January 20, 2020
All The Gear, No Idea is a weekly series from HuffPost Finds where we feature product recommendations for parents, by parents. Whether you’re shopping for a car seat for the first time or don’t know what tech to buy your teen, we’ve got you covered with shopping guides, reviews and the latest deals.
10 Things You Didnt Know Youd Need When You Became A Parent
We all know that becoming a parent for the first time means a whole new shopping experience - from car seats to prams to cots and Moses baskets. But what about the stuff you didn’t even realise you needed?My friends and I have a useful list that we send round to each other, each time someone announces they’re pregnant. It’s full of ‘never knew I needed that’ items; acting both as a guide to the most obscure parenting essentials. I couldn’t have got through the early years of parenthood without it.
And I’m here to make your life as a parent easier too, by imparting what I learned on the job. Forget gadgets and gimmicks: here’s what you really, really need. Sophie La Giraffe Teether Toy, John Lewis, £11.99I had no idea of the true importance of Sophie when a close friend gave me one as a ‘new baby’ present. I smiled at it, thought, “oh, that’s sweet”, noted that it squeaked quite loudly, and casually placed it on top of the growing pile. What I should have done is carefully sat Sophie on a plush velvet cushion, bowed to her and hung diamonds around her neck - for Sophie is a queen. Seriously. Once you know how good she is, there’s no way you can fail to notice her ubiquitous presence. Sophie, made in France, is the teether to beat all other teethers. She’s soft and flexible and 100% natural rubber. Your baby will love chewing her to pieces. End of story. You can also buy a teething ring version with two handles your baby can grip easily. We had both.
Buy it here. Related... Travelling With Kids: Your Ultimate Survival Guide And 10 Must-Haves Sock Ons, Tu by Sainsbury’s, £4If there’s one truism about babies, it’s that they cannot - they simply cannot - keep their socks on. You’ll put on a pair, turn around for half a second to grab something, and one or both socks will have been wriggled off and disappeared. This goes for babies who have only just learned to crawl, babies who can walk, and babies who can’t do anything but lay down in one place and gurgle contentedly at the ceiling. If you’re out and about with your baby in a pram or baby carrier, forget it. You’ll be coming home sock-less. It’s just a fact. Until... Sock Ons. All hail the magic of a Sock On - they’re cheap, stretchy, made of nylon and elastane and fit over the baby’s foot to keep their socks firmly in place. Never lose a sock - or your sanity - again. You’re welcome. 
Buy it here. Universal Cup Holder, Mamas and Papas, £19What’s the one thing every new parent needs? That’s right. Coffee. But if you want to be able to carry your precious cargo (and yes - we mean baby and a flat white) safely at the same time, you’re going to need one of these: a universal cup holder, that clips to the handles of your pram or pushchair. I’ve lost far too many good coffees sloshing over the plastic lid while steering one-handed - and this solves that problem perfectly. Many individual pram and pushchair brands do their own versions, such as the Bugaboo Cup Holder, but for one that suits all pushchairs, give the Universal Cup Holder a try. 
Buy it here. Car Mirror For Rear Facing Seats, Jojo Maman Bebe, £12I had no idea how much I would come to rely on a car mirror when my children were small and still in rear-facing car seats. If you’re driving alone, it can be pretty anxiety-inducing not to know whether they’re okay back there. You can’t see their faces in your windscreen mirror, and I found myself having to pull over several times during a long car journey just to check if they were asleep and still breathing. Until a friend who has four children gave me one of these: a car mirror for rear-facing seats. Hallelujah! It straps to the headrest of the back seat, and you can angle it so it gives you a clear picture of your baby’s face when you look in your own mirror. And once baby grows into a toddler and moves into a forward-facing car seat, you can strap the mirror to the seat in front of them, so they can watch themselves while you drive. Better than TV. 
Buy it here. Related... The Six Questions Parents Need To Ask When Buying A Car Seat Fisher-Price Roarin’ Rainforest Jumperoo, Argos, £80One thing I swiftly learned when I became a parent: you will do anything for a few minutes of peace and a sit down with a cup of tea. Anything. Even having an enormous plastic rainforest bouncer toy in the middle of your living room. The Jumperoo isn’t cheap (so keep an eye on local ‘sell and swap’ Facebook community groups, which is where I got mine), but it’s a worthy investment. It’s suitable from 6 months - as long as your baby can lift its head up unassisted - up to a weight of 11.3kg (25lbs). The manufacturers advise an upper limit of 20 minutes per session, which is a solid 20 minutes of sitting-down time. Don’t you dare do anything boring, like the washing up. Just sit and relax and watch your baby go wild. You’ve earned it. 
Buy it here. Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator, Amazon, £6.43Babies can’t blow their nose when they have a cold. Worse still, if they’re breast or bottle fed exclusively, it becomes very difficult for them to feed when their little noses are blocked. Cue: a hungry, ill baby who cannot settle or sleep. It might be one of the grossest realities of parenting, but you will suck out your child’s snot when this happens. You will be so desperate for sleep that if there’s anything stopping your baby from closing their eyes - even bogeys - you will take them on. That’s not to say this isn’t divisive, of course. I’ve had full-scale wars with other parents who think this is going too far. But hear me out: you don’t have to suck bogeys directly with your mouth. I mean, you can, but I use one of these – a nasal aspirator. It has a little plastic tube you suck, with the other end placed at your child’s nostril. A piece of foam stops the snot from going into your mouth and down your throat. If a better or more satisfying invention exists, I do not know what it is. It will change your life. 
Buy it here. TOMY First Years Starlight Dream Show Musical Light Projector, Amazon, £13.39A friend bought one of these for my daughter when she was a baby... she’s now turning eight, and she’s STILL USING IT. Every single night, when she turns her light off to go to sleep, she puts her star on. I have one for my son, too - he’s three and the same rules apply. Each star has a five or ten minute playback setting, and projects a cute scene of flowers and bugs and rainbows up onto the ceiling. When we go away on holiday or to see relatives, we take them with us. I would never have dreamed that one small baby gift would give us years (literally) of use, but this has. I couldn’t parent without it. 
Buy it here. Chicco Next To Me Magic Bedside Crib, John Lewis, £239With my first baby I used a Moses basket - I liked the ‘traditional’ look and feel of it and loved the way it stood on a stand in my bedroom. Until... I realised my daughter didn’t really like to sleep much. I would find myself feeding or rocking her for 45 minutes until she closed her eyes, but every time I put her down in the Moses basket she would wake straight back up again. Then a friend recommended a co-sleeper: a special cot that straps to the side of the bed, with a detachable side separating your baby’s sleeping space from your own. It meant I could pull my daughter towards me to breastfeed her, and then pop her back into her own safe space, all without waking her. It changed everything, because it gave me the confidence to let myself go and get a good night’s sleep. And when I had my son a few years later, I did the same with him, too.
Buy it here. Related... I Said I Wouldn’t Co-Sleep – And Then I Did It With Both My Children Angelcare Soft-Touch Bath Support Baby Seat, Boots, £27.99I tried all sorts of bath seats: from a ‘Tummy Tub’ (top tip: for a cheaper version, try a standard £1 plastic bucket from Halfords or B&Q) to a plain Ikea baby bath - but the Hardenberg Angelcare soft-touch seat was the best of the bunch for my children. It feels really safe and sturdy, and the textured angled seating area is soft and comfortable. It also has a water level indicator for optimal safety in the bath. I liked it so much that I passed it on to relatives - my children’s cousins have both used it (and loved it), too. 
Buy it here. Bright Starts Zig Zag Zebra Vibrating Bouncer Chair, Amazon, £25.99It’s important to be able to move your baby around so he or she doesn’t get bored, so I used to have a little routine going - ‘tummy time’ on a play mat on the floor, then a bounce in the Jumperoo, then some time in the bouncer chair, and (hopefully) a nap, before we’d begin the routine all over again. If you get one like this, with a gentle vibrating function, it might even send your baby off to sleep while they’re in it - which means you are sorted. This has a removable toy-bar, with two hanging toys included. Hours of fun (and a little rest for mummy or daddy). I also found a bouncer chair the perfect solution for keeping an eye on my baby while I took a shower, because you can bring it into the bathroom with you and keep baby safe - but occupied. The only element to be aware of is when they start getting bigger, or more mobile (and trying to escape). After the age of six or seven months, mine began pitching themselves forward and could have fallen headfirst out of it. But until then, it was a lifesaver. 
Buy it here.
 Related... The 10 Best Tablets For Kids The 10 Best Travel Cots To Keep Your Baby Happy On Holiday 5 Self-Help Books For Parents That Mums And Dads Say Actually Work We all work hard to earn our money – so it shouldn’t feel like hard work to spend it well. At HuffPost Finds we’ll help you find the best stuff that deserves your cash, from the ultimate lipstick to a durable iron to replace the one that broke (RIP). All our choices are completely independent but we may earn a small commission if you click a link and make a purchase. 
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
"Vanderpump Rules" Star Scheana Shay Is Pregnant | E! News
October 28, 2020
0RJVbQ_KywM
Kelly Rowland Talks "Brown Skin Girl" Video With Beyoncé | Daily Pop | E! News
October 28, 2020
EeTdr_FTOaA
Kathy Hilton Officially Joins "RHOBH" as a Friend | Daily Pop | E! News
October 28, 2020
a1jNe-rqPOE
Chris Harrison Gave Dodgers Advance Screening of New 'Bachelorette' Debut | TMZ
October 28, 2020
L7nXHbwf5PU
Bella Hadid Shaves Her Horses | TMZ TV
October 28, 2020
DEcavU9GD_8
The Rock Tastes His Own Blood After Gym Injury, Gets Stitches to Close Gash | TMZ TV
October 28, 2020
AS5QxRNANqc
'Moulin Rouge!' Director Baz Luhrmann on Turning the Film into the Tony-Nominated Broadway Musical
October 28, 2020
pGE9efj6b2I
Lena Waithe, Yara Shahidi, and More Join Variety's #Represent Black Women Creators Roundtable
October 28, 2020
XTECBlX2cGs
The Women of 'Greys Anatomy' on How the Show Will Tackle the Coronavirus Pandemic
October 28, 2020
motAA7fFHmg
Serena Williams owes her marriage to Alexis Ohanian to Rome and rats | Page Six Celebrity News
October 28, 2020
bwL1Kwodtxc
Savannah Guthrie parlaying town hall moderator gig into new NBC deal | Page Six Celebrity News
October 28, 2020
Rx8rCGtb1cs
Olivia Culpo on what clothes Christian McCaffrey loves to see her in | Page Six News
October 27, 2020
1rj8Oy1Q9iM
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Rotherham - Sheffield Wednesday
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Bristol City
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Preston NE - Millwall
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Derby County - Cardiff City
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Huddersfield
28
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Luton - Nottingham Forest
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Stoke City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Wycombe Wanderers - Watford
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Reading
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Norwich City
27
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Barnsley - QPR
26
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Roma
26
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - West Bromwich Albion
26
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Augsburg
26
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Celta Vigo
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Leicester City
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Verona
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Benevento - Napoli
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Everton
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Huesca
25
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Wolfsburg - Arminia Bielefeld
25
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Werder Bremen - Hoffenheim
25
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Newcastle United
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Granada CF
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - Udinese
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Villarreal
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Spezia
25
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Alaves
25
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Crotone
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Real Madrid
24
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Schalke
24
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Sheffield United
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Real Betis
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester City
24
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
24
Oct
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Wycombe Wanderers
24
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Bologna
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Sevilla - Eibar
24
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Osasuna - Athletic Bilbao
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group A
Bayern Munich - Atletico Madrid
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group B
Inter Milan - Borussia Monchengladbach
21
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group D
Ajax - Liverpool
20
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group H
PSG - Manchester United
20
Oct
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Group stage, Group G
Barcelona - Ferencvaros
18
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Benevento
18
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
17
Oct
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Bayern Munich
17
Oct
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Manchester United
17
Oct
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Barcelona
17
Oct
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - Juventus
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.