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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…

bountynewbornpack

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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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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Full Term!…And 38 Weeks…

Okay, so today I am 38 weeks pregnant, but I totally missed out on my 37 week (aka FULL TERM) update, so I’ll start with that really quickly…

...please excuse my terrible hair and general grotty appearance...

…please excuse my terrible hair and general grotty appearance – also, I’ve realised that Luke is *always* sitting playing Xbox on the bed while I take these…he DOES do other stuff, I promise…

I am terrible at organisation and getting things done. I think it’s because I get a bit too excited about things a bit too quickly, and I let myself think that a) I’m jumping the gun by doing more than writing a list (or two or three), and b) I have LOADS of time to do whatever it is I’m obsessing about.

Take my hospital bags as an example. I knew what was going in them 8 weeks ago, and I knew what I needed to buy to be “ready”. There was no point in packing then and there because I had six weeks ahead of me to do it. Suddenly, SEVEN weeks had gone by and not only was I not packed, but I also didn’t have half of the things I needed.

One major problem was that all the baby clothes remained unwashed…so, I celebrated 37 weeks of pregnancy by doing about 4 loads of washing (and then I spent the remainder of the – very damp – week trying to get it all dry…see, THAT is why you do it early)…

...just some of the washing - and our naughty dogs...

…just some of the washing – and our naughty dogs…

…and then I spent last Tuesday packing and panicking that I didn’t have enough onesies or long sleeved vests. Needless to say, my packing is almost done now. Almost.

I also celebrated by cutting into the gorgeous cake that my sister-in-law had made for my “not a baby shower” party, as I had been reluctant to cut it (aka “ruin it”) at the party itself…

cutcake

Oh my god it was delicious. Not cutting it at the party was the best decision ever a bit selfish of me…I have ended up eating a slice (or two…or three) of it most days and I still have a tiny bit left a week later…

And today I’m 38 weeks

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…and boy do I know it…

Our Mini one has dropped so low into my pelvis that I can no longer bend forward or squat without a feeling of sudden sharp pressure on my cervix (sorry, but it’s true), and my legs are now so swollen that they’re vaguely reminiscent of chip shop donner kebabs One good thing about his lower position is that I’ve not suffered acid reflux in the past two days. Hooray for small (very significant) mercies.

I’m also sleeping almost exclusively in the spare room…

Some nights I feel like I might be able to get away with snuggling up to Luke and going to sleep in my own bed, but less than two hours later I’ve either woken myself up with the sound of my snoring, or he’s woken me up to tell me about how loud it is. Most nights I don’t even bother trying, and I just wait til he’s asleep and slink (okay, waddle) off with my pillows. The two of us are missing sharing a bed very very much. I just hope the snoring subsides when the baby is here, otherwise I’ll be keeping ALL of us awake.

Only two weeks left to go now…or four if you’re being negative about it.

I feel like I’m jinxing things by saying it so much, but I really do think he’s going to come early. All day today I have been having period pain-type aches, the odd twinge across my bump and a LOT of cervical pain. Walking has been quite a challenge because of the sudden, sharp stabs (a woman on my birthing forum calls them ‘Fanny Daggers’, which is not only a very good way of describing them, but also makes me laugh like an idiot)…and (AND) as the evening is wearing on I’m starting to get those hot, pulsating back pains again. They’re AGES apart though so are probably indicative of nothing.

I think I’d like him to hang on in there a while longer, but I can’t deny that it’d be good to have the waiting over. The control freak in me does not enjoy the not-knowing part of birth.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Baby, Life, Pregnancy

 

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Chat

Hospital Bag(s)…

If you look around on the Internet there are countless lists of what you should pack in your hospital bag. The hospital I’m going to don’t have a lot of space in their rooms, and so ask that you pack two bags – one for labour and one with the extra things you’ll need if they have to keep you in after the birth. I think quite a few hospitals ask this but most of the lists I found online were for one big bag. They were also all quite different…some were lengthy, some were concise, some were basic but offered suggestions for “extras” to make you feel more at home in the hospital or birth centre.

Something that they all had in common was the advice that you have your bag packed and ready by week 36…

I’m now 37 weeks pregnant and, even though I started planning my bag about weeks ago, I still have no bag packed. Worse than that, I don’t actually have everything that I need for it. I HAVE written my lists though…

I think I fell into the trap of feeling far too organised, far too early. I thought that I had LOADS of time to get it all and get the bag packed. I thought wrong.

Anyway, here are my lists for the things that I think I will need in my labour bag (including a few things for the baby that we’ll need straight away) and some things that Luke will need…

Labour bag for me:

  • Birthplan
  • Maternity notes (I carry these in my handbag all the time anyway)
  • Lipbalm
  • Massage oil
  • 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 can use a pool)
  • Pants
  • Labour “outfits” (I haven’t put a lot of thought into this, but maybe a HUGE loose t-shirt, a nightie…I’m hoping for a water birth so the sleep bra might be enough but I’ve seen a few people recommend taking different things to wear in case your initial choice isn’t comfy)
  • Slippers
  • Dark robe
  • A towel (some hospitals supply these)
  • 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)
  • My swiss ball (deflated!)
  • A pillow (to get comfy and because it’ll be a bit of home)

Baby things for after birth:

  • 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 bag:

  • Money (including change for vending machines)
  • Hypnobirthing “Gatekeeper” card (it has reminders for affirmations etc)
  • Phone
  • Phone numbers on paper
  • Notepad and pen
  • Change of clothes (we might be there a while!)
  • Deoderant
  • Straws (so I can drink without needing to think about it too much)

…and we are also going to take a small cooler bag with snacks and water bottles in…

Then there’s the stuff we’ll need in a second bag for a stay in hospital…

For me:

  • 2 nursing nighties
  • A nursing bra
  • 2 pairs bed socks
  • 2 pairs normal socks
  • 5 pairs of pants
  • Breast pads (about 10 pairs)
  • 10 sanitary pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Phone charger
  • Money
  • A plastic bag (for dirty laundry)
  • Books and magazines

For the baby:

  • 15 nappies and sacks
  • Cotton wool balls
  • A hat
  • Vests and onesies (I have no idea how many to pack…)
  • Another pair of scratch mitts
  • Few more muslins
  • 3 dribble bibs
  • A cardigan

We’ll leave this bag in the car along with the car seat and a blanket. Mom is going to drop us off at the hospital (a 40 minute drive from our house) so we’ll just have to call her once he’s born then, when she gets back, Luke can go out to her and either bring in the car seat and blanket (preferable) or get our 2nd bag (in the event of a hospital stay).

If we do have to stay there’s the possibility that he’ll be able to stay with us too, so we may need to think about packing a few things for him…

Unfortunately it’s not as simple as just packing…

I still need to:

  • Wash the baby clothes and blankets
  • Work out what music I want
  • Put the music on the iPod
  • Figure out labour/going home clothes
  • Make a list of snacks we can take

And we still need to buy:

  • TENS machine
  • Nursing bras
  • A dark robe
  • Nipple cream
  • Cotton wool balls
  • More muslin squares
  • A small soft sided cooler bag

I think tomorrow is going to be all about getting prepared…wish us luck!

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Baby, Life, Lists, Plans, Pregnancy

 

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