Guest column: Essential kit for babies by Reah Marshall

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Both my hubby and I were completely inexperienced, neurotic novices when our son first arrived.

So, like many new parents, we naturally bought an entire isle of toys, accessories and furniture from Toys R Us because we assumed you needed EVERYTHING. Of course, 90 per cent of this ‘stuff and things’ were completely useless and a waste of money.

While you will probably be aware of the essentials, such as baby monitor, cot, car seat, nappies etc, I’ve listed a few little gems which, through trial and error became our most used items.

A changing station: We thought that the floor, the bed or just a little mat would work but after a lot of back ache and a good few accidents, we soon learnt that using this saved us a lot of hassle.

Sterilisation kit: We had one that you can pop into the microwave. Dummies, bottles and teethers in one go – all germ-free in under four minutes.

Vibrating bouncer and or (Baby Bjorn): A small rocker that vibrates with a soothing melody is great when you need to free your hands. The bouncy Bjorn is great when they get a little older (three-plus months), and is expensive but really worth the outlay. My son spent hours in both and they seemed to calm him a lot.

Baby-grows with built in scratch mits: We spent hours putting mits on our son to stop him scratching, only for them to fall off 20 seconds later. However, we eventually find out that you can buy grows with a fold over cuff to place over your babies hand, which made our life a lot easier.

Formula milk: Keep some in the cupboard for when you first bring the small person home. If breast feeding is not an option then a midnight trip to a supermarket can be avoided.