The Top 10 Must Have Baby Items

What we used and loved when our kids were babies

I love working with families and one of the best things is chatting about babies. During the lockdown I really missed organising my baby sign language workshops and being in a room full of babies. I can’t wait to start again soon!

Often at the end of a workshop we would get into a discussion about our favourite baby products. My youngest is 3 now and we’re moving out of the baby stage, so I thought I’d make a post about our favourite affordable must have baby items so that I can send new parents to this list. I’ll also include the baby books that had the most impact on me.

Let me know if you try any of them and how you like them!

1. Tea Thermos Mug for Mum – First let’s take care of mum! This is a MUST otherwise once your baby arrives you will NEVER drink a hot drink again. Seriously, don’t hesitate, get the mug and always enjoy your favourite beverage hot. Life-changing.

2. The best sippy cup – this one doesn’t leak and it helps your little one learn how to drink from a cup. We skipped bottles and went straight to this with our daughter, it’s brilliant. Make sure to use the lid when you put it in your bag though.

3. Cotton muslins – You can use these for anything, they’re so good. Get the regular sized ones and use them as washable nappies, spit up cloths, bibs, protection for your clothes/sofa/car, wiping up cloth, a tie up bag to carry apples or other food… Get the big ones and the list of uses is endless! I’ve used our big ones as a pram cover to keep the sun off, a swaddle, a cot sheet, a pram sheet, a blanket to sit on in the garden, a table cloth for our balcony table, a sarong wrap for me on holiday, a towel, it makes a great hair towel, superman cape for older sibling…

4. Soft finger toothbrush – Get baby used to brushing before their teeth arrive and this is a great way to gently take care of those first tender milk teeth.

5. Boba Baby Carrier – This thing was life-saving with our first baby. He was sensitive and would never nap in his bed, only on us! We liked this carrier because it was quick and easy to adjust so my husband and I could both use it regularly. I also enjoyed wearing it on my back when he was a bit bigger so I could move around and do things.

6. Bath Flower – I was never confident about using the baby bath, it was heavy and difficult to empty and my babies were so slippery! I used to make my husband do bath time. That changed when I found the bath flower, it’s so clever. It’s a cushion that can change any sink into a safe bathing space for your baby. We had a big yellow one. Such a great prop for taking cute baby photos too.

7. Fleece backed bibs – I tried a lot of different bibs, but my favourites were the ones that the drool didn’t get all the way through. Soggy bibs are just yucky! These are fleece backed and work perfectly, they absorb the slobber on the top and keep baby dry underneath.

8. Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting by Janet Landsbury. This book had a great impact on the way that I thought about my babies. Babies are not helpless but rather whole people who happen to be dependent on us. This mind-shift made me more patient, understanding and respectful of my babies and made me more determined to communicate with them from day 1.

9. The Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Years by Dr. Walter Cook M.D. and Dr. Kelsey Klaas M.D. This reference book is very reassuring. There is a lot of very well researched and carefully considered information to get you through the most bewildering things that happen to you with a newborn in the family!

10. The Wonder Weeks by Xaviera Plooij, Frans X. Plooij PhD and Hetty van de Rijt PhD. This book is full of science-based baby development outlined month by month in a very accessible way. Learn when to expect development leaps, fussy periods and document your baby’s progress all in one book. Fascinating!

Last but not least, surprise number 11, download my own book about Infant Communication for free. I answer the most common questions I’ve been asked over the last 6 years of developing my method to help you connect and bond with your baby while kick-starting their development in all your languages.

Enjoy these fleeting precious months with your baby and let me know how you get on. I hope these tips will help you get off to a good start 🙂

*Note, there are affiliate links in this post. I might receive a few pennies on items you purchase using these links. You don’t pay extra, you just save time because you don’t need to search for these things yourself. I have personal experience with all these items and they were very useful for our family. I hope you enjoy them too.

Free Online Workshop

I’m excited to be collaborating with Nina Bogerd at Birth Your Way this month! We’re coming together to offer you a free online workshop on getting started with baby sign language.

In this one hour workshop you will hear my story and find out how I can help your family build better communication right from the start.

You will learn about the benefits of signing, especially how it supports multilingual families.

I will teach you the 5 most useful signs and when to use them with your baby.

You will be introduced to my complete proven step by step online course that will make sure your baby can communicate with you before they can talk.

I look forward to answering your questions.

  • When: Saturday 21st 2020 4pm (CET Amsterdam) for approx. 1 hour.
  • Where: Online via Zoom
  • For who: For expecting couples, new parents and families with toddlers
  • Price: Free – Workshop attendees will receive a €25 voucher that they can redeem when enrolling for the Infant Communication Baby Sign Language Online Course.

Where are you? You can join us for this online workshop via Zoom from anywhere in the world!

Sign up here to receive details and the Zoom link in good time:

BabySignLanguageCourse.com/BirthYourWay

I just wanted to let you know that we’ve been practicing a lot with our little one and he is signing back to us!!! It has been an amazing journey to see him get to this point.
Laura – South Holland

Dr. Nina Bogerd is a passionate expat doula and childbirth educator, she is a HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method practitioner and owner of Birth Your Way. Nina focuses on providing professional, knowledgeable and dedicated support to expat families residing in The Netherlands. With her deep understanding of the needs that expecting expat families have, Nina supports them on their unique birthing journey in the Dutch healthcare system while respecting the cultural background. Nina stands for empowerment and creation of magical memories when expat families are birthing far away from home. Nina is an outdoor enthusiast and philanthropist, supporting expecting refugee families. BirthYourWay.nl

The 5 Day Challenge

Get started with baby sign language and enjoy less fussing and more fun with your baby


Announcing a brand new mini training program:

I’m looking forward to teaching you the 5 signs I found most useful when my babies were small. The same 5 signs that have helped many families like yours enjoy better communication with their preverbal babies.

The challenge:

-Every day for 5 days you’ll receive a 2 minute video and an action point that can be completed in a couple of minutes

-Can you learn all 5 signs? Will you start using them with your baby?


-You’ll be in good company, doing the challenge together with other families in our community


-If your baby is older than 9 months there is a good chance they will sign back to you before the end of the challenge!


The FREE challenge will run from Monday 14th-18th September 2020, sign up here to receive the videos directly to your inbox:

Free 5 Day Challenge Sign Up

Signing with baby – How can I help your family?

I’m passionate about helping as many families as possible benefit from using baby sign language with their children. It is such a simple thing to introduce but has a very powerful effect. However, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. Or how to keep the ball rolling.

Help me to help you!

  • What questions come to your mind when you think about signing with your baby?
  • Is there something that puts you off?
  • Anything that worries you?

Connect with me directly via our Facebook Group.

And get your copy of my free guide: Your baby can communicate with you before they can speak

Recent feedback from a workshop, from Dani, April 2017:

“Thanks Roya for a fun and educational class! Jax and I had a great time and we are constantly practicing the signs you have taught us!”

Baby Sign Language Workshop – Essentials

After a fabulous workshop I promised the attendees a list of the signs that you learn in the Essential workshop so they could revise them at home. Here it is!

Family

  • mummy/mama
  • daddy/papa
  • brother
  • sister
  • grandmother
  • grandfather
  • aunt
  • uncle

Food

  • eat
  • drink
  • milk
  • more
  • full
  • all done
  • apple
  • bread

Manners

  • please
  • thank you
  • toilet
  • pee
  • poo
  • nappy
  • dirty
  • clean
  • stop
  • bed

For more information:

Connect with me and other families using Baby Sign Language in our Facebook Group. You are very welcome to join us!

Get your copy of my free guide: Your baby can communicate with you before they can speak

Additional Useful Resources:

  1. An American site with a lot of materials, support and a video dictionary.
  2. A British sign language video dictionary.
  3. A fun YouTube channel that presents signs with songs. 

How to Introduce Baby Sign Language to your Family Routine

For about a year I have been running baby sign language workshops in Delft at the beautiful Womanhood Studio and it’s so much fun! More than that it is a real pleasure to see how it creates a great bond between baby and parents, months before little one can speak.

Are you curious about how it works? Here are some top tips that will help you to introduce some simple signs to your family routine.

  • First, you need a baby. Preferably older than 6 months and not talking yet (although there are many benefits to starting earlier and teaching signs to older infants).
  • You don’t actually have to ‘teach’ your baby signs. Does your baby already wave goodbye? Think about how they learned to do that. They copied what they saw you doing. This is baby sign language in its simplest form. So if you want to teach your baby to sign milk, then use the sign every time you talk about milk, look at milk, show them milk and give them milk. They will soon connect the sign with… milk! It’s just like learning to wave, you always wave goodbye to daddy in the morning when he goes to work. Eventually baby does it too. All by themselves.
  • I’m sure you noticed from the last point that repetition is important! Be patient, babies will understand the meaning of the signs long before they perform them. That is already communication! Most infants will not sign back until they are about 9 months old.
  • Start with one sign, (milk, bed and eat are good ones) and make it a habit to use it every time you have an opportunity in context. Then add another sign in when you use the previous one as second nature, without thinking about it anymore… It should become a habit.
  • Get all the family involved, including older siblings, grandparents and carers. This has been a wonderful bridge in our family connecting two sets of grandparents who speak different languages with a few well chosen simple gestures.
  • Have fun!

For more information:

Connect with me and other families via our Facebook Group. You are very welcome to join us!

Even better download your copy of my free guide: Your baby can communicate with you before they can speak. 

Feedback on a recent workshop, from Zuzana, April 2017:

“Baby sign language was nicely inspiring, it was even better than I imagined.

Roya has plenty to show and say.
She is doing her best to be of service not only to the babies and the studio (space) is very cosy & homey.

Roya’s manner is open, she is nicely comfortable in her own skin and thoughtful.

I got very inspired to get more creative while spending time with my baby and I´m lucky to introduce all the signs to my partner at home who has also joined practising signing to our 6, 5 months old daughter.

I can’t wait to attend the next baby sign workshop :-)”