When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I remember being handed a list from a friend of the items I needed to buy for my impending arrival.
While she was (and remains) a good friend, it took most of my strength not to pop that list straight into the bottom of the box that contained my high waisted jeans and the heels that my feet would never again squeeze into.
Because this list was not only housed in Excel with multiple tabs (that should have been a giveaway), it also sent me to websites that appeared to have been built in 1990, with products that were so colourful and so plastic that my brain began to promptly shut down.
Any pregnant woman who has stepped into a large-scale baby store will likely be familiar with that same feeling. Apart from the gorgeous prams and the cute onesies, everything else is a blur. A confusing, overwhelming, juggernaut of blur. Do we need 14 variations of a teat? Is that bath contraption necessary? How many of those plastic, fluorescent ‘educational’ toys are required to maximise my unborn baby’s chance of success? The short answer? No and none.
I’m not sure how it happened, but as retail experiences (both online and in store) leapt ahead to predict our every need, baby shopping experiences have lagged. What pregnant women – and indeed new mothers – need is not overwhelm in this extremely volatile time. But rather, a little bit of handholding. A trusted voice. A curated eye. And a little less plastic.
Which is why I was so happy when the memo launched late last year. Even now that I’m a third-time-new-mum and I really should know what I’m doing, I sighed a breath of relief when I stumbled upon their website. A chic, elegant, curated selection of must-have products for expectant and new mothers, that really is the best of the best.
the memo contains a highly considered edit of covetable, helpful products that exist to make our lives effortless and beautiful. It’s what we need. It’s what we go on to love. It’s what we’ll use. It – truly – couldn’t be better.
So when we were given an opportunity to trawl their already-fabulous edit of products to create “The Grace List,” we were delighted. This is our selection of products that are perfect for women at any stage of motherhood. Whether it’s a book, a bottle or a body oil, this is what we’re adding to cart.
As a reader of The Grace Tales, the memo has kindly given you exclusive access to this list for the week ahead. And if you’re keen to get your hands on the full edit (guilty), you’ll receive 15% off the order and a complimentary copy of GRACE Mothers: Letters To Our Children. With the most beautiful (sustainable) packaging, 5% of proceeds from gift registries being donated to St Kilda Mums, and a 30-day trial to ensure you love the products, you can officially look no further when shopping for your baby.
Now without further ado, here is The Grace List from the memo …
Frankly Eco Natural Sunscreen SPF 50+ Vegan
As a natural redhead, it goes without saying that I have had a long and complex relationship with sunscreen. And while only one of my sons inherited my colouring, I did manage to pass on my extreme skin sensitivity to all three. (They lucked out in the gene pool, didn’t they?)
In fact, I’ll never forget my eldest son’s third birthday pool party, when his skin broke out in such spectacular hives after an application of “child-friendly” sunscreen, that every one of the grandparents suggested we cancel the celebrations. Very helpful after hours of cake decorating and with twenty toddlers ready to descend; thanks.
So, let’s just say that finding a safe, effective sunscreen for the Hahn family has been a priority. Enter Frankly Eco. This all-natural sunscreen is SPF 50+, is water resistant and most importantly, doesn’t contain chemical UV absorbers. The formula is gentle, smells deliciously of vanilla and coconut, and as well as providing a physical sun barrier, it nourishes and moisturises the skin. What’s more, it’s not greasy, goes on clear and dries quickly. Basically, it’s everything I want in a sunscreen for my little people and it’s a mainstay in my handbag.
Frank Green Franksters Ceramic Reusable Cup
We are a diehard Frank Green family – my coffee keep cup is never not by my side, and my husband proudly presents his monogrammed version at our local café every morning.
Of course, whatever a parent owns, a child desires. While I’m not giving in to my children’s requests for coffee just yet, an equally gorgeous cup of their own has seen us through.
These Franksters ceramic cups are as delightful as they are practical. They fit in little hands, squeeze easily into car cup holders, and are triple-walled to keep temperatures stable. As you’d expect, the cups are BPA free, with a handy drink spout and carry strap to make water-drinking a no-brainer.
Maeva Resort Stripe Short Set
About three months into my newborn Henry’s life, I remember asking a friend whether I should be concerned that my daytime outfits were not distinguishable from my night time attire. She responded by telling me that it depended entirely on what that interchangeable outfit consisted of.
And she was right. Because if your pyjamas look as good as this Maeva variety, there’s no need to change.
A far cry from the lilac flannelette variety that advertisements would lead us to believe are synonymous with new motherhood, these pyjamas are made with premium woven cotton, featuring an elastic waistband and tonal herringbone drawstring detail.
So, whether you’re breastfeeding a newborn, are running around after a toddler or have simply decided that a sartorial decision isn’t on your agenda today, this set is your chic, comfortable solution.
Ena Body Oil
Pregnant and new mamas rejoice; it’s not all about the baby here. This beautiful body oil is for one for you (yes – you still exist!). With a luxurious blend of oils (macadamia, sweet almond, Argan and avocado, to be specific), it has been designed specifically for dry and damaged skin. As well as being deeply nourishing, the oil helps to soothe sore and itchy skin, and can help to reduce stretch marks over time.
Any that’s left in your hands can be popped onto the ends of your hair or used as a face serum. See? Multi-purpose too. Your best interests really are top of mind.
Oh, Peepo! how I love you. We were given this divine storybook when my eldest was born, and six years later, it is still a favourite at bedtime. (And I could recite it for you now without prompting.)
Somehow, despite being 30 years old and with references that don’t have too much relevance today (a bucketful of coal and a hairnet, for starters), it remains as timeless and loveable as ever.
A book that truly transcends age groups, babies delight in peeking their fingers through the holes, while older children enjoy spotting items in the classic illustrations. Peepo! is a must for any Australian bookshelf.
Liewood Mr Bear Four Piece Feeding Set
If I’m being honest, I have been dragging my feet when it comes to weaning 7-month-old Henry. He’s our last baby, and so the introduction of solids comes with a mixed bag of emotions, as I know breastfeeding will soon come to a conclusion.
Though I am looking forward to regaining some sense of self, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m experiencing something akin to mourning. And when you have three children competing for your attention and little time to properly process emotions, what’s the best solution? Distraction! In this case, it’s gin for me, and cute tableware for Henry.
This adorable bamboo feeding set is fun with an adorable bear design, but is also right at home in my not-so-fluorescent-and-plastic dining room. With an edged plate, bowl, cup and spoon, it’s made meal times beautiful and is most certainly helping to ease my worries.
Dr Bronner Organic 4 in 1 Hands, Face, Hair and Body Soap
Call me a minimalist, and you’d be right. Call me anal retentive, and you wouldn’t be the first. It just makes me feel a bit sick when there are too many products sitting in the cavity above our bath. So, a good multitasker will always hold a place in my heart.
This one is outrageously well priced, does a beautiful job on a baby’s skin and hair, and I just adore the sweet scent on a freshly washed newborn. Also as a lover of words (could you tell?), Dr Bronner’s bottles always keep me entertained (if not somewhat puzzled). Hey, when you have three little ones, you have to take your kicks where you can get them.
Liewood Sylvester Wash Cloth Trio
Thankfully, I have three children who adore the water and would happily spend most of their waking hours in the bath. But bath time is made infinitely more enjoyable with these adorable cotton terry washcloths.
Use one as a puppet to distract the toddler and another to gently scrub the baby. This set contains a panda, a cat and a rabbit, so start practising your best animal impersonations now.
Cam Cam Copenhagen Muslin Swaddle Wrap
If you had told me six years ago that muslin wraps would become my most-used and most-beloved product, I would have said you were crazy and pointed you instead to my jars of Nutella.
Now, however – as all mothers do – I know. Muslins are about so much more than a swaddle. They’re what we pop on the grass when our baby needs a kick. They’re what we use to place over the public change table. They’re what we elegantly drape across our shoulders to hide the milk stains on our chests while at a work function (just me?).
So, we want them to be beautiful. Which is what the Cam Cam Copenhagen varieties are. Made with organic cotton muslin and in three of the most delicious colours, regardless of the age of your children, you’ll never not have a use for these muslins.
Jnr Life Boom Boom Oval Play Mat
Six years ago, when my eldest was born, I am 99% sure that there was not a baby floor mat which did not contain primary colours or a cartoon animal motif. Because if there was, I would have found it. Instead of reducing my newborn and our lounge room to that option, I opted instead for three layers of soft baby blankets for tummy time.
Parents of today won’t know that same struggle, thanks to Jnr Life, who seem to have been among the first to realise that play mats can be beautiful. The mats feature a geometric pattern on one side and a grip feature on the other, with padding that is soft enough for babies, without turning your lounge room into a makeshift play centre. While it’s easy to roll up to take on outings, I guarantee you’ll also be happy leaving this one out and proud.
A final note on St Kilda Mums…
St Kilda Mums rehomes pre-loved nursery goods to support Victorian families in need, while saving the earth’s precious resources. They collect, sort and redistribute essential nursery equipment, clothing, books and toys for babies and school age children and are now partnering with the memo. the memo will donate 5% all proceeds from gift registries to St Kilda Mums, and will also provide product donations while generating awareness of this remarkable cause. Find out more here.