6 Months in – What I’ve found useful

Edie is actually already 7 months old, how that has happened I can’t quite work out. I know people warn you that time goes quickly when your children are young but I didn’t understand.

I thought I would reflect on the baby bits I bought and have actually used and would recommend.

Nursing pillow/cushion

Wow. You spend so much time feeding in those early months, that being hands free to eat or have a drink, or browse on your phone is a real life saver. If your babe is anything like ours, you could find they end up napping where they fed, so having your hands is pretty handy!

Giant Swaddle Muslins

These things are so blooming useful! They are, obviously, a swaddle but also a play mat, a blanket, a muslin when you run out or forget, a change mat, a nursing cover when you are finding your feeding way and now a bib in a ‘Why haven’t I packed a bib?!’ moment.

Reusable Wipes

We were recommended to use cotton wool and water to start… that stuff goes everywhere. And then tried WaterWipes… sorry how much money for a disposable wipe with mostly water?!! Cheeky wipes were recommended by some friends and they have been amazing. You definitely could set up reusable wipes without using a ‘brand’ but as a new parent I just didn’t have the energy to look into it. We haven’t bought any more disposable wipes for the last four months, that’s a lot of money saved and a lot of wipes not going to landfill (insert my smug face).

Flannels

I bought a job lot of white cotton flannels before Edie was born (maybe 12/14 or so) with the idea that we’d need them for bath time, and help cleaning up any really mucky poops. Well, we didn’t use them for bottoms in the end, but they have really come into their own since we started offering food at around 20 weeks old. I try to have a damp flannel next to me during Edie’s meals, so I can mop her face , hands and tray at the end. She also loves chewing on a cold wet flannel on a bad teething day!

Jumperoo

If you have a baby that doesn’t like sitting or gets bored of being held, i.e. just wants to stand up alllllll the time, I cannot recommend a Jumperoo thing enough. I woudn’t bother spending money on a brand new one. There are so so many available on Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.

Sleepbags

When the nights are cold, and your little wriggler keeps getting chilly because they have kicked their blankets off, sleeping bag really come into their own. We have been gifted some and I’ve bought a couple from eBay. Again, you really don’t need to spend on brand new unless you are keen too.

Teethers and dribble bibs

If you get given these before babe arrives or just after pack them away for the next 12 weeks or so. If you don’t get gifted any, I wholeheartedly recommend a Matchstick Monkey and Sophie La Girafe (I don’t know why but babies do seem to totally love her).

What else did you find useful? And what might I find helpful for next few months?

 

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Pregnancy: hospital bag advice

I’ve had some time to reflect on my choices for my hospital bag, and in hope that it might help a mum-to-be here are some of my thoughts.

Some things I packed and was glad of:

  • Nursing nightie – I had this one from Amazon, if I’d had a natural birth, I planned to have this for hospital, as it poppers at the back in case you need an epidural, and poppers on the front for feeding and the holy grail: pockets! It was still great for breastfeeding, and gross but dark colours = no worries about blood stains. Sorry!
  • Clothes to leave in, comfy in case of surgery… I left in my first ever pair of sweat pants, it was so, so cold when she was born in Feb!
  • Fairy lights – I had a little string of battery operated fairy lights that I left on all night, so I didn’t have to have the full lamp on.
  • Room spray – chilled me out, reminded me of home.
  • Snacks – wouldn’t have made it through the night without these! Include some fruit juice boxes or something, you need to stay hydrated and water water water can get a bit dull.
  • Slippers – trips down the hall to the loo were made a little more pleasant, if you have them, slip on ones would be ideal as bending down is not so easy.
  • Giant pants  – if you have a c-section you don’t want low rise knickers as that’ll be where your incision would have been made. Also, the pads you’ll need after are blooming massive!

Some things I wish I had remembered:

  • Swaddle blanket –  I think this would have helped Edie settle, but I hadn’t even learnt how to swaddle. We now have some Aden and Anais swaddle muslins that I found in TK Maxx, which now she’s bigger have a further use of a breastfeeding cover if I want, or standard muslin mopping duties if shes wet through the ones I brought out with me.
  • White noise machine – We have the Ewan the Sheep, but lots of friends used the MyHummy (we stayed in a private room, I wouldn’t have used this on the ward)

    £29.99 from John Lewis, but a white noise app on your phone would also work a treat!
  • Water bottle – I’ve found one with a straw that you don’t have to tip really good, which is great as breastfeeding is very thirsty work. In hospital, obviously you’ll be thirsty during labour, or in my case after surgery as you have to abstain from liquid beforehand, but they give you a little jug and a little cup. A water bottle of your own, that you don’ have to refill nearly as often would be a huge help!

What would you recommend to mums-to-be? Have I missed anything?

Birth story

We were scheduled for c-section as our little one was breech, a frank breech to be precise. But I started contracting three days before the scheduled date, in the middle of the night.

I am really glad that I had our hospital bags packed. Once I called the hospital they asked us to come straight in, as I had been timing my contractions for a couple of hours to be sure, using the Babycentre app and they were about 3-4 minutes apart. I let Jack sleep whilst I timed them for 2 hours, do I get an award? I woke him up at 5:30 to warn him I was going to call the hospital and encouraged him to have a hot shower and pop on some clean, warm clothes as we potentially had a long day ahead.

Speaking to the midwife on triage, she asked us to come in. Better safe than sorry is a good motto for any query in pregnancy.

We got into Hospital at about 6:30 am, after sitting in our driveway in the dark, waiting for our car to defrost. It was freezing out! I was popped on a monitor to track contractions and babe’s heart rate. Contractions had, as they typically do when you arrive on the labour ward, slowed right down to one every 10 mins. One of the midwives said she would examine me to see if I was in established labour, turns out I was and they booked us in for the first c-section slot of the day.

Waiting to go into theatre.

 

The gorgeous view of the south downs for our room on the labour ward.

Th surgery went smoothly, though it is the strangest sensation. And that moment when they lift your newborn up so you can see if it’s a boy or girl… pretty hard to see as the person below the screen, so in the end Jack had to tell me we had a girl.

Also, one thing I hadn’t considered is just how little space there is; they popped her down on my chest and she got nudge slowly closer and closer towards my face as they worked on stitching me up.

Recovering afterwards went as well as you can hope, things I hadn’t thought about is how long your legs are numb for after surgery, and bed baths, catheters and bloody wees. But when you’ve got your baby, you really don’t care!

We didn’t have any visitors to the hospital and I am very happy with that decision, I was a knackered mess and just wanted to enjoy our little new trio. Jack went home to get his last night of uninterrupted sleep and stayed up all night, totally lost of how to settle Edie to sleep.

The following day we left hospital in the afternoon, and she met her four grandparents that evening. We’ve been very lucky and the first couple of months have flown by, she’s such a good baby, pretty chilled.

Do you have any advice you’d offer new parents? i.e. me…