Welcome to Motherhood. What you do and really don't need.

September 01, 2015

Alba Imogen My gorgeous little girl Alba is now 5 weeks old and I already feel the urge to pass on the wisdom of being a new mum; what you need, what you really don't, what you can never have enough of! What do you really need? Someone said to me when I was pregnant, "you can never have enough muslins". In my naive inexperienced state, I really didn't listen to this advice enough. Your baby will be sick on every muslin you own... fact. So if you have 5 you will come into trouble on day 1. Even though they are a little pricer, my ultimate top product so far are these super handy muslin swaddles from Aden and Anais. They are completely multi functional and I use them for everything; burping (amazing if you have a baby that projectile vomits - those small muslin squares do not stand a chance!), lightweight blankets in the hot weather and an amazing cover up for breastfeeding in public. To use for this, I just tie two opposite corners in a knot and put it on like a sash. They come in great prints like these fluro pink stars, so you don't have to loose your cool and resort to one of those ugly apron cover ups.

aden and anais muslin swaddle Swaddles. We're talking about those early days (night 1 and 2 when you first get home from hospital). You feed baby, they fall asleep and you put them into the crib... then suddenly they are WIDE AWAKE. CRYING. Swaddling amongst a few other tips completely saved us. Your baby is used to being in a cosy warm place all squished up, and suddenly you put them in this massive cold crib (how is it possible that when you bought said crib it looked so cute and tiny?!). Swaddling can make them feel cosy and snuggled up again. I recommend Gro swaddles as they are made from a lovely soft cotton keeping your buba snug, but not so much that they get too hot. I also love the designs by Little Unicorn in the US, they do some really lovely prints for both boys and girls. Harbor Little Unicorn garden rose little unicornHarbour swaddle and Garden rose swaddle, imagery from littleunicorn.com Blankets. Blankets. Blankets. Alba was born in August so I had like 3 blankets. I thought that would be more than enough. There is so much press about over heating a baby, and friends of friends saying their babies sleep just in a vest? Well mine doesn't. blankets I didn't for a minute think that we might have a cold baby, that it's not 30 degrees every day in August in the UK, that our baby won't sleep unless she is swaddled AND snug under a blanket as well (even with this, the back of her neck is not remotely hot) and finally, if you have a crib, a downstairs cot/moses basket and a pram you have already used all 3 blankets, and then what if buba is sick on one of them? Here is my pick of the best blankets around; Top left and bottom left; Coral Swan Blanket and Blue Milk Blanket both by Spearmint Love. Top right Grey Cloud Blanket by Farg&Form Sweden, middle left Fine Little Day Fir Tree Blanket, middle right Mamas and Papas knitted pink star blanket and bottom right Pappiyon Panda Blanket. the best blankets Large Night Lights. My number 1 item that we really didn't need was the Gro-egg thermometer. Now this is not to bash the company because I am a big advocate of their swaddles, see above, but this thermometer is not enough light for your room in the middle of the night when your baby has poo all up her back and believe you me, the last thing you want to do is put the main light on. don't.wake.the.baby! More on the Gro-egg thermometer later. Heico lamps are fantastic. Not only do they come in the most adorable designs; my favourites are the rabbit, the woodland mushroom, and the quirky collaboration with Lapin and Me, but they give a beautiful serene light that you can keep on all night and sleep through yourself and provides enough light for those middle of the night changes. We have the Woodland mushroom in our room and the cut outs make really pretty star lights on our ceiling! woodland mushroom night light If you are like me and spent hours creating the perfect changing table in your nursery (and this is a different room to where your baby sleeps in the early days!) you will also need one for that room... we have the rabbit night light in the nursery and it is just gorgeous. 2 night lights at nearly £40 each may sound extravagant but honestly it's some of the best money we spent. rabbit night light And now onto what you really don't need. We touched on the Gro-egg thermometer so I will finish this point. Although the intention of this product is good, it actually just adds more stress to any parent than necessary. Gro-egg's guidelines are that a baby should sleep in a room of 18 degrees. 18 degrees is cold! My baby would not sleep if my room were 18 degrees, and even if I tried, opening all the windows, my house never gets colder than 23 degrees in August, so you are permanently looking at a bright red light in your room, panicking, worrying. That's no way to keep calm environment for a newborn or a new parent. Finally, your baby will not go straight into 0-3 month clothes just YET. Unless you have a 10lb newborn (which is possible!). I had so much 0-3months and no Newborn sized baby grows and had to send friends out to buy some on day 2. I would also advise to buy a lot of short sleeve vests and a lot of sleep suits (the ones with the foldover mits) as your baby will live in these at the beginning. I bought way too many cute bits and not enough comfy stuff. As soon as little one started scratching up her face with her extremely long fingernails (!) we have lived in sleep suits. Marks and Spencer do some super cute ones and they are so cheap, its easier to buy more than to do a wash every single day. which you will do otherwise, trust me. So there are my first thoughts, a few weeks in. More to come and we experience this new and wonderful world together. Feel free to comment or share. x

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