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Bounty Newborn Pack…

When you’ve given birth to your lovely baby, and you’re spending your time getting to know them on the postnatal ward, the Bounty reps come around bearing gift-packs and cameras. We turned down the offer of photographs (feeling like we were going to be trapped into spending lots of money, and not wanting Bounty to have possession of any pictures of our son), but were happy to accept the pack.

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If I’m honest, after the last two packs I’ve received (Bounty Mum-to-Be and Emma’s Diary Bump-to-Baby) I didn’t hold out much hope for the Bounty Newborn Pack, but I was really pleasantly surprised…

The first thing you notice is the free STUFF, because it’s bigger and more interesting than the small forest of literature that’s included…

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The best thing in the pack was a baby towel (top left) that is beautifully soft and comes with a sample of Persil Non Bio liquid and Comfort softener as well as money off vouchers for the same (the two brands we already use! Huzzah!)

Next best things were sample nappies and wipes from Aldi and Asda (I used the Asda wipes before I had chance to take the picture. Whoops). Asda only give you two of their ‘Little Angels’ nappies, and I think the pack had 10 wipes in it. Aldi are FAR more generous with 24 Mamia wipes (now in our nappy bag for emergencies) and 4 sample nappies. Fabulous!

We have since used the rest of these nappy samples up (more about our nappy experiences soon…) and can safely say that both Little Angels and Mamia nappies are very good quality and very good value if you then go on to buy them. The wipes are brilliant too, and we’ve used them on George’s bum and face with no adverse reactions (unlike Huggies aloe vera wipes which gave him sore skin. Bad Huggies!)

There was also a Tena Lights sample (and money off voucher) in the pack, another mini pot of Sudocrem, and a sample of Baby D Drops. All in all, a cornucopia of freebies!…and useful ones at that!

So…that’s all the interesting ‘STUFF’…now onto the forest of paper that was included in the pack. I was prepared for it to all be selling me something or just generally useless, but again I was pleasantly surprised…

  • Child Benefit Form…VERY useful! Unfortunately I didn’t know it was in there until a week or so ago (despite it being printed on the pack itself) so I didn’t have it with me when we registered George (you can apparently hand your filled in form to the Registrar)
  • 2 x Lansinoh Breast Milk Freezer Bags…also VERY useful. I hadn’t even thought about buying these so when I needed to freeze some of my expressed milk I had two in reserve! Awesome stuff!
  • Hotel Chocolat Tasting Club voucher…to get a £22.95 selection for £6.95. I love these chocolates! USEFUL!
  • Obligatory “Ocado 20% off” voucher…when you spend over £80 of course…not at all useful.
  • Pixifoto voucher sheet…for free photography sessions as your baby grows. Pretty useful if you like that sort of thing.
  • “Gift Certificates”…these look like great offers on the face of it BUT they’re all American sites so you have to pay almost £10 in postage for each purchase. It’s not bad if they were things you wanted anyway…you can get:
  • You and Your Newborn Bounty Book…I haven’t even looked through this but I’m fairly sure it’s another book of advertisements. It could be useful. Maybe.
  • Your Guide to Contraception After You’ve Had a Baby…leaflet. Useful!
  • Meningitis Awareness…mini leaflet. Also useful!
  • Coping With Wind and Infant Colic…leaflet (it’s basically an informative advert for Infacol)…very useful as George has suffered with bad wind (possibly colic)
  • Junior ISAs…leaflet. Might be useful.
  • D Drops Voucher…and leaflet. Useful for finding out what they’re about (and buying more).
  • Bounty Parenting Club Form…of course. I’m sure this will be useful if they want to give me more free things.

So there you have it! It was stuffed with STUFF and THINGS and a lot of it was useful (or could be seen as being useful)…all in all I’m pretty impressed!

Thanks Bounty 🙂

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting

 

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Birth Plan(s)…

There’s lots of discussion on the internet on birth forums about whether or not you should “bother” writing a birth plan. Everyone has their own opinion, some of which are quite forthright and abrupt. I’ve seen women making statements such as…

“…I’d rather just see what happens when I get there…”

“…why try to control and uncontrollable situation…”

“…you’re setting yourself up for failure and upset if your birth doesn’t follow your plan…”

“…the midwives and doctors know what they’re doing, writing a birth plan is acting like you know better than they do…”

“…no-one will read it anyway…”

“…I’m having a c-section so I’m not going to bother writing one…”

My response to all that?…an incredulous “Really?!”

…followed by…

  • If you wait and see what happens when you get there you will be going in unprepared for the options you actually have…
  • There is a difference between trying to control something, and preparing for something
  • You’re only setting yourself up for failure if you write a rigid set of rules that your labour MUST follow for you to be happy – that’s not a birth plan, that’s an exercise in futility…
  • Yes, midwives and doctors know what they’re doing (and I should bloody well hope so!) but they may also want to get your labour done with quickly, not because it’s the best for you, but because it’s the best for them
  • No-one has to read your plan. The sheer act of writing it helps you to be aware of your options so you know what you want to ask for and what you would prefer to refuse – and no-one can do anything to you without your consent…
  • You might be having a c-section, but you still have options and it’s perfectly fine to have a plan for a caesarean too...

The way I see it is that by writing your birth plan you’re giving yourself the opportunity to look into all the options you have for your birth, to research them, and to decide which ones you’d prefer to take advantage of IF your situation allows. It can also be a really good way to set out the things you’d like should emergencies happen.

When it comes down to it, your birth plan can be as simple as:

  • I want my husband in the room
  • I do NOT want an epidural

Or, if you’re anything like me, it can be LONG…

I am a control freak. I know this. I want to know all of the possible eventualities and I want to plan for all of them. I don’t want to be offered something that I know nothing about…I mean, how can I make an informed decision about being induced if I’ve never looked into what one involves?…I want a natural birth, but if I have to have a c-section, how will I know what to ask for during/after surgery if I’ve never even considered it?

I am a control freak, yes, but I’m also a realist. I’m not writing ONE birth plan as a set of rules to be followed, oh no, I’m writing SEVERAL birth plans so that my preferred options are set out in writing for whatever may happen.

If we get to stay in the birth centre the whole time, great! If we have to be moved to the labour ward, that’s fine! If I have to have a c-section, well it’s not ideal but I’ve planned for that too!

For those of you who are interested, my *current* birth plans are listed below (I am going to go through them with my midwife on Saturday and get her opinion so they may well change). I’d be really interested to hear other people’s plans for birth and I’m happy to discuss any of my choices with anyone who wants to know more about why I’ve chosen certain things.


Birth Plan – Midwife Led Unit

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • I would like to use a birthing pool if one is available

  • I prefer as few people around me as possible

  • I am preparing for birth using Natal Hypnotherapy and would like a quiet, relaxed calm birth environment

  • During labour I would like:

    • As little monitoring as possible

    • No vaginal examinations unless necessary

    • Do not break my waters unless labour slows and not with my/Luke’s consent

    • I want to push when my body tells me to, and in an upright position

    • I prefer to tear than be cut, and do not want an episiotomy unless in an emergency and not without my/Luke’s consent

  • After birth I would like:

    • skin-to-skin contact with my baby (or failing that, skin-to-skin with Luke)

    • delayed cord clamping until it has stopped pulsating

  • Please use the umbilical cord tie that I have in place of a clamp if possible

  • Natural delivery of the placenta if possible

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose


Birth Plan – Labour Ward

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • As few people as possible around me

  • I am preparing for birth using Natal Hypnotherapy and would like a quiet, relaxed calm birth environment

    • dimmed lights

    • my own music

    • as little interruption as possible

  • During labour I would like:

    • To remain active if possible

    • Intermittent/wireless monitoring to allow me to be mobile

    • No vaginal examinations unless necessary

    • Do not break my waters unless labour slows and not with my/Luke’s consent

    • Ventouse only in an emergency and never without my/Luke’s consent – I would prefer not to use forceps if possible

    • I prefer to tear rather than be cut

      • Episiotomy only in an emergency, and never without my/Luke’s consent

    • Pain relief: Entonox only – spinal block in an emergency – no pethidine or epidural

    • I prefer to stay hydrated by drinking rather than via IV

    • I want to be upright during pushing stage and let my body tell me when to push if possible

    • Please set up the resuscitation equipment as close to me as is sensible, so that the cord can remain intact if possible

  • After birth:

    • Immediate skin-to-skin with myself or Luke

    • Delayed cord clamping until the cord has stopped pulsating

    • No bathing of baby

  • Please use the umbilical cord tie that I have in place of a clamp if possible

  • Natural delivery of the placenta if possible

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose

In case of being induced:

  • Intermittent/wireless monitoring to allow me to be mobile

  • I prefer to give birth in an upright position/on all fours


Birth Plan – In Case of C-Section

Birth Partner: my husband, Luke

  • Delay clamping and cutting the cord if possible

  • Baby to be lifted onto my chest immediately after birth

  • If I cannot be conscious, please give the baby to Luke for skin-to-skin immediately after birth if possible

  • Please administer a vaginal swab to give baby microbiomes

  • All post-birth procedures (e.g. cleaning and weighing) to be delayed until Luke and I are ready

  • I would like my baby to receive Vitamin K by ORAL dose

In the Event of Medical Separation of Baby and I

  • No bathing baby

  • Luke to stay with baby unless there is an emergency

  • Do not give baby glucose or formula without my/Luke’s express consent

  • If baby must be fed please hand express from me and spoon/syringe feel baby

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting, Plans, Pregnancy

 

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Send Me a Sign!…

Despite the fact that I STILL haven’t gotten my head round the whole “there’s going to be a real actual baby and he’s going to be OURS” thing, and the reality that we still are not ready (there’s washing to do, and baby wipes and breast pads to make to name but two things) I’m constantly (and excitedly) on the look out for signs of imminent labour. I’ve been doing it ever since I hit 37 weeks.

My midwife ran through the signs with me to check that I knew what was what and I felt very in control and aware…and then we got home and I started wondering. And googling.

And then I realised that none of the signs of labour actually mean that labour is happening/going to happen soon. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes women get all of them, sometimes they only get a few.

Wonderful!

One of the first things I was going to look out for was ‘a clear out’…or, if you’re being less polite, a bout of diarrhoea. Nice. This is one of the things that might not happen at all though.

The next thing was losing the mucous plug from the neck of my cervix, otherwise known as a ‘bloody show’. Once again, nice. This one was, I felt, quite reliable as you’d expect to notice it, but no. There’s plenty of women who don’t recall seeing any kind of ‘show’, bloody or otherwise…so that’s reliable then.

An obvious sign is, obviously, your waters breaking. Everyone knows that, right? Except your waters can break at ANY point during labour, and sometimes, very rarely, babies can be born without the waters breaking at all. Also, your waters can break without labour starting. So that clichéd image of the woman who’s waters break in the supermarket (or other embarrassing public place) is completely misleading.

Sometimes back pain and period cramps can be a sign that things are kicking off, except they’re both things that I’ve been experiencing on and off for a couple of weeks now. Reliable.

A lightening feeling, where you can breathe more easily (and eat more food again!) can indicate that your baby  has dropped down into your pelvis more BUT the baby engaging isn’t a sign of labour on its own, they can always pop back out again, and some babies (especially if it’s your second) don’t engage at all.

Finally, contractions, or tightenings, accompanied with pain in your lower back or lower abdomen, irregular or not, might be a good indication of labour. I’ve had a few in the past few weeks but they’ve been sporadic rather than irregular. Once you’re getting ones that last around a minute and happen a few times in an hour you might be in the early stages of labour…but that irregularity could continue for days and it can also stop entirely.

So I guess what I’m saying is that, although I’m desperately looking for signs, I don’t trust any of them. Not only that, but I also don’t feel ready for the signs to be positive. It’s a very weird situation to be in…especially when I’m actively trying to do things that bring labour on.

Amongst other things, I’ve been bouncing on my swiss ball, doing a “labour dance” (which involves lots of pelvic winding and bump rubbing), and last night Luke made a really hot curry (it had about eight birdseye chillies in it on top of his normal spice level)…Mini Moss is DEFINITELY moving around a LOT ever since the heat-fest so who knows what could happen.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Pregnancy

 

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Snacks – Hospital Essentials…

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Along with all the clothing, toiletries, and comfort items you’d normally think of, most ‘hospital bag’ lists suggest that you take snacks and drinks along too. Labour can be a looong and tiring process, so it’s quite likely that you (and your birth partner) will get hungry or just need a bit of an energy boost.

The Babycentre site warns that prolonged physical activity (like labour) on an empty stomach can cause your body to start raiding your fat stores, which could give you a headache and make you feel (or be) sick. I’m not sure if I’ll want to eat anything during labour, or if I’ll have the time, but this is what I’ve packed so far…

– a HUGE bag of jelly babies…lots of people recommend them as high energy snacks, and I LOVE them (partly because I like to say “would you like a jelly baby” in Tom Baker’s voice)

– dried mango…because it’s nice and because it had been sitting in our cupboard for a while

– nature valley protein rich cereal bars…I started out with five of these but have eaten two already. If I’m honest, they’re not that great (too dry!) and I’m worried about taking peanuts into hospital, so I might just eat them all and get some seed bars instead…

– poppy and sesame crackers…these are AMAZING. They’re better with cheese but I love them on their own too. I actually can’t believe that I haven’t eaten these already. Cheese flavour crackers would be good too.

– raspberry leaf tea bags…these are the not-so-nice ones (they have a vague tomato soup smell/flavour) but they are individually wrapped which is a definite bonus. I’m not sure if I should take a thermos or not…they should have boiling water and cups in hospital?…surely?

– straws!…to make drinking easier (especially if I’m trying to focus and don’t want to have to lift a bottle/my head)

…the one thing we don’t have yet is drinks. I’m thinking a bottle of water (that we can then refill) and a couple of bottles of Powerade (blue of course) for its energy-giving properties. I used to inhale the stuff when I was doing skate training so I’m hoping it’ll make me feel like a fierce rollergirl again. I’m nothing if not optimistic!

We also need snacks for Luke, but I think he’ll be happy with a multipack of crisps.

I wanted to get a soft-sided cool bag for my snacks, and after looking around the town centre Luke found these little blue ones in the picnic section of Poundland. They’re about the size of a 6-pack of coke, close securely with a zip, and have a useful little pocket at the front too. The handle isn’t very long but it’s long enough to hook over your arm.

We did find a few others but they weren’t much bigger and were all around £5-10. They were a lot sturdier and thicker (so better as cool bags, I’m guessing) but we didn’t really need anything that was overly fancy.

I was worried that the Poundland ones wouldn’t be big enough so we got two. At the moment I’ve only filled one (and there’s still a bit of space in it) so there’s another for Luke (or me if I suddenly get greedy). They’ll be nice to use again after our little one is here for family-day-out packed lunches too.

 

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Hospital Bags – A Review…

Just over a week ago i posted some lists of the things that were going into our hospital bags.

At the time I thought they were pretty comprehensive, but when it came to packing them I realised that I’d left out a few things, and not been entirely specific about others…

Firstly, the things I forgot…

1) Going home clothes…which are sort of important if you want to go home in something other than your nightdress…

I was kind of reticent to pack any clothes until labour began because there’s not a lot I feel comfortable in anymore and I was worried I’d miss part of my rapidly shrinking wardrobe. In the end I chose to put in a pair of yoga pants that start sliding down my bump after just a few steps, leaving the bottom of it exposed. They’re wonderfully comfy but they drive me mad so I didn’t feel too bad sacrificing them to the bag. I have a black nursing top from Mothercare to wear with them that I got it in a super-big size. I’m hoping it’ll fit over my belly just a few days after birth…

I also added a pair of leggings, a big t-shirt and some loose, stretchy pyjama bottoms, just in case I don’t want to sit around in a nightie all day.

2) Extra sleep bras…because I’m paranoid that I’ll leak and that two won’t be enough. I don’t want to sleep in colostrum stained bras….

3) Umbilical Cord Tie (by Heartstrings)…

cordtie

These cute ties are made with embroidery thread and are used instead of the conventional plastic clamps to tie off the umbilical cord. They’re kinder to a newborn’s skin, less ‘clunky’ and often encourage the stump to dry out and fall off more quickly than a clamp.

I chose a bee because I love them (and one of my nicknames is LouBee) and was very amused to see the post stamp on the envelope when it arrived.

I’ll write more about the cord tie (how the midwives react to it and how well it works) after the birth.

4) A cheap plastic massager…

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I found some tips for things to put in your hospital bag online and one woman suggested one of these because her husband wasn’t the best at massage. Luke tries his best but I invariably yell at him that he’s not doing it right, so I thought that it’d be a good idea to add one of these into my bag. I will definitely want him to rub my back during labour, and I don’t want to be doing any yelling.

5) Natal Hypnotherapy “props”… 

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These include a data sheet for the midwives, a sign to put on the door of the delivery room (top photo) and a reminder card for me, Luke and the Midwives (bottom photo) that folds up and slots together. I’ve put these into the folder with my maternity notes and birth plan and stuck the “I’m preparing for birth with Natal Hypnotherapy” sticker onto my notes.

6) Headphones…for if I have to stay in hospital.

Next…the things I’ve adjusted…

1) My robe…I don’t have a suitable robe and couldn’t find one when I went shopping, so I got one of these nightshirts from Primark instead…

Hogwarts Nightshirt

…it’s fab, but has gold threads running through it that are quite scratchy, so it works much better as a robe than a nightshirt (no one needs gold threads scratching at their nipples…)

I’ve also banished it from my labour bag and relegated it to the ‘staying in hospital’ bag. My reason for this is that if I don’t stay in hospital then I’ll pass it (unworn) onto someone who will actually appreciate it. As it is it’s a size 18-20 so will swamp me when I lose my bump…plus I really can’t stand those scratchy gold threads…

2) My socks…I’m only taking one pair of bed socks and one pair of socks because I prefer my feet to be cold and I have a small knitted pair of slippers (Primark cheapies) that will work just as well to keep my feet warm.

3) My iPod…it works fine when it’s in a dock, but refuses to work when it’s not (battery issues). Hopefully it’ll be fine for labour (because it’ll be in a dock) but I can’t rely on it so I’m taking in a bunch of CDs that I’ve made too. I had also planned to put audio books on there so that I could listen to them if I had to stay in hospital, but that’s not going to work now. Instead I’ve had to clear a whole load of apps off my phone so that I can put the books on there instead. I did consider buying a new iPod (well, a new-to-me second-hand one), but I barely use the one I have so I just couldn’t justify spending £30-40 on getting another.

4) Sanitary pads…I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I put 10 on my list. I’m actually taking TWENTY-FOUR.

5) Nipple cream…this has gone in my labour bag because that’s where my toiletry bag is and I didn’t want it loose (and possibly leaking) in my hospital bag.

6) Notepads…we don’t need one each and can totally share one between us, I was being a ridiculous notepad addict there…

Finally…the things I didn’t really specify…

1) My labour outfit…to start with, I’m not worrying too much about changing outfits and have stuck with one actual item of clothing – a longline XL men’s t-shirt from Primark…

picture from Primark website

…it’s quite soft and comfortable so I’ve put it in the bag as it is at the moment, but I may still shorten the arms and hack the neck off a bit. I guess I could have just used a nightie but I find that I feel quite dowdy in those. Silly. but true. This way I think I’ll fool myself into thinking that I’m wearing a dress and feel more like myself. I haven’t washed it before packing it as I was worried it’d shrink and I’d end up walking around flashing my pants/bum.

I’ve also added in a bikini top in case the sleep bra is a bit too restrictive when it’s wet (I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me in the first place to be honest…pool…bikini…you’d think it’d be a no-brainer…)

2) Baby clothes…I had no idea what to take or how much to take and ARGH…it was all getting too much having to think about if he’d be too tall for newborn sized stuff. And then I realised that even if I’m stuck in hospital, mom and Luke won’t be. Once it dawned on me that they could bring me things from home it got much easier. I’ve gone with:

  • 2 x vests in each size (newborn and 0-3 months)
  • 2 x onesies in each size (as above)
  • a cardigan
  • 1 x hat
  • 2 x scratch mitts
  • 2 x muslin cloth
  • 2 x dribble bibs

Also, I have put my “staying in hospital” clothes into one cotton shopping bag, and the baby’s clothes into another. This works well because it keeps them all together, keeps his clothes clean, and means that I don’t have to do too much rummaging to find things in there. I think the hospital cots have little cupboards underneath them so having everything separated out will make it so much easier to transfer it to the cupboard.

So there you have it….I’m all packed!

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…and for those of you who want to see the reviewed and revised list…

Labour bag

For me:

  • Birthplan
  • Maternity notes (I carry these in my handbag all the time anyway)
  • Natal Hypnotherapy data sheet, reminder and door notice (plus blu-tac)
  • Umbilical cord tie
  • Lipbalm
  • Massage oil
  • Massager
  • Hot water bottle
  • Water spray bottle
  • Tissues/wipes
  • Hair bobbles
  • Brush
  • A couple of sanitary pads
  • 2 sleep bras (because one might get wet if I use it in the pool)
  • 1 pair of pants
  • Longline baggy t-shirt to wear while giving birth
  • Bikini top for in the pool
  • Slippers
  • A towel (this isn’t actually in the bag as it’d fill the whole thing – I’ll carry it separately in a cotton shopping bag. To be honest, I’m considering asking the hospital if it’s necessary to bring one as I know our local hospital tell you not to bother)
  • Paper/notepad and pen
  • iPod
  • CDs
  • Phone
  • TENS machine
  • Toiletry bag (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner…all travel sized…and mascara to make myself feel slightly human if I feel like I need it after the birth, and nipple cream)
  • My swiss ball (deflated!)
  • A pillow (to get comfy and because it’ll be a bit of home)

Baby things:

  • 2 nappies and sacks
  • Nappy cream
  • Some cotton wool balls
  • Newborn sized vest
  • Newborn sized onesie
  • 0-3 month sized vest
  • 0-3 month sized onesie
  • Going home outfit (just in case we get to leave after a few hours)
  • Scratch mitts
  • Muslin square
  • Nail scissors
  • Cuddly toy

Luke’s stuff:

  • Money (including change for vending machines)
  • Hypnobirthing “Gatekeeper” card (it has reminders for affirmations etc)
  • Phone
  • Phone numbers on paper
  • Change of clothes – we’ve whittled this down to one fresh t-shirt, 1 pair of boxers and his swimming shorts (so he can get in the pool with me) but he seems to think he won’t need any of them…
  • Deodorant

(believe it or not, all of this fits in the smaller of the two bags pictured above (apart from the towel)…I’m shocked and amazed. I guess having travel-sized toiletries really helps…)

Hospital Stay Bag

For me:

  • Cotton shopping bag (which my clothes are in)
  • 2 nursing nighties
  • Hogwarts nightshirt (“robe”)
  • A nursing bra
  • 2 x nursing sleep bras
  • 1 pair bed socks
  • 1 pair normal socks
  • 5 pairs of pants
  • Breast pads (about 10 pairs)
  • 22 sanitary pads
  • Phone charger
  • Headphones
  • Money
  • A plastic bag (for dirty laundry)
  • Books and magazines
  • Audio books on phone

For the baby:

  • Cotton shopping bag (which his clothes are in)
  • 15 nappies and sacks
  • Cotton wool balls
  • A hat
  • 4 x vests (2 x newborn, 2 x 0-3 months)
  • 4 x onesies (2 x newborn, 2 x 0-3 months)
  • 2 x scratch mitts
  • 2 x muslin cloth
  • 2 x dribble bibs
  • A cardigan
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting, Pregnancy

 

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Baby Bargains…

On Saturday night I was caught (again) by the “WE DON’T HAVE…!” bug, as I realised that we were still missing a few baby/babycare things.

I spent ages looking around online at nappy bags and baby bouncers, convinced that we couldn’t survive without either (we totally could) but unwilling to commit to buying either…

At the start of my pregnancy I’d been a member of a facebook group for mums who were due at the same (ish) time as me, and they’d all been talking about really REALLY expensive bags, like the Yummy Mummy bags by Pink Lining. They’re beautiful but I don’t have £80 to spend on a bag that’s going to end up carrying sicked-on clothes or poopy nappies (when we move to cloth)…I wouldn’t even spend that much on a bag for myself! So, I typed “nappy bag” into Amazon, half fearful of the bank-breaking results that my search would yield…

I wasn’t prepared to find SO MANY bargains, and my brain kind of shut down and refused to let me choose one.

In the end, I picked this one (complete with a green changing mat) for £8.90…

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…but I bought it from eBay (despite it being a pound or so more expensive) because it promised it would arrive by the 26th of August, rather than anytime during September (which was the delivery window Amazon quoted).

When it came to the bouncer chair I had the opposite problem: there were a few that I REALLY wanted, but they were all about £50-60. I did find two on the Argos website that were awesome-looking and cheap (and even cheaper still because they have a sale on at the moment) but they were both out of stock. Probably because they are awesome-looking and cheaper than cheap.

I looked on eBay and found some bargainous bouncers, but they were all used (yet listed with stock photos) so I was a bit concerned that they’d be dirty and not easy to clean. I gave up after a while and resigned myself to doing without one til Argos restocked.

…and then I remembered Aldi had baby things on sale. Bright red and blue ones, like this. Luke hadn’t let me buy one there when we’d last seen them because of the colour, but after a bit of googling I discovered that they also had them in brown/beige with a really cute bee and giraffe design…

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Mom was off shopping the next morning, so I asked her to see if they had one left. And they did. They had ONE, and it was at the bottom of a 4ft pile of the red and blue ones. Thank you, Mom!

It’s adorable, but I haven’t made it up yet. It seems silly to have it sitting around the house when there’s no baby here to use it yet. I guess it’ll give me something to do when labour starts.

My other bargains include a really cute Very Hungry Caterpillar sleeping bag from eBay. We needed another lightweight one but I didn’t want to spend a load of money on one as it probably won’t get much use. I was really pleased when I stumbled across this 1.5 tog one…

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…and even more pleased when I won it for £5.60 (posted). It’s used (obviously) but will be far easier to wash than the cover of a baby bouncer.

Finally, although I haven’t actually made the baby wipes yet (all it requires is a bit of cutting and stitching! I’m terrible…) I bought these to keep them in, both at home, and out and about…

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…and two of these to pop the dirty ones into…

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…and two of a different design so that I can keep the face cloths separate from the bum ones.

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So, thanks to eBay, Amazon and Aldi (and my Mom) I’ve managed to get a nappy bag and changing mat, a lightweight sleeping bag, a bouncer chair, three lock and lock boxes, and four wet and dry bags for about £45.

That’s almost half the price of a Yummy Mummy bag…

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Parenting

 

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36 Weeks – The Joy of Ikea…

…I’m only a week late in posting this…

Monday (the 10th) was the start of my 36th week of pregnancy…

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…(please excuse the rough-looking picture) and I celebrated it by getting up at 7am to accept a big Ikea delivery from the Parcelforce delivery man. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t think it’d be that early. I also thought that the nice delivery man would lift the massive heavy boxes into the hallway for the massive pregnant woman…but no. Apparently it was more than his job is worth.

Thank you Parcelforce, you are (not at all) helpful. Luckily I have a big strong husband that I could drag out of bed, but what if he had been out at work, or if I was single? What if I was and elderly person or just weak? Needless to say, I am not impressed by their (lack of) service.

Anyway…

I’d been looking forward to it all arriving because a) I love getting new stuff, and b) I love love LOVE putting flat-pack together. So there it was, a box of cot pieces, a box of changing table pieces, a plastic wrapped mattress and a box of “things”…I started unpacking it and suddenly it all became very real.

Baby things.

For our baby.

Who will be here in 1-6 weeks.

Oh gosh.

I had a bit more tea and put off the building for a while longer.

When it came down to it, Luke was going to help me, but I told him that I wanted to do it by myself. He does so much around the house while I sit and moan about SPD and being tired that I thought he could do with a break. Plus, we may be a fantastic team a lot of the time. but we don’t build well together.

As it is, I don’t build well alone, but at least I can only get frustrated with myself that way…

I started on the cot. I’d chosen a white Gulliver cot as it was very VERY cheap (£55) and could have one side removed, which makes it ideal to “sidecar” as a cosleeper on our bed. I was going to build it as a three-sided cot straight away as we want to have our little one close by, and we wanted to be able to get him into and out of our bed easily to make night feeds a bit less of a faff.

The trouble is that Ikea assumes that you will build it as a four-sided cot with the base up high…then drop the base down to it’s lowest setting once your child gets older (and more mobile)…then remove the side and use it as a cot-bed once your little one is bed aged…and their instructions are set out in those three stages. There is nothing for the parent who, like me, wants to flout their rules. SO I cobbled it together on my own…

First, I put the three sides together, then I tried to put the cot bed bar in and realised that it wasn’t going to work and that I needed to take one of the ends off…

So, I took the end off, slotted the bar in, reattached the end…and then realised that I couldn’t get the mattress base in when all of the side were assembled…

I took the end off AGAIN, slotted in the base (with considerable difficulty) and reattached the end AGAIN and stood back to admire my work. That’s when I realised I’d put the base in upside down

So off came the end for a third time, and out came the base. Putting it back in this time was a doddle (because it was the right way up and I could see what I was doing), as was reattaching the end (because I’d had SO much practice at doing that already) and then it was finished. Actually finished.

…and I only had to make it FOUR TIMES.

Still, I had fun doing it, and laughed at myself every time I went wrong, The only down side was that by the time I’d finished my feet were five sizes bigger than when I’d started and I really REALLY needed to sit down. So obviously the next step I took was to move our king-sized bed, put the cot in place and move the bed back.

And THEN I sat down. Well, after making it look all nice and pretty…

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…those are the sleeping bags we got from Ikea too…check out our retro duvet/curtains combo (they’re my Mom’s and older than me), whilst trying to ignore the fact that I hadn’t put the matching pillow cases on…

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…a closer look at the sleeping bags…LOOK AT THE LITTLE FEET!!!…

…a while later I put together our bargain basement SNIGLAR changing table (£25), but that’s just sitting on our landing at the moment so I haven’t taken a photo of it yet. Here is a stock photo for your viewing pleasure…

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…it’s basic but it was cheap and it’ll do the job. I wasn’t even going to bother buying one and just use a mat on the floor or bed, but I figured that if I have to have a c-section it’ll be much more convenient to have a proper changing table set up. It was far easier to put up than the crib, but I still made sure that I read the instructions properly before I started to avoid having to undo my work and start again. At one point I remember thinking “These shelves aren’t very deep…surely a baby could roll off this very easily?”…and then I realised that I’d put the shelf parts (the white bit in the picture) upside down…

Luckily I didn’t have to pull much apart to fix it though…

So, other than the cot and changing table, we also got…

VYSSA VINKA mattress …£40…it’s sprung and has a removable, washable cover. I was going to go for their cold foam mattress but figured that the springs would allow for better air circulation.

LEN mattress protector …£5…to protect the mattress. Obviously.

LEN fitted cot sheets …£7.50 for two…maybe I should have gotten four…oh well, there’s still time to get more.

LEKA cot mobile…£4…it’s a leaf with bugs dangling from it and it is SO cute, but it doesn’t come with anything to suspend the mobile from. I have looked around for some mobile arms online and they all seem to a) come with a mobile, or b) cost more than £10 for the arm alone. Whoops.

SKOTSAM changing mat…£5…it fits in the top of the changing table, has a padded base and inflatable sides. The valves on the inflatable bits are awful. One of them was ok and I could pinch it and blow air in, but I had to kind of push that air into the other three sections with my cheeks. I don’t know how else to describe it but it was very frustrating. I wouldn’t recommend buying one. One of the sides has already deflated…

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ONSKLIG storage baskets…£7…these four little baskets hang off the edge of the changing table. One has a lid so could be good as a nappy pail (but I don’t know how well it’d contain smells!)…I’m not sure what I’ll keep in them but they seemed like they might be useful when I was putting my order together. The set comes with two hook clips too.

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…Ikea’s photo…

POMSIG sleeping bag…£12…

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…Ikea’s photo…

PYTTESSMA sleeping bag… £11…both of these bags are 0-6 months and are good for use in temperatures of 16-20°C (so they’re around 2.5tog) so they’ll be good in our bedroomaswe alwayshave the windows open.

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…Ikea’s photo…

KRAMA washcloths… £3 for 10…I’m planning on using these for making my own babywipes (more about this in an upcoming post). They’re 30cm square and wonderfully soft. I got two packs because they’re so cheap – one pack to make baby wipes and one to actually use as washcloths (or turn into more wipes if they work well). I really like their little coloured hanging loops (which hang on the useful hook clips that I got with the storage tubs)

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…Ikea’s photo…

With delivery, the whole lot came to just over £185, which is less than I imagined the cot and mattress would cost on their own. Aside from the changing mat fail, I was really pleased with everything we got, and even more pleased by the price. They have some really lovely (affordable) stuff for babies and children, and I can’t recommend them enough

We do have a few more things that we need to pick up from there (like drawers for the Kallax shelving units we have in our bedroom) so I might brave a drive to Coventry this week…and I might be tempted into buying some of their baby towels and toys…

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Pregnancy, Reviews

 

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