I know the world of baby equipment and latest must-haves is one of the fastest growing industries in recent years but sometimes you just have to ask, do I actually need this? I’m certainly not advocating that babies should be made to sleep in empty drawers and have one toy to play with but there are two items that I really think need extra consideration.

Sleepyhead – (or cat baskets as I call them) while I admit they can be useful in the very early days especially if the mum has had a c-section and finds it difficult to bend over a Moses basket but when the baby is a few months old and still sleeping in one with hardly any room for movement you have to ask if they really need it!

I have been to SO many jobs over the past year or so where the baby is still in one at night time and not sleeping for more than 2 hours at a time but when I suggest that the baby might be more comfortable just sleeping in the cot the mum usually replies ‘but he likes it’… mmm I’m not sure about that, why don’t we try him without it and see how he gets on. At which point the mum usually starts to hyperventilate slightly at the thought of changing something that she has relied on for so long but really isn’t providing the required results. We seem to think that babies like being squished in a small space to sleep and won’t want to stretch out and move during the night but this isn’t the case, if you watch a baby of about 3 mths old sleep they are constantly moving around.

I always suggest we put the baby to sleep without it but as an alternative we put a rolled up towel in a horseshoe shape under the cot sheet but around the babys body so it effectively does the same job but isn’t so restrictive or hot!

If the night is hideously bad then we can put him back in it to sleep but at some point bubba is going to have to sleep without it so don’t leave it too long to make that transition.

Formula prep machine – it’s just an expensive kettle! The first time l saw one of these l was really puzzled as I had been told ‘it’s amazing, it just makes the bottle for you.’ It really doesn’t, it just makes the water the correct temp to make up the formula. I have done many timing comparisons with new parents and it really isn’t any quicker than using the normal kettle.

The problem l have it is just the general dumbing down of new parents and make them think they can’t possibly make a bottle without it… and they are also so loud!! Why must it beep so many times?

Also I have seen a few faulty ones in the last year that either made the wrong amount of water or made it too warm, both not ideal!

The easiest way to make bottles is to boil the kettle and leave it for about 45mins, then pour the water into clean, sterilised bottles but only up to a ounce/30ml less than you need ie if you want a 4oz/120ml bottle make it up to 3oz/90ml with boiled water. Then when you need the bottle, boil the kettle again, fill it up to the required amount and add the formula powder and shake well. You can pre measure the formula powder into a powder pot to save time. At night time just use a flask of hot water to top up the bottle with.

You can make up the bottles up with water up to 24hours before you need them or keep a jug full of pre-boiled water ready for use, make sure it has a lid though.

Make sure your kettle is regularly de-scaled and use fresh water every time. Some people keep a kettle just for the babies use… which is still cheaper than a prep machine!