes to cuddlies, every toy and clothing item is a welcome gift for mummies and babies to cherish for years to come. Trust us - when you clear out the hundreds of soft toys your toddler has acquired, you always hold on to the little elephant with their name on.
The Scandi nursery furniture brand to know: moKee
moKee will kit out your nursery with Moses baskets, cots, shelving and storage in chic and natural Scandi materials and hues, at affordable prices (cot beds, which will take your child up to the age of 4, are under £200, made from beechwood and eco-certified paint).
You'll love all the natural wool felt furniture pieces, like the stylish Moses basket designed to keep out the chill and block any noises. Helpfully, moKee has also launched an online birth school with workshops on everything from post-pregnancy fitness to how to cope with new-mum emotions.
The trusted brand for bouncers, cots and carriers: BabyBjörn
BabyBjörn is a favourite for their baby carriers - beloved by mums and dads - but we'd also recommend the brand for a range of other baby and toddler essentials. Their Bliss bouncer (from £144.99) is hands down the best first baby chair - it works as a stylish rocker for little ones and converts to a chair for older babies (just swap the fabric around).
The Swedish brand also has a range of must-haves from weaning essentials like food-catching baby bibs to on-the-go ultra-light travel cots, as well as the kit required for every child 18 months and older: potties and step stools.