This month we’re excited to partner with Neutral Sensitive Skin, a new brand for you and your family offering skincare, baby care and laundry ranges. Together with Neutral, we’ll be bring you four special mush guides this month.
One of the most fun and exciting things about pregnancy is getting all the insanely cute and tiny clothes ready for your little one. It’s tempting to go absolutely nuts and buy enough stuff to clothe octuplets, but your baby really only needs a capsule wardrobe to start with.
Newborns have delicate, sensitive skin (it’s the shock of being plonked in the outside world after months of lounging in your lovely protective body) so it’s a good idea to wash all their clothes, whether new purchases or hand-me-downs, in dermatologically tested Neutral 0% liquid detergent or powder before they wear them. That way, all those cute, tiny things will be soft and fresh when the time comes for them to wear them, and shouldn’t aggravate their skin. Plus it’ll satisfy those mad nesting urges which take over in the late stages of pregnancy…
Do buy/borrow/blag: At least 10 vests – long-sleeved and short-sleeved – in newborn size and 0-3 months (in case you birth a whopper). The word “vest” in baby clothes terms is confusing, in that they’re not actually what one would usually call a vest. They’re basically tops with a crotch, they’re sometimes called bodysuits too and you’ll find that, whatever the season and time of day, they form the basis of every outfit.
On a scorching hot day, a short-sleeved vest is all your newborn needs, while when it’s chilly, a long-sleeved one is the ideal first layer. Teamed with leggings, they’re a comfy, practical outfit, so make sure you get some jazzy ones as well as plain white, and use Neutral 0% Colour Liquid/Powder to keep them bright and fresh without irritating their delicate skin. Your baby will then look stylish enough to go straight from the office to the bar. Wait, we’re getting carried away with this fashion journalism thing – we mean straight from the playmat to the Moses basket.
Don’t buy/borrow/blag: Too many sleepsuits. Some people keep their newborns in sleepsuits 24/7 but to me this felt like the infant equivalent of going to the corner shop in your pyjamas (only OK on Sundays). Just get enough sleepsuits for night-time (say, a pack of five from the supermarket – they’re usually surprisingly good quality and come in cute prints) and you’ll probably find you’re gifted loads more anyway. Whether you buy new or get hand-me-downs or pressies, you’ll want to wash your baby’s clothes before they wear them (probably about 47 times during the nesting stage) in Neutral 0% laundry products, designed for sensitive skin.
Do buy/borrow/blag: At least five pairs of leggings/joggers. Basically dress your baby is as if they’re going to a yoga class, with an emphasis on comfy, easily removable layers. Leggings with feet are particularly brilliant (especially if you plan to carry your baby in a sling) because baby socks are basically the most irritating thing in the world – see below.
Don’t buy/borrow/blag: Too many socks and mittens. They’ll need a few pairs of socks, especially if they’re a winter baby, but generally baby socks fall off constantly, as do scratch mitts. A 20 minute walk with my baby in a sling once took me an hour because his socks fell off so many times and I had to go hunting for them, like a really tedious version of Hansel & Gretel. They were dead cute yellow ones with puppies on as well, and one of them was lost forever in the streets of south London. 18 months on, I’m still not over it.
Do buy/borrow/blag: A couple of hats. You need one soft stretchy lightweight hat (mainly for covering up how weird their head looks when they’ve just been born and you’re desperate to send people photos) and, depending on season, either one cosy, winter hat or one sunhat. That’s it. After all, how many hats do you have of your own? One or two? Always remember, your baby is a human being too, not a member of East 17.
Don’t buy/borrow/blag: Baby shoes. People will buy you baby shoes, especially tiny replicas of grown-up trainers, but you will rapidly realise that the only thing more annoying than baby socks is baby shoes. They don’t stay on their feet and I hate to break it to you but, no matter how super-advanced your precious newborn most certainly is, they definitely can’t walk yet.
Do buy/borrow/blag: A couple of lighweight zip-up jackets and/or cardis. Once again it’s all about the comfort and the layering. You basically want hoodless hoodies (because hoods themselves get in the way and you’ll worry about them getting tangled up) and cardigans to put over vests on a warm day or under a coat on a cold one. Top tip: if you haven’t got a family member who knits, we recommend hanging around your local old people’s home while heavily pregnant.
Don’t buy/borrow/blag: A massive puffy snowsuit. Of all the cute tiny things, snowsuits are basically the cutest tiny thing of all. They’re also largely unnecessary in this country when your baby is still immobile. They’re far too hot and stifling if, for instance, you’re going in and out of shops and if you’re going for a walk outside with the pram it’s more practical to layer up with vests, a cardi, a normal coat and blankets. Plus, they’re a big no no for the car seat, since you won’t be able to tighten the straps properly and they take ages to get on and off. They’re pricy too, so avoid for now and go snowsuit crazy when they’re a toddler.
New in the UK and available exclusively online Neutral 0% offers products across skin, face, baby and household ranges (laundry detergent, dish soap, etc.) that are specially designed for sensitive skin. All our products are dermatologically tested and contain no unnecessary perfumes, parabens or colourants. Neutral 0% was born in Denmark and for more than 25 years we have worked with the Danish Asthma and Allergy Association to create products that are gentle on you and your families skin. Explore all our products at www.neutralsensitiveskin.com.