Our Top Four Newborn Essentials

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Lily in her City Go i-Size carseat, which has been a real lifesaver!

Wow – I can’t believe that four and a half months have already passed since Lily Rose came into our lives. I know that everyone says that they early months fly by, but they really do and now we find ourselves heading into Autumn after the most amazing summer ever 🙂

Having a newborn is a crazy mixture of emotions…excitement, panic, exhaustion and sheer elation, all on repeat! I have to confess to feeling a little emotionally drained after fluctuating between them all, but we are now settling into to our own little routine as a family and I have a bit more time to reflect.

There are so many things that have helped us as new parents – later in the Autumn I hope to share more bits for you in a video, but for now I want to highlight the four main things that have been real life savers and helped to make the first four months so wonderful!

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Baby Jogger City GO i-Size Infant Car Seat

Living in the middle of the countryside is lovely in so many ways – this summer the beautiful weather has meant that we have taken so much pleasure it relaxing at home in the garden and enjoying the beautiful views, but with a little one it is also really important to get out and about. Partly for her, so that she sees lots of different places and faces for stimulation and partly for us, so that we don’t feel isolated. I must say I have found myself wishing from time to time that we lived in a place where I could easily pop Lily in her pram and just head out for a potter or a coffee, but because the roads around us aren’t really suitable for pram pushing, 90% of the time we have to go out in the car.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

So our car seat from Baby Jogger has been a total lifesaver and we have used it almost every day. It’s Baby Jogger’s first i-size car seat and has provided Lilly with a safe spot in the car from day one with its impact-absorbing walls and 5-point safety harness, and it looks great too. We also got the stay-in ISOFIX car seat base, which makes it super easy to take the seat in and out and Lily has been able to fit in easily in it since birth because of the comfy, removable memory foam head and body supports.

The base is adjustable, with seven positions which will grow with her and allows her to be rear facing until she is 18 months’ old. We have loved it so far and I would totally recommend it for all new parents – especially as it can be easily attached, using adaptors, to a range of Baby Jogger pushchairs to create the perfect customised travel system any parent.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations


This is an item that so many people told us that we should buy ahead of Lily being born – it is basically a cosy pod that your baby can sleep in, play in, be changed in and even do tummy time in. They come in a variety of colours and styles and are a really nice addition to any room (unlike some baby kit!).

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Lily in her Sleepyhead, wrapped in her Isla and Wilbur muslin (super soft bamboo) and lying in her Poppy Playpen from Anita’s House.

They are also really portable and easy to transport and I have to say we have found it amazing! We were lucky enough to be gifted one and I chose the plain white, as well as the Silver Lining chevron patterned cover as a spare. I would definitely recommend having a spare cover as you will need two for when there’s an accident and one of them is suddenly in the wash. At first we didn’t use it that much, then suddenly at around eight weeks it came into its’ own.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

We tried it one night when Lily wouldn’t settle and instantly she went to sleep. We then realised that she would always sleep longer at her nap time if she was cocooned in it and when we’ve been away we have brought it with us and she has slept in it between us in the bed. We have also used it to change her nappy in when travelling and also for tummy time. It’s so versatile and we wouldn‘t be without it. Even though the Deluxe + is meant to last up to 8 months, she is almost too long for it, so we will be investing in the larger one soon!

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Baby Bjorn Bouncer (& Carrier)

Another item that we had heard lots of great things about before Lily Rose was born, was the Baby Bjorn bouncy chair. We chose the Bouncer Balance Soft in beige/grey and not only does it fit in with our colour scheme at home, but Lily absolutely loves it! When they are tiny and can’t sit up, it’s amazing to have somewhere safe and supportive for her to sit and engage with us when we are cooking, working, eating, tidying, drying my hair, the list goes on – she loves it and loves to kick to make it bounce, which I’m sure she will do more and more and she gets bigger.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

We loved it so much that we also decided to invest in their new newborn baby carrier – it’s so soft and really easy to wear. I’ve found it great for dog walks and for carrying her while we potter around the house and garden too.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

The Adventurous Nanny 

Last, but definitely not least, we would not have been without our wonderful maternity nurse, Claire. Before Lily was born we were both a little anxious about the first few weeks and months. Neither of us had ever had any experience with tiny babies – there are none in our immediate family and obviously when you spend time with a friends’ baby it’s only for a quick cuddle and not much else.

Both our parents are in Spain, so we knew we wouldn’t have family on hand to help and so decided to try and find someone who could offer us advice/show us how to care for her properly from the start.

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Traditionally, when you hear the words maternity nurse, you think of someone who comes for the first few months to look after the baby and therefore we assumed it would be too expensive for us to consider.

When we found Claire we were over the moon – not only is she a lovely, relaxed person to be around, but she also offers a more bespoke/ad hoc service. After meeting and chatting with her,  we booked her to come to help for the first five days when we were home from hospital and then the same amount of time in week three.

We really wanted someone experienced and confident with us for the early days to give us confidence and support. We were particularly anxious because of the loss we experienced in my first pregnancy, so wanted to invest in someone who could give us support and reassurance.

She has also been able to come back and help us when we’ve needed it between her other jobs and we hope she will continue to do so on a more regular basis as we slowly start to return to work later in the year. She offers a whole range of services from maternity nurse to night nanny or sleep consultancy, where she can visit for as little as a few hours to offer advice/help fix any sleep issues you might be having with your baby. We are very lucky in that Lily has always been a very relaxed and happy, sleeping pretty well at night, but I’m sure that is also down to Claire’s knowledge and experience, helping us from the start. We can’t recommend her enough!

Laura Butler-Madden Newborn Recommendations

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden

Thank you to Baby Jogger for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions and styling is my own.

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