The essential products you’ll need everyday as a parent – as rated by mum and dads

It's not often we think about the unsung heroes of our daily lives, but thousands of us (when asked to vote) agree that things would be just that little bit harder without these essential everyday items

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1. Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew, from £9.99, MadeForMums Awards Gold Winner

Cheeky Chompers’ Neckerchew is a stylish UK-made chewy bib designed to catch the (seemingly never-ending) waterfall of dribble that little babies produce, especially while teething.

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The bib was devised in 2013 by two mums, and really took off after they appeared on BBC’s Dragons Den. The attached silicon teethers are BPA and phthalates free, and mean those sore gums will always have something chewy close by to help relieve their discomfort.

The triple layers of soft cotton make these bibs super absorbent, helping to mop up excess liquid before it can cause a nasty chin rash, and as they are reversible you can just turn it over when you’re out and about.

They are also adjustable, so they grow with your little one.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew:

“Very soft. Really good value for money.” Actress, Big Brother star and mum of 1, Laura Carter

“What a great idea! Dribble bibs are essential if you are to avoid your baby getting chapped skin. They are a little pricey but would make a fab new baby gift.” Broadcaster and mum of 2, Sarah Cawood

“I love this product, as does my four-month-old daughter. The quality of the material is amazing and the pattern is lovely. My daughter loves chewing on it, although hasn’t got the hang of putting it in her mouth herself yet! It also soaks up her dribble perfectly. I would recommend this to all my friends with teething or dribble babies.” Mum of 1, Meghan

You can buy the Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew from: Amazon, Direct2Mum and John Lewis


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2. Bambino Mio swaddling blankets, £16.99, MadeForMums Awards Silver Winner

The perfect blanket for your baby’s bedtime routine, a handy mop for unexpected spit-up, a comforter – Bambino Mio’s multi-purpose swaddling blankets are many a parent’s everyday essential.

The soft blanket is made from quality 100% bamboo, a breathable fabric with a light, open weave to keep delicate skin cool and comfortable.

They come in packs of 2, and each one measures a whopping 120cm x 120cm, perfect for wrapping up newborns who are missing the closeness of being inside their mum’s tum.

They are also machine washable and while the lightweight fabric will dry quickly enough, it’s handy to know they can also be tumble dried on low.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Bambino Mio swaddling blankets:

“Incredibly soft. Beautiful quality.” Actress, Big Brother star and mum of 1, Laura Carter 

“I was seriously impressed by how soft these blankets were, and they only seemed to get softer after washing and tumble drying. My little one is not a fan of being swaddled but these blankets have multiple uses and feel lovely next to his delicate newborn skin. I’ve used them in the base of the pram and his moses basket to protect when he’s sick, and as a normal blanket the he’s out and about. The fabric is perfect for a newborn. Did I mention how soft they were?!” Mum of 1, Kate

You can buy Bambino Mio swaddling blankets from: Amazon, Bambino Mio and Kidly


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3. Pampers baby-dry Pants, 15p per nappy, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner

Once your little bubba turning into an inquisitive toddler, they are simply too busy for nappy changing. Which can leave parents feeling more like pro-wrestlers than loving carers at changing time! Pampers baby-dry nappy pants were a hit with our parent testers, who voted them joint gold winner in the nappies size 5 and 6 category this year for helping solve the problem.

Dry, breathable, non-leakable, well fitting, comfortable and soft nappy – these little beauties manage to tick all the boxes. But it’s the pants-style design that makes them worth the extra pennies.

The waistband is stretchy all the way round, making even the wriggliest toddler easier to change – just pull up the pants-style nappy and your little one is good to go off on their next adventure. They’re super-easy to change, but luckily you won’t need to too often as they also promise up to 12 hours of dryness.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Pampers baby-dry Pants:

“Although one of the most expensive, they are definitely a great product. So easy to use, you can pull them on with no fuss even when you have a very active toddler. We have had no leaks and the pants are soft to the touch so no rubbing on sensitive skin.” Mum of 1, Rebecca

“Great innovation on the elasticated nappy pants style for wriggly babies – solving a universal problem.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim

You can buy Pampers baby-dry Pants from: Amazon, Wilko and Boots


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4. CannyMum Bamboo Luxurious Dry Wipes, £0.03 – £0.05 per wipe

This innovative product picked up gold in our Wet Wipes category, and is loved by parents for its super-soft feel and eco-friendly credentials. You can use them as dry wipes or tissues, or simply add water for home-made wet wipes.

Highly absorbent, and free from lint or chemicals, these biodegradable wipes make a great choice for newborns and babies of all ages. 

You can buy CannyMum Bamboo Luxurious Dry Wipes from: Amazon and Fill Your Pants

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5. Pampers baby-dry nappies, 14p per nappy

Pampers comes up trumps again with its super-soft nappies, which are a staple supply in many a nursery. These nappies stood out from the crowd with their unique trio of absorbing channels, which help distribute wetness evenly throughout the nappy. The inner layer of absorbent Micro Pearls helps to keep your little tot dry for up to 12 hours.

You can buy Pampers baby-dry nappies from: Boots, Amazon and Ocado


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6. PacaPod Croyde changing bag, £115

This stylish piece of arm candy looks so good you’ll want to keep it well beyond your nappy-changing years. But it takes more than good looks to win gold award in our best changing bag category, and within the Croyde’s stylish canvas and faux leather outer is a nifty storage device for all your essential baby kit.

Inside, you’ll find PacaPod’s signature feeder and changer pod, as well as an extra clear travel pod. The inner parent pockets are where you’ll stash your keys and mobile, while the huge 41-litre capacity takes care of bulkier items like spare outfits.

The feeder pod has a fully insulated inner, and space for up to four bottles while the spacious changer pod has handy labelled pockets and a fold-away changing mat. When not in use, they can be unzipped and flat-packed, making the bag a perfectly versatile option for travelling.

Wear it however you like – there are over the shoulder handles, and a detachable body shoulder strap that’s useful when you need your hands for carrying your little one. It even has detachable pram clips so you can fasten it to your buggy for a walk.

You can buy the PacaPod Croyde changing bag from: Amazon, PacaPod and John Lewis

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7. aden + anais swaddle, from £15

This supersized cotton muslin is perfect for new babies who like the comforting sensation of being swaddled at bedtime, and was awarded joint silver in our best baby sleep time aids this year.

Made from prewashed 100% cotton, it is extremely soft and will retain its huge 120cm x 120cm size wash after wash.

As well as being gentle and machine washable, the fabric is breathable, which helps reduce the risk of overheating, and has a natural give so you can tuck your little one really snugly.

Of course, it’s not just useful at bedtime – it works just as well as a pram or nursing cover, burp cloth, tummy time blanket, changing mat cover and so on.

You can buy the aden + anais swaddle from: Kidly, Natural Baby Shower and Amazon


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8. Silicone Breast Pump, Haakaa UK, from £15.99

Haakaa’s manual breast pump won the gold award for best breast pump this year, and our testers loved its eco-friendly credentials and clever, comfortable design.

The compact pump has a suction pad on the bottom to prevent spillages, no cumbersome wires and is silent, so you can easily express milk while your little one naps.

It’s made from 100% silicone, so it’s super-light and perfect for travel – you can even fit it in your handbag.

You can buy the Silicone Breast Pump from: Haakaa and Amazon


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9. Natralus Make It Better Soothing Repair Balm & Happy Bottom Nappy Barrier Cream, £13.95 for 75g – 19p per g

Preventing and treating nappy rash becomes an important part of our baby’s changing routine if they suffer from sore skin, especially when they start teething.

This year’s gold award-winning product for sore bottoms is a multi-purpose balm that mums will be tempted to use themselves. With a soft, natural fragrance, the balm uses organic ingredients to help soothe sore bottoms in an instant. Skin-loving goodies include shea butter, oatmeal extract, calendula, aloe vera, rosehip and jojoba oils to help take the sting out of changing time. These comforting ingredients will also provide relief from dry skin, minor insect bites, rashes and scratches – bonus!

You can buy Natralus Make It Better Soothing Repair Balm & Happy Bottom Nappy Barrier Cream from: Chemist, Health & Beauty Focus and Mama Organica


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10. The iCandy Orange, £875

Whether you’re a walk-in-all-weathers type or more of a shop-n-drive kind of parent, a top-notch pushchair is up there among the most-used unsung heroes.

Our testers loved the iCandy Orange, naming it the gold winner of our convertible pushchair category for its fabulous design which grows with your family from newborn upwards.

Flexibility is its calling card – as a travel system, it allows for over 30 configurations and combinations, with the seat unit holding up to 25kgs and integrated ride-on board.

It’s particularly great for twins, as in double mode you can use the unique riser adapters to create a cinema seat design, allowing both little ones to maintain eye contact with mum or dad.

As you’d expect from an iCandy, it has a freestanding fold with an added automatic lock, and the lie flat carrycot is suitable for permanent overnight sleeping (no need for a separate Moses basket). 

You can buy The iCandy Orange from: John Lewis, Direct2Mum and PreciousLittleOne

We’ve got more ideas about essential parenting products and stories below:

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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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